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Category Archives: tools and techniques

Google Chrome Notification Icon – how to get rid of it on OSX

If you use Chrome on MAC OS X you may recently have noticed a really annoying “bell” icon that has appeared in the menu bar, which also had the super-annoying property of not obeying the usual rules for OS X menu-bar icons (such as being draggable off the menu bar entirely). There were a set […]

Python, XML, and databases

People who read this blog regularly (all two of you) might know that my day job involves lots of “enterprise” level technology such as Java, JEE, Spring, heavy duty messaging systems, and Webservices, both of the limber REST species as well as the well-lumbering SOAP type. Also the more attentive reader of the pair of […]

Software review: TeXnicle LaTeX editor

TeXnicle is a relatively new free Mac OS X TeX editor. I just had a go at it (for about an hour) to wheedle out some of its basic features and possible flaws. It is of course (i.e. conforms to current trend in LaTeX editors) one of that “all the things in a big window” […]

A terrible, terrible Eclipse bug

I found a massive bug in Eclipse – it has a copy and paste function. In Eclipse’s defence, Intellij IDEA and Netbeans also exhibit identical broken functionality.

Come back Gavin King, all is forgiven (Spring is the new EJB 2.1)

I’ve just spent the past two days trying to make Spring transaction management work with JPA-annotated Hibernate-backed persistence classes that need to have multiple persistence units with transaction propagation REQUIRES_NEW between the two. For a start, the documentation is merely a series of outlines of brief hints. One measly section.The laughably short Spring 3 doco […]

REST and SOA and Agile and Waterfall

Recently I’ve been working on two projects. They are an exercise in contrasts. First the technologies and the development methodologies. So the first company uses a very Waterfall process and the integration platform is SOA. We’ve managed to build, in the middle of this, a small and focussed Java component that uses JMS in and […]

Stuff that is just plain wrong, part 1,893,567

Weblogic’s a big, vendor-supported, application server right? And it has advanced clustering features, right? So you’d think it’s clustered JMS implementation is one of the best in the business — after all large enterprise systems often require high capacity and reliable clustered messaging, right? And Weblogic is offered as a solution to those sorts of […]

Mechanical Pencil Lust redux

Now my University research project is on the final straight, and I’ll have a new one starting sometime next year, I thought it time to have a look at some new mechanical pencils. Well, actually, I thought I had lost my previous favorite pencil, the Faber-Castell TK Fine Vario L 0.5mm. However I found it […]

Throw it away and write another one

Most developers familiar with agile methods are familiar with the idea of the spike. A spike is a time-boxed task that concentrates on clarifying the unknowns in your project. Usually these are technological (“can this be done with this technology?”) but they are also sometimes in the area of the business domain (“is this a […]

Dynamically loading Spring contexts from the classpath at runtime

Using these three Spring features will enable us to be able to place a JAR file containing an interface implementation, and a Spring context XML file matching a particular pattern, into the classpath of our WAR, and on restart, we can dynamically pick up the newly inserted features into our application installation.