Interesting Links – 8 Nov 2017

  • From ernimril: a video! CppCon 2016: Jason Turner “Rich Code for Tiny Computers: A Simple Commodore 64 Game in C++17” is an hour and twenty minutes of Jason Turner talking about writing a game for the Commodore 64 using, surprise, C++17 and translating to 6502 assembly. (Play at 1.25x speed to save some time – or 2x speed if you want that Brian Goetz effect.) It’s actually really fascinating to watch, and has nothing to do with Java whatsoever.
  • For Mac users, particularly on Sierra: “MacOS Sierra problems with getLocalHost()” documents some lookup problems on the recent MacOS update. Short form: make sure your /etc/hosts actually has your local domain name resolving to
  • FindBugs is apparently having some problems.
  • Non-java, but useful for programmers anyway: Bulletproof Mind: 6 Techniques for Mental Resilience from the Navy SEALs. Some adult language, but it’s an excellent article and we’re all adults anyway.
  • Docker in Production: A History of Failure” is a litany of issues with the popular virtualization technology. It’s worth reading, even if you’ve deployed Docker successfully – if only to keep track of how far there is to go.
  • From the Python world: EAFP and LBYL. In Python, apparently using the “Easier to Ask For Permission” approach yields massive performance gains; Java, like C and C++, tends to prefer LBYL, which stands for “Look Before You Leap.” Worth keeping in mind, especially as Java adds more functional programming concepts. It’d be interesting to see EAFP and LBYL contrasted well in Java – and note that EAFP tends to prefer try/catch to manual boundary checking, so maybe Java’s already there to a large degree.

Interesting Links, 1 Mar 2016

Happy March 1, it’s April Fool’s Day! Oh, wait…

  • From ##java itself: Anthaas_> 99.7% of people who say C++ is faster are not capable of using the highly-skilled techniques required to make that true. Now, about how he collected the data to validate that statement…
  • posted “Gradle vs Maven Feature Comparison“, with a description of “At long last, a comprehensive feature comparison of Maven vs Gradle that shows in detail what Build Automation requires in the Age of Continuous Delivery.” Surprisingly – or not – Gradle comes out well ahead, but most of the features sound more useful than they actually are for most users. (Until, that is, you really need that feature.)
  • Maven Testing Module describes using a Maven module solely for holding resources used for testing. It’s a module that’s included in other project modules at test scope; it has the testing frameworks and other dependencies in it, so your other modules will no longer be cluttered by test resources or artifacts. Cool idea. (For example, you can put H2 in your test project, along with some stored procedures and a test schema for it, and import them into your application for validation… just kidding, avoid stored procedures unless they’re used for every last bit of your data manipulation. And don’t do that.)
  • Heinz Kabutz is back, with “Checking HashMaps with MapClashInspector” – which walks through some of the things you should, and could, think about when designing hash codes for your objects. Highly recommended. Precis: “Java 8 HashMap has been optimized to avoid denial of service attacks with many distinct keys containing identical hash codes. Unfortunately performance might degrade if you use your own keys. In this newsletter we show a tool that you can use to inspect your HashMap and view the key distribution within the buckets.”
  • Of course the announcement propagates right after the links get published… but Flyway 4.0 has been released. This is a database migration tool – if your schema changes during development (or for any other reason), tools like Flyway are beyond valuable in terms of keeping your schema versioned. Highly recommended. The main alternative to Flyway is Liquibase – that’s not an endorsement of either project, just a plea to save your devops people by using tools designed to help them, instead of making them issue manual SQL to update a schema.

Interesting Links, 15 Feb 2016

  • A great quote from ##java: < surial> maven/gradle are to ant, as svn is to cvs.
  • JavaCPP is a new project that attempts to bridge a gap between C++ and Java, entering the muddy waters along with JNI and JNA (as well as a few other such projects). It actually looks pretty well done – and targets Android as well as the JVM, which seems like a neat trick.
  • First in a couple from DZone: “Reactive Programming by Example: Hands-On with RxJava and Reactor” is a presentation (thus a video) of a use of RxJava. Reactive programming is one way to introduce a scalable processing model to your code, although it’s hardly the only one (and it’s not flawless, either, so if you’re one of the anti-reactive people, cool your jets, it’s okay). If you’ve been wondering what this whole reactive thing is, here’s another chance to learn.
  • Speaking of learning: “Monads: It’s OK to Feel Stupid” punts on the idea of describing what a monad is, saying that it’s okay if you don’t understand them – you can use them anyway. (Java’s streams provide a lot of access to functionality through monads, which present “computations represented as sequences of steps.”)
  • The 5 Golden Rules of Giving Awesome Customer Support” goes through some basic things to think about for, of all things, customer support. (Surprise!) The things are topics, not good headings, but one thing they didn’t point out was that people who use your open source software library are customers, too. You’ll want to read the article to get more relevance out of the headings. The points are:
    • All users are customers
    • Your customer took the time
    • Your customer is abrasive and demanding
    • Your customer doesn’t understand your product
    • Your customer doesn’t care about your workflows