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JavaLand 2015

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Last week I attended the JavaLand conference (March 23-24, 2015) and this is a short personal blog about it.

The Venue

The conference took place at Phantasialand, a great theme park in Brühl, close to Cologne. I really liked the atmosphere there, it reminded me a lot of Disneyland, which I visited 6 months ago. The sessions were held both in the Quantum conference center, as well as the movie theater and the main stage. At the end of the first conference day, 11 attractions of the park were opened just for the conference attendees. I took the advice of some friends very seriously: Don’t drink a beer until you have finished all the rides! When I was younger, I was a big roller coaster fan, so I tried Black Mamba, Colorado Adventure and Temple of the Night Hawk. Then I had enough of roller coasters :).

javaland-panorama

The Sessions

For many conference attendees the sessions are the most important part of a conference. In my point of view the sessions were a good mix of technical and non-technical topics. Since I am a Java veteran for 20 years, I usually only attend sessions about content that is either totally new for me or I have very little knowledge about. My personal highlights were:

  • Coding Culture (by Sven Peters)
  • Effective Asciidoc (by Dan Allen and Sarah White)
  • Use Cases for Elasticsearch (by Florian Hopf)

Of course there were many more great talks but these 3 gave me new insights and made me think most. My own session about TypeScript went well, hopefully I could transport my excitement about TypeScript to the audience. I really appreciated that other programming languages got some attention at the conference.

session-panorama

The Community

I really liked the atmosphere at the conference. It was very easy for me to talk to people I did not know before. In the community area there were lots of interesting booths, playgrounds, open spaces, katas, workshops and more. It was fun to experience a few Oculus Rift demos that I did not know before. It was also very nice to meet old friends like Wayne Beaton and Lars Vogel from the Eclipse community, as well as many people I know from my JCP work or other conferences.

The Food

While many developers are happy if they get pizza or fast food, I appreciate good catering at conferences. I was invited to the community dinner on Monday, hosted in the restaurant of one of the theme hotels. This dinner was the start of great catering during the whole conference, so JavaLand easily made it into my all-time top 5 conference caterings.

The Band

I have to admit that I did not expect anything when I heard a band was playing Tuesday night. To make it short: The Band (Sonnabend) was awesome! After enjoying few songs I could not resist to dance for more than one hour. 20 years ago I played keyboards in my Band DC Robertson (see MultiMedia) so I had a special eye on the awesome keyboarder :).

band-panorama

Opportunities

There were a few things that I was missing: Reliable Wifi and a conference app. Another thing: When I attended sessions in the theater, it was pretty chilly. So, as always, there is room for improvements :).

Summary

All in all I liked the conference a lot and looking forward to JavaLand 2016.

Deploy Multi-Language Projects to Heroku

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In my current technology playground chatty I use Java, TypeScript and JavaScript as programming languages. For the TypeScript/HTML based Web UI I use a node/grunt based build, for the Java parts I use Gradle. Heroku is a great cloud platform, deploying software is done using a git push. Using the predefined build-packs, it is pretty easy to deploy Java OR Node based applications, but how to deploy a multi-language project that uses both?

Here the heroku-buildpack-multi helps a lot. Simply invoke

$ heroku config:add BUILDPACK_URL=https://github.com/ddollar/heroku-buildpack-multi.git

and add all buildpacks to a top-level .buildpack file, that’s it. Then, each build is done sequentially as specified in the .buildpack file. The .buildpack for chatty looks like

https://github.com/mbuchetics/heroku-buildpack-nodejs-grunt.git

https://github.com/heroku/heroku-buildpack-gradle.git

Another important thing to know about these buildpacks assume that the corresponding project is located at top-level. So the node build expects a package.json in the root directory. Since chatty is a multi-project build, the web part is located in subprojects/com.toedter.chatty.client.web. For me, the easiest solution was to copy the package json to the root directory, and the provide a grunt file, that copies all node_modules to the subproject. Additionally I use the grunt contribution grunt-hub to invoke the gruntfile located in the subproject with target distBoot (to provide a distribution of the JacaScript/HTML/CSS/libs that can be deployed together with the Spring Boot based server part. The last thing is to define a grunt task named ‘heroku’ that is invoked by the buildpack. The whole top-level grunt file looks like:

module.exports = function (grunt) {
    'use strict';

    grunt.initConfig({
        hub: {
            all: {
                src: ['subprojects/com.toedter.chatty.client.web/Gruntfile.js'],
                tasks: ['distBoot']
            }
        },
        copy: {
            node_modules: {
                expand: true,
                src: 'node_modules/**/*',
                dest: 'subprojects/com.toedter.chatty.client.web/'
            }
        }
    });

    grunt.loadNpmTasks('grunt-hub');
    grunt.loadNpmTasks('grunt-contrib-copy');

    grunt.registerTask('heroku', ['copy:node_modules', 'hub']);
}

The Java part is pretty straight forward since gradle is the master build system of chatty. The only subproject I want to deploy to heroku is the Spring Boot based server, located in subprojects/com.toedter.chatty.server.boot. In the gradle.build file I just added a new gradle task ‘stage':

task stage(dependsOn: ['jar', 'bootRepackage'])

that creates the fat jar for the chatty spring boot application. The resulting web application demo is then deployed to Heroku, you can check it out at https://chatty42.herokuapp.com/chatty/chatty.html.

Regarding IDE integration there are Heroku plugins for IntelliJ IDEA and Eclipse. In the next blog of this series, I will explain how to use Travis-CI for a continuous delivery, including the automatic deployment to Heroku after a successful build.

Eclipse 4 Application Platform Tutorial Update

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Recently I worked a bit on my Eclipse 4 Application Platform Tutorial. The good news for you: The slides are now licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

cc-88x31

If you find useful stuff in the slides that you would like to re-use for talks, trainings or even for commercial use, you could do that now. You find the current slide deck either on my Web site or directly at SpeakerDeck. The corresponding source code is hosted at my GitHub repository and licensed under EPL. Here is a screenshot of the little app developed in the tutorial.

e4-tutorial-thumb

The slides as the sources are valid for both Kepler and Luna.

If you find outdated/strange/wrong things in the slides, please let me know :).

Continuous Integration with Travis CI

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Travis CI is a cloud-based continuous integration service that supports many different programming languages and environments. If you have projects at GitHub, Travis CI might be interesting for you. I currently use it for a few of my open source projects at GitHub. Setup is quite easy, you can log in with your GitHub credentials and then you get a lit of all repos you have administration rights. Then you can configure, when Travis should run a build, e.g. on every push or pull request. The only thing you have to do is to provide a .travis.yml file at the root of your GitHub project that contains configuration info.

A few examples: my current pet project chatty has a Java back-end and a HTML/JavaScript based front-end (actually mostly written in TypeScript). For the JavaScript/TypeScript part I need node.js installed, as well as grunt, bower and tsd (TypeScript Definition Manager). The yml file looks like:

language: java
jdk:
  - oraclejdk8

before_script:
  - npm install -g grunt-cli
  - npm install -g bower
  - npm install -g tsd

script: ./gradlew test

This makes sure that the node modules grunt-cli, bower and tsd is installed before the build is run. Gradle is supported out of the box but the default is the check task. In my chatty project I have integration tests that I don’t want to run on Travis CI, that’s why I explicitly use ‘gradlew test’ as script. Make sure that the build scripts are executable. While this is a no-brainer on most operating systems, on Windows it is not so easy. But even on Windows you could use git to do the job, e.g.:

git update-index --chmod=+x gradlew

When the Travis CI build is set up, you can include a build indicator icon directory in the readme of your GitHub project. If you use markdown, the code snipped (for chatty) looks like

[![Build Status](https://travis-ci.org/toedter/chatty.svg?branch=master)](https://travis-ci.org/toedter/chatty)

Then a nice icon build status is displayed in your project description.

Eclipse based Builds
When you want to run Tycho based builds for Eclipse based projects, you only have to make sure to change to the directory of the parent pom. The yml file for my Eclipse 4 Application Platform Tutorial looks like:

language: java
jdk:
  - oraclejdk8

before_script:
  - cd org.eclipse.e4.tutorial.contacts.build.tycho

script: mvn clean install -DskipTests

I had some trouble running tests on Travis CI that involve SWT, that’s why I skip the tests.

Grails based Builds
Travis CI does not support Grails out of the box (like Gradle) but this is no problem at all since Grails provides its own Wrapper. So make sure that the wrapper is part of your project. One of our Siemens OSS projects, the REST API doc for Grails has the following yml file:

language: groovy
script: ./grailsw refresh-dependencies
     && ./grailsw test-app --echoOut

I am a big fan of Travis CI and recommend to give it a try!

Long Time no Blog…

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A few months ago I moved on to a new full time job at Siemens Building Technologies. I was so exited about all the new technologies and software srchitecture concepts that I did not find the time to blog about it. But I really would love to blog in the next months about my experience with

  • AngularJS
  • TypeScript
  • Restful Web services + HyperMedia APIs
  • Continuous delivery with Gradle and Jenkins

I started the year with re-designing my web site, the goal was to focus on things that I like: Software, Music, Videos and more. I also wanted to have a responsive design, that could be viewed an mobile devices and tablets, as well as on desktop computers.

And I wanted to quickly edit it from everywhere. Since I had run my blog on WordPress for several years, I decided to give WordPress a try for the whole site. I bought a professional WordPress Theme and customized it for my needs. Right now I am pretty pleased with the result, but there’s a lot of room for improvements…

I guess I will work on the site for a while, but the start is done…

Eclipse Demo Camp Munich 2013: Impressions

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Yesterday we had the Eclipse Demo Camp Munich 2013 at the Siemens campus. Around 150 attendees showed up, and from the feedback I got do far, the event was a great success.

democamp-munich

I would like to thank

  • All speakers: Ralph Müller, Tom Schindl, Gerrit Grunwald, Eike Stepper, Marcel Bruch, Jonas Helming, Eugen Nefeld, Matthias Zimmerman, Jérémie Bresson, and Matthias Sohn!
  • Our sponsors: Siemens AG, EclipseSource Munich,  Eclipse Magazin (S&S Media GmbH) and EclipseScout (BSI Business Systems Integration AG)
  • All attendees

You all made the demo camp a great event. My personal highlight in terms of fun factor was the release of the EMF Client Platform, when Jonas and the EMF Client Platform team pushed the BIG RED RELEASE BUTTON

and we could follow the release build live. Here is a short video:

Today I felt so good about the demo camp that I have booked the location again for next year, so stay tuned for Eclipse Demo Camp Munich 2014 :)

Kai

You find me on Twitter and Google+.
Interested in Eclipse 4 Application Platform trainings?

Eclipse Democamp Munich 2013 @ Siemens : Update 2

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There are only 10 days left and the Eclipse Democamp Munich 2013 (June 12th, 2013)  is almost sold out. As of today, there are only 11 tickets left out of 200. So hurry up, if you want to attend and haven’t registered yet. This year we will again have a great speaker lineup with interesting sessions and demos. Here is a photo of last year’s demo camp:

democamp

You can register and take a look at the agenda at http://democampmunich2013.eventbrite.com. After the sessions we will have great networking opportunities, a warm buffet and drinks.

CU next week at the Demo Camp

Kai

Eclipse Demo Camp 2013 @ Siemens (Update 1)

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Update 1: All sessions are confirmed, Ralph Müller is going to give an intro and 107 tickets are already taken :)

I am happy to announce the Kepler Eclipse Demo Camp 2013 @ Siemens in Munich, Germany. Again, excellent speakers with interesting demos/talks will make this demo camp an Eclipse fest! In the last years we had between 150 and 175 attendees, this is the mark to top this year. The latest event details and agenda you always find at the Wiki page and the registration page.

Location
Location: Siemens AG, Forum 1, Otto-Hahn-Ring 6, 81739 Munich, Germany
PDF with directions: Siemens Munich MCH_P campus
Google Maps: Siemens Munich MCH_P campus

Date and Time
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 from 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM (GMT+0100)

Agenda

  • 05:00pm – 05:30pm Meet and Greet
  • 05:30pm – 05:40pm Welcome/Intro,
    Ralph Müller (Eclipse Foundation) + Kai Tödter (Siemens Corporate Technology)
  • 05:40pm – 06:00pm JavaFX/Swing Renderers for the Eclipse 4 Application Platform
    Kai Tödter (Siemens Corporate Technology)
  • 06:00pm – 06:20pm Extended JavaFX
    Tom Schindl (BestSolution)
  • 06:20pm – 06:40pm Cool Stuff with JavaFX and Raspberry Pi
    Gerrit Grunwald (Canoo)
  • 06:40pm – 07:00pm The CDO Model Repository
    Eike Stepper (ES-Computersysteme)
  • 07:00pm – 07:30pm BREAK (with soft drinks & snacks)
  • 07:30pm – 07:50pm Down the Rabbithole with Code Recommenders
    Marcel Bruch (Codetrails)
  • 07:50pm – 08:10pm How to build a Tool based on EMF in 20 Minutes
    Maximilian Kögel + Jonas Helming (EclipseSource)
  • 08:10pm – 08:30pm Mobile Business Applications with Eclipse Scout
    Matthias Zimmermann (BSI Business Systems Integration AG)
  • 08:30pm – 08:50pm Cool new Stuff in EGit and JGit
    Matthias Sohn (SAP AG)
  • 08.50pm – 11:00pm Networking (with beer, soft drinks and warm buffet)

Registration
At democampmunich2013.eventbrite.com you find the current list of attendees and you can register. Registration is free: beer, soft drinks and (warm) buffet is sponsored by Siemens AG, EclipseSource, Eclipse Magazin (S&S Media GmbH) and EclipseScout (BSI Business Systems Integration AG).

Let’s make this demo camp great!

See you all in Munich…

Kai

You find me on Twitter and Google+.
Interested in Eclipse 4 Application Platform trainings?

Experiments with GEF4 Graphics and JavaFX

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Inspired by a phone call with Alexander Nyssen and a Forum post by Tom Schindl I started playing around with a GEF4 AbstractGraphics implementation using a JavaFX 2.2 canvas. GEF4 nicely separates the presentation model from the UI toolkit responsible for the actual rendering, so it was pretty straight forward to develop a JavaFX based implementation. Currently GEF4 provides Java2D (AWT) and SWT renderers. The results using my small JavaFX based renderer look quite nice so far. Here is the “Simple Example” rendered with SWT and JavaFX:

simple-example-1

When you click on the above image to see it in original size you will notice the the red lines look not as crisp in JavaFX compared to SWT. That is because in JavaFX all coordinates are expressed as double values and the shapes are positioned computing the exact middle position of the edges by default. In practice that means that a red line with thickness 1 drawn from (10:10) to (20:10) would be rendered as pink line with a line width of 2 pixels. A workaround is to take the line thicknesses into account and draw the line from (10:9.5) to (20:9.5). Then the line will be painted crisp. Actually the HTML5 canvas implementation does exactly the same. In the demo, I just had to add javaFxGraphics.translate(0.5, 0.5); at the beginning of the demo, then the result looks like:

simple-example-2

Again, click on the image to see the original sizes. The FillModesDemo looks almost the same when you compare the SWT with the JavaFX version:

fill-modes

Currently I am trying to get the JavaFX clipping working in a canvas, don’t know yet why it is not working out of the box… For me it would be great to see graphical editors in e4 and JavaFX based apps in the future. In the next weeks I will polish my implementation and contribute it to GEF4, if there is any interest.

Stay tuned

Kai

You find me on Twitter and Google+.
Interested in Eclipse 4 Application Platform trainings?

Old Computers

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Found a great Web site with all kinds of old computers, see http://oldcomputers.net/. Here is a list of all the old computers had owned and still love:

– Sinclair ZX 81: http://oldcomputers.net/zx81.html
– Sinclair ZX Spectrum: http://oldcomputers.net/zx-spectrum.html
– Atari 520 ST: http://oldcomputers.net/atari520st.html

I used to write games in assembler for the Sinclairs. One game for the ZX Spectrum still runs as a Java Applet on my web site (http://www.toedter.com/en/delon/mazeofdelon.html).

I always have nostalgic feelings when I remember all the fun a had with the above old computers.

Sigh…

Which old computers did you own?

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