17 Oct 2009

Even less time ahead

Hello, as you can see I've been quiet for long time now. It's mainly due to me not finding motivation to write anything although so much have happened in "IT world" and I was/am excited by several things. I guess I had a feeling that my weblog is useless for me and for everyone else and what I have to say isn't that important, maybe it is this way, but I still can have my say. And I will. So I shall write. About Open Company, about E text editor, about JavaFX, about IntelliJ IDEA, about good and bad ui, about Flash Catalyst, about ... And I will have fun doing it. I hope you, my dear reader, will have some fun too and sometimes will find some useful information while reading my blog.

I'm getting nostalgic and emotional, but please forgive me - my wife born a son two days ago. We are all healthy and happy. I'll try hard to find moments for writing :).

28 May 2009

Anti-name-butchers measures

If you listen to JavaPosse podcast a lot you had heard hosts several times butchering names. It is just so hard to know pronunciation of every language in the world.

I thought it would be nice to create simple app to gather audio for names and tame those name butchers at JavaPosse and all over the world. Of course I haven't got time to make it, but I stumbled upon pronunciation feature on IBM My developerWorks. I think it is an idea worth spreading and stealing. So think about it, ask your community/social portal to protect your name against name butchers.

10 Mar 2009

MediaUnsupportedException no more

Since the JavaFX's launch I had problems with media. At first JavaFX 1.0 on my home computer crashed JVM when trying to play anything. I filled a bug RT-2530, which was assigned and moved to appropriate category shortly after, but I've never heard from assignee anything. I guess it was because of amount of work in other areas and lack of votes for my bug. I went through intall-reinstall cycle of anything that came to my mind that could be related to media. One thing I wasn't intending to do was reinstalling Windows - I hate it as a solution and I didn't believe it is a cure for all bad. Anyway, I checked my friend's computer that have almost the same hardware as mine. That system didn't play media either. Nothing helped.

With JavaFX 1.0.1 things got slightly better - playing media with JavaFX gave me MediaUnsupportedException. So I went to JavaFX's JIRA and tried to find any bugs related to media and gave some of them, which I thought were similar to mine, a vote. At least I showed Sun's people there is a problem. Unfortunetly I was of a few that voted in JavaFX's JIRA at all. Maybe it is Sun's bug parade bad fame to be pleaded guilty for it?

Then after JavaFX 1.1 I searched again, because it still couldn't play video/audio with JavaFX. Flash worked fine and so did Silverlight. One day someone pointed me to release notes for JavaFX SDK stating that problems with built-in audio cards and missing audio drivers might cuase MediaUnsupportedException. Doh! I reinstalled DirectX (even tried to downgrade it), installed-reinstalled-tweaked codecs, installed On2 Flix encoder to check whether my machine can play fxm files, but I didn't updated my audio drivers! My mobo is nforce2 based with Realtek chip responsible for sound. I've installed new drivers for my built-in audio card. Rebooted and voila. I can now enjoy full power of JavaFX.

I have to say there is still a lot of work for JavaFX to be done, to make it competent rival of Flash and Silverlight, but it is a great start. I've started JavaFX course at javapassion.com and I like JavaFX Script. I also was astonished by video puzzle example from javafx.com. Is it possible to make similar app in Flash or Sliverlight (sorry I don't have time to digg through search engine results)? Anyway, as I said JavaFX has a long way ahead to go to really fly or shine - look at comparison to other RIA technologies at shinedraw.com to see discussion what it might do better in future to please its users. In comments I tried to respond to Terence problems with JavaFX (I almost fully agree with his points), but the conversation has gone the other way due deployment problems. In short Terence decided to wait for next releases to get deeper into JavaFX. I won't wait. I go and see what else JavaFX has for me. And what can I do to make it better.

Update: It seems I misread release notes title - it is for JavaFX preview release, even if itsn't relevant anymore it still inspired me to try to update my audio drivers.

25 Feb 2009

NetBeans Nimbus kumbaya

I am happy to see Nimbus related NetBeans' bugs are hunted and some of the squashed already.Here is a link to umbrella bug report for Nimbus uglinesses and glitches in NetBeans. For those that won't follow a link - this bug depend on 23 issues of which 7 are opened as I am writing this post. All fixes, except one related to NetBeans not adjusting font size through --fontsize option, are scheduled for 6.7 release. Thank you NetBeans' developers.

The ugly tabs are gone. Me likey! Screenshot is from build 200902231401.
I'd like to see module that would allow to change colors of Nimbus, but is it even possible to do it at runtime? Blue is sad and cold. Good for super hot summer though :).

21 Jan 2009

Some rough edges of nimble couple

I've been using NetBeans 6.5 for some time with Nimbus laf that came with Java 6u10. I have to say I like Nimbus, I am using it and not going to switch back to Metal or Windows. BTW I've always liked the former more, because of good looking toolbar and editor tabs. Anyway, there are two things, for now at least, that annoy me in NetBeans working under Nimbus (I believe these are NetBeans issues) - the colors of editor tabs and their inconsistence and ugly usage of border around editor pane. Look at the picture below.
Hopefully the selected tab will get less saturated to make it less agressive and more readable for the eye and border at the top of editor pane will long enough to reach its ends :). It will make tabs look more natural, more finished. For now it seems like tabs are alien to the rest of the NetBeans ui. They look more like buttons, because of this line issue.

I know glitches I've mentioned will not make you scream in the middle of the night sweating, but refining those would please my aesthetic needs :). Of course I am not the only one pointing those issues. Just search for "nimbus tabs" in nbusers@netbeans.org mailing list and you would see polished look does matter to developers.

10 Jan 2009

Bad Picasa and bad Google Earth!

It was a pain for me to discover today that two fine pieces of software from Google - Picasa and Google Earth doesn't allow me to write with diacritical marks. Both programs have assigned actions for keys combinations that normally would have allow me to write letters with diacritical marks. It is unfortunate, but even more unfortunate is I can't change those shortcuts. This plainly sucks! 
I wanted to report both of these issues only to find there is no issue tracking neither for Picasa, nor for Google Earth. Grrr! So the only way to tell Google to fix it is to use Forum? I will not leave this bug as it is - I want to use Google Earth and Picasa with pleasure, not with anger :).

I think that good solution is to let user to change those shortcuts. I understand that changing it now, when both software is quite long on the market, isn't an option. I would be more to happy to do it, if Google had fixed this bug.