LightTable 0.2.3 - Even More Light for Clojure

So as soon as I decided to write about LightTable, the developers go and improve a whole bunch of things. With the 0.2.3 release that happened earlier today the configuration of LightTable now works correctly.

This change is going to make it so much easier to use LightTable for demo’s and coding dojo’s. The has been an update to the default solarized light theme that looks very pretty to me.

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Managing Multiple SSH Keys to Avoid Heroku Permission Issues

I was a little surprised to have an access issue with Heroku when using my new Mac Book Pro, as its always been really easy to deploy my applications to Heroku in the past.  I kicked myself when I realised I’d only set up a public key specifically for my Github account.

This got me to wondering the best way to set up keys given I am using different services for both personal project and work.

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Java 7 on Mac OSX - OpenJDK and Oracle

There are many things that make the MacBook pro a nice machine for software developers. The default version of Java Standard Edition development environment is not one of those things.

Although Java SE does come pre-installed on most OSX versions, it is the soon to be unsupported Java 6 version (unsupported that is without paying Oracle big support fees of course).

Whilst its fairly easy to install Java SE 7 on the Mac, its a little more interesting when it comes to setting it as the default Java runtime environment. If you also want to try installing OpenJDK 7, then there is a little more discovery to be done when locating the install files. This article covers the easiest way I found to install Java SE 7 and OpenJDK 7 together.

Install Java 7

To openjdk or not openjdk, that is the question. On the Mac there doesn’t seem to be much in it when it comes to ease of installation. Both Oracle Java SE 7 and OpenJDK 7 come as dmg files for the Mac, although the OpenJDK files are not as easy to find.

There is a website for the OpenJDK project, although most of the content seems a little dated and unless you are running Linux it provides nothing of interest to help you install OpenJDK on the Mac. Download the latest versions of Java SE 7 and OpenJDK 7 and open the dmg files to install them.

Configure the default Java development environment

OSX allows you to install multiple versions of the Java development environment, a very useful ability especially for testing new versions easily. In the Applications > Utilities folder there is an application called Java Preferences.

Running this application lets you manage multiple version of the Java development environment, Java SE.

When a change is made its effects take place immediately, so if you are working in a terminal and change Java versions then you do not need to restart the terminal.

When you have your new versions of Java 7 installed, use the Java Preferences tool to the order around. If you move an environment to the top of the list it becomes the default choice.

Note that for OpenJDK 7 and Java SE 6 there may be two versions installed. Use the 64-bit version if you have that option.


As the changes take effect straight away, you can go to an open terminal and check that Java 7 is the default Java environment using the java -version command.

Over the next few months I will see what development life is like with OpenJDK 7 as the default. OpenJDK seems to be a newer version than Oracle Java SE, so will have more bug fixes and features - and possibly more bugs.

Using OpenJDK will give me an opportunity to feed back my experiences to the community and if I run into trouble, its easy enough to switch over to Oracle Java SE 7.

Thank you.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 ShareAlike License, including custom images & stylesheets. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at @jr0cket
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Github Tip - Using SSH for Secure Transfer

Using Github helps me share my code easily. In a public repository anyone can view code via the Github website. If you want to work with the code then you can use git clone to copy the remote repository to your development machine. The easiest way to clone the repository is to use its public http address.

However, if you want to push changes back to a remote repository, then you need to use https or Secure Shell (SSH). As you have to enter your Github username and password each time you do a pull or push, its much simpler to use the SSH protocol, especially once you have to set up a public key for a secure shell (SSH) connection to Github.

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UK Developers Getting Social With JIRA 5

Many software development teams struggle to get the attention they need because of the way their communication is managed. Having tools to enable the team to involve the right people at the right time makes a huge impact.

Having the right feedback can make the difference between a projects success and failure. So its great to see the tools developers rely on are adopting these social tools in a meaningful way, without just recreating Facebook. The end goal should be powerful tools that easily allow the whole team to reach the whole organisation collaborate effectively.

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Google Search Page Major Revamp

Google Search page has been around almost as long as I have on the Internet, which is too scary to think how long this actually is. The main search page has been kept the model of simplicity, both in terms of design and of usability. This simplicity has helped Google become iconic.

Whist there have been a long running stream of tweaks to the page, very little of this simple design has been changed. With Google now reaching out with their Chrome OS operating system on devices like the Asus Transformer Prime, the main search page is in for a bit of a major facelift.

I must confess that I do rely on Google for a lot of services, not just search but also email, calendars, blogging, websites, RSS reader and so on.. So I am very keen to see what changes are coming to the search page and other services.

From the information available so far, things are looking promising. The clean and simple look is going to be retained and a new Google bar and menu system will help you move quickly between the different services.

The current black Google bar is replace by this with a more subtle design. The Google logo will provide an application menu and although this requires an additional kick with the mouse, hopefully it will make the Google apps I use most frequently easier to select.

When this new year present from Google arrives I hope I will find it a welcome one. Check out the blog post and video on this change from Google itself.

Thank you.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 ShareAlike License, including custom images & stylesheets. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at @jr0cket
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Developers Code in the Cloud With Cloud9 IDE

Cloud9 IDE is an ambitious project to create a really fast and feature complete development environment in the cloud, freeing you from the shackles of your desktop and allowing you to work anywhere in the world on any computer and still have your ideal setup at your fingertips.

Whilst the Atlassian ambassadors were in Amsterdam we caught up with Cloud9 CEO Ruben Daniels to get the word about this cloud based developer service straight from the source! Headquarters of Cloud9 are just around the corner from the Atlassian Amsterdam office, so we’ll be bumping into each other a lot…

As the number of developers creating web apps keeps on growing, along with a rise in popularity of JavaScript, JSON and AJAX technologies, its becomes more compelling to create code on the platform we are developing for. A desktop app is not always the best solution. As Ruben says:

If you have ever used Eclipse then you know its about 100Mb and its super slow to start up.

This may be one of the reasons some developers still turn to Emacs, Vi and Sublime Text to get things done. Imagine having something as powerful as an IDE but so lightweight it will run on your grandma’s computer! That to me is where I see Cloud9 heading.

The team behind Cloud9 (which Atlassian invested in last June) started with a goal to build the UI framework for an editor in the browser. After developing the ACE editor they decided to create something more from that the concept of Cloud9 IDE was born.

JavaScript and Node.js communities are already loving the freedom an online IDE gives them, with many of the important projects around Node.js using it as their development tool of choice. Many of the core developers of the Node.js project are using it for projects such as Socket.IO, Express and Connect.

Cloud9 IDE is not just for JavaScript developers

Anyone can use the service for writing and collaborating on code in any language. It’s integrated with popular social coding repositories such as Bitbucket and GitHub, allowing developers to easily share their work. All you need is a free account.

The ACE editor has become so popular that its now being used by GitHub to allow developers to edit their files live on the site without having to use a desktop app or a cumbersome plugin. This also gives developers a great comparison tool for looking at the changes from previous versions of their code (diffs).

The Cloud9 team are actively developing new features and enhancing their collaboration code to make it even better. There are also plans to extend the support for other environments, starting with Python, Ruby and PHP. This support will be comprehensive, including package managers and of course the developers favourite syntactic highlighting and auto-completion. Once that work is done they also have an eye on the static languages and big platforms such as Java the many other languages that thee JVM supports.

Cloud9 IDE is already a great resource for JavaScript developers and with the growth in popularity of the language it is no wonder they have over 45,000 users already signed up. With backing from Atlassian and their VC they have the money to invest in hiring additional talent.

As with all great companies, Cloud9 are using their own tool to develop the service itself. They are also busy creating a great set of tutorial videos to complement their internal wiki development, with help from the Confluence tool from Atlassian.

The future looks very bright for development in the cloud!

Thank you.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 ShareAlike License, including custom images & stylesheets. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at @jr0cket
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Confluence Supports Scala and Clojure Development

Clojure and Scala are two very exciting functional programming languages on the Java virtual machine (JVM) which provide many of the features than Java7 and Java8 have been working toward. There has already been a lot of activity around these functional languages in the UK, from financial services clients, media companies and developers who want to keep ahead of the game, all are getting involved with these languages now. Some of the top jobs are even mentioning these technologies by name.

With a long history of support for open source projects, it is no surprise that Atlassian support the development of Clojure and Scala by providing Confluence and JIRA to the project teams and wider community.

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