Thursday 31 July 2008


I am going over my notes from my last batch of training courses - and I find a couple Eclipse RCP topics need work.

Here are the topics:
  • Plug-ins: the organization of code into plug-ins; that are wired up using the Platform object.
  • IAdatable: a neat trick allowing code to be added to an Object at runtime
  • Workbench Selection: the workbench tracks the current selection; allowing you to listen to what the user is up to in one handy spot
I was going to write up something fun and witty for IAdatable today - but I found an excellent article "What is IAdaptable" instead. Thanks to EclipseZone for keeping track of this stuff.

Documentation harmed in the making of this post:
* IAdaptable (uDig Developers Guide)

Wednesday 23 July 2008

Why Java on windows ignores your PATH

This is kind of and old tip; that is very frustrating until someone tells you about it. And then it is still frustrating. Java on windows uses a placeholder in the System32 directory; this placeholder looks up the correct version of Java in the registry and calls that.

No "JAVA_HOME" environmental variable needed! Unless of course you are trying to use something like Maven or ANT which likes the idea of an environmental variable.

The trick is to change your PATH so that JAVA_HOME\bin is added before SYSTEM32.

Documentation Harmed in the making of this post:

Friday 11 July 2008

The only sane response to XML...

I have been helping several people get a handle on the various flavours of xml madness available to the modern map.

Documentation harmed in this endeavor:
There are a range of options from primitive SAX parsers through to "schema aware" parsers that seem to care more about being correct than the data itself :-)

The big weakness with all these technologies right now is error reporting - it is very tricky to tell what specifically went wrong, where, when and why.

The XML Developers Guide makes for some good background reading - in addition to being interesting (it is aimed at developers creating "bindings" for new schemas) it offers a few clues on what can go wrong.