Wednesday, November 30, 2005


import * or not

There are two schools of thought on imports in Java. One is explicitly to import each class and the other is to just use a star for every package you import. I fall into the latter school of thought. First of all the compiler doesn't care which way you do it. As long as it has a path to the class it is happy. It is not like an include in C where unnecessary stuff will make your byte code bigger. So the only difference is for readability. When I read code I like to view the imports as a way to give me a general idea of what is going it I am going to read in the class and just knowing the packages is good enough. Too many imports clutters things up when you want a overview.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


cd to Previous Directory

Here is a simple non-intutive trick I was just reminded of:

user@machine:~/temp% cd -

This returns you to the previous directory you were in.


Ant = The tool I couldn't live without

Having an repeatable and stable build process for whatever you are developing in is an elementrary requirement. Ant is the greaset tool for Java devlopment. Before I had to use shell scripts and obviouly they weren't easy to move from Windows to Unix. I swithed to Ant many years ago and use it daily. So much so I take it for granted. Not only do I use it for building but it also deploys app and runs JUnit tests. For me I just alt-tab to the gnome terminal and press the up arrow and wala: My app is built test and deployed in about 40 seconds. If the software community had a Nobel prize type thing then the inventors of Ant should get it.

Monday, November 28, 2005


JOT - It's a good thing.

I am a software developer, but it is hard to classify myself as a particular type of developer. I used to be able to call myself a Java Developer but that classification is getting harder to use. First of all, I hate being pigeon holed, especially when it comes to being being classified as only a "server side Java Developer that only works with Brand x App server". I consider myself as a Jack of all trades (JOT) developer. Some may consider this a negative but I don't. My goal is to be able to learn new technologies and use them as quickly as possible. Why? Because odds are the what I am working on now will be obsolete soon. Evolution seems to favor the adaptable, not the necessarily the strong.

Here was my day today: I worked on the ongoing app that we are working on modifying an EJB and tomorrow I'll build the struts front end for my changes today. But I also had to debug and fix an issue in a Lotus Notes Application, patch a production Solaris system, check on the company's backups from over the weekend and help fix an issue with our DB schema.


Recipe for Building Emacs on the Mac

You can build Emacs on Mac OS X quite easily. Here is how to it on Tiger:

Get the source:

export CVS_RSH="ssh"
cvs -z3 co emacs

cd into the emacs dir and invoke:

./configure --enable-carbon-app=/Applications --without-x

This will put Emacs into your Applications folder and look just any other Mac app.

Then build it:

make bootstrap

Now install:

sudo make install

Now just click on the icon in Applications.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Changing the Solaris Login Screen

If you use the JDS with Solaris 10 you might want to change the default login screen to the GDM. Here is how:

First shut off the dtlogin:

/usr/dt/bin/dtconfig -d

Then enable GDM in SMF:

svccfg import /var/svc/manifest/application/gdm2-login.xml

svcadm enable application/gdm2-login

Friday, November 25, 2005


OpenSolaris on a Sony TR1A

Getting Solaris to work on a x86 machine has always been a challenge for me. I have never had any luck with just any machine I tried. So imagine my suprise when I tried to install it on my Sony TR1A and for the most part it worked. The TR1 is an ultra-portable sub-notebook. It is not the typical laptop setup. I couldn't even get plain Windows working on it without using Sony's install app.

Plain Solaris Express installed without issue and the Ethernet worked right away. Next was to build OpenSolaris. This thing is no speed demon being designed for portability but did manage to do a build in half the time of Sun Blade 100 which was just under 5 hours.

The Memory stick just worked. When I plugged in a memory stick it just showed up on the desktop. I could not believe how easy it was.

Next was audio, I used Jürgen Keil's AC97 drivers from The only issue I still have to fix is the volume, it isexrtemlyy low.

The wireless drivers were just recently released from Sun:
They work just fine, however the wifi config tool from OpenSolaris is giving me some issues with essid that aren't broadcasted but it is still in beta.

The next thing I will need to work on is the display. It works at 1024x768 but I need to get to 1280x768. Some people have some hacks on Linux that I am going to try with OpenSolaris.


First Post

Here's the inaugural post. Posts in the future will be bloggings of my experiences a developer. Primarily I work with Java on the server. My hobby is with OpenSolaris. But I work with and have an interest in a wide variety of things.

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