The week is flying by as usual and I have not put anything in here out of the 1000’s of items I have considered.   I downloaded another editor, this one I heards about on the Java Posses podcast.   It is called the BlueJ – interactive Java Environment.  In my last Programming II class which we use Java for a lot of the students struggled.  There were many reasons but the main problems are: 1) Complete lack of very basic OO and Java knowledge (which they should have from Programming I; 2) Difficulties with Swing programming (event handling, layout managers) etc.  While I totally understand number 2 as I went through that myself, I struggle with number 1 as they should have it and it completely throws off the course if I spend too much time doing this.  So, I have been looking, considering and pondering a solution.   Along came BlueJ.  In my, so far, short evaluation it allows each development of small classes, ability to build relationships between classes (inheritance, containers, etc.) and best of all to visually see this relationship.  Stay tuned!

Because a consultant who works for me and was to start at a client has had a family emergency, I have been forced to dive into Java programming.  Halleulujah!   As you can imagine I am not unhappy with this and welcome the chance to spend some time away from sales, contracts and budgets.  The project is in its infancy but requirements have been gathered and a basic design made (all by me earlier).  Therefore, for a change, I am finally puting to use an IDE I downloaded in a way other than just checking out the newest features.  Netbeans 5.0 is wonderful to work with.  Let me tell you why.  One word, Matisse.  The Swing GUI builder is a piece of art.  Anyone who has struggled as much as I have in Swing GUI building (manually and in JBuilder) will love this.  Maybe I was spoiled as my first GUI building experiences were in Gupta SQL Windows, then Powerbuilder and the MS Visual C++ with MFC.  All of them worked like I thought they should work.  Well, in Gupta the GUI building did anyway.   Then I worked on my first Java development and was faced with the flexible, powerful and confusing GridBagLayout and GridBagConstraint.  Now I subscribe to the view development will never be a matter of only pointing and clicking.  Manual programming will never go away but I do subscribe to the view this should not be the case for the user interface of the application.  Well, now Matisse has come along and although an additional jar file is needed as they use a Swing extension for the layout manager I actually can lay out the GUI and my UI controls don’t move on their own, look the way they do in design as when I run the application and are easy to align and build due to the c oncept of snapping.  Thank you!

Now Matisse is being ported to Eclipse.  See this article for more information.

Cool product, for editing and storing Office documents over the Internet is ThinkFree Office.  Check it out.  Even if you don’t want to use it just try it out to see how cool applets are becoming again.

Finally, it probably has been discussed and linked and argued more in the past week than any other article in our world, but if you haven’t read it James Gosling is not worred about C#, Ruby or PHP