I have very often expressed my frustration at how far behind Apple is, in bringing out a mac version of Java 6. The deveoper preview is stuck , with the last beta dated at Sept 2006. Along these lines, apple stopped updating the Quicktime for Java API for the last many releases, with new functionality only available from the objective-c library .
Recently at the Oreilly Ignite II event, one of the speakers who had developed an amazing visualization centric Java environment expressed his frustration at how apple seems to have gone back on its pro-Java image. Why they would want to do that is beyond me, the novice coder. I am seriously considering my next machine to be a gentoo linux only machine. That way I can just use the SDKs from Sun or even the several openjava ebuilds.
It just seems like the community ( like the Linux community) will always safeguard the end users interests more than any company and its associated hype machine. This lack of dynamic support from Apple for the newest stuff from the Sun stable is probably the only thing making me regret buying a Mac.
I first heard of processing , from a post on Natures Nacent blog in which Euan Addie talked of how terrible visualization tools in the bio-space are.
I heard Ben Frys talk at the Ignite Boston event where he introduced processing to the audience and also gave a breathtaking demo ( despite the contrast issues that the venue had) of the app. Especially amazing was his visualization of the HapMap data ( including one that was featured on Nature Magazines cover).
Ben is writing a book for oreilly called Visualizing data ( available through Oreilly rough cut) . I plan to start playing with processing and definitely recommend checking this space for the video link to his talk which should soon be up.
Image: The Processing book written by Casey Reas and Ben Fry
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.
This blog is roughly about my attempts to codify , algorithmize and systematize everything I do. In it I will hopefully detail my march to coding and getting proficient in a bunch of computer languages. After a long process of looking around , I have narrowed my focus to the following 3 languages in no particular order.
The reasons for these will hopefully emerge as I begin posting. But I will try and spell them out here
Java :I like java for two reasons , its one of the most widely used languages in the enterprise space and the second and very important reason are the Java IDEs. Both java IDEs I use namely Eclipse and Netbeans are Free and amazingly featured. Code prompting available in both IDEs make mastering an API a lot easier than learning the same functionality using other languages or platforms. Also, I love Javadoc !. It really makes picking up new APIs a little easier
Python : My first crack at automating anything came with Perl scripting. I will not lie if I say that If I have to do anything today I will first use Perl. But after several year of Perl use I found I was re-using very little code. I have to get more object oriented in the way I code, and since I never quite got a hang of Perl objects , and its namespace conventions!. Python which is at its heart a purely object oriented scripting language with libraries that easily rival Java was a natural scripting alternative.Learning Python I hope will teach me how to script smart objects that will beg to be reused.
The above are the three languages I want to master.
Apart from these there are two platforms that I want to get comfortable with and they are
Excel : Everyone in the business world uses Excel. Spreadsheets were the PCs killer App and Excel is in my mind microsofts great product. I have seen the amazing things ou can do in Excel without writing a single line of code, and I want to learn to use its power.
Matlab: This platform from Mathworks is the bread and butter of engineering computation. I am anything but an engineer but have seen matlabs power when it comes to simulations. A lot of the very academic questions that I have in my research can really benefit from learning the Matlab platform and no I am not fully convinced on why exactly I need to use Matlab, maybe I will find a more concrete reason.
refs: My tumblr feed