Cool JavaFX 2.0, But What Happened To JFileChooser?

JFileChooser With Missing Icon (Netbeans)
JFileChooser With Missing Icon (Netbeans)

In the midst of all the good news about JavaFX 2.0 and the reinvested interest in the Java Swing Platform by Oracle at JavaOne, I have to ask myself: what happened to JFileChooser? In all the articles I have read in the past year or so about all the cool and upcoming features in the Java 7 and the new component(s) being introduced the Swing library, I have heard very little about JFileChooser or any improvements planned for the platform.

There have been a lot of complaints in the past about poor performance and a lack of some basic functionality for that component. There were even some mentions of the component being replaced with a Native Implementation sometime back, but there has not been any concrete word on that. Personally, my current pet peaves with the component include:

  • Way too minimal right-click PopupMenu – only New Folder, Rename, View and Refresh are implemented. This minimal popup is also way to difficult to extend by the entry level user. Also, drag and drop file handling is implemented, so why is it so difficult to include Open/Select, Cut, Copy and Paste as basic options in the default popup menu?
  • Poor performance for listing directories and their contents when zip archives are included
  • Lack of decent Directory View (possibly as a tree)
  • Ability to use “\\<pc-name>” option on a Windows based system to navigate to a network location

Other more advanced users have other problems with the component but these are the few I feel are general problems and could be fixed or improved.

The current “Open Project” and “Open File” implementations in the Netbeans IDE seem to have some very useful implementations of the JFileChooser and some have even advocated that those components be ported back into the main JDK source if possible, but that is yet to be seen or determined.

All in all, I think the JFileChooser component needs some attention, because it certainly is starved for some.

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I hate Microsoft’s SQL Management Studio With A Passion

Microsoft is known for producing some of the best “Client User” facing software in the world, e.g. Office 2007+, Windows XP+. However, when it comes to “Developer” facing tools, some of their products are down right crap. One such tool is the SQL Management Studio for MS SQL Server.

I’m currently using the Express Edition on my local system for some basic tasks, and sometimes some of these basic tasks can be so impeded it is mind boggling. One such task is exporting a Database table or a Result Set as  DML SQL Query, i.e. exporting the returned result set as automatically generated INSERT or UPDATE statements.

The language of databases is SQL and it surprises me that it takes so much from a tool like SSMS to generate such a basic thing. Other database platforms I have worked with including MySQL and JavaDB both have simple tools that enable you to get data exported in such fashion with no more than three clicks of the button. MySQL has the PHPMyAdmin interface, Navicat’s database access tools and several other tools that make it immediately possible to get your data exported as an SQL Query. JavaDB although with a smaller less mature tool set, has the Netbeans IDE with built in database management tools which can get your data exported in seconds. There are a host of other Java based tools for accessing the database which also get this done nicely.

I can’t for the life of me understand why Microsoft choose to provide a flagship tool for the database server, and make it so damn difficult to do such a basic thing. It peeves me that I need to launch Netbeans, make a database connection to which ever MSSQL Server just to get data exported, when Netbeans was not designed specifically to be a database front end tool. I don’t use the Full or Professional edition of SMSS but I can’t expect the process of getting a result set exported to an SQL Query to be any less difficult than in the express edition.

I doubt anyone from Microsoft will read this, but I think it is better to vent than to keep this all bottled up.

My Latest App Takes Wings

Membership Manager Plus V3 (Start Page)I’ve just deployed my latest application, a re-make of my previous application. It’s basically an organisation administration application, with all the basics of Member Data collections (with biometric and webcam support).

Membership Manager Plus V3 (Start Page)

Continue reading “My Latest App Takes Wings”