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Graduation Day, part II

Posted by rstephe on June 1, 2006 at 11:25 AM PDT

Four more projects are graduating from the GELC Community incubator today that fall under the general rubric of academic research, but are about as diverse an they could be. Netbeanslaboratorysupport turns the NetBeans platform into as electronic lab notebook, with tools for data analysis and plotting, including some specialized graphs such as Bode plots. Relationalquery implements relational algebra as queries into a SQL database (in writing this I discovered that, although SQL is loosely based on relational algebra, they are not the same either in syntax or in underlying sturcture). The jsteganography project is a tool for hiding information in plain sight, by encoding it into image, audio files and the like. The fourth project, filewatcher, is a Java library to detect when files on your hard drive have been modified.

netbeanslaboratorysupport ( According to the project description: "The NetBeans Laboratory support is, as the name suggests, software for an electronics laboratory. I called it 'support,' because it's a set of modules, or a module suite, for the NetBeans platform.

"The mission is to give students taking labs or engineers conducting research an easy way to do measurements, analyze and then understand them.

"The goal isn't to produce a software giving a full laboratory report at the end. Because of the intellectual work needed for this, this is impossible. But the goal is to make the preparation for this intellectual part of the laboratory report as efficient as possible, and thus give the student more time to think about the results." Modules include graphing and plotting (using JFreeChart) and support MathML.

relationalquery ( is an educational tool to execute relational algebra queries. In the future, RelationalQuery will execute calculus queries too. According to their doc file, "Relational Query translates a relational algebra query into a SQL query and executes it over a database server. Relational Query includes HSDLDB ... as database server, but it can work with all database servers with JDBC drivers..." The project leader is apparently not a CVS fan, since the relationalquery project's code is all listed under files. The project has 12 members.

jsteganography (
This project has initial code (zipped under Docs and Files, not in CVS), and an excellent paper explaining how steganography works .
This is a popular project, with 33 participants and 10 more awaiting approval. But it seems to be in need of new impetus, since the project's contents seem not to have changed in two years. Moving the project's code into CVS might help the other developers contribute to the project and get it moving again.

filewatcher ( is a set of libraries that enable Java programs to get alerts when files are created, deleted or modified. There is currently an initial version for Mac OS-X, although a PC version is in the works (according to the project description). This, too, is a project whose code is zipped up under Files, rather than being in CVS. Since the initial code is nearly a year old, I wonder whether moving it into CVS might speed up development. The filewatcher project has 14 participants.