Java Technology Concept Map

This interactive diagram to the Java universe is a flash application that links to the documentation. I thank Malcolm Davies on Java.Net for drawing our attention to this excellent resource.
In a nutshell:

Developers learn and use Java *to create and run *Programs *that make *Devices *and the *Internet *useful for *People.”

Official Opening of Digital Technium

Lots of the great and the good around campus today, including AMs and MPs. This is why!
Digital Technium image (c) University of Wales Swansea.
Digital Technium which was Officially Opened Today

Apparently some of our communication’s group PhD students had to look busy at their workstations inside although it was definitely a day to be outdoors!

UMLet – Another Free UML Tool

Martin Fowler mentioned UMLet in his recent article on UmlSketchingTools which I blogged about earlier this week. A paper in which the authors (Auer et al, 2003) describe the ideas behind UMLet is very insightful and pretty much echoes my own experiences of over-blown UML tools in the teaching domain (and I’ve tried ArgoUML, Poseidon CE, Together and Rational Rose with variable — but mostly limited — success over the last three or four years).

I have to say that, although it currently only supports class, object and use-case diagrams, UMLet looks very promising and may well prove to be a winner in next year’s Software Engineering courses. Better yet, UMLet can be used as an Eclipse plugin!


M. Auer, T. Schurtschenthaler, and S. Biffl (Vienna University of Technology), 2003.
“[A Flyweight UML Modelling Tool for Software Development in Heterogeneous Environments”](, *29th Euromicro Conference (EUROMICRO’03)*, Sept. 01–06. Balek-Antayla, Turkey. Conference Proceedings Published by IEEE. The Pragmatic Programmers Interview

O’Reilly Network interviews the Pragmatic Programmers Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas in OnLamp. Many nuggets including this one:

Ward Cunningham once told me “With better IDEs, static languages such as Java are almost as easy to program in as dynamic languages.” You’re both fans of the Ruby language, especially when compared to more static languages. Do you think that the potential shift to writing business applications in slightly more dynamic languages such as Java and C# […] is good for programmer productivity and ease, or do those languages not go far enough?
… Java and C# are not really dynamic in any meaningful way. Memory management is a small part of the picture, but the real gains in these more dynamic languages come from different areas, particularly from a flexible type model and from the ability to metaprogram.

Ultimately, it comes down to ease of expression. If I can express myself in code at a level closer to the problem domain, then I’m going to be more effective, and my code is likely to be easier to maintain and extend…I know some companies are using [problem domain code] with great success. And you know — they’re keeping quiet about it.

England rue bad luck

Well what a match!

I blame Motson … he couldn’t resist telling us how England had been in this or that situation before and lost! But I’m not gutted because we played well and went down fighting. Roll on the world cup!

Frank  Lampard, scorer of the extra time equalizer [image (c) BBC]

Summer school blogging exercise kicks off!

In about 45 minutes time (19.00 BST) I will be teaching some Engineering Summer School students how to register for, set up and use a group blog. Should be fun. The title link is to the support site.

The only fly in the ointment is that England’s Euro2004 Quarter Final against host nation Portugal kicks off at 19.45! Still, nanny has given us all permission to leave early, so hopefully we won’t miss much! In the mean-time, here’s the BBCi pre-match report.

New Ant 1.6 Features for Big Projects

A new tutorial article by Stefan Bodewig on the OracleTM Technology Network has been brought to my attention by a news article on TSS (thanks Sudhakar Ramakrishan). Describes the new , and tasks that should make ant even better! Will print and read the detail later, but I can’t wait to try some of these out on the EG-140 build (which needs all kinds of scripting tricks to work).


Another approach to UML diagramming. This time publicised in Martin Fowler’s Blicki: MF Bliki: UmlSketchingTools. UMLGraph uses a mixure of javadoc tags and pic macros to do the hard work. Dr Spinelis argues for his declaritive approch in “On the Declarative Specification of Models, IEEE Software, 20(2):94-96, March/April 2003 which is on-line in PDF format at Worth a look I think — as is the author’s (Domidis Spinellis) book Code Reading.