Author Archives: Andy Brodie

Real-world usage of Commons CLI to parse command line arguments

The Apache Commons Command Line Interface (CLI), is a handy little toolkit for handling command line arguments.  Java programs, as with almost all other programs running on an OS that supports a CLI, permits passing of arguments from the user … Continue reading

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Creating portable file names in Java

Today I needed some code in a Java application that would create a file with a valid file name, based on some user input. Of course, Java is a very portable language, so it was no good to only remove … Continue reading

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Default behaviour of logging frameworks

I’ve used logback in my latest project, xml2csv, and I think it’s great. Except for one tiny, but important detail. I’m writing a standalone command line utility, designed to be used by people are neither Java experts nor developers. I … Continue reading

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Building with Apache Ivy

Background This, and subsequent, entries describe the process I went through with moving an Eclipse Java project from Eclipse-managed, hard-coded, downloaded dependent jars to using Apache Ant and Ivy.  It will hopefully serve as a good tutorial for those attempting … Continue reading

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Validating Schemas in JAXP

I try to avoid moaning in blogs, personal or especially professional.  However, having been in .NET land for so long, coming back to Java and trying to do some XML processing has simply been a nightmare. So many magic strings, … Continue reading

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Contracting vs. Permanent Employment

[Updated: 11/9 to include a note about Pensions] I was recently asked for my opinion on whether I thought that contracting was a good idea.  My immediate, reactive thought was to answer with an emphatic “Yes!”, but I then started … Continue reading

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Monty Hall Problem

The Monty Hall problem is one of those brain teasers which has confused me on the three previous occasions that I read about it.  The (many) articles on line explaining it didn’t resonate with me, so I decided to work … Continue reading

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What’s the difference between OnNavigatedTo and Loaded?

Sliding Block Puzzle was originally written to do all initialisation within the Loaded event handler for a page.  However, this yields some strange and unwanted behaviour sometimes, such as: 1. Pages don’t initialise properly when returning to them deactivation. 2. … Continue reading

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Sliding Block Puzzle available to developers!

Our first software app for Windows Phone 7.1 is now available to developers on CodePlex.  Sliding Block Puzzle is a game that demonstrates how to achieve many useful techniques on Windows Phone, such as dynamic data-bound menus, item template selectors, … Continue reading

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Windows Phone: What does InitializeComponent() do?

Coding in XAML is quite ridiculously easy on the face of it, there’s masses of tutorials, samples, guides and step-by-step instructions for building simple applications that solve problems in a pretty elegantly presented UI. However like a marathon runner, just … Continue reading

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