Friday, March 30, 2012

PhD - Completed!

This post bookends the post that started this entire blog four and a half years ago. Today I received the result for my PhD in Software Engineering! My thesis, Derivation of a General Purpose Architecture for Automatic User Interface Generation was highly praised by the examiners:

"In summary, a very satisfying, inspiring, carefully laid out, meticulously planned and executed thesis. I unhesitatingly recommend that the candidate be admitted to the degree of PhD"

I would like to acknowledge and thank a number of people for their support, advice and encouragement.

My supervisor, John Leaney, was instrumental in opening me up to the world of academic rigour. I would like to thank him for challenging me to think about epistemologies and research methodologies, interview techniques, reflection, VVT and GQM, and a host of other disciplines. His support and enthusiasm for my work never faltered. Most of all I would like to thank him for being able to readily understand my goal, and bridge the divide between the commercial world I knew and the research community I aspired to join.

I would like to thank those people who posted forum messages, blogged, tweeted, wrote magazine articles, and published papers regarding my work. I would like to thank my interviewees and adoption study participants for their time and feedback. Given the Action Research methodology of my thesis, their observations were critical to my progress. I would like to thank Dan Haywood of the Naked Objects team, who was always friendly and supportive, and very professional considering the sometimes conflicting nature of our projects! I would also like to thank Dan Allen, for his help shepherding my research within Red Hat.

Finally I would like to thank and apologise to my family who lived with my long absences throughout – both physical absences during the weeks, and mental absences during the weekends when I couldn't drag my head out of the work.

Monday, March 19, 2012

UI Generator: Metawidget v2.1

Version 2.1 of Metawidget, the UI Generator is now available!

This release was focused on:
  • Static HTML 5 Metawidget (ready for JBoss AeroGear)
  • Improvements to static Metawidgets for JSP, Spring and JSF
  • Swing GridBagLayout now supports 0 columns
  • Bug fixes, documentation and unit tests
Special thanks to Ryan Bradley for his help with this release!

As always, the best place to start is the Reference Documentation:

Your continued feedback is invaluable to us. Please download it and let us know what you think.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How Much Does Data Recovery Cost?

I've often wondered how much it costs to have a hard drive repaired by one of those 'clean room' data recovery companies. I've never had a need for such a service myself, because I keep lots of backups. And this pricing information is hard to come by because these companies tend to keep their pricing quiet.

But a friend was recently unfortunate enough to drop her laptop, and didn't have backups of some critical data, so I got to experience how the process works. I won't name the data recovery company involved, but I imagine this is typical (at least in Australia):

  • They charge $500 upfront just to look at the drive
  • They charge an additional $500 if the hard drive has previously been 'tampered with' (so that's $1,000 upfront)
  • They charge an additional $2,500 if (and only if) the data can be recovered (so that's $3,500 in total)
  • It takes 2-4 weeks
  • They'll need another hard disk to transfer the recovered files onto. The price of this is not included in the $3,500
  • The faulty drive will be destroyed
I hope someone finds this information useful, and a warning not to spare any expense implementing a good backup policy!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Metawidget @ JavaOne 2011: Parleys Presentation

Parleys have posted videos from sessions at JavaOne 2011. This includes our talk on DRY UIs: Let the metadata do the work:

This is the same talk we gave at the JBoss Booth, but with a 10 minute Question and Answer session at the end. Please try the Full Screen mode if you find the coding examples difficult to read.

My thanks to all those who attended, and to my co-speaker Dan Allen.