Monthly Archives: May 2007

JavaFX examples?

This probably should just be a tumblr post, but I heard all the Buzz about JavaFx script on the Java Posse podcast.

All my googling skills failed to come up with a good page with examples that showed me how awesome it can be. Meanwhile I just came across Digg charts ( yes I am very much behind in my browsing) and the fact that the elegant metrics were all executed in flash makes me wonder whether I should substitute OR add in flex to my list of code groups to get around to learning.

Meanwhile,  I only wish someone could send me a link with metrics graphs done in Java that look as classy as the digg charts.

Screencast centric java eclipse blog

Trolling through the google search results for javafx the new “flash competitor” from sun , I came across this cool screencast centric code blog.

Its called The blog uses the wink tool to create audio-less screencasts which are in flash and show at a very good resolution on the browser page. The topics covered are java and eclipse centric.

Though I am a convert to netbeans , I like the overall style of the blog and the content featured. I have been playing around with wink and really like its feature-set. Maybe codeitch will feature some wink based screencasts while I attempt to converge on a platform to deliver my screencast centric code content  . The only problem is that since I don’t use my own hosting provider , its hard to embed my screencasts the way  has. But maybe there just might be a way to have my cake and eat it too.

Brightcove-great for screencasts

I am a strong proponent of screencast based teaching and learning. For the most part I have been using youtube to host screencasts. Typically these were recorded using ISHOWU on my mac using the H.264 codec/format and then uploaded onto youtube either directly or after converting to ( ipod capable) m4v . The results of these you probably see on my early screencasts on codeitch and at The Omics world.

I was introduced to a brightcove via a webcast forwarded to me by Deepak, which talked of their enhanced flash codec ( from on2 technologies) and decided to give it a try.

I uploaded the same screencast onto brightcove and youtube. In the past , youtube tended sometimes to garble the first few seconds of my video if I went directly from H.264 to youtube-flash and so I also uploaded a version where I went from H.264 to m4v (ipod) and then uploaded that file to youtube.

Brightcoves transcoding did an excellent job and you can almost read the text on my deliberately high resolutio screen capture. I will definitely use brightcove for all my future screencasts both here and at The Omics world. Hopefully the folks at will start supporting the brightcove plugin soon which will allow it to play within this blog page , till then just click on this link or see it in action on my tumblrlog. Feel free to right mouse click on the video and explore the options the brightcove player gives you from right inside the player window. No more looking for  information on crowded youtube pages.

Ignite Boston – I cannot wait

Deepak has blogged about Ignite Seattle an informal gathering organized by Oreilly in Seattle geared towards the local tech crowd. I always wondered why Boston does not have an Ignite event as well considering its huge tech population.

Well I just heard on the Berkman Thursday meetings blog that Oreilly is organizing an Ignite Boston event on May 31st, 2007. These meetings sound like they are a lot of fun and I am glad Boston finally has one.
It will be fun to get another opportunity to meet the local tech crowd.I cant wait !

Screencast based Books- Video from oreilly Safari Online

Oreilly Safari online image I have been a avid fan of screencast based teaching and learning and have used youtube based screencasts quite often here and at the omics world. The Oreilly safari online bookshelf has also been a favorite of mine as I try to pick up my five favorite technologies. I was delighted to come across a link to video-screencast based learning now offered by safari online. They are a series of screencast based books from with screencasts in the quicktime format. The Quicktime format and large size allows them to be of very high resolution and reasonably sized (5-10 MB) , and they are very easy to follow along with.

I do find that screencasts cut to the chase when it comes to conveying a point and I could easily sit through 2 chapters worth of Excel training since they were screencast based. For now I am glad that such tools are becoming increasingly available and I wont be surprised if a significant portion of computer tech training moves to screencasts rather than text only books. Maybe my tech learning curves will become less steep now thanks to these screencasts that go along with my Safari online subscription.

The icon above from Safari Online for Video Books

Getting at the nodes and attributes in an XML document

In the last screencast and post we got our xml exported file from backpackit parsed and printed using the minidom package using a python script.

Over the last year I have been gathering a lot of my experimental data in the form of “note entries” on several backpackit pages ( One for each project). As a first task – I wanted to get a feeling for how many such notes are present.

So with a little help from Mark Pringles excellent book called dive into python we can do the following two things
First obtain an array containing all the note nodes of the kind

<note title=”Bt-TRK pH 7.0 uptake flux with Trypsin treated Bt-TRK 06/19/06″ id=”1005550″ created_at=”2006-08-22 22:38:31″

Then use the created_at attribute and write it to a text file for further processing
SO now for the code

from xml.dom import minidom
# Create XML object
xmldoc = minidom.parse('backpackit.xml')

# I want to get a feel for how many note nodes were in the original file
# Thats as simple as the call getElementsByTagName

notelist = xmldoc.getElementsByTagName("note")
Num_notes = len(notelist)
outfile = open ('notelist.txt','w')
print "I have " + str(Num_notes) + " notes total "

# Now I want to capture when those notes were created and save it to a file

i = 0

#The python for loop

for i in range(len(notelist)):
date_elem = notelist[i].attributes["created_at"]
outfile.write(date_elem.nodeValue + "\n")
print "Wrote file notelist.txt"

# END of script

So now we have a file with all the created_at dates and times. I really want to know how busy I was for the last year and chart a pattern of how many posts I had per week for the whole year. So lets try and get at that information in the next codeitch project.

Refs minidom python doc


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