I’ve done a lot of front-end java coding over my career, one particularly annoying aspect is the wait for a build (compile-deploy) cycle in my local developement servers to view or test a small change. One particularly useful tool that I’ve been using for some time is a FileSync plugin for Eclipse. It is useful as you can “map” folders from your Eclipse project to a path on your local filesystem, as such the individual files are automatically copied to your server installation. I’ve personally used this approache with JBoss, Tomcat and WebSphere, but there is no reason that it should not work for other servers.
Yahoo! Exceptional Performance (for Web Applications)
I spend a LOT of time trying to optimize web applications to run and appear as fast as possible, one of the most valuable tools I have in my “bag of tricks” is the YSlow! plugin for Firefox.
It integrates in the browser and gives a near real-time scoring of the pages you visit and suggestions on how to improve them. While some of the suggestions are not practical (for example: use of a CDN) the bulk of them can be applied to your application code or server with a little bit of work.
The rules and scoring mechanisms are well documented at the following website:
The YSlow! plugin is available here:
Happy… Faster Surfing!
Enerjy plugin for Eclipse IDE
I’ve previously written on the benefits of static analysis of java code with the use of PMD and FindBugs. I was recently turned on to a new tool that performs similar testing of code within the Eclipse IDE.
When I first found this tool it was free, since that time it’s come out of beta and is now a little costly, but it may still be worth it due to the functionality it provides.
The premise of this tool is a little different than other ones, while it covers much of the same need, it also performs many tests that I would previously use CheckStyle to do. This only provides them at runtime and in a common manner within the IDE.
Eclipse ResourceBundle Editor
I typically use the open-source Eclipse IDE for most of my Java and PHP work. For my corporate work, this means that I use IBM‘s packaged RAD and WSAD offerings that are based on various versions of the Eclipse framework.
When working on Internationalized (I18n) applications, most experienced Java architects rely on ResourceBundles to store the various text that is needed for different languages, problem is that editing these files becomes problematic, especially when dealing with multi-byte character sets as are often used in Unicode (non Latin-1, aka ISO-8859-1) languages.
The best editor I’ve found for this case is, as you may have guessed, free for download.
Here’s the links:
WOT – Website reputation
Previously I discussed the McAfee SiteAdvisor plugin. Another similar project is WOT.
The differences with it are as follows:
- Instead of a centralized service, WOT is democratic. As such, the result is based on the feedback of any user that takes the time to rate a given website.
- WOT is available for Firefox and MSIE.
Since this coexists well within the browser, there’s no reason you can’t use both!
This is a great free plugin for Firefox and MSIE. After installation of the plugin, web links particularly in search engines like Google will contain an image/icon displaying a level of trust as well as some basic information about the website.
As a website owner, it is recommended that you add your site. To do so, you must first prove that you can publish content on the website. This is accomplished by submitting a form, after which you are given a filename (typically the domain with a ‘randomized’ hashcode) to create on your website.
NOTE: when doing this you must also insure that your website generates proper “404 Not Found” HTTP errors for non-existent files, as the verification process also tests that scenario.
Once listed, McAfee will scan your website for vulnerable downloads, reviews, related (linked) websites, as well as track outbound email (possible SPAM) generating from your domain.
Here’s to a safer online experience.