kisg's blog

Upgrading GWT Checkstyle Setup to support Checkstyle 5

GWT, the Google Web Toolkit is a widely known framework that allows developers to use the Java language to write AJAX Web Applications.

It is a less known fact that the GWT developers have a pretty strict code style in effect. Of course any policy will only work as intended, if it is enforced. GWT uses Checkstyle to enforce the code style rules. The source tree also includes instructions and code formatter specifications for the Eclipse IDE. One nice thing about this code style is that the methods and optionally the fields are ordered alphabetically, which makes the diffs much easier to read.

Unfortunately Checkstyle 5 is not completely backwards compatible with Checkstyle 4, so the GWT rules need to be updated.
Also, the latest Eclipse-CS plugin, no longer supports the old method for adding extension rules, it now requires an Eclipse plugin for this, according to the documentation.

I updated the Checkstyle rules + created a plugin project from the custom checks for the new Eclipse-CS plugin.

Google Android from a Developer's Perspective - Talk at the Free Software Conference 2009, Szeged

I gave a talk at the Free Software Conference 2009: "Google Android from a Developer's Perspective".

After the presentation I held a workshop, where I showed in practice how nice the development environment of Android really is. I used PreziMote, our OpenOffice.org remote control application as an example, which is able to control presentations over Bluetooth.

The slides may be downloaded from here. (in Hungarian)

67TB RAID6 storage in 4U server for $7867

An interesting blog entry was published at BackBlaze, where they describe, how they created a custom storage solution for 1/10th the price of similar commercial solutions.

A little excerpt from the specification

  • 45 1500 GB hard drives
  • 9 SATA port multiplier backplanes
  • 4 SATA controller cards
  • 1 Intel mainboard and processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 2 ATX power supplies

Exploded view of the BackBlaze Storage Pod

The full blog entry can be read at the BackBlaze Blog

Of course, to gather the full picture: this hardware is designed for a backup service and not for e.g. serving databases.

Broadcasting video with Android - without writing to local files

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One of the weaker points of the Android platform is the Media API. When compared to the J2ME API, one important feature is missing: the ability to record to a stream and to playback from a stream.

Why is this important? There are a number of use cases.

For recording:

  • post-processing audio / video data before writing out to the file system
  • broadcasting audio / video without writing out the data first into the file system, which also limits the broadcast to the available free space on the device.

For playback:

  • pre-processing the audio / video data before playing
  • streaming using protocols that are not supported by the built-in media player

In this blog entry we will show a method to broadcast video (and audio) from an Android phone to a network server, without writing to the file system.

How to use Google App Engine in Education

I had a talk at the LOK 2009 (Linux in Education) conference about Google App Engine. In the presentation I gave an overview about the App Engine itself:

  • The general architecture.
  • The Python runtime.
  • A very brief introduction into the data store.
  • A demo application to show some of the features.

At the end of the presentation I showed a very basic message wall application. It is online at: http://lok-2009.appspot.com.
The slides and the source code are available here (the code is in English, the slides are in Hungarian).

Read on for more details.

Developer Devices for Android

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As a nice Christmas Present for developers and hackers, Google announced a developer program where completely unlocked phones can be picked up for a very reasonable price. The phones include an open bootloader, so the developers may upload custom firmware to the phones. And the best news is that the program is also available for Hungarian developers!

The details can be found here: http://code.google.com/android/dev-devices.html

Our First Contribution to Android

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Our first contribution to the Android platform got just merged and deployed to production. Yes, we actually contributed to the Gerrit code review tool.

Our patch makes it possible to browse all changes, not just the open ones. Why is this important?

Every project's history is a very important asset. It documents decisions, like "why was this change merged" or more importantly "why was this change rejected". It also provides an access to historical discussions.

This makes the development process easier to follow, and more open to contributors.

Is Android an open source platform? Yes!

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In the past few weeks (or even months, before anything was even open sourced) many opinions appeared on the internet, that the Android platform is

  • not really open
  • includes kill switch, which is evil
  • has substantial limitations
  • reserves functionality to built-in / closed applications
  • it is just J2ME in a new dress

I can completely understand this frustration. However, contrary to these opinions, I don't think that there is anything wrong with Android in this regard. The problem is, like in most cases, communication.

Many people, who read the slogan open source platform were actually expecting an open source firmware for mobile phones. Of course, this is not what Google promised.

So the real question is: What is an open source platform?

Our new homepage is ready

Our new homepage is ready, where besides the generic company information you will also find the blogs of our team. The main topics are:

  • Description of products and services
  • Analyses
  • Introduction of different technologies
  • Interesting topics from the realm of information technology
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