anonymous tech woman

Yet another woman in technology blog. I'm actually a developer who uses a variety of Java and database technologies on a variety of platforms.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

More Open Office Stuff

There are some pretty good links showing how to start using OpenOffice with Java. There is a Dutch Blog from Amis with with posts telling you how to Get Started with
You can also down load slides from a presentation made by the same author in pdf format. has a similar tutorial entitled "Hacking Open Office".

Finally there is a Danish site with links to information about OpenOffice. Many of the tutorials are based on Open Office 1.1 but much of this information is still relevant for OpenOffice 2.0.

Technorati Tags: Openoffice, Java, programming languages

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Messing around with Open Office - Part 2

For a while I've been trying to produce Microsoft Excel and PDF documents with Open Office Calc. I first tryed unzipping the Open Office Calc files to see what files it was made of, then started using the Open Office API.

Using the API is a lot of hardwork. Some of the Javadoc documents seem to be missing so you end up reading IDL guide. Some of the examples given in the Developer Documentation don't make sense or don't exist so you end up searching the Macros and Programming board of the Open Office forum. When that doesn't make sense you end up looking at the code snippets
where your realise that you have to be able to read another language i.e C++, OORex to understand what you are doing wrong. All in all using the API is a steep learning curve.

In reality I should actually contribute what I've learnt to the project so other Java Programmers don't have to do a massive search on how to do things like set headers and footers in pages.

Technorati Tags: Openoffice, Java, programming languages

Thursday, September 21, 2006 and Pulling Online Surveys

I found this story amusing Online survey axed after most reject Chinese identity on two levels. The first is because no one in the world likes living in a totalitarian regime, and the second is the pulling this survey and punishing the people who conducted it, indicates that it is a totalitarian regime .

I have also discovered this site covering all things in Test Driven Development.

Technorati Tags: Test+Driven+Development, online+survey, China

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Eclipse Callisto

Yesterday whilst refactoring code I discovered Eclipse Callisto, and managered to get my code to run while being profiled. However I couldn't actually work out how to use all the packages so I did a quick google search and discovered:
1. Eclipse Review, a free email magazine about what's new in Eclipse. They also send a email news letter with Eclipse tricks and tips.

2. Documentation on how to use Eclipse Callisto

With this information and the stuff I read before I was able to pin point areas in my code that caused it to take longer i.e. loops, variable assignments which I removed.

Technorati Tags: Java, code, Eclipse

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Refactoring and Eclipse Callisto

I've spent the past 2 days refactoring code to make it look better and run better. I have been looking at different design patterns and while there is a book about refactoring patterns, I am just looking at the patterns on their website.

I've also been playing around with Eclipse Callisto which has performance testing tools. There is an article here which gives information about how to use the updated plugin. One problem I did have was a "major:minor 49.0" exception due to having J2SE SDK 1.4.2 in my classpath on my machine. Changing the path variable to point at Java 5.0 solved the problem.

Technorati Tags: Java, code, refactoring, Eclipse

Monday, September 18, 2006

Speeding up Java Code

I have been trying to speed up some of the code I have been writing. So after looking at my code visually I thought I would go looking for a tool. Obviously as I can't use one that is paid for I looked for an open source one and found FindBugs. I didn't actually find that many errors in my code so now I have to go back and refactor for speed however the good thing is this tool does show you where your obvious mistakes are i.e. creating new objects when you don't need to.

Technorati Tags: Java, code analysis

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Skills Shortages and Training

In every technical magazine or newspaper aimed at computing professionals Eskills UK states that there is a shortage of IT skills among people in the industry and gives warnings about what this skills shortage will mean in future. However in a recent Computer Weekly someone wrote in asking whether ESkills has done a survey of UK employers to see how many give training to their staff. Within a week of the publication of that particular edition the TUC came out with a survery showing that employers refuse to train there staff and 8.5 million employees are being denied training by their employers. This study doesn't indicate how many of the staff are technical employees but does illustrate that while employers go around saying there is a skills shortage they actually do not help employees get the skills they need.

Technorati Tags: skills shortage, training

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Test Driven Development

The entire point of test driven development is that you write your tests first and then your code. You continue refractoring your code until they pass the tests and then if you change anything in your code a few days, months or years down the line you run the tests again and your code should pass. This is the main philosophies of most agile methods however even if you are not using such a methodology it is good to do.

I use JUnit because I mainly develop in Java. Using JUnit or a similar test API at first may seem a bit tricky i.e. if your method has no return type how do you check that it is doing what you think, but you soon quickly get use to developing in this manner and find that it is actually quicker because you have to have a clear idea of what the purpose of each method is before you write it.

(By the way if your method has no return type you just have to check on the objects that the method has changed before and after your method call. If you can't do that then use the java.lang.reflect package.)

Technorati Tags: Java, Test Driven Development, JUnit