Back to Java with NetBeans

Some notes on returning to real programming with Java, testing NetBeans, and admonishing myself.

I finally decided to start working an application to add and search metadata (keywords, titles etc.) to images. Norman Walsh has provided a great initial framework with JpegRDF, which I’d like to create a GUI for. This might even end up being a part of my PhD work, or so one would hope. Since Java is what JpegRDF is programmed with I thought I’d dust off my Java skills and get the latest JDK 5 and start coding.

At the same time I remembered a piece by Tim Bray on NetBeans. If a guru of his stature plugs an IDE, it must be worth a try. After a few hours of fiddling around, I had a decent GUI in place with even some functionality working. I must say, for the first time in my life there’s an IDE that seems worth using. But please note, this is not a goodbye to Emacs, just goodbye as a Java development tool. NetBeans has worked well on my Linux laptop, a bit sluggish at times but I am continuously running short on memory…

I’m quite interesting in getting up to speed with the features that Java 5 brings with it. Almost three years of no Java development whatsoever has even the basics of Java hidden behind some cobwebs. But I do look forward to using Vectors of ints.

Also of note, last night on our way to the shower, I commented to Anna that it was nice to get back to some real programming. And then it dawned to me: what on earth have I been doing for the past year and a half at work. Over 10000 LOC of PHP which handles our personnel records, duty rosters, and salaries. That isn’t real programming? I guess the fact that there is no compiler still has me underappreaciating PHP at times, at least subconsiously. Bad me.

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