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Showing posts from November, 2005

Java 6 Release Candidate is out

I missed it. A Java 6 Release Candidate, build 60, was released November 10th. I've downloaded and installed it on both Windows XP and SuSE 10. I have, of course, started up my current NetBeans 5 Q-build under 6 on both platforms, and it performs quite well. The only complaint I have is the startup speed: NetBeans 5 10/31 Q-build starts slower under RC than it did under Beta.

The other big change, at least for Linux, is that the native Gtk support is much cleaner than I've seen for quite some time (see below).

As you can see, Java has clearly picked up the Gnome desktop theme I currently have. In the past the Java Gtk theme defaulted to some horrible grey-and-line-based look. This actually looks good for stock JFC client applications. Unfortunately, turning on the GTK style for NetBeans 5 still leaves a lot to be desired. Which is a shame, since NetBeans 5 on Windows XP has a beautiful theme that matches the Windows XP theme. What's more, sub-pixel anti-aliasing is now on by…

Working with graph examples in NetBeans 5

After downloading and building graph, I decided to see if I could create a graph example project in NetBeans 5. I started to create a Java application that would incorporate the sources, but that failed. What I quickly discovered is that I could just open graph/examples as a project. I was surprised by this because when I tried to open graph by itself (before I downloaded the support projects nbbuild and openide) it would fail. This time it opened without a hitch. I was even able to open the run dialog in Matisse.

What I also discovered is that double clicking on the editor's tab for a given file expands the editor to fill the entire IDE window. That may sound trivial, but it's very nice to just hide everything but the file you're working on. One feature I really miss from the current emacs emulation is the ability to split screen, and then move back and forth between them via the keyboard. You can split the screen horizontally by grabbing an editor tab and moving towards t…

Building the NetBeans 5 graph project

There's an interesting NetBeans 5 project called graph.
Graph Library has been designed to support visualization and editing of node-edge structures using drag'n'drop style of work.

The library has been used in the Visual Designer in NetBeans Mobility Pack 4.1. The directions for how to acquire and build graph are a bit cryptic. What follows are the steps I followed to download and build graph.Create a top-level directory to hold everything. In my case I created one called 'netbeans'.Change directory into netbeans, and log into the NetBeans cvs: "cvs -d :pserver:[login-name] login". Note that you'll have to register and have a login-name to start with.Checkout three modules; graph, nbbuild, and openide: "cvs -d checkout graph", "cvs -d checkout nbbuild", and "cvs -d checkout openide". Wh…

A report on NetBeans 5 10/31 Q-build

Although I reported here that I had pretty much abandoned NetBeans for Eclipse, I still feel the need to look at it and gauge its progress. It's foolish to ignore anything as complex and sophisticated as NetBeans, and just because it doesn't work for me right now doesn't mean it won't work later, and it certainly doesn't mean it won't work for others. For this look I downloaded and installed the October 31st Q-build on both SuSE 10 Linux and Windows XP SP2. All of the following comments come from my using it under Linux.

I grabbed the Q-build rather than the daily because the dailies are just too unstable. For example, I grabbed the November 8th daily and discovered it wouldn't even install. For a decent combination of bleeding-edge features and stability, the Q-builds are probably your best bet. For extensive testing on Linux I also grabbed the Mobility Pack and Profiler M9. I installed everything and then went and picked up some modules I'd found usefu…

The promise of World Wind realized

In this posting I complained about NASA's World Wind application. I then went googling for the Mono version, and found Miguel de Icaza's blog entry about a re-implementation that runs on Linux. He wrote about it running with Mono, but he also had a link to a version written in Java at BerliOS called WWD2. So I downloaded it, followed the directions for setting it up, and execute it. And boy, was I pleasantly surprised. It actually works, and it works really well. Look at the two screen shots that follow and compare them with the Windows World Wind version. While the Linux version doesn't have all the bells and whistles, it does the key things right, especially when you zoom in. One other thing: the two screen shots are again of Orlando International Airport. The images look to be identical, down to the individual aircraft on the taxiways. In the case of WWD2, there are no annoying 'Google' copyright notices plastered all over the place. And the image actually look…

The mess we're in

Two stories that point out the mess the world is in: one concerns the US and one concerns Europe.

In the US John McCain, Republican senator from Arizona, has vowed to add an amendment to every bill going before the President that bans torturing prisoners of war by U.S. interrogators.Speaking from the Senate floor, McCain said, "If necessary - and I sincerely hope it is not - I and the co-sponsors of this amendment will seek to add it to every piece of important legislation voted on in the Senate until the will of a substantial bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress prevails. Let no one doubt our determination."How did we get into this mess? John McCain himself was a prisoner of war in Vietnam and was tortured by the North Vietnamese. I'm a Democrat, but I have always respected and admired John McCain, both for what he's lived through as well as how he's lived his life. I'm waiting for the Republican lapdogs on talk radio to denigrate Mr. McCain, to tea…

World Wind just so much hot air

Nasa's World Wind is a fat-client application that allows you to view the earth, moon, Mars, and Titan using satellite information to render "terrain in visually rich 3D, just as if you were really there." I downloaded the latest from the World Wind website ( and installed it.

I installed the application while running on Windows XP SP2. It in turn installed 'managed' DirectX 9, which was basically DirectX 9c. After the installation was complete I had two icons on my desktop. One was for World Wind 1.3, and the other was for World Wind Moon 1.3. Which leads to a problem with the application (at least for me): it's written in C# and the version supplied by Nasa will only run on Windows. There is, however, activity afoot to port it to Mono on Linux.

I opened up both applications, first the moon, and then the earth. When both initially open they present a beautiful 3D view of the moon and the earth. And the interface is easy enough to learn so that I was bo…

Java upgrades and releases

Perusing the Sun Java site, I came across the latest version of Java 1.4.2, release 10. There's a set of release notes that cover 59 fixes across a wide range of subsystems. The bug fixes continue with Java 1.4.2, which should make those who are of a conservative mind feel easier. I'm still waiting for Java 5 update 6. That release was hinted at by the NetBeans 5 bug site in one of it's numerous drop-down list boxes.

Java 6 continues on with Build 59. It was dropped November 3rd. It's the first build that I've installed that comes with the complete Java installer. I had to be careful this time not to install the JRE. I run Java 6 with Java 5 and make sure not to install multiple JREs. It just makes it easier that way. Based on my prelimary runs of various applications, it's performance continues to get better and better. What's more, running the Windows XP look-and-feel makes the application look like a native Windows application. That look, coupled with …

No Sony for me!

I am not a big fan of Sony. I have resisted buying Sony products for years because of the poor quality of just about everything they sell and their drive to force consumers to use Sony-specific peripherals, such as their overly expensive Memory Stick. Not only has their poor quality effected consumers who directly purchase Sony products, but it has also effected other manufacturers who use Sony OEM products in their consumer products. In the later category is the recent CCD quality control issue that effects Fuji Film, Canon, Nikon, Konica-Minolta, Ricoh, and Olympus.

Now it's being reported that some of Sony's music CDs contain Digital Rights Management (DRM) software that installs a rootkit on your Windows machine. In an article by Mark Russinovich, Mark provides extensive details on how, without any notice, Sony software installed their rootkit on his machine to control how the Van Zant brother's Get Right with the Man could be played on his PC. You should follow the lin…

Now the Iranians are after me.

First the Royal Bank of Scotland wanted to give me a large sum of money. Now the Iranians are trying to best the Scots. The Scots, cheapskates that they are, only wanted to give me 15 million. The Iranians want to give me 28 million. Isn't it a wonderful networked world we live in?
Dear Friend.

Assalamu Alaikum, My name is Abdul Saheed, a business man in Tehran - Iran. I have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer . It has defiled [sic] all forms of medical treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts. I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone (not even myself) but my business. Though I am very rich, I was never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focused on my business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world.

I believe when God gives me a second chance to c…

Update to Mozilla Firefox 1.5, Beta 2 to RC 1

I just got a surprise update to my copy of Firefox 1.5. I've been using Firefox 1.5 since beta 2 came out on SuSE 10 OSS. Tonight I got a message saying that the latest release, Release Candidate 1, had been downloaded and was ready to update my Beta 2 installation. I exited Firefox and then restarted it, and sure enough it came up with an RC1 page and the title no longer has 'Beta 2' as part of the window title. I checked the area where I have Firefox installed, and sure enough there are a number of new core modules with a data of November 1st on them (and no, I don't run as root, I run as a normal user).

I'm of a divided mind as to whether this is a Good Thing or not. It's great not having to uninstall Firefox and then re-install the latest version. I've been waiting for that feature for a long time. But it's disconcerting having it done behind my back. This very same feature is available on Windows XP, and I have it turned off. In particular I have Ad…

I can just hear the pipes

I received the following in my Yahoo message inbox today. After getting such messages from the Middle East and Africa, it's refreshing to see that the Scots now want to play this con game.
Mr. Cliff Robson
Royal Bank of Scotland


Do accept my sincere apology if my mail does not meet your personal ethics. I will introduce myself as Mr. Cliff Robson, a senior executive in the Accounts Department of the above Bank here in United Kingdom. One of our accounts with a credit balance of USD15, 000,000 (Fifteen Million United States Dollars) has been dormant and has not been operated for the past 4 years.

From my investigations and confirmations, the owner of this account, a Foreigner by name Mr. Robert Chapman died in August 2000 and since then nobody has done anything as regards the claiming of this money because he did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit. Also Information from the Immigration states that he was also single …