Apache Commons Collections for JDK1.5

11 PM March 13, 2006

I find Apache Commons-Collections quite helpful on occasions. However, being developed pre-JDK1.5, it doesn’t play nice with the newly-generified, standard collection framework in java.util.

Others have had the same thought and it turns out that there are two, independent efforts to port the collections framework to JDK1.5: collection15.sf.net and collections.sf.net.

Bother. Now I have to pick one. As Confucius says, “Man with one watch alway know time. Man with two watch never sure.”

For now, I’m going to use collections.sf.net version, simply because they have a downloadable package, while collection15.sf.net doesn’t seem to.

If anybody out there has experience using either of these packages, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Ditto if you have ideas about the best way to ask the Jakarta Commons people to get an “official” port.

By alang | # | Comments (1)
(Posted to javablogs, Software Development and Java)

iTunes: software with a personality (disorder)

10 PM March 2, 2006

I am a Windows XP user. I want to uninstall iTunes. I am out of luck.

If iTunes were a person, it would be diagnosed with a personality disorder. When I first installed it, it was real friendly. Very helpful. Almost obsequious. The way it wanted to search my disk drive for mp3s and then “consolidate” them into its own special data directories was a bit freaky, but iTunes did a pretty good job of playing mp3s, so I let it hang around. Its peculiarities didn’t annoy me too much, back then.

A few weeks later, I was a little irked to find that iTunes was poking around in parts of my PC that it had no right to. It had installed a whole bunch of background processes, without my asking for them: an iTunes quick starter, a QuickTime quick starter, something to watch out for my iPod being connected, and a Bonjour service.1

Grrr. iTunes and QuickTime started fast enough without the quick starters, thankyou. I don’t own an iPod, so constantly looking for one is useless. Bonjour really got my goat – I didn’t ask for my PC to be exposing extra network services, and I have no idea what benefit I might have gained from leaving it running. iTunes made my PC slower to start up, slowed down my day-to-day work, and provided a small security risk.

It looks like iTunes thinks it is entitled to use my entire PC to perform any task that it thinks is helpful. This would be a great attitude for it to have, if it had first asked for – and received – permission.

Still, I persevered with iTunes, right up until the day I moved some songs from one directory to another. iTunes decided that the each of these songs was now “missing” and put up a little red icon next to each one when it tried to play them. It also re-added all the songs in their new location. So now I had a whole bunch of songs doubled up in iTunes lists, one broken, one not, and no easy way to delete the broken ones from iTunes’ memory.

Was iTunes is punishing me for challenging its right to organise my music collection? It certainly felt like it. iTunes was starting to creep me out, so I left it alone for a few months.

This morning I decided that, as I hadn’t started iTunes at all this year, I would uninstall it. Ha. iTunes provides no uninstall option on the Windows Control Panel. It provides no uninstall option in the start menu. It provides no uninstall.exe in the iTunes program file directory. Like a pissed-off wierdo blocking a train carriage door, iTunes ain’t movin’ for nut’in an’ nobody.

So congratulations to Apple. I now think of them as purveyors of socially spastic software.

But I still want an iPod Nano.

1 iTunes may have installed even more services, but a month long campaign to slim down my PC’s startup overhead has erased the evidence.

By alang | # | Comments (5)
(Posted to Rants, Software Development and javablogs)
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