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Coding without code

Posted by daniel on May 12, 2004 at 5:51 AM PDT

But what if you like the tedious repetitive tasks?

It may have been a coincidence, but I think we stopped having vendors at our local JUG around the time that the fourth one in four months told us that we could use their tool to program without writing any code. The last one showed us that we could draw a UML that seemed to only have a few boxes in it and hundreds of class files would be generated. For these sales engineers, the volume output from these tools was supposed to be the convincing piece.

The good news is that, in many cases, code generation is appropriate and there are good tools that you can use to build your own solutions. You will tailor the generated code to your particular situation. You've no doubt learned a new framework or technology and been shown the "boilerplate" code that just needs to be included. Code generation is ideal for making the local customizations to this type of code.

So, if it makes you feel better, you will be writing code, just at a different level of abstraction. In part one of his featured article Extensible Code Generation with Java, Jack Herrington writes that "Building a custom generator is an easy, fun, and cheap (free) way to understand how generation works. With a new understanding about code generation in hand, you will be able to evaluate off-the-shelf tools as well as have the ability to write something yourself."

Also in Java Today
download a copy of the Jakarta DBTags library and follow along with Deepak Vohra's tutorial SQL Database Access with DBTags . After setting up your environment, the article takes you through obtaining a database connection and creating a database table. You then will generate a ResultSet from a Database Table. Finally you will update a database table with a prepared statement.

"There's something weird about software development, some mystical quality, that makes all kinds of people think they know how to do it. " Joel Spolsky writes this in the introduction to Mike Gunderloy's book "Coder to Developer". Even though this shouldn't be the case, Spolsky writes, "You're probably going to have to learn how to do software development on your own. If you're really lucky, you've had some experience working directly with top notch software developers who can teach you this stuff, but most people don't have that opportunity."

"It takes inhuman discipline not to skimp", says tackline in Laziness vs. Immediacy?
in today's Forums. A task can be done by avoiding all of the documentation, testing and so on " Or it can be done with all the tedious work everyone would rather forget about. It's the avoidance of uninteresting work which is the problem, not to be disguised by some convenient cost-benefit analysis."

Are interviews about making an emotional connection? Vlenin writes "Most people make decisions based on emotion. The whole point is to get the person who is interviewing you to like you. That is your best bet for getting the job. Asking me what the difference between a SAX and a DOM parser isn't a particularly useful question as far as I'm concerned."

John Mitchell asks about Productivity and Language Choice. "In your experiences, do you find a large difference in your productivity based upon the programming language that you use? If so, how much of that is attributable to the language itself versus the differences in available support libraries and frameworks versus various tools?"

In today's Weblogs, James Todd writes in Calling all Mavens that he has "Finally got around to weaving Maven into the MyJXTA[2] process fabric".

In today's Projects and Communities , the Open QTJ project hopes to address shortcomings in support for QuickTime for Java by providing updated/corrected tutorials and examples.

Aspirin solves your mail-sending headaches, by providing a Java-powered SMTP server, perfect for sending mail from anywhere, right from your own computer.

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