Russel Winder's Website

NightHacking with Stephen Chin


logo.](/Images/nighthacker_80x77.png) Stephen Chin, one of the Java evangelists at Oracle (his blog is here) is currently undertaking "NightHacking Tour - The Road to Devoxx". It involves Steve riding a very serious BMW 1200cc bike round Europe having two hour hacking sessions (that's hacking as in doing good programming) whilst putting out a video and audio feed to live streaming (using some very serious Nikon kit).

Steve's first session was with James Gosling (yes, the James Gosling) in the USA. He then flew in to the UK and did the second session with Ben Evans, one of the driving forces of the LJC. Yesterday Steve visited me at home for a session on GroovyFX and there was supposed to be some GPars, but we didn't get that far since we only had a couple of hours.

_ This blog entry written whilst watching the fourth session, Steve with Stephen Colbourne, the person behind JodaTime and JSR310. Steve is on a fairly hectic schedule. He does the LJC session later today, and a session with Trisha Gee before that. _

I have been intending to do a GroovyFX version of 2-d balls bouncing in a box as a vehicle for looking at quadtree algorithms and the use of GPars to support parallelization for many months. Steve's visit was the impetus needed to get going on this. So I got a repository going for something to work on. In the process I realized I didn't know as much as I should about JavaFX and GroovyFX. The repository, called GroovyBalls, is on GitHub here. (I also have it on my own website here.)

For technical reasons to do with the video and audio stream, we had to work on Steve's laptop. This necessitated setting up his NetBeans configuration for Groovy. In the process we got rid of some bugs in the Gradle build. I use Gradle now for everything build on the JVM. Even if using Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA or NetBeans, everything centres on the Gradle build file: Gradle can generate Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA projects, and NetBeans with it's Gradle plugin "Just Works".

Having got my initial code working on his machine, Steve got stuck in to working with me to improve my JavaFX knowledge by working on a couple of small evolutions of the code. It was great fun. I should be able to provide a link to the video soon.

Having got a head start now I should be able to get the code into a position to apply GPars to. I have a deadline: Groovy and Grails eXchange 2012. GroovyBalls all has to work for then!

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