added: Emmanuel's Development References search engine

I've just created a new search engine using Google Coop. You can start using it on by entering search terms on the search box on the right.

You may also add it to your browser's (Firefox 2.0 or IE 7) search engines.

This search engine is customized to search Java, Ruby, Rails, Hibernate and Spring Framework API and reference documentation. More API and reference documentation for things that are in my area of interest will be added in the future.


JSR-277: At last... a module system for Java!

The early draft for JSR-277 has been made available. This is good news! We will have a module system for Java. Its a bit late in the game... Ruby has a module system (GEM), Perl has CPAN, Linux has many... Why did it take so long to have one for Java? Maybe it did not itch that many people. But then why would the Maven team choose to create a repository for dependencies management, it must have itch!

I did a quick read of the specification... And here are my first reaction :
  1. Great! A module system for Java... At last, Java application will be easier to install and we will have a dependable versioning system,
  2. Why do I need to specify in the module definition all the classes that are present in the module? Maybe I did not understand the value of the "members" definition, but I guess that everything inside a module should be a module member. I see no reason to duplicate that information,
  3. I could say the same thin about the "class-exports". Why does the module system need this? It could use class visibility modifiers to do the same thing. I can see a bit of value if it was there to suggest the main entry points and/or API of the module. It should be optional,
  4. There is no use cases on how to install and manage existing module using tools. The specification says that it does not specify any tools. I believe that local repository management tools are a must and should be provided and made standard. At least a command-line tool should be specified. Just like we have a standard specification for using the "java" command even if it has implementation specific options.
Overall, I think this is great news. It does come a bit late and will not be available unto Java 7. But this will still be a great improvement over the current situation.


Ant without the XML

Yet Another Build Framework was announced today on The Server Side. Gosling is much like Ant (according to the website, it's a fork of Ant) but without the XML. For a start, this is good news. Instead of using XML, you use Java to code your build script.

Do we really need another build framework? Sure writing build script in XML is not very convenient and has its limitations. But we have Maven2. Maven2 is still XML, but it is not build script that you write in XML, it's just your project configuration. Maven2 is the perfect implementation of DRY for your build script. After more than 10 years of Java existence, why would one still have to write in is build script the steps required to produce a JAR file?

Does this mean that Gosling has no future? No! I think it's very nice to have an alternative to Ant to create build script (for those who don't like Maven2 very much). I also think that this would be a nice framework to create build task for Maven2. Because you are using code to create your build script, you can use a debugger to debug them. In that respect, it's much better than Ant and Maven2. I imagine, it would also possible to write libraries of tasks that could be downloaded on the fly (using dependency management) to be able to actually not repeat yourself.

Right now, this framework requires Java6. This is not a very good idea to drive adoption, Java5 and even Java 1.5 should be supported.

But the feature I would want the most for this project would be to be able to write my build script in a scripting language. Be it Ruby (with the help of JRuby) and/or Groovy! That would be much better than XML :-)


re Otaku, Cedric's weblog: FireFox 2: Please fix this before it's too late

In a recent post Cedric complains about changes in the behaviour and layout of Firefox tabs. I find this a bit amusing... First the behaviour and layout is not that different from the past. And I don't really think its worth a post outside of the developer mailing list. For my part, I like the way the close button is now positionned as in my Firefox 1.5 configuration (using the Tab Mix Plus plugin), my tabs close button is already there.

But what I found amusing is the irony...

Cedrics works for Google... And recently, Google made a complete redesign of  Google Reader. Without any warnings and by changing a lot of stuff (and making several usability mistakes). I guess that Cedric is not working for the Google Reader team. We just have to follow The new user interface thread on Google Groups to see, that this was a much bigger usability blunder than the Firefox 2 one.

The good thing about these two blunders... is that for Google Reader, you can revert back to the old interface if you want to (at least for now) and you can change some Firefox 2 settings to get the old behaviour!

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