Recently, I faced a couple of unpleasant XML translation tasks and found the Scala XML library to be a pleasant and powerful alternative to (groan) XSLT or (ugh) the JavaSE XML library. If you ever need to write a program that tweaks a bunch of XML files, give Scala a try!
When you need to produce lots of fairly straightforward graphs, Java2D is your friend. In this blog, I show you how you can render simple images as crisp-looking PDF or EPS files, provided you can draw them on a Graphics2D object.
Recently, I had to draw a bunch of simple images, such as this one
or this PDF
Of course, you can do these drawings in Illustrator or Inkscape. But if you are a coder...