Thursday, October 28, 2010

NetBeans Ideas

Auto update must become OS-aware

This means that on Linux auto update is entirely apt-get based (or whatever mechanism the distro has).

On OSX we might use something like Sparkle.

The NetBeans specific auto update implementation should be just a fallback plan. Having it use BitTorrent too would be nice (see my experiment regarding this).

OS-aware notifications

The custom notification mechanism and popup should be replaced by the OS notification, if available. This means using Growl on OSX and whatever Ubuntu has nowadays.

Versioning

Git support should be part of the official release: help these guys make it happen!

Mercurial Queues and 3 way diff would also be a nice thing.

BTrace

Btrace should be bundled with NetBeans and integrated with the existing debugger and profiler. I want to either use the manual debugger/profiler, run normal BTrace scripts or control the debugger or profiler via BTrace scripts! This means a Debugger/Profiler dedicated BTrace API.

Out of process indexing

Indexing takes way too much CPU/memory and should be moved outside the main process (think Google Chrome Multi-process Architecture) since it triggers ugly memory spikes. The design is also kinda broken: preindexing needs almost a full IDE launch during build.

I'll try to expand some of these ideas into dedicated posts.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why don't you have personal projects ?

I've been reading a lot of CVs and did some interviews with young folks that are either about to finish University or just did (and some are already preparing for their Masters' degree) as I'm trying to fill a position at Joseki Bold SRL.

What strikes me as unusual is how few personal projects do most of them have. And I'm not talking here about A students that barely have enough time to learn for school and do the teacher's projects. I'm talking about normal students that don't seem to have very high grades, nor work to earn a living and yet they also don't have any personal projects to talk about.

Computer programmers are lucky. Unlike other professions, we can easily afford to buy the top-level tools and have free access to a lot of information to learn about our trade. A physics student can't really buy his own particle accelerator but by all means any student already has everything the best computer programmer in the world has: a PC and access to internet. That's all there is!

And if you care about computers there's also the University resources. For example, if you want to play with a cluster -- the University has one. Or, Amazon's EC2 machines are cheap enough you can experiment a bit if you are really passionate about.

This might be the gist of it: you need to be passionate about it.

I remember an old Eddie Murphy from the 1980s called Coming to America where Eddie is a prince that has everything, including a gorgeous groups of half-naked women as his personal "bathers". His father has a nice line somewhere in the movie:

Son, I know we never talked about this. I always assumed you had sex with your bathers. I know I do.