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).


Java is a pain in the ass (or is it just eBay's Java SDK?)

For a project at work, I've got to write a servlet that gets info from eBay via the eBay API and dumps it out in HTML or JSON for some Javascript to read later on.

Naively assuming that the eBay Java SDK would be the easiest way to do this, I download it (all 55 megs). It unpacks to about 250 megs on my hard disk, most of which is documentation, apart from the 20 megs or so of compiled Java code that forms the actual SDK. Now, I expect that this documentation answers just about any question I might possibly have, only it seems that all the useful bits are spread all over the place... argh!

So now I'm going straight to the XML API and writing the thing in Python first, then I'll port it back to Java when it does what I want. I've got more done in minutes with Python and the XML API docs than I managed in over a day with the Java SDK. I can't imagine that it'll be *that* hard to port it back to Java, either... and doing it this way will result in a few hundred kilobytes of class files rather than over 20 megs to send to the client. Hmm.

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Trying out IE7

Looks like it considers the contents of RSS's channel <titledescription> element to be text, not HTML. Hmm. Maybe I'm finally going to have to strip those links out of there :-)

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