Category Archives: Java

Trending up: Windows7, Agile Methodologies, Scrum, Python. Everything else? Down!

Linked-in are now listing ala-carte qualifications which one can endorse one’s acquaintances on, or be endorsed by them. No surprise, 20 people say I’m good at “hardware”, which is my highest endorsement. What I want to draw your attention to here is that if you hover your pointer over each of the possible qualifications, Linked-in will show you a working definition and the year-to-year trend on people who say they do-have-know-practice-are-qualified-in the specific item.

Not so surprising, people saying they know ‘hardware’ are down year on year… also C, C++, software engineering, Perforce, customer support, regression test, unit test, and so forth. VMware is 0% – neither up nor down over last year.

Agile Methodologies are up, Windows 7 is way-up, Python is up, Scrum is up. The other 44 categories, on my list, not including VMware at 0 and Windows 8 which doesn’t have a year on year trend, are down.

So, among people who list qualifications similar to mine, the majority and growth area are Python users, on Windows 7, employing Scrum and Agile project management methods.

Your choice whether that’s:

a) what everyone wants;

b) what people looking for work think they need;

c) some cross section of professionals on Linked-in.

I think its worth noting in passing, but not worth a lot of study. But it is a curiosity.

An example that pleased me: The difference between an abstract class and an interface, in Java:

Here’s the punch line:

In Java, Prussia can extend (“be a”) one of the super-classes, Holy, Roman or  Empire, but only one. Prussia can implement the other two as interfaces, but only with methods and fields uniquely its own. If Prussia is to be Holy, be Roman and be an Empire, the strictly hierarchical relationship of those three super-classes has to be worked out separately and in detail, in advance. I can only imagine Herr von Bismark would approve.


And the whole magilla:
1) What is the difference between an interface and an abstract class?

An abstract class defines data (fields) and member functions but may not, itself, be instantiated. Usually, some of the methods of an abstract class are abstract and expected to be supplied by a sub-class, but some of the methods are defined.  Unless they are final, they can be overridden, and they can always be overloaded. Private parts of an abstract super class, for example, data, are not available to a subclass, so access methods (public or protected) must be used by the subclass. An abstract superclass is “extended” by a subclass. A given subclass may only extend one super-class, but a super-class may extend another super-class, in a hierarchy. (This avoids the complexities/difficulties of multiple inheritance in C++)

An interface is a proper subset of an abstract class, but has a different scope and use. An interface has ONLY abstract member functions and static, final, fields, aka constants. Any subclass has to provide all the variable fields and code which implements an interface. The implementing class cannot override the interface’s member signatures – the signatures are what the interface *is*. It is possible to overload an interface’s signatures, adding or subtracting variables, changing return or variable types, but the overloads do not satisfy the requirements of the interface. The implementing class(s) must contain actual member functions to satisfy all of the signatures in the interface, because there is no default, no code in the interface.  As used above, a given class ‘implements’ an interface, it does not ‘extend’ it. These limitations to an interface allow a given class to implement more than one, which retains most of the utility of multiple inheritance without, as it were, opening Plethora’s bag. (grin)

For example: In Java, Prussia can extend (“be a”) one of the super-classes, Holy, Roman or  Empire, but only one. Prussia can implement the other two as interfaces with methods and fields uniquely its own. If Prussia is to be Holy, be Roman and be an Empire, the strictly hierarchical relationship of those three super-classes has to be worked out separately and in detail, in advance. I can only imagine Herr von Bismark would approve.

Recursion III, using Java

Here’s a Java example of the classic recursion/tree/web traversal. Note that this uses an array of other nodes, not just Left and Right, so you can make n-link webs as well as proper trees using this example.

The method interMed() is used to avoid having to make the data structures static- there is much I have yet to learn about Java! But I can manage this, and that feels pretty good!


Recursive tree/web traversal, in Java. No explicit pointers, so I state that
the array of pointers to nodes is an array of nodes, and treat it as such.
Is it really pointers if I believe it is but can't see them? Its like String

Original 11:58am 4/21 Bill4


import java.util.ArrayList;

public class recurse {

public class node { String name; ArrayList kids; };
public class leveledName { String name; int level; };

ArrayList nLs = new ArrayList ();

public void recur ( node n, int level ) {

// System.out.println( "recur " + n + " level " + level );
leveledName lN = new leveledName(); =;
lN.level= level;
nLs.add( lN );

for ( int i = 0; i <; i++ ) { // better way to do this?

recur(, level + 1 );

} // for int i...

} // recur function

public void interMed() {

node Q = new node(); = "Q"; = new ArrayList ();
// System.out.println( Q );

node S = new node(); = "S"; = new ArrayList ();
// System.out.println( S );

node T = new node(); = "T"; = new ArrayList ();
// System.out.println( T );

node N = new node(); = "N"; = new ArrayList ();;
// System.out.println( N );

node P = new node(); = "P"; = new ArrayList ();;;
// System.out.println( P );

node M = new node();"M"; = new ArrayList ();;;
// System.out.println( M );

recur( M, 0 );

int maxLevel = 0;
for ( int i = 0; i maxLevel) {
maxLevel = ((nLs.get(i)).level );
} // if ...
} // for ...

for (int j = maxLevel; j > -1; j-- ) {
// System.out.println( "j " + j );
for ( int i = 0; i < nLs.size(); i++ ) {
// System.out.println( "j " + j + " i " + i );
if ( j == (nLs.get(i)).level ) {
System.out.printf( "%s %d \n", (nLs.get(i)).name,
(nLs.get(i)).level );
} // for i...
} // for j...

} // fn interMed

public static void main ( String args[] ) {

recurse r = new recurse();

} // main

} // class recurse

Using Java’s String.split() to divide a string delimited by whitespace AND other things.

I have a file containing lines that look like:

#### #.##% #.##% ## ###### someLongStringAtTheEnd
__ (leading blanks
where #### is an integer number and ##.## is a floating point number. The two floats are labeled as percentages by the literal percent signs.

As far as spaces go, .split( ” ” ) works just fine. If you want more than one ‘whitespace” you have two choices: Write your own RegExp naming each whitespace character after double back slashes to escape them from the Java compiler AND Java runtime:

…split( “[\\ \\t]+” );

catches both spaces and tabs…

However, the world of Regular Expressions offers something even neater: \s, which stands for all Ascii whitespace.

Of course, you still have to escape it
…split( “[\\s]” )

and add the percent sign, and a “+” outside the braces to allow it to take one or more of the specified characters:
…split( “[\\s%]+” )

Here is a nice discussion of whitespace delimiters, larger-than-ascii character sets, etc.:


Getting directory contents from inside Java

I went searching for an example, found:
which shows several different ways to display content- everything, directories only, filter by string. I added a toy user interface so I can play with it interactively, resulting in a new main method:

public static void main(String[] args) {

String target = “//”;
String filter = “”;

if (args.length == 0) {
System.out.println(“java ListFilesSubs [first char(s) filter]”);
} else {
if (args.length > 0) {
// Call the simple file listing method
target = args[0];
doSimpleFileListing( target );
} // if args.lenl > 0

if (args.length > 1) {
// Now do the file listing but pass in a String to filter the file list
filter = args[1];
doFileFilterListing( target, filter );
} // if args.lenl > 1

// Now do another example that only prints out the directories
doFileFilterDirectoryListing( target );

} // if args.length == 0.. else


Much nicer, more fun, than a compiled-in directory string.

Even better than NetBeans, HProf comes with the JVM in 1.5 and 1.6…

Bingo! NetBeans’ profiler is very nice, thank you, and WAY easier to get started with than Eclipse, but its a GUI and you run it interactivly- good for some things, not for automated performance testing, which is what I’m trying to set up. Well, turns out HProf (Heap Profile) is a tool built into the Java Virtual Machine and available as a launch-time option whenever you run a Java program. The example on Sun’s web page profiles “javac”- pretty confident there. So I tried it on Mac OS-X and Win XP and it works just fine on both. You get percentages, not absolute times, but it gives you the total time and you can multiply out the absolute time if that’s what you really want. I must say I’m enjoying this again. Trying to get JMeter and TPTP running under Mac OS wasn’t any actual fun, since they didn’t work. In fact, having put TPTP into Ecipse, I can’t use Eclipse anymore… that’s a useful definition of software that’s not quite ready for prime time- it installs successfully, then tells you it doesn’t support your platform when you try to run with it, and it prevents your IDE from working until you figure out how to remove it. Joke’s on me, eh?

Anyone have expereince running NetBeans’ Profiler from command line?

Just found the following about running the NetBeans Profiler with Eclipse…  not command line but headed that way, maybe…

I left the following comment for Mario and I wouldn’t mind answere from anyone who reads this plea anywhere!
I’m trying to find a platform neutral profiling tool for Java- I need to support *nux, Windows and Mac OSX (yeah, BSD, but…) and I need to run from a command line so I can automate it. The Java library I’m testing is a thin client that talks TCP/IP to a server, all I care about is the client library performance, but I care on all three major platforms.

I tried to get JMeter going and realized it wasn’t aimed at what I was doing. I installed TPTP and was really hoping it would do the job but then discovered it has NO agent for Mac OSX and hasn’t for years. Phoey!  So I got NetBeans, imported my code (trivial, why can’t Eclipse be this easy?) and happily profiled on my Mac. Good so far.

Does anyone have experience running the NetBeans Profiler from Solaris, Linux, Mac OSX and/or Windows command lines?

Other all-platform Java profilers?

Many thanks for any help!!!


SPOILER ALERT! More about the NetBeans Anagram game

If you want to read about the NetBeans program but do NOT want a hint, just scroll down past this post to the one below.

So you’ve guessed by main force or cheated any number of ways and answered one or two of the anagrams that the Anagram program that comes with NetBeans has. You’ve worked out the plain text for


for sure.

You only need one answer to work out the rule to use, but with the first answer and the answer to this question, you can easily work out how the scramble works- you aren’t s’pozed to just sit there and cheat, there’s an algorithm. Find it and you can just type back the answers, one after another. Makes the program far more entertaining to use than having to look stuff up.


Java run-time Profiling. NetBeans seems to run, Eclipse TPTP won’t, (!) on a Mac…

Here’s some hard-won wisdom that I’ll gladly share with others

1) If you’ve got a Java library that forms an API to some other thing, and you want to test it, JMeter may not be the best vehicle. This is because JMeter wants to get between the client and server… at which point, how you test the client becomes a bit of a mystery to me! I’ll revisit this when I’ve got a bit more experience, but I have a running program, no UI but works creat from a command line or inside Eclipse. JMeter wants me to add stuff  before it will profile it. Hmm. Next.

2) TPTP sure looked good when I was reading the description and I got to be a bit more mindful in downloading and adding it- copied its jars, etc, from where it unzipped its …/features and ../plugins directories. (NOTE: cp -rp : you need this to be recursive !) into …/eclipse/features and …/eclipse.plugins. I did NOT copy any file with the same name and time stamp as was already present. All looked good, there was the test and profile icon in the menu bar and everything. But there’s no Agent for Mac OS X, just Windows and *nix. There’s an open bug with 70+ responses to it in the Eclipse bug tool, nobody has come forward with a complete, working, version and the project management (this is open source freeware…) says they’d like to deliver the Mac OS X version but hasn’t got the resources… I can’t figure whether to laugh or cry! Maybe I should put my old shoulder to this wheel, when I am competent enough. Crazy making. Its like flying into 1995 and being told that professional programmers don’t use Macs. Malarkey, but there were planty of people saying it. If doing Java development, compile once, run on all platforms, blah blah, can’t be made to work on a Mac at this point in history, there’s something very odd. How the heck to developers using Eclipse work on their shiny new Macs? Without profiling or testing? Hard to believe.

3) SO, now I’m running NetBeans and I have to say it downloads and installs pretty quick, and appears to have a testing tool-kit built in, not a secondary download, which is nice. Here’s what I’ve learned about it:

NetBeans has an Anagram example program. Of course, you have to build it, and when you bring up the sources, you are offered a panel layout tool where you could pick additional events or add stuff or mess up the demo 100 different ways in 5 minutes or less. Don’t! Don’t add anything.  Just save and build. It runs and now you’ve got a NEW problem- you’ve created an anagram game with complex words and you aren’t thinking anagrams and haven’t got a clue what the plain text for


should be.  Or maybe you do. Think about Java the language and the conceptual space it exists in.  I won’t spoil it by giving the plain text here or any complete solution. You can exercise your creativity, just like you should, do a search for “batsartcoin” and follow the hints you find.

Of Course you should learn how to find things like constant strings with the NetBeans IDE, and you should probably learn how to do it from a command prompt (or cygwin on Windows) too. And you can exercise your clever muscles looking on the web, where you can find the plain text, as a literal, or as a result from the anagram breaking tool(s) that exist out there.

BUT let me just say, after you’ve cheated for an answer or two, or racked your brain and gotten an answer or two just take a look at the anagrams and plain texts.


A fo’ real Ah Ha! Moment!! learning Java

Ah ha!!!!

Couldn’t get .replace(), .replaceAll() or .split() to work:

String s = new String(“electric foo bar);

s.replace( ‘e’, ‘E’ ); // char, replace every one, WOULDN’T compile

s.replaceAll( “e”, “E” ); // String – this WOULD compile, did nothing
s.replaceAll( “e”, ” -Eek!- ” );
// ditto
s.replaceAll( ” -Eek!- “, “e” );
// ditto

what was needed was:

s = s.replace( ‘e’, ‘E’ ); // MUST Assign the return string.

The compiler probably took returnAll() because it returns a reference to an array of array references… ok, sure, implict cast to VOID. Next.

Consistancy? We ain’t got no stinkin’ consistancy!

How very human this Java stuff is…