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Tom Nielson

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Recent posts by Tom Nielson

Stevens Miller wrote:

Bear Bibeault wrote:I can bang out a complex web application a lot easier and quicker than I can learn JavaFX.

Does choosing not to use JavaFX imply a Web app? Swing works fine on desktop apps. I think we're mixing up some of the issues here. Applets are dead outside of a controlled environment, for security reasons. In a corporate context, some people still say they make sense because it is easy to deploy and upgrade applets, and one can (or should) be able to trust the corporation's own applets.

I took Tom's point about using jar files instead of Web apps in a small corporate setting as not a choice between Web apps and JavaFX, but a choice between Web apps and desktop apps.

Yeah I think you are right we are confusing contexts. I am not talking about JavaFX for web apps. I think JavaFX is definitely dead on that front. But for simple "Here is your playable JAR file" which runs desktop applications, it works great. So maybe we should clarify if the debate is "Is JavaFX as a desktop application dead?" vs "Is JavaFX as a web technology dead?"
4 years ago

Bear Bibeault wrote:While I agree with much of what you posted, I disagree with:

Tom Nielson wrote:When you make a software that is only used by 20 employees in your own company, it hardly makes sense to distribute it as a web application.

I can bang out a complex web application a lot easier and quicker than I can learn JavaFX. Your statement is only true for companies that have resources that already know JavaFX and can whip a desktop application faster than a web app. Companies that already have web application expertise are a different matter.

But our small company, where the users of any internal app likely number two dozen or less, finds it far more efficient to use web apps over desktop apps.

There's also the whole discussion regarding versioning and deployment points, but that's been discussed to death elsewhere and I won't repeat here.

That makes sense, and that's impressive and surprising to me. What does your web stack look like?
4 years ago
"Dead" is such a relative term. Some developers, often being passionate people, are often fond of proclaiming on a blog post "[put technology here] is dead". People have been saying Java is dead for over a decade.

That being said, I am professionally a Swing/JavaFX developer for my company. We are not a vendor and we build a lot of in-house applications for our employees in Swing, and we already migrated to JavaFX. We have used Kotlin, RxJava and any other resourceful library we can get our hands on. We've made millions of dollars for our company with these software "tools" to support our business operations.

When you make a software that is only used by 20 employees in your own company, it hardly makes sense to distribute it as a web application. Such complexity and overhead is overkill. Putting a JAR file out on a network drive is so much simpler. You have to consider also companies like mine do not report using JavaFX or Swing, much less the fact we are building in-house applications.

Vendors have every financial incentive to move businesses to the cloud. I think this is why Oracle laid off many of its JavaFX evangelicals. They're chasing a new cash cow in cloud and want businesses to hand over the reigns to vendors. I hardly see that happening with how complicated, fragmented, and niche technology is becoming. People are always going to use what works, and the vendor's "Vanilla Flavor Cloud Solution" is not going to fulfill every single niche business need. That is why shadow IT development is becoming rampant.

I am embarking on learning Play web development but that is only for my personal growth and as a backup just in case the cloud becomes inevitable. Cloud may have overtaken desktop to some degree, but it hasn't stomped it out. That will only happen when vendors and IT departments are able to fulfill every one of our niche computing needs, and currently that is FAR from happening.
4 years ago
Is Kotlin relevant enough to join the ranks of Scala, Groovy, and other JVM languages and get its own forum section under "Languages"?
4 years ago

Joe Harry wrote:Interesting! I have been off from Java for a while as I'm doing lots of Scala these days. What is with the JDBC API? Are there plans with Java 9 to make it asynchronous on the socket? Is this even possible?

That would be interesting. I did make a TabularResultSet wrapper a year ago which implements Spliterator and allows a parallelStream(). The trick though is you have to serially iterate the records, and implement a ResultSet around a cached array of values for a given record so it gets parallelized safely. That way no concurrent next() calls happen. I could not imagine parallelizing any other way.

I have not used that utility in awhile though. I've been using RxJava and RxJava-JDBC which is now my primary means of working with databases. I can achieve similar parallelization through that.

If you meant asynchronous from an IO standpoint, I apologize for my digression. I was thinking after the IO part.
4 years ago

Ahsan Bagwan wrote:This is the concern that I've been really trying to deal with for some time now. Given how pervasive sedentary lifestyle is it definitely takes a discipline to achieve a minimum fitness level. For me, I'm taking charge of my daily fitness routine and my overall well-being in terms of health.

So with that out of the way, and if you don't mind how do you plan and act on your fitness schedule? How many days do you work out?

Coming to diet, how hard it is to be strict on what one eats? Does everything come down to self-control and will power? I couldn't find any other forum where this would fit in. So if you think this isn't the appropriate place to ask such a question please move it elsewhere.

I don't know how much space you have. I live alone and own a 3-bedroom house. I set aside one bedroom and make it my "sacred workout room". I find it much easier to drag myself in there than go to the gym, and I always leave it closed off so it never gets cluttered. I recently picked up the Insanity home program, and in a few weeks I already started shedding quite a bit of the hacker's physique. I tried to do P90X but it was just too dang long.

One day when I have serious money to burn I will definitely get me one of these desk treadmills when I do late-night programming.

With diet, I went paleo and have had some great results with it. Although I'm not ripped with a six pack because I sit a lot on a computer (I'm working on that), I am at least not overweight beyond 10-15 lbs anymore. I find if I eat lots of vegetables with a smaller portion of chicken or grassfed beef, I have a lot of energy and look and feel better. Sodium, gluten, sugar, grains, and cheap carbohydrates automatically make me feel crappy, and the weird part is they are very addicting! If I eat something sugary, salty, or starchy I crave it. But if you avoid them your appetite is significantly curbed.
4 years ago
I know there's likely no lawyers here, but I'm witnessing a very awkward situation for a friend.

If one salaried employee sues another salaried employee in a completely reckless, unfounded, and petty matter outside work (literally the definition of a "kangaroo lawsuit" that only her prosecutor dad would represent), can the employer fire her if it causes problems at work? She is relatively new, been there for only 7 months, and is an entry-level employee (straight out of college). The employee who is the defendant has been there for 5 years and is very senior. The employer does not know but my friend is tired of being harassed. He was filibustered in a deposition for several hours with her dad. There really is no case so they are just making him miserable. He is thinking of disclosing it to HR. No there was never a relationship, just a 24-year-old opportunist with a prosecutor father.
4 years ago

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Tom,
I'm not sure of the syntax. Brian Goetz mentioned it in a NY Java SIG presentation last week. OF course it came with the standard Oracle disclaimer that anything can change.

Haha kind of like they did with Currency. I'll check it out and talk to Brian on Twitter if my research comes empty.
4 years ago

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Oh! Collections for primitives could come up early on.

I think I missed that memo... so does Java 9 officially allow me to create an ArrayList<int> ?
4 years ago

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:The command line changes with respect to profiles/modules (vs the classpath.) This won't affect beginners right away, but I could see it showing up once they start learning about libraries like JDBC.

I'll need to research that. Are you referring to the command line as in the JDK build tools? The material I'm training with uses Eclipse. But yeah using JDBC and standard libraries, I really hope that doesn't get too disrupted with the Jigsaw stuff...
4 years ago
I'm working on some material to train non-programmers on Java 8 and apply it practically, and I am including topics like lambdas. streams. and immutability. But now Java 9 is now around the corner. I've been keeping an eye on Java 9 and been wondering if the features really would make an impact on my beginner's curriculum. The only thing I could think of is the Currency API deprecating usage of BigDecimal for money, but it looks like that got slashed for release.

The Jigsaw stuff is definitely significant, but I don't think it is going to affect the initial learning experience for a beginner. Same with GC and under-the-hood improvements. Are there any Java 9 topics that would be relevant to a beginner just like lambdas were in Java 8?
4 years ago

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Tom,
In many generations, there is a "knowing how to do" vs "knowing how to think" difference. A lot of people are able to do what they are told but not figure it out. The Millennals have a different aspect of this. It's the first generation that primarily learned how to do research online rather than at a library. Research is a thinking skill. And I mean actually knowing that to look up and not just typing the first thing one things of into Google. It's also the first generation to be able to look up all sorts of facts at any moment which has advantages too.

We know everything about posting on Facebook and Twitter but hardly know the difference between Javascript and SQL.

So? Everyone doesn't need to know what SQL is.

I think you are operating with a slanted sample though. An organization that helps unemployed/underemployed people sounds like it wouldn't attract the people who are really into programming. There's also a maturity thing for meh guy. I'm in my 30's and ten years ago, it was the same thing. It takes time to learn the big picture. With any learning thing, why should they learn it. Younger people tend to need it spelled out.

For the professionally lonely, talk to people who do think like you. Who are passionate about what they are doing. I feel full of energy when I'm around people like that whether it is here at CodeRanch or at a local user group or even at work.

Yeah, I suppose you're right. I guess my biases and observations on what is important are limited to my own experiences. I also work outside the tech industry, and that probably slants my sample as well.

Sometimes people have to work out their own life narrative, and it takes time to figure it all out.

I do GitHub and have a network of people all over the world I collaborate with on open-source projects, which helps me a ton professionally. But for me, I think my fear is there seems to be less and less STEM professionals. Although I like the job security of being one of the few, I hardly want to live in a world where I have no help. And sincerely, I really do want to help people in turn.

That is an interesting thought though about Millennials and their ability to research like never before. It will be interesting to see its impact on critical thinking and problem-solving in the coming decades. It certainly has changed how I solve problems!
4 years ago

Stephan van Hulst wrote:Interesting. My own view has mostly been that there is so much work to be done in IT, that they will give a job to any idiot who can find the spacebar on a keyboard. There simply isn't really that much incentive to learn all the concepts properly.

Haha exactly. This is especially the case in IT departments for non-tech companies. I keep telling others "just learn a stupid SELECT statement and people will think you're a genius. Learn Python or Java and they will think you walk on water." You seriously don't have to learn much to impress, and yet I encounter so many people in their 20's who are not even the least bit curious to gain some technical knowledge, even to help get a job. At least that's how it feels here in the U.S.
4 years ago
WARNING: This may qualify as a rant but I am interested in hearing people's thoughts on this topic.

I'm 26 and I'd like to think I've never been raised like most people my age. I had my moments but my parents never let the 90's/00's culture really define me too much. My Dad and Mom killed themselves and their pensions to put me through private school. They raised me to work hard and never think " things would work out" if I sat idly.

After getting a degree in business and supply chain management, I've probably spent the first few years of my career learning Java, database design, and C# (especially the former). Sometimes I spent 80-100 hours a week deeply learning advanced topics like concurrency, functional programming, and reactive programming. Although it was hard and took up a few years of my life, it has been very rewarding. I'm even publishing an O'Reilly book in January next year.

I'm puzzled when I look at my generation though, and I get disturbed the more I observe. Many people think millennials are tech-savvy, but the wiser of us know better. We are experts in consuming technology, not using it to solve problems other than our own. I can safely say most millennials are EXTREMELY technically illiterate. We know everything about posting on Facebook and Twitter but hardly know the difference between Javascript and SQL.

I volunteer at an organization that helps unemployed/underemployed business professionals get back on their feet and I teach SQL there. I primarily encounter people in their late 30's/40's/50's but rarely have twenty-somethings come to me for help. When I encourage (or beg them) to spend 5-10 hours to learn SQL, many millennials either say *meh* or as one guy put it "that just sounds like too much commitment". People 30-50 years old are all over it though, and I've helped many in that demographic get jobs and reboot their careers.

It is deeply frustrating and discouraging because I want to help others my age who are struggling. But I feel like a voice in the desert most of the time. I'd even describe it as professionally lonely. Misconceptions and intimidation are keeping the most technologically engaged generation from even understanding the technology in their hands. I know some make a dated argument that India has taken all the IT jobs, but I know for a fact a moderately talented programmer could easily get a job here in the U.S.

Has anybody else encountered this? Inside Silicon Valley? Outside Silicon Valley? (which is my case) Why is programming so shunned by them?
4 years ago

Blake Edward wrote:

I'm glad you got things worked out. As a contractor myself, working for a company that works within a large global company, I have some empathy for the woman who was hired and then quit. There is a huge disparity between contingent workers and "real" employees and I am sure that she could see right from the start she needed to immediately prove her worth because typically contingent workers don't get trained. Also, since there was no real training for her, and you really didn't want her there anyway, I can see immediate frustration on her part. If she wasn't hired as a trainee it's possible that your cracker jack management team that hired her told her that one of her jobs was to find "new and better ways to do things" which means they didn't have a clue about what you do either nor any real respect.

Again, I'm sorry you had to endure the poor decision making of you managers, and that somebody got hired, didn't get trained and had to quit, and that you had to deal with the disrespect and the frustration. I'm sure the manager who hired her still has his/her job, right? Maybe they should be the ones to have left. Stories like this are sad.

Thanks I appreciate that. It really was a vicious cycle of bad decisions and escalating conflict rooted in bad management. I would not be surprised if the manager quits in the next month or two.

Fortunately I'm not dispensable, and the people that really matter (VP's and directors, not management) know that. The middle management immediately over me should not exist but unfortunately a large organization evolves slowly, and everyone knows the tenure HR metric is becoming dated.

But yes, it was frustrating management did not recognize my value. We don't work in the tech sector (in an industry not reputed for tech talent) and I so badly wanted to tell them "Facebook and Oracle have tried to recruit me, and I don't think you appreciate that I'm choosing to be here!". I think things may work out though now.
4 years ago