//NetBeans OpenGL Pack 0.5.5 released

NetBeans OpenGL Pack logo The NetBeans 6.7 compatible OpenGL Pack has been updated to version 0.5.5 and is now available on the plugin portal also. The current release is feature compatible with 0.5.4 (release notes) only JOGL and project webstart extensions have been updated to JOGL 1.1.1a security update.

//Using Applets as fallback mode for video on pre html5 browsers

The upcoming html5 standard will make it very easy to embed media of not proprietary formats in webpages. For example video can be embedded in the same way you would probably do it with an image. But what happens when your browser does not support html5 yet?

Firstly: don't panic! Secondly: you could consider using for example the 256kb large cortado applet as fallback mode, since pre html5 browsers will ignore unknown tags like the video tag they will still read the object tag. Using an applet as cross platform fallback mode for playing e.g. theora encoded hd movies is therefore fairly easy - you even don't have to convert the video to an other format.

[Read More]

//Java EE 6 - The Salvation

My Brother Adam Bien released his new book Real World Java EE Patterns - Rethinking Best Practices yesterday. It is available as download or softcover. I am sure you will like it.

You can testread the first two chapters here, more infos are on his blog.

He will check in all samples of his book to this projekt on kenai.com - so make sure you bookmark it or do a mercurial refresh in your favorite IDE when you are interested.


//OpenGL Pack 0.5.4 now ready for NetBeans 6.7

NetBeans OpenGL Pack logoNetBeans OpenGL Pack 0.5.4 is now ready to be used in the upcoming NetBeans 6.7 release, currently as rc2 available.

It wasn't sure if we would be able to ship the GLSL editor in this release since NetBeans 6.7 changed the editor APIs once again. But fortunately the P1 bug was fixed in time and we (and apparently many others, thanks for voting!) can keep using the Generic Language Framework (GLF aka Schlieman) - at least for now since GLF it is now a deprecated/unsupported module.

Build 0.5.4 will break compatibility with NB 6.5. The latest and also all other releases can be downloaded on the project page. I will wait with the upload to the plugin portal until NetBeans 6.7 final is released.

Features/Enhancements:

Anyway. Not much changed since the last release. The most important point is probably that the GLWorker used internally for tasks like shader compilation or capabilities viewer is now more stable on systems which do software rendering (e.g Mesa GL).

I added also an experimental feature which lets you define GLSL shader dependencies similar to java imports.

It is very common in GLSL to reuse code by simple concatenation of files. For example a set of independent shaders can reuse a code fragment defining some generic mathematical functions if the fragment has been concatenated to the top of all shaders which make use of the functions. Editing those kind of shaders would produce compilation errors without a way to inform the editor about those dependencies.

For example the following shader uses the function light() of PerPixelLight.frag by inserting the file ./PerPixelLight.frag at the position of the //import statement.

PerPixelLight.frag


vec4 light(void) {
    // insert fancy light calculation here
}

PlanetShader.frag


//import PerPixelLight.frag

uniform samplerCube cubemap;
varying vec3 vertex;

void main (void) {
    //Cubemap
    gl_FragColor = vec4(textureCube(cubemap, vertex)) * light();
}

When you compile a shader with dependencies you should see something like that in the output window:


All dependencies are listed in the compiler log and even the line numbers of the compiler warnings are translated back to the code fragments, which lets you jump via hyperlink directly to the annotated files.

Just a warning: Please don't define cyclic dependencies, however double imports should work in theory (have I mentioned it is experimental? ;))

Happy coding!


//JavaOne 09 keynote replays and technical session slides available

For those who haven't watched to the keynotes live or per live stream can now watch the replays of all general sessions (on your favourite screen of your live - sorry couldn't resist ;)).

The good thing about that is: you can hit the fast forward button as soon as the marketing guys start talking ;).

The slides of most presentations are also available [updated link] for download.

Especially recommended are James Gosling's toy show (last session), the first two keynotes and of course the pdfs of the technical sessions.


//XPath NetBeans plugin

I built some time ago a NetBeans plugin which simplifies browsing through large xml documents a bit. Just start typing a XPath expression in the text field of the TopComponent and the result of the (last) xml editor in focus are computed and printed in the textarea below. (You can open the XPath window either by using the context menu on xml files or directly via the window menu)

It uses the JDK's javax.xml.xpath package which means XPath 1.0 support.

xpath plugin image

it also supports basic auto completion and localized error messages (in other words: XPathExpressionException.getCause().getLocalizedMessage()).

Github project can be found here. Feel free to use it ;)


//NetBeans OpenGL Pack #2 in most popular plugins ranking

NetBeans OpenGL Pack logoSince I haven't bloged for a long time about the OpenGL Pack, here are some notes for the last two update releases.

Beside updates and fixes the only new feature I added is the OpenGL Quicksearch. It uses the NetBeans 6.5 Quicksearch functionality (similar to ctrl + 3 in eclipse) and searches through several OpenGL resources.



currently are five resources available for search:

power users can restrict the search to a category with the following prefixes ([prefix  space] searchstring  (space searchstring)*):
gl for GL SDK, ext for GL extensions, nv for Nvidia extensions, ati for ATI/AMD Extensions.


JOGL component in NetBeans Formdesigner OpenGL quicksearch GLSL editor

Pictures featuring: Form Designer sample project, GL Quicksearch, updated GLSL 1.3 editor

Changes in 0.5.3:

  • Java Applet and Webstart support
  • OpenGL Quicksearch
  • GLSL editor updated to support GLSL 1.3 (OpenGL 3.0 spec)
  • two new NetBeans Form Designer sample JOGL projects
  • NetBeans 6.5 and JDK6 are the new minimum requirements

Changes in 0.5.2 since last release:

  • JOGL distribution has been updated to version 1.1.1
  • GLSL linker now does not stop linking shaders on compiler warnings
  • the pack should now correctly deploy JOGL and GlueGen's native libraries on all supported platforms (64bit bug)

To download the pack, please visit the plugin portal.

As always, please use the user mailing list for feedback and the issue tracker for bug reports on the project page.

- - - - -

BTW the pack recenty reached the 36k downloads milestone which makes it to the #2 in the most popular plugins category of the plugin portal ;)


//Enabling the new java browser plugin on ubuntu

When you are using Ubuntu and upgraded from older releases to intrepid or jaunty you might have run into a setup bug which causes the browser to keep using the old java plugin despite having latest Java SE and plugin packages installed (e.g 1.6 update 13 from multiverse repository).

To fix this you will have to update some symlinks and let them point to the correct location.

one easy way of doing this is by using the update-alternatives command:

 sudo update-alternatives --all

this will iterate through all symlinks in /etc/alternatives which have more than one alternative and ask you which one to use. Simple update all links which point to:

.../libjavaplugin_oji.so

to the location of the new plugin (e.g for i386):

/usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun/jre/lib/i386/libnpjp2.so

For all other links just hit Return.

This is a little bit of a brute force approach but there shouldn't be many of them and it is the only way to make sure you don't overlook one of them since they are all called differently ;)

Next time you restart your browser the new plugin should be loaded and applets which use e.g jnlp for deployment (or out of process functionality) should work.


//Java - JavaScript Communication example

Communication between java applets and javascript code is already available since J2SE 1.3 (aka LiveConnect, which was btw. rewritten from scratch in Java 6 update 10 as part of the new plugin) and is really easy to implement. It is a simple way to break out of the sandbox and do things which would usually require full system access (a signed applet + user approval via security dialog). For example applets living in a sandbox are only allowed to read mouse events via the AWT/Swing event mechanism which works as long the mouse is over the applet.

To read e.g the mouse position globaly you would need to call MouseInfo.getPointerInfo().getLocation() which would cause a java.security.AccessControlException: access denied. However, in javascript it is trivial to track mouse events for the whole html document (e.g google adds track onclick x,y events).

All you have to do is to use the object tag instead of applet tag (which is deprecated anyway) and give the object (applet) a name via the id attribute.

<form name="FishForm">   
<object width="256" height="256" type="application/x-java-applet" id="CrazyFish">
<param value="http://people.fh-landshut.de/~mbien/weblog/java_js_interop/launch.jnlp" name="jnlp_href" />
<param value="false" name="draggable" />
</object>
</form>

 now you can simply call methods as usual.

<script language="JavaScript1.2">
//...
document.onmousemove = onMouseMoved;

var tempX = 0;
var tempY = 0;

var applet = document.FishForm.CrazyFish;

function onMouseMoved(e) {
//...
// javascript -> java calls
applet.jsObjectOrigin(findPosX(applet), findPosY(applet));
applet.jsMouseMoved(tempX, tempY)
return true
}
//...
</script>

 the other side is a plain old public method implemented in the java applet.

    /**
* called from javascript.
*/
public void jsMouseMoved(int x, int y) {
//do something usefull
}

 RIA/Web2.0 Observer Pattern in action ;)

(The applet won't work with JRE version < 1.6 update 10 (or the equivalent on Mac OS) since I used the jnlp deployment mechanism, but it wouldn't have been necessary for this particular applet)

... and never forget Web 2.0 is watching you


//There is no place like 127.0.0.1

I have decided to host my blog myself and thought I report about some highlights ;). The reason why I haven't bloged for a long time was actually a configuration issue of the old setup which confused <myDomain>/myBlog with <myBrother'sDomain>/myBlog. Selfhosting is also a good opportunity to play with enterprise software at home in a daily basis (not only the usual try and remove evaluation with constructed dummy projects or brainstormed scenarios).

I initially evaluated OpenSolaris since I was really eager to try out ZFS. But I decided to stay with Ubuntu 9.04 server edition (aka jaunty jackalope) since I already use the desktop version for my workstation. The other reason was the lower memory footprint of Ubuntu (256MB) compared to OpenSolaris (512MB) which is relevant if you run your site on over 10 years old hardware like I do.

Ubuntu has great software repositories which just provide everything to get started (e.g Sun JDK6.13 and in theory also glassfish, netbeans, eclipse, your favourite database etc but i prefer in those cases zip files ;-) ).

Installation with gimmicks like Software RAID (RAID 1), firewall configuration went flawlessly. The combination GlassFish2.1 + Roller 4.0.1 + hsql 1.8 worked also on first attempt.

a few thing I noticed:

  • 5 years ago the whole process would take far longer than two evenings
  • -XX:OnOutOfMemoryError=<send me a mail command> (since java 1.6) is really cool
  • Cloudcomputing is overrated (web services should always be weather independent)
  • There is no place like 127.0.0.1

don't worry the upcomming entries should be more technical - this is mainly a test ;-)


//FishFarm wins second prize in GlassFish Community Innovation Awards Program

I recently won with FishFarm the second prize in the GlassFish Community Innovation Awards Program -  which is pretty cool. I would never have thought that I have a chance to win something in the GAP.

Since you probably don't know what FishFarm actually is, I will try to introduce it with this entry.

Formal:

FishFarm = Shoal + Fork/Join Framework
Shoal = simple to use clustering framework currently based on JXTA and used within GlassFish

Fork/Join Framework = pretty cool concurrency framework for local parallelization of tasks (jsr166y targeted for Java 7)

=> FishFarm = simple but pretty cool solution for distributing concurrent tasks over a p2p network [q.e.d.]

Informal:

Project FishFarm is a simple solution for distributing computational intensive tasks over the network based on Java SE APIs.

The goal of this project is to take any task written in the Fork/Join Framework (JSR166y targeted for Java 7) and distribute the computation over multiple nodes in a grid. FishFarm introduces no new frameworks and is also no full featured distribution system.

The initial focus was to make the ForkJoinPool (which is a core part of jsr166y) distributable with as few code changes as possible. Thanks to Doug Lee these modifications are now in trunk of his Fork/Join Framework and he even provided a handful of utility methods to make further extensions simpler.

How it works:

All you need to make your Application distributable is to replace ForkJoinPool with FishFarm's DistributedForkJoin pool.


  ForkJoinPool pool = new DistributedForkJoinPool();

  // submit as many tasks you want (nothing changed)
  Future futureResult1 = pool.submit(new MyTask());
  Future futureResult2 = pool.submit(new LongRunningTask());

  // block until done
  System.out.println("result of task 1: " + futureResutl1.get());
  // or ask if done
  System.out.println("task 2 isDone=" + futureResutl2.isDone());

Every DistributedForkJoinPool is member of a peer2peer network and automatically steals work from overstrained pools if idle. DistributedForkJoinPool extends ForkJoinPool and will complete submitted tasks even when working offline or on node failures. No additional configuration required.

I wouldn't call it ready for production yet but it should be stable enough to have fun ;-)

webstartable demos


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In case you are wondering why you are reading this entry via the RSS feed of my brother's (Adam) blog. This is a bug which confuses both urls, I hope this should be fixed with the next roller deployment.

This is Michael - over and out ;-)


//Web 3.0 alias Java 6 update N + JavaFX Desktop profile anounced

"The Workaround" - better known as Web 2.0 is now no longer necessary ;).

With Java 6 update 10 and later + JavaFX Desktop profile it is possible to run REAL applications (lets call them applets) out of process in the browser. The browser sandbox is now optional, if you like the applet to persist, just drag it out of the browser and you can use it stand alone (same process -> same state).

If you close it, it simple moves back to the browser, but what happens if you close the browser when the stand alone applet is still up and running you may ask? Now you technically transformed your applet to a webstart application and installed it on your system. Isn't that cool?!! Installation has never been so easy.

Additional to that a great demonstration of the Adobe - Photoshop/Illustrator exporter plugin has been shown on the JavaOne tech session where a professional designer and a java geek developed side by side a cool looking animated application without knowing concrete implementation/design details from each other*. Now you are able not just to develop techical superior applications you can also make them look awesome with minimal effort. (technically the exporter plugin exports each layer so coolest things will be possible)

But this is not everything: missing audio and video codecs are now ready to use, BDLive which brings network to your Blu-ray player has been shown and BDLive developer discs are now availabe at BDLive.com.

The early access JavaFX SDK will be available in June. More information on javafx.com (well the webside does not look and feel very good but thats probably because its not written in JavaFX script... ;) )

-------

*Sun Tech Session 3

Applets Reloaded with Ken Russell

Livedemo including sourcecode and documentation of the draggable applet feature is now available.


//NetBeans OpenGL Pack 0.5.1 released

The NetBeans OpenGL Pack 0.5.1 has been released. This is a small bugfix release with no major features added.

Changes since last release:

  • updated JOGL distribution to v1.1.1rc8
  • updated JOGL demos (added gears Applet demo)
  • added JOGL API support module for doc and source integration
  • webstart support for JOGL project templates (just enable it in the project properties)
  • improved JOGL deployment code (fixed some issues on 64bit systems)
  • bug fixes

To download the pack please visit the plugin portal page.

The OpenGL pack will be soon available via plugin portal update center (Tools | Plugins). This will make our old  "NetBeans OpenGL Pack update center" obsolete (and improve the download speed!). However, we will use the old update center for experimental not final releases in future.

As always, please use the user mailing list for feedback and the issue tracker for bug reports on the project page.

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Write once run everywhere [1][2][3][4][5][6] - seems like the platform agnostic JOGL deployment is working ;)


//How to reuse modules across different NetBeans applications

If you develop NetBeans modules you probably also wondered how to add a pre-packaged .nbm file as dependency to your module or how to use modules in multiple suites.

After some search I found that there is currently no official supported way for doing this. The reason is the bidirectional dependency between the suite and each module in the suite. This makes it hard to reuse modules across suites but it is still possible. In this entry I will describe different techniques/hacks to workaround this issue. (Note: technique, hack and workaround in the same sentence ;) )

In general, you can add a dependency to a module when the module you like to depend on is in:

a) your suite

b) the target NetBeans platform (default target platform is the installed IDE)

As mentioned above a) works only for one suite -> only b) is left

option 1. Assemble your own target platform:

point and click

  • Either make a copy of NetBeans, or if there's a lot of stuff you don't want, create an empty suite. Then build it and create a zip distribution and unpack that
  • Launch the result
  • In Tools | Plugins, install the module(s) you want globally (check the "Force install into shared directories" checkbox)
  • Shut it down
  • In your real IDE, use Tools | NetBeans Platforms to point at the copy of the platform that now has the module you want in it
  • Set your suite to build against that. It should pick up the module you installed and all classes in it's public packages

or put it in a build script

option 2. Install the module into your IDE:

point and click

  • enable "Force install into shared directories" in Tools | Plugins | Settings
  • install your module(s)
  • restart NetBeans
  • your module is now in the extra cluster and part of your IDE

or declarative

edit Info/index.xml inside your .nbm file

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE module PUBLIC "-//NetBeans//DTD Autoupdate Module Info 2.5//EN" "http://www.netbeans.org/dtds/autoupdate-info-2_5.dtd">
<module codenamebase="org.yourorghere.module4" distribution="" downloadsize="0" global="true"
homepage="" license="AD9FBBC9" moduleauthor="Michael Bien" needsrestart="false" releasedate="2008/04/07" targetcluster="milkyway">
    <manifest AutoUpdate-Show-In-Client="true" OpenIDE-Module="org.yourorghere.module4" OpenIDE-Module-Implementation-Version="080407"
OpenIDE-Module-Java-Dependencies="Java &gt; 1.5" OpenIDE-Module-Name="module4" OpenIDE-Module-Requires="org.openide.modules.ModuleFormat1" OpenIDE-Module-Specification-Version="1.1"/>
    <license name="AD9FBBC9">[NO LICENSE SPECIFIED]
</license>
</module>


alternatively you can add the flags to module/nbproject/project.properties and rebuild/create NBM (if source available)

nbm.is.global=true
nbm.target.cluster=milkyway

Now when you install the module with Tools | Plugins, NetBeans will place the module directly into the installation folder in the new created "milkyway" cluster. With this trick you should be able to use the same library wrapper module in as many suites you want.

Thanks to all on the mailing lists for the help on that topic.

------

I am already looking forward to JSR 277 which will hopefully replace the current implementation of the NetBeans module system. (no there was nothing anounced but this would make defenetive sense)


//NetBeans 7.0 with better desktop integration planed

Note: This entry has been posted on 1. April 2008 and nothing of that below is true :-)

- - - - -

You probably already know a lot of changes are planed for the NetBeans 7.0 release.

One of the bigger changes is tighter integration to the Windows Presentation Foundation for the SWT/JFace rewrite of NetBeans 7.0 similar tho the Eclipse roadmap. The minimum system requirement will rise to windows vista ultimate with a DirectX 10 capable graphics card and a USB stick plugged into your system (swap file for java quickstarter) to render NetBeans 7 in full HD. The primary reason for that was the out of the box Java 6 incompatibility to apple systems (who knows maybe it is compatible with MacOS X but no one will tell you because if he tried installing SE 6 on macs he/she also signed an NDA...) and the issue that many architects simple do not understand the internals of linux distributions (e.g Ubuntu) to install NetBeans.

On older cards or other operating systems JEdit will be started in compatibility mode (motif look&feel and full shell support). The reason for that are the new consumer guidelines and download size limitations of the java 6 Update 10 release. (there is a because of backwards compatibility problems [to build 11] not fixable ArrayIndexOutOfBounds bug in the pack200 implementation - primary reason why the swing renderer does not fit into the NB 7 distribution anymore if started with Java 6 update 10).

This brings several advantages. E.g instead of playing Jake in the browser (update 10 required) NetBeans 7.0 will be capable to render Halo 3 in the editor pane (with full profiler integration and 16x FSAA text overlay). Regular patches will be available via update center.
 
Additionally to that better joystick support is planed. This should improve the navigation through larger projects and replace the "go to declaration" action. You may also activate the force feedback option in the new "user experience" tab in the options dialog to detect the files which causes unit tests to fail. (Note: not available in JEdit compatibility mode but there will be a blinking icon instead)

The higher costs to develop NetBeans 7.0 make a complete free distribution not feasible but it will be still free for opensource developers (but not without limitations e.g UML diagrams will be limited to only two kind of widgets "hack" and "ship" while maintaining 100% SSP compatibility).