Friday, October 31, 2008

Cotopia GO .. on mobiles near you soon!

We've been quietly working on our next multiplayer title: Cotopia GO
I've been doing some testing lately and I must say that the game looks pretty good. We're currently checking out the latest builds on mobile phones and if all goes well we'll be in beta within a few days. We'll be then depending on the support of our community to give us constructive feedback on bugs/issues etc.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ondrej Michalcak for doing a great job writing this game for us - given how much we pay him he really must be doing it mostly for the love of a good challenge :)

Thank you Ondro and happy B-Day.

Darkstar plugin for NetBeans Updated

I've finally found some time on the train during my daily commute (usually spent sleeping) to implement one of the features I've had on the top of the TODO list ever since the plugin was originally published

Debugging Support

This little feature allows launching the PDS application in debug mode and then automatically attaches the NetBeans debugger.

I've realized that a better approach to the whole project may be to implement Project Darkstar Server as a platform, but I haven't been able to find a good tutorial on how to implement a custom platform. I guess I'll be taking the Java SE platform implementation as a starting point and go from there.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

JDWP (wtf?) analyzer in the Open (Source)

During my years with Sun Microsystems I've worked on a number of projects. One of the responsibilities I've held was ensuring that the NetBeans debugger works well with J2ME emulators (WTK, Nokia, Sony Erisson etc.)

This was no small feat given that I've had to analyze the source of a given debugging problem, this could be:

  • JDI implementation
  • NetBeans debugger
  • Emulator (most of the time not supplied by Sun)
and then negotiate with the responsible team(s) to fix the problem (sometimes fixing it myself and supplying a patch). This job would have been a pain if it wasn't for a small command line utility that Martin Ryzl (then my team leader, later my manager, now still someone I very much respect) wrote to monitor the JDWP traffic, when the job was his. Since the job was now mine, I took the utility and expanded it to a full blown GUI tool that can monitor JDWP packets and show detailed information about their contents and inter-relationships.

This was about 4-5 years ago, since then NetBeans including Mobility support went open source and with it most of my code, except for this last piece of work. With a blessing from Martin I am open sourcing it on It saved me a lot of time analyzing problems and hopefully it will make someone else's life easier as well.