Saturday, January 31, 2009

spring - hibernate - ejb3

I am looking for work since my contract at Object Consulting in Sydney is up in two weeks. There are some interesting jobs out there but very few. Australia, it seems, has been hit by the global crisis pretty hard. Given the current situation I am slowly giving up on finding myself something in the Mobile area and there are very few jobs for Swing/GUI developers as well.
So, as usual, we're left with crappy jobs for insurance companies and banks, chasing around and persisting the oh-so-important transactional business data. How exciting. But man's gotta do what man's gotta do. Looking at the market, EJB3 (with which I have some experience) is losing to Spring (in employer demand at least) and/or Hibernate. Pressed by reality I've decided to start with Spring and I've gone through a few tutorials. So far I am not too happy with the fact that Spring functionality seems to be configured by XML - I love XML for passing data around but pretty much hate it for everything else. Hopefully as I dig in deeper I'll find that EVERYTHING can be done through annotations :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


It is not everyday that a country is born, but here is a new one that I have discovered only recently.
So it is with great pleasure that I welcome all the players from the new country of Talibanistan who play Cotopia games into our community. It is with hope that we can bring relaxation into their otherwise strictly disciplined lives.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Project Darkstar 0.9.8 incompatible changes a pain in the butt

Some time ago I've created a Netbeans plugin for project Darkstar. I've had good fun writing it and for the most part even maintaining it. The trouble with writing a pluging that depends on a piece of software with version number like 0.x.x is that it's external interface (the way it is started/stopped etc.) is bound to change often and sometimes quite drastically :)
There have been some minor changes in the past but mostly I was able to deal with them inside a few hours, this time however, I got blown away. Darkstar version 0.9.8 completely changes the way the server is started and stopped as well as the way applications are deployed. It has changed the internal directory structure so that version 0.9.8 is no longer even recognized by my plugin (just as well since none of the other functionality would work anyway).
Despite the fact that I will have to rethink the whole plugin UI and internal workings I am very excited about this development because it is definitely for the better. It is now easier for anyone to work with Darkstar even from command line, and the fact that file is now included inside the application JAR, rather then a separate file, means everything makes more sense and will fit better with the NetBeans way of doing things. It is good to see that Project Darkstar is moving forward in the right direction. It makes me feel that my decision to support it and invest my time was the right one.
I already have some ideas as to how I will approach the new UI which should make the NetBeans plugin more useful and powerful.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Good work Scott Sigler

I love books, but I find it easier to have someone read to me than to read myself :)
I have been following the work of Scott Sigler for a while now, his Earthcore novel was the first podio book I've listened to and it turned me onto some pretty good stuff, but I've blogged about this a bit in the past.
The reason I am mentioning Scott Sigler is that, to me at least, he is quite an inspiration. He's been an aspiring writer for many years but had bad luck getting published. After being reduced to (and I quote here) "giving ****jobs for food stamps" he's figured out how the Internet can help in promoting his work. Some years later now Scott has given out a number of very entertaining books in the audio format for free and is aiming for the NYT best seller list with his latest published book Contagious.
If you like a fun light book that will entertain give Scott a listen/read.

iPhone development

Tom has been saying that we should have iPhone versions of our games to attract more crowd. I have been reluctant to take this on board since I have no clue about iPhone development. Today I got curious however, and so I downloaded the iPhone SDK (1.6GB btw, wtf??). The sheer size of the SDK was one shock and Objective-C was another shock. Are they serious? I would have to learn not just an API but a whole obscure language to throw an app together. If it was a language or a framework that I could reuse elsewhere (eg. Flash) I may give it a shot, but not this.

I am sorry to say but at this point it seems like too much of an investment. So as far as I can tell, there will be no iPhone support for some time to come. The Google phone on the other hand is a different story.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Can you smell it?

Cotopia Go is so close that I can :)