Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Geeking out

My excuse for not blogging recently is that I have been totally geeking out on the technical details of my startup. We're using windows, mac and ubuntu, NetBeans 5.5.1 with the visual webpack and the mobility pack, Sun's Java Application Server, asterisk (via asterisk-java), a third party routing library and SAS, mySQL, some Apache Commons stuff, svn and a bunch of free tools. We share our code via svn's tunnel through ssh using public key cryptography, making it very secure, and low maintenance.

The NetBeans environment is impressive and occasionally oppressive. One thing that is amazing is that this is all free, and you can find help on all these components, although it can take you a while to sort it out sometimes. I had a lot of trouble trying to test J2EE services on my Mac - the behavior was very inconsistent. Eventually I gave up and am using Ubuntu.

The use case the NetBeans team really missed big time is the use of third party libraries. If you do this the natural way, it ends up being part of the user's environment instead of what gets put back with your source code to your repository. There is this nice hack which works, assuming you don't have erroneous dependencies in your hierarchy (if you do, it totally tanks NetBeans and the working copy - you have to start over! Total disaster).

Anyway it's been fun and I made a lot of progress. We now have a prototype of a voice client to our service, built using some of the patterns I learned about a few weeks ago (notably the command pattern - I used it to structure the menu system). Now I can get back to more management stuff.

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