A Cup of Joe

I’m a long time Tcl programmer; I can make Tcl sit up and beg. It’s been brought home to me, though, that the demand for making Tcl sit up and beg is low where I work. If funding were cut for my current project and I had to jump to another, my Tcl experience might not count for much. (One doesn’t always have the luxury of starting a new project and picking the infrastructure one wants.) Java, on the other hand, is widely used; and though I’ve done some work in Java it’s been around eight years. A Lot Can Happen in Eight Years, and in the case of Java it has. When I last used Java, it was Java 1.4 (or maybe even Java 1.3; I seem to recall that 1.4 was brand new). Java 6 is fairly standard today, and Java 7 is picking up steam.

I didn’t like Java 1.4 much, but Java 5 (i.e., Java 1.5; they dropped the “1.” around then) added a bunch of nifty new features that make the language much nicer to work with:

  • Parameterized Types (i.e., Generics)
  • A colllections library based on Generics
  • Annotations
  • Enum Classes
  • Auto-boxing and unboxing

(And no, I’m not going to describe all of those.)

More than that, I did all of my work at the command line, using the Emacs editor; all the cool kids these days seem to be using this Integrated Development Environment called Eclipse. Seems that if I want to fit in on an existing project, I’d better learn that too. So that’s my new project for awhile: rediscovering Java and learning how to use Eclipse.

I don’t know how much I’ll blog about it, but I thought I’d show the fruits of my first morning’s work: an image rendered by a short Java program.


Some years ago I wrote a little old-school dungeon-crawling game called Ramble, and I put together some algorithms for creating random dungeon mazes. I’m thinking that I’ll try re-implementing some of those in Java, as a first project; and save the finished mazes as PNG images. Think of the above as the proof-of-concept: how to draw an image and save it to disk.

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