Friday, May 29, 2009

Ok, so I'm finally getting started with the Google App Engine. With GAE you have two options for development, Python and Java. Python was the first language supported with Java added fairly recently. As a matter of fact, the GAE Java development tools are still in limited pre-release and it did not take me long to find out why.
GAE Java development tools are distributed as a plug-in to the Eclipse Development Platform. This is good because I use Eclipse for the small amount of Java work that I've done hence I already have it installed. I fire up Eclipse and load the plug-in, so far so good.
Next I installed the App Engine Java SDK, from within the Eclipse environment .  The SDK uses  Jetty as a servlet container.  I then follow the instructions to run the demo application and immediately get a message to update to a later version.  I proceed to do the update from within Eclipse and get an error saying the update is not compatible with other components.  Turns out I need to also do updates for the App Engine plugin and Eclipse itself.
Anyway, to make a long story short, I go through several cycles of updates and restarts of Eclipse, not a speedy thing and a reminder why I don't do my Windows apps in Java.  I get all my updates finished only to be rewarded with the demo app crashing in a pile of undecipherable Jetty and Java errors.  I think I best leave this environment to the Java experts and do a reset here.  I've got an app to write, I don't have time to debug the development environment.  
So, I guess it's time I learn a little Python.  Hopefully that environment is ready for prime time.  We'll see...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Google App Engine & Google Web Toolkit

Google App Engine and Google Web Toolkit each look really cool, at least on the surface. Lets see if they live up to the Google hype. I'm going to port an app that I did for a school project over to GAE and GWT, to see if technologies live up to the Gype.

First some background, I'm an experienced .NET C# Windows client developer, who has done a little web stuff, mostly ASP.NET, some classic ASP, a very small amount of JSP, Java servlets, JavaScript and HTML. I have about 15 years of Windows application development experience and I would say about 1 year of web development experience if as much.

Although I am firmly in the Microsoft .NET camp when it comes to Windows development, I am fairly agnostic when it comes to Web development. The project I'm converting is built on a LAMP (Linux, Apache, mySQL and PHP) stack, with enough JavaScript and PHP code to draw real world conclusions.

I don't really care that much about databases, so any thing that makes working with them less painful, I'm all over it. The Google object datastore in the App Engine seems to hold out some promise. I just hope my hopes aren't dashed.

Follow my blog to see how it goes.