March 21, 2010

Injured again

As most Sundays today I've been playing Badminton again. After a relatively good start, I somehow came back down to the ground again after jumping for the ball in a not very stable position. Not stable enough to keep upright to be precise. To make this story short, I again turned over my ankle, although this time my left one. During my falling down I heard a loud (at least for me) snapping sound from my ankle and when I hit the ground my left leg was already paralyzed by the pain.

Compared to the last time I experienced something similar, that sound made me worry quite a bit. The paralyzed leg recovered after a few minutes but a tiny achiness stayed. Nothing I'd worry about if I hadn't already made bad memories with my right ankle and hadn't heard the snap.

So over the day I again visited the hospital, where after about two hours of waiting and about three minutes of treatment (in total) I was sent home with the diagnosis of pulled tendon. And now in the evening it's hurting more.

The doctor at the hospital just took a quick look at my ankle and moved it a bit but none o the movements hurt. I hope that he made the right diagnosis in this hurry and my tendon is really not ripped apart.

Let's see how the next few days develop...

March 17, 2010

Project Contours is now on track

Yes, there has been silence for some time. Cause of that are the upcoming exams this weekend in lectures which awesomeness-level lies below that of a rotting potato.

Nevertheless, there has been some progress. I finally decided a name and hoster for my project which I've been pondering now for almost two semesters at University. And with some traces of proudness I finally present you the

Contours Framework

To admit, the hardest part was really to find a proper name for it, which should hint a bit into the direction of the topic without colliding with other projects. Another earlier try was "Shapes" but there are already several projects around with that term in their name and which are probably more popular on search terms than my project will ever be.

In more details, the project is about creating a framework which allows Java application developers to create a file-reader for arbitrary binary files which then allows easy access to the content data from the file. This is done by providing a custom file-description language in which the structure of the file can be laid out. Then this format description is taken by the Contours framework which produces all necessary Java code for a file reader for files of this structure. This reader can then be easily be integrated into the own Java application.

I know, it's not a very common problem this addresses and there are other preferable ways for most similar problems. But I needed something which makes it easy to follow changes in file formats without the need to regenerate and review large parts of existing Java code. Furthermore when I'm dealing with more than one or two different formats, the maintenance of several different readers written by different people gets unhandy quite fast. And finally one of the goals was to produce code which allows high processing speed. When I started my project, there was no framework around addressing all of these points (and there still is none). Nowadays there are some available (one of them being Preon) but none of them seems to fit the performance requirement. And I've gotten already quite far when I discovered those, so I chose to continue with it and if it's just for learning purposes.

Nevertheless, the page is up, some content already present (notably the architecture description of Contours) and all source committed to the Contours SVN source repository. Feel free to have a look at it and if you have any comments, comment here or raise an Issue (when I come around to enable and configure that part of the project properly).

March 4, 2010

Archive of outdated Sun/Java software

Sun makes it not easy to get your hands on previous versions of their software, especially if it is somehow connected to the Java technology. Their frontpages only contain the links to the latest software and (if you're lucky) tiny hints how to get to the previous version of eg. the JRE. But if you're looking for example for the outdated JRE 1.2, y

Thanks goes to a friend who gave me the link to the Java Technology Downloads Archive where a lot of previous editions for the different Java software components are available through a single page for download.

This includes all versions of JRE, JDK, J2EE, several additional Java technologies and even the Java SE Tutorials.

The only thing I'm currently missing are deprecated versions of the J2ME technologies, but I don't know if there are older versions even existing of J2ME.

The full list of downloadable items currently: Java Certification Program, J2EE IDE Toolkit, JavaBeans Activation Framework, JDBC, Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE), Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE), Java Development Kit (JDK), Java Cryptography Extension, Java Authentication and Authorization Service, Java Secure Socket Extension, Java Foundation Classes (JFC), Swing, Java HotSpot Server VM, Java Internationalization and Localization Toolkit, Java Message Service, Java Plugin (+ Converter), Java Servlet, RMI over IIOP and the Java SE Tutorials.