Maybe I’ll play… or maybe not.

It’s been long since I developed that craving for an artistic ability. Drawing? Two left hands. Writing? No inspiration. Singing? A real disaster. Now, listening to music, I do a lot. Why not playing? But my hands won’t be any use outside of a keyboard. Hey wait! Maybe that’s it?

No way I take lessons. Because I know how I am and how I can let something go if it does not go the way I want. And no way I buy an expensive instrument for the same reason.

But then I remembered my father had what I thought to be a synth, but which actually was a combo organ. Not that I ever saw him play, but he sometimes let my brother or I try it. It must be at my mother’s, so I searched for it, and she finally found it.

So I figured, what’s in there to lose? I know the basics about reading a score, and internet can teach me what I lack. Same thing with a keyboard layout. Why not try out?

So I took the thing home, plugged it in and turned it on. The speaker crackled. Good, it still works. I let my hands lie on the keys and tried randomly one. No sound. Tried left, right. Nothing. Let my hand run the whole length of the keyboard. Dead.

The speaker seems to be all right from the sound it makes when turning on, but somehow the keyboard does not produce any sound anymore. Well, lost for lost, let’s open it and see if there is a wire disconnected in an obvious way (can I not believe in luck?).

That is when I saw this that I remembered one thing: this organ is older than I am. Nothing as obvious as I hoped, and I am more of a software than hardware guy.

Without the knowledge, skills and equipment, I just let despair win. The organ is still at home, laying in a corner. Putting it to repair may be more expensive than buying a new one. Yet, I feel it would be a loss just to throw it away. Maybe one day…

Nice Javadoc and UML diagrams with Maven

Geek & Poke published an appropriate strip recently. Any coder will consider the documentation writing a hassle. Yet, they will also be first in line to regret the absence of up-to-date explanation.

Well maybe not them, since people like me rather read code than documentation, but then bosses will be. I was recently asked if we had UML diagrams of our project. Of course not, but automatically generated diagrams should do the trick, isn’t it?

I was answered that finding a free-to-use tool was near impossible. “Challenge accepted!

As it turns out, I ended up with a nice Javadoc, including diagrams for both classes and packages (the one of the root of the project is quite impressive, by the way). Here is a quick preview.

In this post, I will detail how I proceeded to get this result.

Continue reading Nice Javadoc and UML diagrams with Maven

Getting a clean Eclipse IDE

This post is history. Read the latest version.

I know I am not the only one in this situation: if I asked you to get me a clean Eclipse IDE, would you be able to do it? No? Well, this post is meant for you.

What’s a “clean” Eclipse IDE?

First things first, what exactly am I looking for? The Eclipse website provides a lot of useful packages. Java developers, Spring fans, C or C++ programmers, … Everybody has a package waiting for them.

However the strength of Eclipse resides not only in its integrated IDE, but also in its plugin system. The problem that occurred is that I did not want to make Eclipse heavier with plugins I had no use for, so I wanted just the core platform and fully customize my application.

Still not convinced? If you’re OK to download something you don’t use, that’s your choice. Just notice that today, the Eclipse platform is 51MB while the equivalent Eclipse IDE for Java EE developers is 212MB…

What use could it possibly be?

As I just said, Eclipse has a powerful plugin systems, widely used. However, some of them do not require a Java editor or other components from packages. Want some examples?

  • The Apache Directory Studio is a powerful plugin for LDAP browsing (among others). It is fully independent from other components and just uses the Eclipse platform as a UI. So independent that the Apache Directory Studio website makes it available pre-packaged with only the plugin.
  • Another well-known example is the jBPM plugin, in the business processing management area. I will not stop long on that one, since I have no personal experience with it, but I know of other developers who wished an Eclipse environment with only this plugin.

So, how do I get this “clean” Eclipse?

Let us suppose for one minute I convinced you. When you are on the Eclipse download page, click Project > Eclipse project.

Once you get there, you see a list of latest builds. Select the one you are interested in and a new page should display. In the left column, click Platform Runtime Binary. There you can choose your platform and go for download.

If you skipped that part above in the post, just mind that today, with version 3.7.2 of Eclipse, the Eclipse platform is 51MB while the equivalent Eclipse IDE for Java EE developers is 212MB…



Hello there! How are you doing?

OK, so you found just another blog on the world wide web. What’s the use? Probably not much. What will you find here? Who am I anyway? These two questions I’ve already answered here and there.

To sum up, I’m just another computer geek who will share his discoveries here. Hope you’ll enjoy, but don’t build too high expectations. See you around!