Feb 28

A Developers friend: Eclipse IDE

Ive recently come to a realisation about what my most used programs are. Interestingly, I find that for doing any sort of programming, Eclipse is the best IDE out there. Similar products such as NetBeans are just horrible in comparison. Here are the programming languages you can do development for in Eclipse.

  • Java(deh)
    • Also Web development using JSP’s
  • C/C++
  • C# For windows application development and (kindof) linux/mac development.
  • Perl
  • Shell scripting
  • SQL
    • Including connection to databases.
  • HTML/CSS
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Flex
  • ColdFusion
  • Event B

I should clarify that by ‘do development’ for these languages, I mean proper IDE support such as syntax highlighting, code completion and debugger/compiler integration. You can see that the list covers a very broad spectrum of programming languages ranging from scripted languages to web development to even hard core programming languages. Interestingly the only well known language that isn’t very well supported(from what i can tell) is Objective-C. I sometimes think that Apple should just abandon X Code and join the eclipse movement… which wont happen any time soon! Also, I hear that there is upcoming support for Google golang. These languages are coupled with a similarly useful set of tools and features that put the icing on the cake! Here are some more extensions you can get which make eclipse so much more awesome:

  • Subversion(SVN) support.
  • Mercurial support.
  • CVS support.
  • Regular expression testers.
  • Task management with JIRA and TRAC integration.
  • Class diagram generation support.
  • Integration with Remote services such as Google App Engine.
  • Code formatter support(for Flex development).
  • Debugger integration.

This list is not even close to being complete or exhaustive. Theres a good chance that if you need a feature, a quick Google search will give you what you need. I would suggest that you spend a hour or so and see what it can do for you. Shout me a message in the comments or on twitter if you need any help.

Feb 24

iWebKit5 comes to Firefox

Recently i have been working on taking the iWebKit 5.0 framework and producing a CSS extension that allows pages to be ‘better’ rendered on Firefox. Checkout its homepage at: http://trynull.com/iWebKitMozilla/.

Checkout the a screen shot of it in action:)

Using this couldn’t be easier! All you have to do is add the ‘extension’ CSS to your header after the official CSS.

Special thanks to the Soft-V2 theme of iPhone icons for the ‘installer’ icon. Grab the fill list of icons at:

http://kediashubham.deviantart.com/art/Soft-v2-Theme-for-iPhone-85448639

Feb 16

iConnect

If your a fellow student at CSE UNSW, check out iConnect! Its a web application that i created almost 6 months ago that allows you to access many of the commands like ‘friends’, ‘labs’, ‘pp’ and ‘whichprinter’ on any web browser. I’d recommend using a iPhone though;)

To see some screen shots, head to my iConnect page.

Feb 15

iPhone Web Application frameworks

Have you ever wanted to create a web application for iPhone/iPod touch but didnt want to fiddle with the CSS to make it look right? Well fortunately there are a few different frameworks that you can use to do this.

The Apple way

If you are hip enough to be running a mac, you can use Dashcode, It gives you:

  • Super quick and easy.
  • Drag and drop.
  • RSS
    • Maybe more?
  • Works on iPhone and iPod touch.
    • More then 66% mobile market share in March 2009 probably more today.
  • Does not work on non safari browsers(not even WebKit!).
    • Including Google Chrome!
    • Means 95% of web users cant use your application!
  • Have to learn to use Dashcode.

The other way

Lets face it, Dashcode sucks and most people dont have access to a mac for development. There are a few different 3rd party frameworks available which might be harder to use but give you(the web developer) real control on how you want your content to appear! Here are some frameworks that I have seen or used in the past.

  • iUI. Used it before.
  • CiUI. Cnet’s tweaked version of iUi
  • UiUIKit. This is what its called, I’m not making this up!
  • Webapp.net. Never used but looks promising.
  • QuickConnectiPhone. Not too sure about this.
  • iWebKit. I have used this framework many times. It’s easy to use and allows you to make webapps that look like native apps.
  • jQTouch. jquery with touch! If you want all the bells and whistels like animations, this is the framework for you! I’m looking into using this for a project in the future, I’ll be sure to post what I think of it.

If you don’t know where to start, I would suggest iWebKit or jQTouch, but it won’t be a bad idea checking out the others.

What about Mozilla Firefox?

Some readers will notice that I haven’t mentioned the use of these frameworks on non-webkit browsers like Firefox. I have found that the best frameworks don’t do a very good job at being cross platform due to the fact that they are all trying to save your precious download quota by using the draft WebKit CSS3 functionality to render the gradients and boxes instead of static images.

If your framework of choice is iWebKit, I have extended the css stylesheet to allow FireFox 3.x to render half decently. You can grab the iWebKit_4.6.2 framework here(Its no longer available on its homepage anymore)and the iWebKit 4.6.2 Firefox CSS Style. I am currently working on a iWebKit5 version which has a better structured, I’ll post that here when its ready;).