A look at RoboVM: iOS apps in Java

RoboVM is one of the projects I’ve been keeping a close eye on for a while now. Its aim is to allow native iOS apps to be developed in Java. With its recent 1.0 beta 2 release I thought it was time to take it for another spin.

If you ever tried maintaining an app with two separate codebases for Android and iOS at some point you probably wished for a way to share code between the two, reducing duplication and saving development time. I certainly did. And so did Google for their Inbox app apparently – they ended up writing their J2ObjC Java to Objective C transpiler.

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Testing Amazon SQS locally with ElasticMQ

If you’re developing an application that uses the Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), you may find yourself asking how you can run and test your application locally without having to connect to the real SQS every time. At least, I did – when running our test suite was getting painfully slow.

Luckily, there is at least one option: ElasticMQ provides an SQS-compatible interface.

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Scala 2.10 reflection experiments

Scala 2.10.0 is now officially available and includes a new reflection API. The relevant section of the official documentation is still largely missing though, and the feature is marked as “experimental” – with thread-safety being a known issue.

To take it for a spin, I wrote a simple library to serialize and deserialize objects in JSON format, using reflection to auto-detect field names and types. The code is available at Github as Seriala.

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Creating a Neo4j graph of Wikipedia links

I started looking at Neo4j and thought: I need to write a simple but non-trivial application to really try it out. Something with lots of nodes and relationships. I need to find a large dataset that I can import into a graph database.

To my delight, I found that Wikipedia provides database dumps for download. That serves my purpose beautifully: I can represent each wiki page as a node, and the links between pages as relationships. Continue reading