Thursday, September 25, 2008

What's Gradle?

My article a few days ago in Javalobby "Ant or Gant" had some very interesting comments. One reader posted about a new build tool which I had never heard of called "Gradle". To quote his comment here:

gradle is another java+groovy based build-tool
IMO gradle is clearly superior to gant.
it implements support for dependency-management
and some other really smart concepts.
check it out:

As always, I didn't waste anytime once I saw this comment, and read the Getting Started and also Users Guide. It sure looks interesting. I will download Gradle and give it a try and share my experience. In the mean time:

Have you used Gradle? Share your thoughts?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ant or Gant?

If you have complicated build files and have no clue what and how to refactor these files, check out the article I wrote at Javalobby called "Ant or Gant?".

This article explains the following in detail:

1. When to choose Gant?
2. What's Gant?
3. Getting Started with Gant.

Of course, you should know Groovy before you decide to runaway from Ant.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Are Software Developers in America Lucky?

This isn't a controversial post. Trust me. Let me give you a small background before you start freaking out.

I have been in the software industry for a long time now. Every time someone moves back to India, and at the same time I chat with someone in India or UAE, I have this dreadful conversation. Read on:

Question 1: Meera, when are you coming back to India?

Meera: I have some family responsibilities, I am not sure I will be coming back soon.

Question 2: You should, the salary they pay here is amazing, do you know?

Meera: Yes, I do. But, I am really happy and content with my salary here as well.

Question 3: How is the working hours there?

Meera: I work 5 days a week if I am within the DC area, and if I am travelling I work 4 days.

Question 4: We work almost 10-14 hours everyday, do you know that?
Meera: Yes, I do. I have also worked when the project was due, and we had tight deadlines.

Question 5: See, that could be one reason why you will not fit in here?
Meera: I don't know, I really know how to manage my schedule and manage work which is assigned to me. So, I don't see any reason whatsoever to work 10-14 hours everyday. I sure wouldn't work at a place where my Manager would expect me to work like that.

Question 6: You guys working in America are really Lucky.
Meera: I don't know, when it comes to work, I can speak for myself and the team with whom I have worked and most worked hard. So, I am not sure why we are lucky?

At this point, I knew the conversation was taking a wrong path, and decided to logout of IM, and later saying that I got interrupted. This has not happened to me once or twice, but many times over the past 2 years. I should admit, I just can't argue at all.

But, I am still shell shocked. Why do developers in India have to work 10-14 hours? Is it really needed? And can you stay focused working 10-14 hours a day? Do you still have the ability to concentrate after 8-9 hours of work? I don't know? I should try working for a month or so in India just to see how things are now, don't you think so?

What are your thoughts? Are we developers working in America really lucky? What do you think?

I remembered the quote from Thomas Jefferson, which says

I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

I guess that sums up why American Developers are Lucky, right?

P.S: If you haven't yet noticed, I am an Indian and proud to be one as well. But, I just don't understand the logic behind working more than 40 hours every single week; and hence this post.

Update: The only reason I posted this article was to know why our fellow developers were working long hours, and to know their state of mind. And it was posted in good faith. I am seeing that the comments are taking a completely different direction, and I just don't want to start a war of words. I am not going to respond/approve any anonymous comments.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Is easyb Easy?

Yes, that's exactly what you will find out by reading the article I posted a few days back at Javalobby. easyb is a BDD framework for the Java platform written by Andrew Glover. And, I learnt quite a few things from Andy as well about easyb. This artcile goes in detail about how to write a

1. Scenarios within Stories
2. Run these Stories from Ant
3. Generate a report.

Check out the article to find out what my verdict was. Also, give it a try and let me know your verdict as well.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Javadoc or Doxygen?

If you have been thinking about how to improve your technical documentation, than you have to take a look at the article I wrote last week at both Javalobby and also Test Early.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider using the Doxygen:

1. With Javadoc you have to remember all the HTML tags, you need to embed within your code comments. However, with Doxygen code comments are much more concise and polished, without the need for any HTML.

2. Doxygen can also generate a variety of diagrams, we will take a look at some of them later.

3. Doxygen also provides a structured view on the source code. As I mentioned in 2 above in the form of various diagrams, cross-referenced and syntax highlighted code.

4. You get all the above benefits even if the code does not have any comments at all.

5. Last but not the least, Doxygen is a documentation system not for just Java but also for various other languages like C++, C, Java, Objective-C, Python, IDL (Corba and Microsoft flavors), Fortran, VHDL, PHP, C#.

The article shows in detailed steps the following:

Step 1. Download, Install Doxygen.

Step 2: Configure Doxygen.

Step 3. Doxygen and Ant.

Step 4. Integrate with Hudson.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

See me at Software Development Best Practices 2008

I'd like to invite you to join me at …

Software Development Best Practices 2008
October 27–30
Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA

Software Development Best Practices is where the software development community gathers to learn about the latest business-critical technologies, network with peers, connect with innovative vendors and get inspiration from industry visionaries. The conference features 140+ in-depth sessions covering today's most important topics including agile processes, requirements analysis, project/people management, security, testing, SOA, C++ and much more.

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be teaching following session at SD Best Practices:

"Web Services Testing Made Easy and Fun with SoapUI" on Thursday (October 30, 2008) 10:30am — 12:00pm

You can find additional details about my session here.

Register by Friday, September 19, to take advantage of generous early bird discounts. As a speaker, I can also offer you an additional $100 off the VIP Pass. Simply register at with the code 8ESPK to get your discount.

I encourage you to visit the website and explore all the excellent educational opportunities SD Best Practices 2008 has to offer.

I look forward to seeing you in Boston!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Art of Debugging with GDB, DDD, and Eclipse

Debugging, the demanding process of finding and fixing programming errors, is fundamental to successful software development. But even many experienced programmers find debugging a challenge.

The Art of Debugging with GDB, DDD, and Eclipse (No Starch Press, September 2008, 280 pp, ISBN 9781593271749) teaches readers how to effectively use the three most popular open source debugging tools: GDB, DDD, and Eclipse. The text-command based GDB (the GNU Project Debugger) is included with most Linux distributions. DDD is a popular GUI front end for GDB, while Eclipse provides a complete integrated development environment.

The Art of Debugging offers readers specific advice for debugging with each tool and explains general debugging strategies. Real world examples of coding errors help to clarify the authors' guiding principles, and readers will quickly understand why their programs crash or throw exceptions.
The authors are well-known for their popular online debugging tutorials, and a printed book is long overdue. According to No Starch Press publisher Bill Pollock, "Programmers are desperate for a book devoted to debugging, particularly with GDB and DDD. Finally, the wait is over. No more debugging by hand."

In the book, readers learn how to:

* Inspect variables and data structures
* Understand segmentation faults and core dumps
* Use features like catchpoints, convenience variables, and artificial arrays
* Avoid common debugging pitfalls
* Prevent errors in the first place by making the best usage of editors, compilers, and static code checkers

The book also includes coverage of advanced topics like thread, client-server, GUI, and parallel programming. Whether readers dread the thought of debugging programs or simply want to improve their current debugging efforts, they'll find a valuable ally in The Art of Debugging with GDB, DDD, and Eclipse.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Princeton Premier Registry Scam

I received an email which is listed here in its entirety. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was another scam. Being a thorough Google researcher, found out many had received the same, and it is just like one of those lottery emails we all receive. So, guys and gals, just delete this email if you ever receive one, and don't click on any of those links or pay any money.

Here is the email:

Subject: Meera Subbarao's Inclusion In Our Global Network

Meera Subbarao

It is my pleasure to inform you that you are being considered for inclusion into the 2008-2009 Princeton Premier Business Leaders and Professionals Honors Edition section of the registry.

The 2008-2009 edition of the registry will include biographies of the world's most accomplished individuals. Recognition of this kind is an honor shared by thousands of executives and professionals throughout the world each year. Inclusion is considered by many as the single highest mark of achievement.

You may access our application form using the following link:

Upon final confirmation, you will be listed among other accomplished individuals in the Princeton Premier Registry.

For accuracy and publication deadlines, please complete your application form and return it to us within five business days. There is no cost to be included in the registry.

If you've already received this email from us, there is no need to respond again. This email serves as our final invitation to potential members who have not yet responded.

On behalf of the Executive Publisher, we wish you continued success.


Jason Harris

Managing Director
Princeton Premier

Friday, September 5, 2008

CITCON Amsterdam

CITCON, the Continuous Integration and Testing Conference, hosted by
Jeffrey Fredrick and Paul Julius will take place in Amsterdam on
October 3 & 4. Attendance is free!

This is the third annual CITCON event in Europe. London in 2006 and
Brussels last year were both a blast. Everyone walked away having
learned a lot about the cutting edge of CI and Testing.

You're invited! Register at:

So, what are you waiting for? If you live somewhere close to Amsterdam, register. Trust me, you will learn a lot from this conference.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Spring 2.5 books from Apress

Apress has released three very interesting titles on Spring 2.5.

1. Spring Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach

I read and reviewed this book for Javalobby, and gave it 5 stars for all the categories.

2. Pro Spring 2.5

I might start reading this soon..

3. Pro Java™ EE Spring Patterns: Best Practices and Design Strategies Implementing Java EE Patterns with the Spring Framework

I am reading this book currently, and didn't find anything new which I didn't otherwise know about the Java EE design patterns. Haven't tried working on the code samples either.

If you are using or planning to use Spring, than you definitely need 1 and either 2 or 3.