Thursday, September 20, 2007

Polish revisited

Now I've played with J2MEPolish for a while, and it it has been an interesting experience. There are some very good ideas there, like using stylesheets and providing a basic GUI that actually looks nice. It is also quite simple to glue third party code into Polish code (when you finally find out where to put the libraries, see previous post about NetBans and Polish).

There are some things that are not so nice. I tried to glue the iLabs XMPP interface to Polish to produce a Jabber/Google Talk chat client. Functionally this worked like a charm, but I discovered that it is impossible to create tabbed forms dynamically. I wanted to make a new tab for each chat session I opened, but nooo, that's not possible: You have to decide in advance how many tabs your application needs, allocate them up front, and keep them for as long as you run your application. To be blunt: This sucks.

Monday, September 17, 2007

William Gibson's "Spook Country"

The short version: "Spook Country" sucks in the same ways that all of his previous novels sucks, but the plot is less compelling than just about any of them since "Mona Lisa Overdrive" (the final book in the "Neuromancer" trilogy). There is too much form and not enogh content in them all, with one exception: "Pattern Recognition". PR was a brilliant book, in strange way reminding me of the movie "Lost in translation". In "Spook Country" some of the people and a little of the environment is recycled from PR, but it just doesn't work. Why does this matter? Well, even at his worst Gibson is able to make my mind go "whiirrr" and spawn new ideas so I'll probably read everything he publishes, even when it sucks :-)