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Monday, November 27, 2006

Firefox 2.0 stability on Mac OS X

I've found that Firefox 2.0 is simply not stable on Mac OS X (10.4.8 Intel). It was locking up on my multiple times a day. I downgraded to 1.5 and have had virtually no problems since (in the last couple of weeks).

It seemed like it had trouble with heavy JavaScript pages such as Google Mail. Again, 1.5 is fine.

It really is like being between a rock and a hard place; Safari is faster and more stable but doesn't do everything I want it to do (such as the WebDeveloper or FireBug plugins to Firefox). FireFox is less "OS-X-y" (James Duncan Davidson won't run it because it feels like a Windows program to him ... and it sure could use a few more glowing curvy glass buttons!). Some common JavaScript, such as animation effects from Dojo, run incorrectly in Safari but correctly in FireFox. So, what's next ... Opera?

Nope, probably stay with Firefox (1.5, until they admit there are Mac OS X problems and fix them). It's much more likely that my clients will be running FireFox than Safari or Opera (my clients, and my client's client's are almost universally running Windows). I think a shift has occured, where people understand that Firefox is the standard, and that IE may take some extra effort "to get working correctly". I'm not saying people don't expect things to run flawlessly in IE ... just that they understand that it's not automatic, that IE makes things harder.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Danger of Beta: Tapestry and HiveMind Blog has Moved

Some day there will be a medical diagnosis for my condition, which may be characterized as an overeagerness to adopt unstable beta software.

In this case, it was a switch to Blogger Beta, which promised all kinds of improvements to the user experience of reading this blog. Alas, the real improvements are of questionable value, such as publishing an Atom feed where the RSS feed used to be (and not writing the correct <link> tags).

Anyway, it became pretty evident that the new, post Google Blogger really wants to host the blog on blogspot.com. Thus the new URL:


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Updates to Tapestry @ JavaForge

Well, I've had a busy morning. I've done a ton of work on the projects at Tapestry @ JavaForge.

I've changed the version number of everything to 1.0.0-SNAPSHOT.

Documentation has been updated. Site navigation updated. Look and feel is now aligned with everything else Tapestry.

This was spurred by a comment in the user mailing list about how tapestry-spring doesn't work with prototype beans. It does, but I haven't updated the documentation.

Of course, Maven 2 is letting me down here. It doesn't support site publishing via FTP (just secure FTP and various SSH related options). This adds a manual step to deploying the documentation that I'll roll into a Ruby script next time I publish.

Anyway, tapestry-testng, tapestry-flash and tapestry-spring are release candidates. tapestry-prop may have a few features (already in Tapestry 5) added to it before its final.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I've joined the legions of other No Fluff Just Stuff speakers, excluding (of course), Ted Neward, who are running on Mac. A MacBook Pro (the latest version) with 2 gig of ram, and a 30" cinema display.

Of course, the user experience is fantastic, especially with the 30" display. I don't even own a TV that large. It's so big that I sometimes have to pull windows with small text down to eye level for easy reading. Scary big. Ridiculously big. Love it.

In one respect, it's like coming back home; my first real windowing environment (the first I developed applications for) was NeXTSTEP back in the mid 90's. I developed a big database driven GUI app using AppKit and Enterprise Objects Framework. I remember an Apple rep coming by to show us some weird thing called WebObjects, but that's a different story.

It's intimidating ... there's so much new stuff to learn. Hanging around with Stu, Justin, Neal and Dave (among many others) who are so big on mastering your environment and working smart ... well, between Automator, Quicksilver, and everything else ... well, there's a lot to learn, a lot of catching up to do. And of course, Ruby is pre-installed as well.

Dashboard widgets look cool; as I'm trying to flex some JavaScript muscle, that's a definite way to build something useful as well.

So far, the only thing I don't like is the Mighty Mouse; I already ditched mine on Ebay and am using the same Logitech LX7 I use on my Aurora (windows desktop). I also had to pick up a keyboard, since the monitor is so huge I can't get the laptop (and it's keyboard) anywhere near it.

Also, OS X doesn't give you the choice about what to do with your laptop monitor when plugged into an external display. I'd just as soon shut it off but no ... it has to be a desktop extension. Once I get a little more settled in, I'll need to pick up one of those "Hacks" books.

So, exciting and scary. I have so many things to learn.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Improve Tapestry performance with tapestry-prop

I've just deployed a new version of the tapestry-prop library for Tapestry 4.0. tapestry-prop adds a new binding prefix, "prop:", as an alternative to "ognl:". The actual moving of property values is accomplished using runtime generated bytecode, which performs better than OGNL's use of reflection.

The major new feature is support for property paths. You may now uses a series of property names, i.e., user.name. This vastly extends the usefulness of the "prop:" binding, since is can be used in about 90% of the places you'd normally use "ognl:".

The lack of reflection means that "prop:" peforms almost exactly the same as pure Java code. Based on some cursory performance testing, we're looking at a 27x improvement. In a typical Tapestry page, I suspect this may add up to a millisecond or so per request.

The version number has been changed to 1.0.0-snapshot. tapestry-prop should work with JDK 1.3 (Tapestry's minimum requirement).

If you were paying attention during the screencast, you'll note that an even more powerful version of this code is the default binding prefix in Tapestry 5.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tapestry -- Duke's Choice Photos

Duke's Choice Lineup, originally uploaded by Tapestry Dude.

Finally got around to uploading some shots taken at JavaOne 2006. Here's a slideshow from the Duke's Choice award ceremony.