Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New Features in Eclipse 3.5

In an attempt to attract younger developers, the next version of Eclipse is to include Unlockable Achievements:

Beta testers are encouraged to submit their own Achievement ideas. Suggestions include:

  • Anally Retentive: remove all warnings from your code. Yes, even those ones about serialVersionUID

  • Saintly Patience: use BigDecimal for more than 5 minutes without wishing for operator overloading in Java

  • Ant Fan: start an Ant build and watch it finish without visiting Slashdot in between
Update: this blog post was, of course, a joke. However it appears that 3 years later Microsoft has actually gone and done it!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Better Than Free: Metawidget v0.65

There was a time, years ago, when just having a $0 price tag on a piece of software would have sparked people's interest. Nowadays, the success of Open Source has meant that free is not enough.

For a new software project to be noticed, it doesn't just have to be free: it has to be well documented, well tested, have plenty of working examples, an attractive Web site and high quality code. And even then the competition is fierce: developers are busy people, and have very limited time to evaluate new technologies.

So the big feature in the new release of Metawidget, aside from a number of upgrades and enhancements (such as Commons Validator support), is a Live Demo that lets you immediately get in and start playing and coding with Metawidget. I'm hoping it's a great way to let people try it without having to download, unzip and read through the usual distribution.

The Live Demo uses an enhanced version of the Groovy 1.6 Console Applet to give you a fully working Java-like scripting environment. Everything is set up for you just to click Run. You can then fiddle with the code, even import your own business model classes on to the CLASSPATH to see how Metawidget renders them.

You can find the Live Demo here:

Also, special thanks to Gerardo Diazcorujo and Ryan Cornia for their help testing this release. Your continued feedback is invaluable to us. Please let us know what you think.