Eclipse RCP training near you published an interesting news bulletin today. It appears Eclipse RCP classes are comming to a city near you. Have a look over here for the current time-table. I did not do a background check of the people giving the course, but hey, it only costs 1100 euros. A ridiculous low price if you ask me. What is the catch? Or is it heavily sponsored by My employer has a three day java Swing course available for 1350 euros. That’s one day less AND it costs more.

I am very curious about this. If the quality is good (how can it be for so little money) it is a bargain! Any thoughts on this will be much appreciated. Especially on how they can do this for such a small fee.

Going to EclipseCon 2007

I am very happy to anounce that I will be attending EclipseCon 2007. It will be my first overseas conference ever. And the first intercontinental flight I will make. So major noob factor there. But all in all “Wow!”.

Within my employer I have been active for a thing called the “Rich Client Niche”. It is sort of an extra hours activity where we try to set company wide guidelines/standards and help RCP newbies on their way. And I am getting the feeling that it is starting to work, colleagues are aware of the niche and are actively requesting assistence and knowledge. In the past year we as the Rich Clien team have been able to get more attention to rich client Java development within our company. Especially at managerial level interest is growing into the potential opertunities in this area.

Going to EclipseCon 2007 To support our activities into this year the decision was made to send me and perhaps another colleague to the EclipseCon 2007. I am very much excited about this, I am hoping that because of this we are able to get out competence level to the next level. Also I am very curious to talk to people about potential business opertunities focussed around Eclipse RCP. Drop a line if you will be there as well. I’m especially interested to learn if any other dutch colleagues at other companies will attend.

Train spotting, sort of…

Logo of the NS - Dutch RailwaysPeople who have checked my project history, have probably seen that I am doing something at the Dutch railways for quite some time now. Well, tonight I will indulge myself if you will.

The project is about building an application with which the Dutch railways and any other user of the Dutch rail infrastructure should be able to plan all infrastructure, trains and personnel. Now from what I have heard, the way the Dutch railways are operated is almost unique on a global scale. Yes, you’ve read correct. Most rail infrastructure is used in a strict corridor like fashion, a train moves from A to B and B to A, all day long. But here in the Netherlands it really is a network problem. Everything, and I really mean everything crosses each-other at stations and other significant places. Now think about this for a while and let it sink in. Now I don’t know how things work in other countries, and frankly I don’t really care too much about that either. The project I’m in is trying to help planners for the Dutch situation.

Now, not only does the infrastructure need planning, the trains themselves have to be planned as well. Trains need maintenance, and at the start of the day the right equipment has to be available at the right places. Preferably with as little empty night time movements. Starting to feel a bit complex now. Well, that’s not all. Someone has to be on those trains to drive them, and let’s not forget the men and women who check your ticket. In the Netherlands a train is not allowed to depart with passengers without a conductor. Now think about this, personnel should start the day as close to “home” as possible and end up as close to home at the end of the shift as well. Oh and the machinist has to be certified for the type of train he’s running and be certified for the tracks he’s running on too.

Short version, this sh#t is complex. And the coolest part is, the entire effort is starting to feel like it’s going into it’s final stage of development. Sure there will be bugs to fix and deadlines to be met, signals are indicating that crunch time is near. I’ve been on this project for a good one and a half years now. But the effort started like a whole bunch of years ago. Last time I heard it was like 5 or 6 years ago that the first preliminary studies were conducted.

My role in this whole thing? I’m just one of the many hard working developers. My role is mainly focussed on UI and graphical display of data. Questions? Just ask, I’ll see if I can answer them.

Rich Client Vs. Web: User interface

One of the most visible effects of choosing either web or desktop technology is the way the resulting application will appear. Right now there are a couple of development frameworks to take into consideration. These are in no particular order:

  • Basic web application
  • AJAX
  • Netbeans/Eclipse Rich Client
  • Swing/SWT application

(This list is Java oriented.)

All of these have advantages and disadvantages. The list above can be divided into two main categories. To no surprise these are Web and Desktop. Anyway, right now I’m working for my employer on a document which ellaborates on these differences. Also I’ve submitted a proposal to the NL-JUG’s upcomming J-Fall to do a talk about this subject for my employer. I hope they’ll agree with me that it’s an important subject to reflect on a bit.

Rich Client vs. Web 2.0 – Deployment and maintenance

Finally you’ve finished your latest wonder. Now to boldly move on to marvellous new functionality.

Wait a second.

Before moving on to something else it would be nice of you to actually make your app available to your users.

Let’s see. This one should be a bit of a no-brainer according to most people. Usually people start blabbering about how easy it is to deploy and maintain a web application. While this is true most of the time, things do tend to get a bit more complicated with Web 2.0. Things like Javascript and browser versions come to mind. And Rich Clients are supposed to be hard to deploy.
Continue reading “Rich Client vs. Web 2.0 – Deployment and maintenance”

Who wants Sudoku, come get some.

Eclipse sudoku projectsExcellent support by Wayne Beaton again. It probably already was available, I just didn’t know it was. The Sudoku game Wayne has been working on is available for download.

Just import this project set into your Eclipse install and you are ready to go. You will be asked for CVS credentials. Just enter anonymous as a user-name and leave the password field blank or enter your email address.

Now you’ve got a sweet little application to molest to your hearth’s content. Complex enough to feel real, but small enough to get into in a short time-span.

Callisto is final

Last night I installed the final release of Callisto with Eclipse 3.2 on my mac. And it works like a charm so far. Earlier release candidates were often broken on OSX. But this seems solid. Also the sheer amount of functionality is just overwhelming, where do I start with exploring all the goodies provided by the Callisto release plug-ins?

Callisto is here...Compared to previous Eclipse OSX releases Eclipse seems a lot more polished now. Sure there are some gripes, like scroll-bars appearing in the description field of the new project wizard. But it is getting better and better. Guess I will be doing some Wayne Beaton inspired evangelising on my current project next week. (Basically this would mean raising my hands into the air, exclaim why I think Eclipse is best, then kindly respond to all questions being asked. I won’t go swimming in a frozen lake though.)

I have been goofing around a bit last night, I smacked together some user interfaces with VE. Which is also part of the Callisto release. It seems to work ok, but still it doesn’t have the flexibility of rolling the views yourself. I’m not sure yet if I really like Visual Editor, but the rest of Callisto: Awesome! 😛