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Joe McIntyre

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since Nov 20, 2003
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Recent posts by Joe McIntyre

I was a java developer 10 years ago and I want to get back into the field. In order to put some current stuff on my resume, I want to take some certification tests. The ones that Sun offers are expensive, and there aren't very many of them. So I'm wondering if I used Brainbench instead whether that would be just as good? Their tests are only $50 a pop, and they are much more granular, covering many very specific topics not only in java development but also in other stuff like database design. Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated! Also, is there a service that is better than Brainbench? Thanks!
11 years ago
Is there any such thing as code that operates on the codebase, like a compiler, but instead of creating machine code, it just creates modified human readable code? This is hard to explain, so let me give an example. Suppose we have the following codebase:

Now, we apply the following command to the codebase:

And the result is:

Of course, I realize that IDEs can do this (to a certain extent), but I was just wondering if anyone ever developed an actual rigorous language for this kind of thing.

[ June 15, 2008: Message edited by: Wally Flint ]
[ June 15, 2008: Message edited by: Wally Flint ]
13 years ago
It is pointless to ask questions like this. We have profilers for application code, but unfortunately there are no profilers for the developers, or for the development process itself. If there were, we'd all be shocked by the feedback.

Another possibility is that in the open source community, there's only one job title, and that's "developer". In the business world people with different job titles compete with each other. This creates a considerable amount of bad feelings and hostility, however, it does create a better product. To illustrate, what if you had two teams, one gets points for writing good code, another for streamlining the coding process. Whenever code is written, the streamliners try to come up with a simpler way to do the same thing, and if they do come up with the simpler way, then the coding team has to rewrite it the simpler way. (So the coding team hates the streamliners, because every time they streamline something, the coding team has to redo their work.) But rather than typing the following code 50 million times:

we recognize a bottleneck and convert it to:

Of course, this low level detailed example of actual code does not do the concept justice. Most of our bottlenecks exist at a much higher level... trying to make java interact with the host platform or something like that.
13 years ago
For any future posters, I'll clarify my question with details as to the problem that brought about my original post.

Downloaded software for my MacBook Pro to alert me throughout the day with tasks to do. Wasn't satisfied, seemed like an easy programming task, so I fired off my own version in java. Took no time at all to write an app that did what I wanted - to provide audio and visual messages alerting me to begin a new todo task at various times throughout the day. Spent about maybe 45 minutes and I was done... except for two problems.

1) control the volume of the beep tone (in case I was working on audio recording, so it wouldn't blow my speakers out).

2) bring alert dialog box to the top (I'd no doubt be using another application)

Both of these problems were, as far as I can see, insurmountable. Or if they could be solved, they would require days of research and preparation.

So no... this isn't a software architecture problem... not even close. I tried a few tricks, but all of them had flaws (due to bugs).

The reason I posted the comment above is that for the first time I realized that this happens to me on almost every project. I build a space ship that can go to mars and collect soil samples, then when I go to build the little red button that launches the space ship, I run into problems. These tiny little problems either kill the project altogether, or else they burn an inordinate amount of resources to solve.

When you read about the philosophy that spawned OO programming to begin with, the list a number of common problems that the paradigm was designed to solve. For example, one common problem was rewriting the same software modules over and over. So I'm just wondering, what kind of techniques could be employed to get around this bottleneck problem? Of course, I realize that every engineering project (software or otherwise) has its bottlenecks. But what I don't understand is why, in software, most of the links of the chain can hold a force of 1,000 pounds, while the weak link can only seem to hold 3 ounces.
13 years ago
[Edit: not-so-nice response removed. If you don't want to hear other peoples' opinions, it'd be best not ask for them.]
[ June 15, 2008: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
13 years ago
Hi all.

I've always had a love/hate relationship with software development. Today I think I realized where the hate part comes from, and I'm posting to ask if others agree with my perception of the overall development cycle. Basically, it boils down to this. After completing a development cycle, I look back and here is what I think I see:

Time to build space shuttle, go to mars, and collect soil samples:
4,000 man hours
Time to build the little red button that initiates lift-off:
4,000,000,000 man hours

I think my question involves software development in general, but I'm posting to javaranch because java is the only OO language I know. I'm interested to know if other developers would agree with my impressions? I am being facetious, of course, in the example above, but I guess I usually end up feeling that on every project there are always a few tiny bottlenecks that eat up an incredible amount of time. Usually these bottlenecks involve features that cannot be left out, and I am left with no choice but to spend the hours required to implement them.

If it is true that a few small bottlenecks eat up a disproportionate amount of resources, what can be done to change this?
13 years ago
I was trying to display an "OK" message while the JMenu popup menu was frozen in its open state. Also, it seems like there's a bug here because why should swing crash just because I blocked its thread for a few seconds?

Anyway, I've already decided not to pursue this anymore... but thanks for your help anyway.
13 years ago
This is just beyond me... replace the call to JOptionPane.showMessageDialog with a Thread.sleep, and the exception goes away.

[ May 27, 2008: Message edited by: Wally Flint ]
13 years ago

Isn't the call to JOptionPane.showMessageDialog called on the dispatch thread already?

Seems like it would have to be, otherwise why would it prevent the collapsing of the menu?
13 years ago
Have a MacBook Pro with latest op system and latest jre. The metal look and feel text looks so bad as to be unusable!
13 years ago

This works fine on my machine, unless I uncomment the JOptionPane line, in which case it throws an ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException:

13 years ago
I was right. After inserting the line:

at the beginning of the code posted above, the menu title text does indeed turn green.

Thanks for the help.
13 years ago
Can't seem to get the metal look and feel to antialias text. Anybody know how to do this?

13 years ago
I want a cross platform look and feel so that I can test it on one computer and know that its appearance will be to my satisfaction regardless of what platform it runs on.
13 years ago
I think the text color issues is related to my running it on the MacBook Pro. I'm thinking the easiest way to solve this issues to force a certain look and feel that honors the setForeground method. So the only other issues is how to freeze the JMenu in its popped up state whenever one of its menu items are selected. I did that with a JButton by overriding the fireActionPerformed
method. I popped up my "OK" dialog box with its little blurb of information. This blocks the thread until the user clicks the dialog's OK button. Once the button has been clicked, I call super.actionPerformed(actionEvent) to make the button do its thing. I need a similar effect for a JMenuItem... the only thing is I guess I can't do it by overriding a JMenuItem method, because it is the JMenu that is collapsing, not the JMenuItem. I didn't realize this until tonight, so I guess tomorrow I'll try to look at the JMenu api and see if there's a similar trick to use there.
13 years ago