Category Archives: Development

Software development topics

Algorithms in a Nutshell

Algorithms in a Nutshell — George T. Heineman, Gary Pollice & Stanley Selkow, O’Reilly 2016 (2nd ed.), ISBN 978-1-491-94892-7 This fairly slim book covers the basics of algorithmics and benchmarking, and also provides pseudocode and implementations (in C/C++, Java, and Python) for nearly 40 important algorithms. The major drawback is obvious when you consider that […]

Core Java 10 for Java 8

Core Java, Volume I: Fundamentals — Cay S. Horstmann, Prentice Hall (Oracle) 2015 (10th ed. for Java SE 8), ISBN 978-0-13-417730-4 Core Java, Volume II: Advanced Features — Cay S. Horstmann, Prentice Hall (Oracle) 2016 (10th ed. for Java SE 8), ISBN 978-0-13-417729-8 These 1000-page tomes originated as Sun’s official guide to the Java platform […]

CSS: The Missing Manual

CSS: The Missing Manual — David Sawyer McFarland, O’Reilly 2015 (4th ed.), ISBN 978-1-491-91805-0 McFarland’s eminently practical book explains the structure and features of CSS from the perspective of a raw beginner. This does lead to some amusing baby steps, such as the introductory section on “mouse clicks,” but don’t let that deter you. McFarland […]

JavaFX and JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS

JavaFX provides some dedicated system properties to customize its behavior. Usually these are specified as command-line flags on the java/javaw invocation, using the syntax “java -Dname=value” followed by the JavaFX application path. I’ve previously noted two especially useful ones, as of Java SE 8u66-77: -Dprism.order=sw enables software rendering, even if JavaFX thinks hardware acceleration is […]

Programming Languages in 2015

You probably already heard that Java topped the TIOBE index in 2015, with an impressive growth spurt of 6% that put it close to 2006 levels and clearly outdistanced stagnant C (21.5% vs 16%). The rest of the field remained fairly unchanged, except for rapidly declining Objective-C, suggesting that Java drew renewed interest from across […]

JavaFX DPI Scaling: Fixed!

The upcoming Java release 8u60 is set to finally fix the JavaFX DPI scaling issues on Windows that I described back in August 2013. To recap, JavaFX would scale the default application font to the current Windows DPI setting and the built-in controls would generally scale themselves around that font size. However, explicitly specified pixel […]

Programming Languages in 2014

With some delay, here’s my annual roundup of programming language rankings. One sad change from previous years (2012 edition, 2013 edition) is the absence of Andrew Binstock’s usual column, “Rise and Fall of Languages.” That had been published by Dr. Dobb’s Journal which has shut down last year. (Binstock is now EIC of Oracle’s Java […]

Java SE 8 Update 40 Released

Java Standard Edition 8 Update 40 is now upon us, and despite the “Update” designation this was a fairly massive feature release. You can find overviews at Java Source and Java Tutorials, and of course the detailed release notes. The changes I’m most interested in concern JavaFX, including accessibility support, new controls – more on […]

Core Java 8 for the Impatient

Core Java for the Impatient — Cay S. Horstmann, Addison-Wesley 2015 (for Java SE 8), ISBN 978-0-321-99632-9 This 480-page book is a compromise between Horstmann’s brief introduction Java SE 8 for the Really Impatient (215 pages) and the traditional monumental Core Java tomes (2092 pages for Java SE 7). Rather than covering virtually the entire […]

Loop Closures in Java & C#

The lambda expressions introduced in Java 8 can capture, or “close over”, any local variable that’s within scope and effectively final (Java 8 Language Specification §15.27.2, §4.12.4). Interestingly, this includes the loop variables of enhanced for loops, or for-each loops as I prefer to call them. Cay Horstmann mentions this very useful but non-obvious fact […]