Monthly Archives: April 2001

JDK 1.4/Java Look & Feel/New Business Card

Want to know what is going to be in the Java SDK 1.4? Sun has posted a final draft of the JSR describing it: JSR-059
Lots of other Java news today including one item that should be near and dear to the hearts of Java programmers everywhere but all too often is obviously not. The Java Look & Feel Guidelines 2nd Edition is now available! You don’t even have to buy the thing folks, just go look at the HTML version online whenever you’ve got a UI question (i.e. which menu should this item should go on, what should I put in the title of this error message box, etc.) It takes only a few minutes to go look up one of these answers and people might actually know how to use your application if you tried to be at least a little bit consistent.
Here’s my new business card:

Rockelle and I designed it and I’m really really happy with it.

Job Hunt Continues – The Testing Phase

Job hunt continues. Had to take C++ and Java tests to prove that I really do know something about the languages. Apparently more than ten years of having people pay you to do something is no longer credible evidence. Sigh… I got a 92 on the Java test that TeckChek gives but I only took their C++ test yesterday so I don’t have scores yet on it. I’m expecting that they will be good.
On the plus side, I’ve learned that I’m much closer to Java certification than I realized. I was able to go through a certification book and get 80-90% on the self-test questions at the end of the chapters. Also, I can go over to the online tests at JavaRanch and do the same so I guess I’ll be looking into that sometime soon. Neither Don nor I think it makes sense to rush out and take the test this minute just to say we are certified though.
Moving on…
After about a week long hiatus, I’m back working on HotSheet. It now draws and doesn’t look so darn strange. Why? Because if you want a Java program to look like it really is all normal Swing then you want to make sure that you use Swing colors, borders, etc. wherever you have to do your own drawing (e.g. HotSheet has to use a custom ListCellRenderer for the list of items found). You use the Swing UIManager class to retrieve these borders, colors, etc. but you have to know what the names are for the items so you can retrieve them. I’ve never seen any list at all from Sun but I found a list on the web that gives them all and proved to be very useful.
Mark your calendars for the 25th. That’s when Sun will be having a webcast about JXTA, their peer-to-peer infrastructure that they are pushing for Java. Will it be cool? I have no idea. But Sun has given me enough cool stuff that I’m willing to at least listen to what they are planning to see if I could use it to build something individuals or businesses need.

Updated Resume

Looking for a job has got to be one of the least fun things on Earth.
P.S. Updated my resume based on numerous comments that said I didn’t highlight my many years of C++ experience enough in the old version. The new version says more about which tools were used to build different projects that I’ve worked on.

Breadline, Meet John

For the second time in less than nine months the “dot-com” I’ve been working for has run out of money and closed…
I know what you are saying, “How could you let that happen John? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Right?” Yup, that’s what I thought when I took the job at Vast Solutions.

  • They were a spin-off of an existing large company (PageNet) and the spin-off itself didn’t occur until around the time I arrived. Who spins off a company in such a way that it can make it only four months before the board votes to shut it down?
  • They had money to start with. In fact, we asked repeatedly, “How much do you have? At your current burn rate, how long will it last?” We always heard, “…until the third or maybe the fourth quarter. Plenty of time to get some more money and have our products ready.”
  • In the January time frame they laid off around 30-40 employees and did cost cutting measures (nothing drastic, but sensible stuff) to make sure that the money would last until they said it would.
  • They weren’t giving off any of the alarm bell warning signs like offering lowball salaries but lots of “options”.

Then, in the end, when a planned merger failed to go through the board had the place shutdown faster than you could say startup/shutdown.