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Opinion Needed...

Sam Smoot
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 18, 2002
Posts: 238
This is a quandry. If I want to build a stand alone application, what should I build? Most applications of this nature have always been developer tools, but I have yet to really see a good example (or, a good reason) to build a stand alone application with JAVA for the casual user. I would like to construct somthing useful but not necessaraly somthing to make money with.
Please help me reach enlightenment!!
Thanks.


CNSS/NSA Infosec Professional,<br />Software Engineer
Greg Charles
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 2861
    
  11

You want to write an application, and you're asking us what it should do? That's a bit too vague to answer without knowing your goals for doing it. As for why you would Java, I can think of a several reasons that would apply to me:
1. I know Java better than any other language.
2. I want my applications to run on multiple platforms.
3. Java is a well-designed, easy-to-use development environment.
4. The Java development kit is free.
5. Many Java related tools and libaries are free, e.g. NetBeans for an IDE, Ant for builds, JUnit for testing, and many others.
I'll tell you what to build, a file comparison tool, like MS WinDif or the shareware Exam Diff Pro. It would be great to have a free, cross platform tool like that. I'd write it myself, but if you're volunteering ...
Sam Smoot
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 18, 2002
Posts: 238
The tools I know about (even Struts! ) but I am just trying to figure out a simple application that would be useful ( a notepad or slide viewer) for someone to use and would help hone my own skills... Otherwise, why use Java?
No, I'm not a .Nut {oops} .Net fan, just a simple soul trying to justify the existance of Java outside of a web environment. I know it can be done, but what can be done? Can I manipulate files in a (non-web) Java Application? Obviously since development tools are coded using it...
I just need an Idea other than a game or a "sticky note" pad (or an example thereof) to get a better Idea of why I need to use this...
Thanks.
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
To make it cross platform. That is WHY you would choose java.
I second the idea of a file comparison tool that would run on both Windows and Unix or that "Mac" thing :roll: .
Please make sure that it can do both Long compares and just delta compares. And do optionally either line identification or byte identification of differences.
Thank you in advance. .


"JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
Sam Smoot
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 18, 2002
Posts: 238
Ok, if I do this, does this mean I get a free title upgrade ?
Between work and School, I guess I can see what I can do. Coming from a procedural world, I need some help in finding a direction...
Miz. Glass, May I post trial links here for external testing? I should have a site to board and feed it, but I need folks to be able to get to it and ride/break it...
Thanks.
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Post away!! . If it grows into something worth while maybe we can get Jakarta to adopt it .
If you post all of the code, they can test it, and nitpick it to pieces . Very good for the soul .
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Note that I sent in response to Sam:
*************************************
Yep - if you write it in Java it should not matter where it is run - that is the beauty of Java.
If you write a basic beginning for an application you can donate it to the Jakarta Project and they will "probably" adopt it and offer it for review. Of course I have not actually checked their list of products to be SURE that they have not done this type of a tool yet. However I would not put much work into it before putting in a proposal. They want to insure that there will be enthusiastic folks to contribute to the project - so a finished project is not as good. However you CAN have the core piece in place.
Hmmm you have never SEEN a file comparison tool. Can you find someone with Visual Age or some IDE that has a comparison functionality? Or perhaps you can look at a Configuration Management tool like Visual Source Save (Microsoft) or PVCS. Mainframe ISPF has a "3.13" comparison tool. Unix has a "diff" tool. Note that NONE of these is cross platform.
As a rule you give the two file names (or the "old" version and "new" version) and the tool identifies the differences and allows you to browse both files side by side and highlights the differences. Usually there is some sort of an up and down arrow that lets you jump to the next found difference etc. Some tools will allow you to only view the differences as an option.
Best of Luck!!
Thanks,
Cindy Glass
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
To make it cross platform. That is WHY you would choose java.
Ummm, gotta disagree here. This is probably the most common reason for most people, but far from the only one. I like Greg's answer much better. I'd add a 1.5 (related to 1) as well, which may be true in many cases:
1.5 The other people at my company (or wherever further support of this product is likely to be done) are likely to know Java better than any other language.


"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
Michael Matola
whippersnapper
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2001
Posts: 1752
    
    2
Originally posted by Cindy Glass:
I second the idea of a file comparison tool that would run on both Windows and Unix or that "Mac" thing :roll: .

Sort of like the jDiff plugin for jEdit?
This conversation prompted me to go download jDiff. I've been using jEdit at home for months, but haven't had the need to do any heavy-duty file comparisons. My first impression of jDiff (2 minutes or less) is that it's pretty snazzy.
Not to disuade anyone from writing their own, of course.
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Spoil Sport .
Sam Smoot
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 18, 2002
Posts: 238
Actually, Jim, most of the shop is Mainframe.. (Cobol, Assembler, etc.). My group and a small smattering of others are going toward Java, but this would only be my own trial and (lots of) error at this point.
Thanks Mike... I guess I'll look at that one, too. I used jEdit for a little while (until I was forced to WSAD) and had some of the plugins for it.... Do they work as stand alone modules or do they have to run inside the jEdit environment?
Thanks for the suggestions...
David Weitzman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 27, 2001
Posts: 1365
Originally posted by Cindy Glass:
If it grows into something worth while maybe we can get Jakarta to adopt it .

I mentioned something in the news forum a few weeks ago about a big messy argument on the reorg@apache mailing list, and there seems to be a general feeling that Jakarta has grown beyond what it can handle. Ant is moving to ant.apache.org and Avalon is moving to avalon.apache.org and you will probably see other projects moving to the top level at Apache.
Since project mission specifically states that Jakarta is a host for server-side solutions, you would probably have a difficult time donating a project that wasn't either a server side tool, a useful library for server side apps, or a handy development tool that other jakarta projects can use.
If you read the list of warning signs for subproject proposals, you'll notice that Jakarta is quite worried about taking on projects that nobody will develop or filling the hard drive with random stuff (although they've probably got terrabytes worth of random stuff polluting CVS already). The jakarta commons sandbox or apache incubator projects might be willing to accept a file diff tool, but I wouldn't bet on it.
I've been following jakarta and apache politics for a while now and some really strange stuff seems to go on. I wonder if it was always this chaotic or if it's just an example of what happens when an open source community gets too big.
[ January 03, 2003: Message edited by: David Weitzman ]
Sam Smoot
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 18, 2002
Posts: 238
Gee... All I wanted was an Idea for a non-"Hello World" application to build and learn from so that I can "impress fiends and Influenza people"... (somthing like that, anyway )... I'm not really geared toward creating an Open Source application (although I might try a plugin later on) and I'm really alergic to political stuff (as well as Struts ). And why does everything have to be based on a server now? I know deployment issues are a major driver in this, but there are instances where an application, either for security or confidentiality issues, needs to be on a non-shared platform. Or is this, too, a thing of the past?
Oh well... I just want to code and have a happy, meaningful life. Everything is just too complicated now... :roll:
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Opinion Needed...