The English part of my blog is mainly technical. If you can read Italian, check the Italian section for articles of other kind.

Google App Engine Is Not Free Java Hosting

Let me clarify: this is not a rant about GAE: I just want to write about my first approach with it. GAE is Free, is Java and is Hosting, so why this title? Because I've read some articles talking about GAE as a solution to host Java web applications for free. But it depends on how you think to use it: if you have written an application and are searching for a solution to host it, you must keep in mind that you will need to make heavy changes to your app.

In my case, I use MeshCMS, my own CMS, to experiment with new technologies. I knew that It would have been hard since MeshCMS uses the filesystem to store pages, and GAE does not allow to write to the filesystem. I decided to redirect filesystem writes to the datastore, just like GaeVFS does. I wrote the necessary code using both JDO and JPA, and at the end I chose JPA since it seemed to produce slightly cleaner code. In my opinion, it's easier to convert from filesystem to datastore than to convert from a traditional database…

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GWT Is Neither Java Nor JavaScript: It's GWT

I've heard of many people criticizing GWT, some of the most common reasons are that it translates Java into JavaScript, that web sites are not desktop applications, and that GWT uses Java to write code. Well, here's my thoughts on these points.

I've always looked at GWT like a very interesting technology, but I only recently introduced myself to real GWT development to create the admin interface of MeshCMS 4 (my own GPL CMS). I'm really impressed, and I'm writing this post to point out how I think one should look at GWT.

GWT is neither Java nor JavaScript

Let me clarify what I mean. Sure, you use Java syntax and Java tools when developing (I'm a NetBeans fan for what it's worth). But in a certains sense you're not writing real Java code, since you're not targeting the Java VM. But clearly you're not writing JavaScript, and you can't use closures and such. If you write GWT code thinking about JavaScript, you've missed the whole point. Yes, it will become JavaScript…

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The Java Malware

Yesterday I read a post by Jonathan Schwartz about a Java App Store. Again, I was hit by negative feelings, although most comments on that page are positive. I was hoping to have the Java runtime installation as silent as possible, as Flash does, instead we're going towards a malware-like installation. Too bad. I know that it has nothing to do with server-side development, but I'm afraid that the Java reputation will only get worse between end users and companies. I really hope I'll be proven wrong.

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