Friday, February 25, 2005

Remind

Remind is a sophisticated command line calendar and alarm program. Its scripting language is a great model for designing scheduling domain language. I am particularly fond of its way of specifying "last Friday in Feburary". Instead of introducing the concept of "last", specifying the equivalent -- "7 days before the first Friday in March". Very clever indeed.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

J2EE Server = SUV list

Posted by George de la Torre on TSS

=== start quote ===

1) Borland Enterprise Server (BES) = Porsche Cayenne

The Cayenne power comes from a twin-turbocharged V-8 with 450 horsepower, idle to 60 in 5.6 seconds - the fastest "real-world" SUV in the market.

The only difference between BES and Cayenne is that BES has a better cockpit.

2) Weblogic = BMW X5

The X5 has intelligent all-wheel drive system with exotic luxury features.

The BMW X5 and Weblogic are products of the same inspiration for the same market.

3) Websphere = 1995 Ford Expediion with Escort drivetrain

Escort's 4 cyl 1.8 L engine delivers good gas mileage for Expedition, but bad news if you actually have to get somewhere.

Websphere's EJB container may have better mileage.

4) Oracle OC4J 10g = Last place finish Junkyard Wars challenge

A cable TV show that challenges participants to build from junk yard materials. Thus, build a SUV that will carry a 50 pound weight for 50 yards.

Incredible, the exact same requirements for OC4J...

=== end quote ===

No UTF-8 support in SQL Server

OK, I admit that I am a little biased as a Java programmer. But is it too much to ask for from a major commercial database? In Storing UTF-8 Data in SQL Server, Microsoft acknowledges that "some applications (especially those that are Web based) must deal with Unicode data that is encoded with the UTF-8 encoding method". But instead of adding UTF-8 support to SQL Server, they patch up the IIS to perform UCS-2 to UTF-8 translation and of course you have to use ASP to benefit from that. As for those who dare to write their web applications in other insignificant languages such as JSP, you deserve to write your own conversion routine. And if your language of choice doesn't support UCS-2, you really should switch to any of "ODBC, OLEDB, COM, Win32 API calls, VB, and C".

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Friday, February 11, 2005

| vs ||

Obie is puzzled by the use of |= as a boolean operator. I can not help my smile when I read that as that is exactly sort of thing I was not aware of until I prepared for my SCJP. I know all along that boolean operators || and && do lazy evaluation. What I didn't know is that | and & are also valid boolean operator, which always evaluate both operands.

Guess I did get something out of SCJP afterall.

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Monday, February 07, 2005

SCJP certified

I took the Sun Certified Java Programmer 1.4 (SCJP) exam this morning and passed at 95%.

The actual test questions are easier than what I had expected. The difficulty of multiple selection question is dramatically reduced by giving away the number of answers expected.

The main book I used for self study is A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification, which has been my trusted Java reference book for the past three years. Since the book is written for SCJP 1.2, only the first eleven chapters are relevant. For test topics not covered in the book, I used Sun's assertion tutorial and the chapter 3 of Effective Java for its coverage on hashcode() and equals().

The mock up exam on http://www.danchisholm.net covers the test topics throughly and provides detailed answer. Much recommended. If you are an experienced Java developer short on time, you can probably skip all the book reading and start right from there.

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Sunday, February 06, 2005

Saturday, February 05, 2005