Monday, October 20, 2008

Favorite Development Tools of 2008

  1. Mac
  2. TextMate - What a great tool! Reason enough to own a Mac.
  3. Intellij - Version 8 is looking good.
  4. Groovy - This is becoming my favorite tool.
  5. Grails
  6. git - It is replacing cvs and subversion.
  7. gradle - replacing ant and maven
  8. hudson - looking to see if it replaces cruise control.
  9. Fusion - developing C# is more fun on a Mac.
  10. Spring 2.5 MVC - If you can't do Grails... this is the way to do it.
Tools I'm looking forward to in 2009
  1. Clojure - Interesting Language... I know very little at this point.
  2. F# - Probably the most interesting language on the .Net platform.
  3. Spring 3 and what I call ADD or Annotated Driven Development :)
Tools That need some TLC
  1. I would like to see a refresh on xplanner - This would be a great candidate for Grails.

jps - The Java way when you need to kill something Groovy

As a speaker, I'm often showing "how" to do something and often requested for "When" / "Why". I just experienced a great example of this with jps. jps is of course is the Java ps tool that is included with JDK5 and 6. So it is already on a Java developer's machine. It is the platform independent way to get PIDs.

How it Started
The Yak-Shaving started when I decided to run a groovy script from TextMate. I conventiently hit +R. Everything ran the way I wanted it to. Except... There wasn't an end to the program script... idiot! So, I closed TextMate... Still Running....

Step 1
First I went to the command line and did a ps... which didn't result in much. I followed this up with a ps -ef. Way too much info... so I ended with a ps -ef | grep JavaVM. Things just got worst. That is a lot of information!

Along comes jps. A simple jps (no args) and here are the results
10620 GroovyStarter
10314 JConsole
10761 Jps

There it is GroovyStarter... kill 10620.

... and what if you had multiple GroovyStarter scripts running. Well, jps -m will give you the command-line of the script, which includes the groovy script name.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Grails JMX Plugin

I just created and released version 0.3 of the Grails JMX Plugin. The code is at github; git:// . The documentation is at grails;

Sometime this week, I'll post some tips and tricks for using the JMX Plugin with Grails.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cooking Chef vs. Polygot Programmer

Occasionally crazy analogies pop up in my head. Sometimes these ideas don't make sense to anyone but me. Let me know if I've gone off the deep end.

So I was thinking what it was like growing up when I didn't have a microwave and how useful that tool is. Then it occurred to me that as useful as it is, there are things I would never put in the microwave. Take for instance a turkey. Perhaps it is possible to cook a turkey in a microwave, but why? You can cook toast on a gas stove as well, but a toaster just seems more appropriate. When playing chef, each tool provides a specific value. Turkey in the oven, toast in the toaster, and butter melting in the microwave.

Stretching this thought into a conversation on technology, I'm reminded of a term Neal Ford is credited with: The polygot programmer.

Why is it that developers and programmers pick camps? Why does an organization limit their technology choices to one or a small handful? When an organization says they are a "Java Shop" or a ".Net Shop", what I hear is "We only use microwaves to cook here". In many of these shops they are doing with code what can be equivalent to cooking a turkey in a microwave. They can get it to work, but it doesn't taste so good!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Writing a Spring 3 Book

I'm looking at writing a book on Spring 3. Yes... I know, it doesn't exist yet. My expectation is it should have a likeness to Spring 2.5, which is also lacking in good printed materials. With this assumption, I'm looking to get a head start now and refactor based on actual delivery of product.

If you have some ideas or thoughts... please share. At this point, My goal is not to cover what is already out there. I'm focused on the new approach of annotated development.

I'm also thinking of taking this book and writing a Spring.Net book to follow... Perhaps I will change my mind as I go through the new experience of the first book.

Speaking at October IASA Meeting in St. Louis

I will be speaking on Architecture and Scale at the Oct 6 Meeting of IASA in St. Louis.