Monday, 2 July 2007

My first real Java application

I just found very funny Java application in my archive. It was year 1999 and I was studying college in Ostrava. We had strange theme called Java Technologies. Following applet was my semestral project for the theme. It is very simple, multi threaded (!!!), simulation of cross way. A colored squares are cars and yellow squares in their corners are flashers. The cars follows traffic lights and right-hand rule. Look and enjoy :-)

Do you want sources? Download

What I am missing on

As member of a team I was looking for some solution which will enable us to share bookmarks across the team. Because I have some good experiences with bookmark manager and it also fulfil basic conditions, my focus was clear from the beginning.

The basic conditions were:

  1. bookmarks should be shared among all team members
  2. because the members are traveling and then they are out of corporate network we need access to bookmarks from anywhere
  3. posting and using bookmark should be as simple as possible
Then I identified additional conditions:
  1. some members uses IE, some members uses Mozilla
  2. at least some members of team (eg. me :-) has it's own personal account on and they want to use bookmarks from both of them at a time.
My idea was that every member will have it's own account and will be logged in using browser extension. There will be also team specific account (TA) and every member will add it into it's network. At the beginning I thought that it will enable me to see my and TA's bookmarks on one heap and I will also be able to add for:ta tag from a suggestions when posting new team bookmark. But:
  • network member's bookmarks are not merged between user's bookmarks (I mean merged just for view)
  • for:ta tag suggestion is present, but it adds bookmarks just into "links for you" section of TA (BTW at the moment it is impossible to remove proposed bookmark - see FAQ)
Those two problems cause that:
  • we can't use personal and TA account together with browser extension
  • somebody should be responsible for accepting proposed bookmarks of TA from "links for you"
But I found workarounds (just for Mozilla which implements Live Bookmarks). Both bookmark sets (TA's bookmarks and TA's "links for you" bookmarks) provides RSS feeds. So every member will have two Live Bookmarks through which he can access both groups of shared bookmarks. But the solution still have several imperfections:
  • you cant use browser extension to access team bookmarks
  • you can't search bookmarks by tags (but you can create more Live Bookmarks for each or some tags)
  • when somebody save bookmarks from "links for you" to main group the bookmark is present in both groups
Maybe we are trying to get pears from apple tree. I also know that want to stay as simple as possible and they do it very well, but still I have some proposals to team:
  • improve "links for you" functionality
    • user can define list of trusted users and their proposed bookmarks will be added directly (with some flag) into "my bookmarks"
    • provide possibility to delete bookmarks from "links from you" group (in progress - see FAQ)
  • improve "network" functionality
    • provide possiblity to configure you network member to have his bookmarks merged (just for view) between your bookmarks
  • provide RSS feeds containing users tags
Anyway, at the moment we use it with workarounds and we are happy at least with this solutions, but it can be better.