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Tag: Java

A few days ago I blogged about my first Android app, and in that post I promised another one coming along soon. Well, it is now done.

For my second foray into Android application development, I decided to port some C# code I had previously written to draw a plasma fractal to Java.

A plasma fractal

A plasma fractal

The original code is based on a Java applet written by Justin Seyster, which I ported to C#, and modified slightly, a few years ago for another project.

I have previously blogged about the algorithm used to generate the plasma fractal itself in my series on Fractals in C#, so I won’t go into detail about how the fractal is generated here.

The application consists of three activies.

The main activity displays the generated plasma fractal, with menu options to refresh the fractal, which regenerates the fractal, and saving the image to the sdcard.

The menu also has options to launch the settings activity and the about activity.

The settings activity enables you to change the fractal type – the options being, Plasma, Cloud and Grayscale – as well as the roughness, which changes the amount of variation in the image.

The about activity merely showssome information about the application.

While, by no means, a complicated application, this app implements a fair amount of Androids basic features.

You can download the Plasmatic android package here


Having my own Android-based phone now, I have been unable to resist the temptation to try my hand at writing an app for it. Deciding on what app I should write, however, required a bit of thinking.

Firstly, if you have ever browsed the Android Market (and if you own an Android phone, no doubt you have), you will have noticed that it has literally hundreds of thousands of applications available for download (either free or for purchase), so finding an application idea that hasn’t been done a hundred times before becomes a bit of a challenge.

The second thing, is that my Java is a little bit on the rusty side. The last time I have written anything at all in Java was around 11 years ago, and even then my jaunt with Java was rather brief.

This means that to ease myself into the Java development environment of Android, I wanted to go with a relatively simple app, leaving more ambitious projects for later.

So, out of this, I came up with the Dutch Public Holidays app, which all it basically does is give you a dropdown of years (currently only 2011 and 2012), and then displaying the public holidays in the Netherlands for that particular year. Very, very simple!

The actual code of the app is largely based on the spinner tutorial on the Android Developer site, but instead of updating a toast, the application updates the TextView with the info we want, and I rearranged how some ofthe code worked.

If you would like to download the package for the app, I have uploaded it to this site.

Just run the package from your phone, and it should install fine. This package requires Android 2.1 or above to work.

I intend to write more apps to learn more about Android, and at some stage get my apps onto the Android Market, but that is something for another day…


Writing a programming language takes a lot of effort, and is not exactly the easiest task in the world. That is why it surprised me to discover the amount of languages out there written purely as a form of amusement.

I have already written about a few, such as Intercal and Whitespace, but the list of others is enormous. I discovered wiki that keeps track of these esoteric languages called Esolang. The list of languages on the site is astounding.

I did have to smile, however, when in that list I saw that Java and COBOL are included. I have never worked in COBL (much like 99% of other programmers in the world) but I am familiar with Java, and have pretty much disliked it from the first time I ever used it. I think it certainly deserves the spot here, even though it is a mainstream language, sitting beside such languages as TMMLPTEALPAITAFNFAL and Brainfuck (no, I am not swearing – that really is the language name. Blame the authors).

Seeing this list makes me want to go grab my book on writing compilers and start getting busy……..wait, so this we have ended up with so many of these languages in the first place!


Noop is the latest new language to hit the headlines. It is pronouced “Noh – awp” according to their site, taking it’s name from the Assemby language operation denoting no operation.

Part of the reason it has seen some interest is that some people are reporting this as Google releasing a new language, which is not quite technically correct. Noop is being developed by a group of independent developers as a side project, a few of which happen to work at Google.

Noop is built on the Java Virtual Machine and is syntactically similar to Java. What it adds, though, is dependency injection and testability functionality built directly into the language.

Development on the language is still at an early phase, but I do hope that they release something to the public in the near future. There is no binary to download, although, the source code is available from their online repository.

While I will admit that Java is one of my least favourite languages to work in, this language might be worth taking a look at, although only time will tell whether it will last or merely be another fad language which the programming world is littered with.