Vita Rara: A Life Uncommon

Programming

Eclipse: Not so Stable


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My experiment with Eclipse isn't going very well. I did an upgrade to 3.2, which apparently hopelessly corrupted my workspace, or at least that's all I can conclude based on the evidence. I say that because I'm obviously not an Eclipse expert. My diagnosis is based on the fact that a deletion of the workspace and a re-import of the project I was working on from the file system fixed the issue.

Today, Eclipse ran out of memory and has somehow corrupted its environment such that the Java Editor is hopelessly confused, and has placed error warnings, x's, along in a seemingly random pattern in almost all of my files.

Frustrating Days in Quadran Land


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The past week or so has been one of frustration. It seems like I have been working on working. I've been setting up Spring, and WebWork, creating the skeleton of WebWork action classes. All in all a lot of busy work.

In the course of creating the JPA implementation of our data layer I used the JpaDaoSupport from the Spring framework. This caused some boot strapping issues when I went to get all of this running under JBoss 4.0.4.GA. The persistence archive deployed perfectly, but it was bear from that point out getting the DAO's to work. I think I have it figured out, and will post a HOWTO once I have it all working.

Classes, Classes Everywhere


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More work on the data layer of Quadran. I think to myself there needs to be an easier way. I'm making every attempt to future proof the system by using interfaces, and then implementations of those. I'm also using the Data Access Object pattern, with interfaces and implementations. Unfortunately this leads to lots and lots of class files:

  • Entity Interface
  • Entity DAO Interface
  • Entity Implementation
  • Entity DAO Implementation

Eclipse has made it easier to generate the implementation classes, but it is still slow going. Once this is done th

Eclipse


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Yesterday I decided that it was time to check out Eclipse. My development environment for years has consisted of screen, vi, and ant. I have evolved what I feel felt was an efficient system. But, as with all new beginnings it was time to take a look around and see what was out there. The obvious thing to look at was Eclipse.

I tried Eclipse some time ago, in the 2.1 era if I recall. It just wasn't stable on Mac OS X at that time and really put me off of it. My old environment was rock solid. It never quit on me and I could log in remotely, do a 'screen -dr' and have my environment right there.

A Weekend with WebWork


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I spent the better part of the weekend with "WebWork in Action" by Partick Lightbody and Jason Carreira. I did this because WebWork 2.3 == Struts 2. I wanted to come up to speed on this to make sure that I was not leaving something behind. Originally it was my plan to implement Quadran with JSF, but I'm unsure of that plan. It's a very large change for us as an organization, therefore I'm taking a more detailed survey of the landscape to see where the web framework world is.

As I've said in the past we have been a Struts 1.2 house for some time now. I do feel though that Struts 1 has run its course and that basing a new project on it would be short sighted, although I'm sure it would work, as Struts 1 is a proven framework. Therefore the evaluation of the options.

Web Frameworks


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Some history. I've worked on two major projects in the past few years. One of them was written using the Enhydra presentation framework with XMLC. The other one, which I had a large part in specifying, but not writing, uses Struts for the web framework.

So, now that I'm starting with a clean sheet I'm taking a serious look at what is out there. My original inclination was to use Struts 1.2 and then back my way into another frame work down the road. I figured that in the long run we'd likely port to JSF.

Well, I've spent a lot of time with "Professional Java Development with the Spring Framework" by Rod Johnson, et. al., over the past week and I really like what I'm reading. It has me seriously rethinking my decision to use Struts 1.2.

Today was Data Model Day


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Most of the day today was spend analyzing the data model for my project. We now have a code name for it, Project Quadran. We'll have to see if the name sticks.

I'm working with a good book on Universal Data Models, "The Data Model Resource Book, Revised Edition, Volume 1" by Len Silverston. I highly recommend it. The notation style is a bit opaque to me, but it is full of valuable information.

Spring


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I'll keep this short today. I need to go get food. Must feed the brain.

I'm spending the weekend with "Professional Java Development with the Spring Framwork." I'm in chapter 3, and I'm impressed both with the book and with Spring. Considering that it's been some time since I've architected a Java Enterprise application it's been interesting reading. Many of the things I was working on in my head have already been accomplished in Spring.

That's all for now. More later.

Frameworks, API's, Interfaces.... Oh My! Defining a Foundation


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One of the most important issues when starting a new project is the question of what tools, frameworks, and libraries are you going to use. In the past when starting a new project I take some time and survey the lay of the land. Well.. it's day one and I have been closely surveying the lay of the land.

It has been my intention that I would be using EJB 3.0 for this project, at least for the persistence layer. I have been looking at it for some time. I still feel comfortable with that decision. I've looked at Hibernate, which was the other possibility, but I think that EJB 3.0 will do for us.

A View Inside a Large Java Project


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Over the next six months I am going to be implementing a large scale ERP like system. This is a replacement for a system containing about 90,000 lines of code, written in Java, using a lot of stuff that was current circa 2000.

It is my intention to write about the process here. It's been some time for me since I've taken on a lead role in a development project of this scope. My duties within my company have moved me away from direct hands on development toward a more managerial hands off mentoring role. This is going to be changing with this project. I will back in the thick of things, analyzing, coding, designing architecture, whatever it takes to deliver the project.

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