Sunday, July 30, 2006

GWT book, subversion diversion

Most of my free time lately has been going into a new project - an e-book on the Google Web Toolkit to be published by the Pragmatic Programmers. I have about 50 pages of rough draft written so far, covering topics such as why you would want to use GWT, how it ties into your web pages, developing in Eclipse, the differences between hosted and web mode, remote procedure calls, and more. The e-book is supposed to be about 60 pages so I'm happy with the progress so far. If you are interested in GWT and have some ideas about what should be in the book, let me know. See also my new site at

This is my first project with the Pragmatic Programmers and things are working pretty well so far. One thing I like is that I don't have to use MS Word to write the book (both Manning and O'Reilly required that). The format is in XML, but actually I don't directly write in XML most of the time (I'll have more to say about what I'm using in the future). The XML files are checked into a repository (Subversion) just like source code. It beats the heck out of sending zips containing MS Word doc files to your editor, and trying to keep it all straight with naming conventions containing the date.

Speaking of Subversion, I'm using Subclipse for the book development because Subversive doesn't support svn:externals yet. Both of these plug-in teams have proposed Eclipse projects (subclipse - subversive) so it'll be interesting to see how that works out.

Subclipse developer Mark Phippard noticed I was using Subclipse because of a ZDNet image gallery on Google Code that I posted, and pointed out a new version was available. This version (1.1.4) works much better with Eclipse 3.2, though it was still being pretty slow when saving files. When I complained to Mark about this, he had a fix for me the next day that sped it up by a factor of 10 or more! This fix will undoubtedly make it in the next Subclipse build. Thanks Mark!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Call for discussion: "User experience" project

I'm stirring up trouble again, this time trying to get people talking about the Eclipse user experience. Visit the newsgroup and add your two cents. An HTML interface to the group is available if you don't like using news readers.

And by the way, why isn't listed on this newsgroup page?