Monthly Archives: November 2007

Small Test of NetBeans 6.0 RC 2 (Windows XP, just the Java SE version)

nbrc2-ss2.pngInstallation works fine and fast, start up speed is ok. The start up screen gives enough hints to start with. I like that as it is especially good for people starting with Java and/or NetBeans. I’m really satisfied now with the editor. It works fast enough and the completion hints are fine. Classes and members the editor does not know are created fast enough by hitting <alt>-<enter>.

I found one bug thing though: I created a class Tile with two members: One of the class Rectangle2D.Double and one of the class Point2D.Double. When using the automatic Getter and Setter code generation the return values for the Getter for the point were just Double while the Getter for the rectangle returned java.awt.geom.Rectangle2D.Double. That’s not really an issue, I know, but not the optimal way of programming either. At least I was not satisfied and edited the source afterwards ๐Ÿ™‚

Category: Answers to questions which have never been asked

Read here on ZeroK’s blog how Sony answers questions … For me this is especially funny as I always experience the same with practically every support hotline i call. One example: My DSL connection always breaks down in early evening. Then I have to reset the router and it works again. I called the support hotline multiple times and always the same scenario:

Me: “It happens that my connection breaks down and computer does not get an IP address any more. Then I have to reboot the router and it works again. I don’t want to reboot my router every 5 minutes, so what can I do?”

Support: “Is your connection currently down and your computer on?”

Me: “Yes.”

Support: “Disable your network interface and enable it again.”

Me: “The computer gets no IP address, I already told you!”

Support: “Please note that you have to do this … bla bla bla ”

Me: “Fine, done, no address. So what now?”

Support: “Reboot your router.”

Me: “I already told you: It works again if I reboot the router!”

Support: “Bla bla bla … have to do it … bla bla bla”

Me: “Fine done, works again.”

Support: “Call again if the internet connection goes down again.”

For computer science people it’s obvious that such conversation can result in an endless loop. ๐Ÿ˜€

CfP: Special Issue on Communities and Media Computing

With the emergence of large scale social network communities such as flickr, myspace and youtube, we are witnessing media use and production on an unprecedented scale. The purpose of this special issue is to address the technical challenges that emerge through the use of media in large user communities. Communities who use media as part of a network can impact content analysis (e.g. detection of emergent semantics), multimedia systems (e.g. network optimization due to knowledge of relationships among people) and application research (e.g. novel group authoring). Ubiquitous use of multimedia can also impact the way communities form. We believe that a systematic analysis of community-generated media will reveal new insights about how people interact โ€“ social dynamics, the evolution of topics and trends, groups and communities. We believe that the research can reveal new synergies between multimedia content, systems and application research areas and computational social analysis. The focus of this special issue shall be novel computational aspects of shared media among multiple people

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Getting out the most: PNG

Many people think that standards are made to simplify and formalize certain formats or tasks. However most standards remain ambigous or “free to choose” in critical parts. This can happen due to political issues (several solutions exist and different companies want to bring in their own stuff) or due to simplicity (just use some other standard that already is ambiguous or disambiguation doesn’t pay off).

One fine example is PNG: The encoding process includes several options which allow for some tweaking. Color space and quantization for instance can be chosen by the encoder. If the encoder uses some standard quantization the encoding might result in a much larger file than needed. Another example is the deflate compression routine, where a trade off between expected file size and buffers can be made (larger buffers result in a higher compression rate but also in a larger memory consumption for decoding). More information can be found e.g. in A Guide to PNG optimization.

For those of you just wanting to optimize their PNGs here is a list of useful stuff:

Definitions in Context: “Deadline”

Sometimes one might think about the meaning of a word a bit longer than usual and might even find that the common understanding of a word is different to the actual meaning. I had the experience with the term deadline. I found now qa most interesting definition that seems to match the actual behaviour of people encountered with the concept of a deadline. And here goes the definition:

Deadline is the day one week before the actual submission of the finished work.