Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The demise of Glassfish is a great opportunity...for you to discover Dropwizard

Perusing through my Java RSS feed this morning, I saw a couple of posts about the death of Glassfish since Oracle has removed commercial support for it. And the predictable lament of how Oracle is hurting the Java community.

The reality is that this is a good thing.

In 2013, no new Java server-side project should use a stand-alone servlet container or application server.  You should all be using Dropwizard instead:


If you need to wrap your app in a WAR file and drop it somewhere else to be run, then you are doing the wrong thing.

Node.js programmers don't wrap their servers in any sort of WAR file equivalent. Neither does Go (all of Google Downloads runs directly of the Go standard net/http library), nor Python (Twisted/Tornado, etc). They all run their web apps directly, running production grade HTTP libraries. Nothing stops Java programmers from doing the same...and Dropwizard makes it happen.

We have been using Dropwizard for all of our applications for about a year now. Our apps restart instantly while coding (none of this compile to WAR, redeploy WAR nonsense any more).

The productivity boost is huge. Dropwizard adoption has spread like wildfire at my company, pretty much every team that has been exposed to it has ditched their stand-alone Tomcat instance and started converting.

I've prepared a simple set of slides (for a talk I've given at the JUG and the Houston TechFest 2013) on why Dropwizard is the greatest thing to happen to Java since Lombok and Lambdas:


I also have a sample app that shows how to integrate Dropwizard, Spring, Spring Security, test it with Cucumber BDDs and wrap it in RPMs or DEBs to easily deploy as daemons on Linux:


Leave the legacy of WAR behind...once you try Dropwizard, you will never go back.

It is the future of Java server side development...today.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fixing menu editing in XFCE on Fedora 18

Having recently switched to Fedora on one of my machines, I installed the XFCE remix. It works wonderful with Compiz and restores Linux desktop to its proper traditional glory :-)

However, the 'Edit Main Menu' functionality is broken, since it relies on a GNOME package that is not installed by default. If you press on 'Add New Item' in the menu editor nothing happens...but this error shows up in the logs

  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/Alacarte/MainWindow.py", line 276, in on_new_item_button_clicked
    process = subprocess.Popen(['gnome-desktop-item-edit', file_path], env=os.environ)
  File "/usr/lib64/python2.7/subprocess.py", line 679, in __init__
    errread, errwrite)
  File "/usr/lib64/python2.7/subprocess.py", line 1249, in _execute_child
    raise child_exception
OSError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory
All you have to do is to symlink the missing GNOME app to its XFCE equivalent and everything works again
cd /usr/bin
sudo ln -s exo-desktop-item-edit gnome-desktop-item-edit
And everything works again. Alacarte will now open the XFCE menu editor for menu items.

I can add my favorite IDE directly into main menu again :-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

MATE : Linux desktop is sane again (good riddance GNOME Shell)

I've finally gotten around to reinstalling my laptop with Mint 13. After a few months of various flavors of XFCE (which I liked and I commend that project for their fine work), I finally decided to check out MATE 1.4 (the GNOME 2 fork).

It was like seeing an old friend.

Everything just made sense again.
Everything just worked.
Everything looked great.
Everything was where I wanted it to be and I could customize it quickly in a logical way (without having to download 15 extensions from a website, unlike in GNOME Shell).

And if I want great keyboard navigation...without the need for overlay...all I need to do is install GNOME Do (which still beats GNOME Shell and Ubuntu Unity by a wide margin in terms of response and ease of use).

So to all the haters who claim "MATE should just die, GNOME 3 is the way to go"...all I can say, is that we users like to vote with our feet.

And my feet are firmly back in MATE.

Thank you to the MATE team for all their hard work and to Linux Mint for supporting them so early on so that this project had a chance to get off the ground.

And the Linux desktop is sane again :-)

P.S. I am running MATE on Fedora 17 as well, my main work desktop. Not quite as polished as the Mint version, but all the good comments still apply: http://wiki.mate-desktop.org/download#fedora

And here is the Fedora screenshot:


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Xfce 4.8 & Xubuntu 11.04: the cure for the GNOME blues?

I think we can all agree that the latest 11.04 release of Ubuntu is their weakest in recent history. From a myriad of installation problems (I have not been able to install it successfully on any of my 3 different Dell/Lenovo laptops) to the unfinished and unpolished Unity interface...the problems just keep piling up.

I had a go at Fedora 15 and GNOME 3.0 as well...I needed a couple of Advil to wash down the pain of that experience. It may become something one day...but right now it's just a confusing mess.

So I crossed the Rubikon and went Xubuntu with Xfce 4.8...a really positive surprise.

Works like a proper desktop environment, light, fast, the panels are greatly improved (and better than GNOME 2.0 at this point already), etc...

I've been on Xfce 4.8 for a few weeks now across my different laptops...and it's been a pretty smooth ride. Watch out GNOME and KDE...there is a new game in town.

And Xfce 4.8 actually seems to deliver what us Linux users want.

P.S. Here's my basic Xubuntu setup with a Unity-like single panel on the side and Chrome as the default browser