Phillip Pearson - web + electronics notes

tech notes and web hackery from a new zealander who was vaguely useful on the web back in 2002 (see: python community server, the blogging ecosystem, the new zealand coffee review, the internet topic exchange).



GeoBlog rocks. I go to the page, expecting to see Second p0st showing up on New Zealand, in the bottom right-hand corner, but instead I find a hacker from Wellington. Cool! Didn't know there were any Radio users in NZ ;-)
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Eclipse vs IDEA

Now that I'm finally using Java for something, I get to mess around with IDEs like everyone else.

I started with Eclipse, which integrates very nicely with Tomcat, which apparently sucks, but seemed to work very nicely for me. Eclipse recompiles your code whenever you save a file, and then (if you're using JDK 1.4) automagically pushes the updates into the running web server, so it feels a lot like coding in a scripting language -- type, ctrl-s, alt-tab, f5, and you can see the newest code running. If I delete a method of a servlet, the "hot-swap" thing fails, though, so I have to restart the Tomcat instance, which takes 20 seconds or so.

I just downloaded IDEA yesterday, and finally got it up and running (Tomcat instructions). The IDE looks very nice - Java-style dialogs (as opposed to the more native ones that Eclipse gives you) but done properly, so they don't look alien like most Java GUI apps seem to. Getting it to work with Tomcat was trickier: it doesn't seem to want to run Tomcat by itself, but adding the recommended debug stuff to startup.bat and telling it to just connect to an already-active Tomcat instance got it to work OK. Changing stuff and recompiling seemed to update the servlet code OK, but I haven't done much with it yet.

BTW can someone tell me what the licensing deal is with the EAP? Is it something like "you can use it for free if you promise to tell us whenever it crashes", or do I need to buy the usual version to be allowed to use the EAP code? I'm downloading build 813 now, so it'll be interesting to see what's in there.

Update: Argh, just hit ctrl-f9 to recompile, then alt-tab and ctrl-f5 gave the same results as before. Not good. Should I blame Tomcat or IDEA?

Later: It looks like IDEA is recompiling, but it doesn't tell Tomcat, so I have to wait for Tomcat to check the timestamps on the .class files before I can see the changes. It's not too bad, but not as nice as what Eclipse was doing.

Later still: Argh, screw that. This isn't reliable enough for me. Maybe I'll come back to IDEA when I get a better servlet container!
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PYCS.NET one year old?

I just got a domain name renewal receipt for One year since the Python Community Server started broadcasting from that URL!

It started at (running on a box in my living room), but after people started linking to it and a few blogs started up there (including Workbench and my original development log) I got the new (now one year old) URL.

A few months (?) back I moved it to a much more stable server (this one), and I haven't had to touch it much at all since. Very stable. And we're up over a hundred registered users now - 103 is the latest. Most of those are inactive, but any given time there are usually a few people blogging.

Updated since the start of April: 0000093, 0000088, 0000049, 0000081, 0000025, 0000103, 0000024, 0000022, 0000019, 0000065, 0105568, 0000003, 0000050, 0000100, 0000098, 0000077, 0000076, 0000096, 0000091, 0000097, 0000095, 0000090, 0000094, 0000089.

Real blogs in that lot: bbum, garth, blog of talmage, zia, square rutabaga, my devlog, x-archetypes, number5, kevin altis, rabid ramblings, lateral opinion, dale gillard, jeff hodges, andfred l. drake, jr.

14 in all. Not bad.
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