Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Vaadin: Master-Details View

As part of our post-Flex migration at Ideas, we are currently evaluating the Vaadin framework. A key feature of Flex for us was their nifty data binding mechanism, so we are taking a look at binding UI elements to our data models. Vaadin does include a basic master-details view implementation in their wiki, but they have not supplied the full source. I wanted to compile the example myself, for experimentation, so I've posted what I have for now, below.

Will keep updated as I make improvements. Would like to see a better way to share code, short of new Git repo!

This version points to custom theme, and is also missing a simple Hobby and Person entity.


Thanks to the magic of the interwebs, I've discovered the beauty of Gist - tiny snippet repos on github. Github is the gift that keeps on giving!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

On Being Certifiable

Long before I got my foot in the door as a "real" developer, I'd always had a desire to get a passing mark on the Java Sun certification (SCJP). I even picked up a monstrous tome for Java 5 to help prep, but never made much progress through it. Now that I've been looking at the transition from Flex to a more java-centric approach, I'm finding the fires rekindled. Now that Oracle has taken the reins from Sun, I've started looking into the updated Java certification requirements. It looks like they've split the cert into at least two levels, with an Associate and Professional, respectively.

I've started compiling some resources that may prove useful:

Oracle certifaction

Certification tracks

I can live with the fact that the cert exam will cost a bit. At $350, it's expensive enough that I'd not approach the exam lightly, which I'm sure is the intention. However, I find it a bit chafing that the prep materials are also fairly steep, so it's obvious that there is a bit of an economy built up around these certifications, which I guess should come as no surprise.

The one bone they've thrown is a small set of sample questions:

Sample questions

I suppose now I'll have to start hunting down some free resources, as I doubt my employer will be buying me the required training materials.

Luckily for me, our parent company SAS does provide access to a Safari books subscription, where I did find a couple titles.

This one seemed promising - however, Amazon reviews did not have the kindest words for it.

Oracle Certified Associate Programmer Study Guide

While looking on Amazon, I did recognize this title, which their readers do review well. Sounds like a title that does cover the topic well - also sounds like it does a fair job of preparing readers for the certification.

Java 7 SE Programming Essentials, John Wiley

Digging some more into their results turned up this interesting title, which seems right up my alley. However, I'm not sure if it would be quite as beneficial for the certification prep.

The Well-Grounded Java Developer: Vital techniques of Java 7 and polyglot programming

I'll try and give some feedback on whichever titles or resources I may find valuable in this process.


While looking for code samples for the Programming Essentials book, I did run across Oracles own tutorial resources for both Exam I & II:
Tutorials: Programmer Level I Exam

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Back in the saddle again

I want to thank FlashDan aka Vaadan for pointing out the lovely services available via Blogspot and Amazon's EC2 / Elastic Beanstalk. He's helped me find new motivation to get back into the blogging / demo scene.

I'm looking at using Blogspot to host these blog entries. If all goes well, I'll be hosting some example applications on the Amazon infrastructure. Currently, my primary focus has been with Vaadin for Java-based front-end development. Beyond Java solutions, I'm also hoping to spend some time looking at Javascript in the front end as well as some interesting Node.js solutions. Of those, meteor.js definitely looks like it may hold some features and capabilities of interest.