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# Thursday, 06 October 2016

Our genuine love is C++. Unfortunately clients don't always share our favors, so we mostly occupied in the C#, java and javascript. Nevertheless, we're closely watching the evolution of the C++. It became more mature in the latest specs.

Recently, we wondered how would we deal with dependency injection in C++. What we found is only strengthened our commitment to C++.

Parameter packs introduced in C++ 11 allow trivial implementation of constructor injection, while std::type_index, std::type_info and std:any give service containers.

In fact there are many DI implementations out there. The one we refer here is Boost.DI. It's not standard nor we can claim it's the best but it's good example of how this concept can be implemented.

So, consider their example seen in Java with CDI, in C# in .NET Core injection, and in C++:

Java:

@Dependent
public class Renderer 
{
  @Inject @Device
  private int device;
};

@Dependent
public class View 
{
  @Inject @Title
  private String title;
  @Inject
  private Renderer renderer;
};

@Dependent
public class Model {};

@Dependent
public class Controller 
{
  @Inject
  private Model model;
  @Inject
  private View view;
};

@Dependent
public class User {};

@Dependent
public class App 
{
  @Inject
  private Controller controller;
  @Inject
  private User user;
};

...
  Privider<App> provider = ...

  App app = provider.get();

C#:

public class RenderedOptions
{
  public int Device { get; set; }
}
    
public class ViewOptions
{
  public int Title { get; set; }
}
    
public class Renderer 
{
  public Renderer(IOptions<RendererOptions> options)
  {
    Device = options.Device;
  }

  public int Device { get; set; }
}

public class View 
{
  public View(IOptions<ViewOptions> options, Renderer renderer)
  {
    Title = options.Title;
    Renderer = renderer;
  }

  public string Title { get; set; }
  public Renderer Renderer { get; set; }
}

public class Model {}

public class Controller 
{
  public Controller(Model model, View view) 
  {
    Model = model;
    View = view;
  }

  public Model Model { get; set; }
  public View View { get; set; }
};

public class User {};

public class App 
{
  public App(Controller controller, User user) 
  {
    Controller = controller;
    User = user;
  }

  public Controller Controller { get; set; }
  public User User { get; set; }
};

...
  IServiceProvider serviceProvider = ...

  serviceProvider.GetService<App>();

C++:

#include <boost/di.hpp>

namespace di = boost::di;

struct renderer 
{
  int device;
};

class view 
{
public:
  view(std::string title, const renderer&) {}
};

class model {};

class controller 
{
public:
  controller(model&, view&) {}
};

class user {};

class app 
{
public:
  app(controller&, user&) {}
};

int main()
{
  /**
   * renderer renderer_;
   * view view_{"", renderer_};
   * model model_;
   * controller controller_{model_, view_};
   * user user_;
   * app app_{controller_, user_};
   */

  auto injector = di::make_injector();
  injector.create<app>();
}

What is different between these DI flavors?

Not too much from the perspective of the final task achieved.

In java we used member injection, with qualifiers to inject scalars.

In C# we used constructor injection with Options pattern to inject scalars.

In C++ we used constructor injection with direct constants injected.

All technologies have their API to initialize DI container, but, again, while API is different, the idea is the same.

So, expressiveness of C++ matches to those of java and C#.

Deeper analysis shows that java's CDI is more feature rich than DI of C# and C++, but, personally, we consider it's advantage of C# and C++ that they have such a light DI.

At the same time there is an important difference between C++ vs java and C#.

While both java and C# are deemed to use reflection (C# in theory could use code generation on the fly to avoid reflection), C++'s DI natively constructs and injects services.

What does it mean for the user?

Well, a lot! Both in java and in C# you would not want to use DI in a performance critical part of code (e.g. in a tight loop), while it's Ok in C++ due to near to zero performance impact from DI. This may result in more modular and performant code in C++.

Thursday, 06 October 2016 11:27:42 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
.NET | C++ | Java | Thinking aloud
# Sunday, 11 September 2016

Angular 2 is already available though there are a lot of code and libraries that are still in Angular 1.x. Here we outline how to write AngularJS 1.x in the modern javascript.

Prerequisites: EcmaScript 2015, javascript decorators, AngularJS 1.x. No knowledge of Angular 2.0 is required.

Please note that decorators we have introduced, while resemble those from Angular 2, do not match them exactly.

A sample uses nodejs, npm and gulp as a building pipeline. In addition we have added Visual Studio Nodejs project, and maven project.

Build pipeline uses Babel with ES 2015 and decorator plugins to transpile sources into javascript that today's browsers do support. Babel can be replaced or augmented with Typescript compiler to support Microsoft's javascript extensions. Sources are combinded and optionally minified into one or more javascript bundles. In addition html template files are transformed into javascript modules that export a content of html body as a string literals. In general all sources are in src folder and the build's output is assembled in the dist folder. Details of build process are in gulpfile.js

So, let's introduce an API we have defined in angular-decorators.js module:

  • Class decorators:
    • Component(name, options?) - a decorator to register angular component.
    • Controller(name) - a decorator to register angular controller.
    • Directive(name, options?) - a decorator to register angular directive.
    • Injectable(name) - a decorator to register angular service.
    • Module(name, ...require) - a decorator to declare an angular module;
    • Pipe(name, pure?) - a decorator to register angular filter.

    Component's and Directive's options is the same object passed into Module.component(), Module.directive() calls with difference that no options.bindings, options.scope, options.require is specified. Instead @Attribute(), @Input(), @Output(), @TwoWay(), @Collection(), @Optional() are used to describe options.bindings, and @Host(), Self(), SkipSelf(), @Optional() are used to describe options.require

    Every decorated class can use @Inject() member decorator to inject a service.

  • Member decorators:
    • Attribute(name?) - a decorator that binds attribute to the property.
    • BindThis() - a decorator that binds "this" of the function to the class instance.
    • Collection() - a decorator that binds a collection property to an expression in attribute in two directions.
    • Host(name?) - a decorator that binds a property to a host controller of a directive found on the element or its ancestors.
    • HostListener(name?) - a decorator that binds method to a host event.
    • Inject(name?) - an injection member decorator.
    • Input(name?) - a decorator that binds a property to an expression in attribute.
    • Optional() - a decorator that optionally binds a property.
    • Output(name?) - a decorator that provides a way to execute an expression in the context of the parent scope.
    • Self(name?) - a decorator that binds a property to a host controller of a directive found on the element.
    • SkipSelf(name?) - a decorator that binds a property to a host controller of a directive found on the ancestors of the element.
    • TwoWay() - a decorator that binds a property to an expression in attribute in two directions.

    If optional name is omitted in the member decorator then property name is used as a name parameter. @Host(), @Self(), @SkipSelf() accept class decorated with @Component() or @Directive() as a name parameter.

    @Inject() accepts class decorated with @Injectable() or @Pipe() as a name parameter.

  • Other:
    • modules(...require) - converts an array of modules, possibly referred by module classes, to an array of module names.

Now we can start with samples. Please note that we used samples scattered here and there on the Anuglar site.

@Component(), @SkipSelf(), @Attribute()

In the Angular's component development guide there is a sample myTabs and myPane components.
Here its rewritten form components/myTabs.js:
import { Component } from "../angular-decorators"; // Import decorators
import template from "../templates/my-tabs.html"; // Import template for my-tabs component
@Component("myTabs", { template, transclude: true }) // Decorate class as a component
export class MyTabs // Controller class for the component
{
  panes = []; // List of active panes
  select(pane) // Selects an active pane
  {
    this.panes.forEach(function(pane) { pane.selected = false; });
    pane.selected = true;
  }
  addPane(pane) // Adds a new pane
  {
    if (this.panes.length === 0)
    {
      this.select(pane);
    }
    this.panes.push(pane);
  }
}
components/myPane.js:
import { Component, Attribute, SkipSelf } "../angular-decorators"; // Import decorators
import { MyTabs } from "./myTabs"; // Import container's directive.
import template from "../templates/my-pane.html"; // Import template.
@Component("myPane", { template, transclude: true }) // Decorate class as a component
export class MyPane // Controller class for the component
{
  @SkipSelf(MyTabs) tabsCtrl; //Inject ancestor MyTabs controller.
  @Attribute() title; // Attribute "@" binding.
  $onInit() // Angular's $onInit life-cycle hook.
  {
    this.tabsCtrl.addPane(this);
    console.log(this);
  };
}    
@Component(), @Input(), @Output()
In the Angular's component development guide there is a sample myTabs component.
Here its rewritten form components/heroDetail.js:
import { Component, Input, Output } from "../angular-decorators";
import template from "../templates/heroDetail.html";
@Component("heroDetail", { template }) // Decorate class as a component
export class HeroDetail // Controller class for the component
{
  @Input() hero; // One way binding "<"
  @Output() onDelete; // Bind expression in the context of the parent scope "&"
  @Output() onUpdate; // Bind expression in the context of the parent scope "&"
  delete()
  {
    this.onDelete({ hero: this.hero });
  };
  update(prop, value)
  {
    this.onUpdate({ hero: this.hero, prop, value });
  };
}
@Directive(), @Inject(), @Input(), @BindThis()

In the Angular's directive development guide there is a sample myCurrentTime directive.
Here its rewritten form directives/myCurrentTime.js:
import { Directive, Inject, Input, BindThis } from "../angular-decorators"; // Import decorators
@Directive("myCurrentTime") // Decorate MyCurrentTime class as a directive
export class MyCurrentTime // Controller class for the directive
{
  @Inject() $interval; // "$interval" service is injected into $interval property
  @Inject() dateFilter; // "date" filter service is injected into dateFilter property
  @Inject() $element; // "$element" instance is injected into $element property.
  @Input() myCurrentTime; // Input one way "<" property.
  timeoutId;
  // updateTime is adapted as following in the constructor: 
  //   this.updateTime = this.updateTime.bind(this);
  @BindThis() updateTime() 
  {
    this.$element.text(this.dateFilter(new Date(), this.myCurrentTime));
  }
  $onInit() // Angular's $onInit life-cycle hook.
  {
    this.timeoutId = this.$interval(this.updateTime, 1000);
  }
  $onDestroy() // Angular's $onDestroys life-cycle hook.
  {
    this.$interval.cancel(this.timeoutId);
  }
  $onChanges(changes) // Angular's $onChanges life-cycle hook.
  {
    this.updateTime();
  }
}
@Directive(), @Inject(), @HostListener(), @BindThis()

In the Angular's directive development guide there is a sample myDraggable directive.
Here its rewritten form. directives/myDraggable.js:
import { Directive, Inject, HostListener, BindThis } from "../angular-decorators"; // Import decorators
@Directive("myDraggable") // Decorate class as a directive
export class MyDraggable // Controller class for the directive
{
  @Inject() $document; // "$document" instance is injected into $document property.
  @Inject() $element;// "$element" instance is injected into $element property.
  startX = 0;
  startY = 0;
  x = 0;
  y = 0;
  // Listen mousedown event over $element.
  @HostListener() mousedown(event)
  {
    // Prevent default dragging of selected content
    event.preventDefault();
    this.startX = event.pageX - this.x;
    this.startY = event.pageY - this.y;
    this.$document.on('mousemove', this.mousemove);
    this.$document.on('mouseup', this.mouseup);
  }
  @BindThis() mousemove(event) // bind mousemove() function to "this" instance.
  {
    this.y = event.pageY - this.startY;
    this.x = event.pageX - this.startX;
    this.$element.css({
      top: this.y + 'px',
      left: this.x + 'px'
    });
  }
  @BindThis() mouseup() // bind mouseup() function to "this" instance.
  {
    this.$document.off('mousemove', this.mousemove);
    this.$document.off('mouseup', this.mouseup);
  }
  $onInit() // Angular's $onInit life-cycle hook.
  {
    this.$element.css(
    {
      position: 'relative',
      border: '1px solid red',
      backgroundColor: 'lightgrey',
      cursor: 'pointer'
    });
  }
}
@Injectable(), @Inject()

In the Angular's providers development guide there is a sample notifier service.
Here its rewritten form. services/notify.js:
import { Inject, Injectable } from "../angular-decorators"; // Import decorators
@Injectable("notifier") // Decorate class as a service
export class NotifierService
{
  @Inject() $window; // Inject "$window" instance into the property
  msgs = [];
  notify(msg)
  {
    this.msgs.push(msg);
    if (this.msgs.length === 3)
    {
      this.$window.alert(this.msgs.join('\n'));
      this.msgs = [];
    }
  }
}
@Pipe()

In the Angular's filters development guide there is a sample reverse custom filter.
Here its rewritten form. filters/reverse.js:
import { Pipe } from "../angular-decorators"; // Import decorators
@Pipe("reverse") // Decorate class as a filter
export class ReverseFilter
{
  transform(input, uppercase) // filter function.
  {
    input = input || '';
    var out = '';
    for(var i = 0; i < input.length; i++)
    {
      out = input.charAt(i) + out;
    }
    // conditional based on optional argument
    if (uppercase)
    {
      out = out.toUpperCase();
    }
    return out;
  }
}
Module(), modules(), angular.bootstrap()
Here are an examples of a class representing angular module, and manual angular bootstrap:
import { angular, modules, Module } from "../angular-decorators"; // Import decorators
import { MyController } from "./controllers/myController"; // Import components.
import { HeroList } from "./components/heroList";
import { HeroDetail } from "./components/heroDetail";
import { EditableField } from "./components/editableField";
import { NotifierService } from "./services/notify";
import { MyTabs } from "./components/myTabs";
import { MyPane } from "./components/myPane";
import { ReverseFilter } from "./filters/reverse";
import { MyCurrentTime } from "./directives/myCurrentTime";
import { MyDraggable } from "./directives/myDraggable";
@Module( // Decorator to register angular module, and refer to other modules or module components.
  "my-app",
  [
    MyController,
    NotifierService,
    HeroList,
    HeroDetail,
    EditableField,
    MyTabs,
    MyPane,
    ReverseFilter,
    MyCurrentTime,
    MyDraggable
  ])
class MyApp { }
// Manual bootstrap, with modules() converting module classes into an array of module names.
angular.bootstrap(document, modules(MyApp));

Please see angular-decorators.js to get detailed help on decorators.

Sunday, 11 September 2016 08:32:54 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
.NET | AngularJS | Announce | Java | javascript
# Thursday, 10 March 2016

Our recent task required us to find all sets of not intersecting rectangles for a rectangle list.

At first glance it did not look like a trivial task. Just consider that for a list of N rectangles you can form 2^N different subsets. So, even result list, theoretically, can be enormous.

Fortunately, we knew that our result will be manageable in size. But nevertheless, suppose you have a list of couple of hundred rectangles, how would you enumerate all different sets of rectangles?

By the way, this task sounds the same as one of a Google interview's question. So, you may try to solve it by yourself before to check our solution.

We didn't even dare to think of brute-force solution: to enumerate all sets and then check each one whether it fits our needs.

Instead we used induction:

  • Suppose S(N) - is an solution for our task for N rectangles R(n), where S(N) is a set of sets of rectangles;
  • Then solution for S(N+1) will contain whole S(N), R(N+1) - a set consisting of single rectangle, and some sets of rectangles from S(N) combinded with R(N+1) provided they fit the condition;
  • S(0) - is an empty set.

The algorithm was implemented in java, and at first it was using Streaming and recursion.

Then we have figured out that we can use Stream.reduce or Stream.collect to implement the same algorithm. That second implementation was a little bit longer but probably faster, and besides it used standard idioms.

But then at last step we reformulated the algorithms in terms of Collections.

Though the final implementation is the least similar to original induction algorithm, it's straightforward and definitely fastest among all implementations we tried.

So, here is the code:

/**
 * For a sequence of items builds a list of matching groups.
 * @param identity an identity instance used for the group.
 * @param items original sequence of items.
 * @param matcher a group matcher of item against a group.
 * @param combiner creates a new group from a group (optional) and an item.
 * @return a list of matching groups.
 */
public static <T, G> List<G> matchingGroups(
  G identity,
  Iterable<T> items, 
  BiPredicate<G, T> matcher,
  BiFunction<G, T, G> combiner)
{
  ArrayList<G> result = new ArrayList<>();
  
  for(T item: items)
  {
    int size = result.size();
    
    result.add(combiner.apply(identity, item));
   
    for(int i = 0; i < size; ++i)
    {
      G group = result.get(i);
      
      if (matcher.test(group, item))
      {
        result.add(combiner.apply(group, item));
      }
    }
  }
    
  return result;
}

The sample project on GitHub contains implementation and a tests of this algorithm.

Thursday, 10 March 2016 11:31:48 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Java | Tips and tricks
# Tuesday, 09 February 2016

Visitor pattern is often used to separate operation from object graph it operates with. Here we assume that the reader is familiar with the subject.

The idea is like this:

  • The operation over object graph is implemented as type called Visitor.
  • Visitor defines methods for each type of object in the graph, which a called during traversing of the graph.
  • Traversing over the graph is implemented by a type called Traverser, or by the Visitor or by each object type in the graph.

Implementation should collect, aggregate or perform other actions during visit of objects in the graph, so that at the end of the visit the purpose of operation will be complete.

Such implementation is push-like: you create operation object and call a method that gets object graph on input and returns operation result on output.

In the past we often dealt with big graphs (usually these are virtual graphs backended at database or at a file system).

Also having a strong experience in the XSLT we see that the visitor pattern in OOP is directly mapped into xsl:template and xsl:apply-templates technique.

Another thought was that in XML processing there are two camps:

  • SAX (push-like) - those who process xml in callbacks, which is very similar to visitor pattern; and
  • XML Reader (pull-like) - those who pull xml components from a source, and then iterate and process them.

As with SAX vs XML Reader or, more generally, push vs pull processing models, there is no the best one. One or the other is preferable in particular circumstances. E.g. Pull like component fits into a transformation pipeline where one pull component has another as its source; another example is when one needs to process two sources at once, which is untrivial with push like model. On the other hand push processing fits better into Reduce part of MapReduce pattern where you need to accumulate results from source.

So, our idea was to complete classic push-like visitor pattern with an example of pull-like implementation.

For the demostration we have selected Java language, and a simplest boolean expression calculator.

Please follow GitHub nesterovsky-bros/VisitorPattern to see the detailed explanation.

Tuesday, 09 February 2016 12:37:10 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Java | Thinking aloud | xslt
# Monday, 24 August 2015

It's time to align csharpxom to the latest version of C#. The article New Language Features in C# 6 sums up what's being added.

Sources can be found at nesterovsky-bros/languages-xom, and C# model is at csharp folder.

In general we feel hostile to any new features until they prove they bring an added value. So, here our list of new features from most to least useless:

  1. String interpolation

    var s = $"{p.Name} is {p.Age} year{{s}} old";

    This is useless, as it does not account resource localization.

  2. Null-conditional operators

    int? first = customers?[0].Orders?.Count();

    They claim to reduce cluttering from null checks, but in our opinion it looks opposite. It's better to get NullReferenceException if arguments are wrong.

  3. Exception filters

    private static bool Log(Exception e) { /* log it */ ; return false; }

    try { … } catch (Exception e) when (Log(e)) {}

    "It is also a common and accepted form of “abuse” to use exception filters for side effects; e.g. logging."

    Design a feature for abuse just does not tastes good.

  4. Expression-bodied function and property members.

    public Point Move(int dx, int dy) => new Point(x + dx, y + dy);
    public string Name => First + " " + Last;

    Not sure it's that usefull.

Monday, 24 August 2015 10:52:07 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
.NET | Announce | Java | xslt
# Thursday, 06 August 2015

We have solved this problem years ago, but have run into it once again.

So, we shall log the solution here.

The problem: to minify payload of the JAXB serialized beans.

Java beans have many properties most of them contains default values: zero ints, empty strings, and so on.

JAXB never tries to omit default value from marshalled xml, the only thing it can remove from output is null values. So, our approach is to define xml adapter to map default values to nulls.

Here we refer to the StackOverflow question: Prevent writing default attribute values JAXB, and to our answer.

Though it's not as terse as one would wish, one can create XmlAdapters to avoid marshalling the default values.

The use case is like this:

@XmlRootElement(name = "FIELD")
public class TestLayoutNode
{
  @XmlAttribute(name = "num")
  @XmlJavaTypeAdapter(value = IntegerZero.class, type = int.class)
  public int number;

  @XmlAttribute(name = "str")
  @XmlJavaTypeAdapter(StringDefault.class)
  public String str = "default";
}

And here are adapters.

IntegerZero:

public class IntegerZero extends DefaultValue<Integer>
{
  public Integer defaultValue() { return 0; }
}

StringDefault:

public class StringDefault extends DefaultValue<String>
{
  public String defaultValue() { return "default"; }
}

DefaultValueAdapter:

public class DefaultValue<T> extends XmlAdapter<T, T>
{
  public T defaultValue() { return null; }

  public T marshal(T value) throws Exception
  {
    return (value == null) || value.equals(defaultValue()) ? null : value;
  }

  public T unmarshal(T value) throws Exception
  {
    return value;
  }
}

With small number of different default values this approach works well.

Thursday, 06 August 2015 20:01:23 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Java | Tips and tricks
# Thursday, 09 April 2015

After ECMAScript Xml Object Model we aligned JXOM to support Java 8. This includes support of:

As with ECMAScript, all sources are available at https://github.com/nesterovsky-bros/languages-xom

Thursday, 09 April 2015 19:46:22 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Announce | Java | xslt
# Wednesday, 08 January 2014

Dealing recently with some task, we were in a position to use a weak dictionary in the .NET. Instinctively we assumed that it should exist somewhere in the standard library. We definitely knew that there is a WeakReference class to for a single instance. We also knew that there is WeakHashMap in java, and that it's based on java's WeakReference.

So, we were surprised to find that there is no such thing out of the box in .NET.

We have found that java's and .NET's weak references are different. In java weak references whose targets are GCed can be automatically put into a queue, which can be used to build clean up logic to remove dead keys from weak hash map. There is nothing similar in .NET, where weak reference just silently loses it's value.

Internet is full with custom implementations of weak dictionaries in .NET.

.NET 4.5 finally defines a class ConditionalWeakTable<TKey, TValue>, which solves the problem in case when you need to match keys by instance identity.

Unfortunately in our case we needed to match keys using key's GetHashCode() and Equals(). So, ConditionalWeakTable<TKey, TValue> did not directly work, but then we found a way to make it work for us.

Here is a quote from the definition:

A ConditionalWeakTable<TKey, TValue> object is a dictionary that binds a managed object, which is represented by a key, to its attached property, which is represented by a value. The object's keys are the individual instances of the TKey class to which the property is attached, and its values are the property values that are assigned to the corresponding objects.

...in the ConditionalWeakTable<TKey, TValue> class, adding a key/value pair to the table does not ensure that the key will persist, even if it can be reached directly from a value stored in the table... Instead, ConditionalWeakTable<TKey, TValue> automatically removes the key/value entry as soon as no other references to a key exist outside the table.

This property of ConditionalWeakTable<TKey, TValue> has helped us to build a way to get a notification when the key is being finalized, which is the missed ingredient in .NET's weak references.

Assume you have an instance key of type Key. To get a notification you should define a class Finalizer that will call some handler when it's finalized, and you should bind key and a finalizer instance using weak table.

The code looks like this:

public class Finalizer<K>
  where K: class
{
  public static void Bind(K key, Action<K> handler)
  {
    var finalizer = table.GetValue(key, k => new Finalizer<K> { key = k });

    finalizer.Handler += handler;
  }

  public static void Unbind(K key, Action<K> handler)
  {
    Finalizer finalizer;

    if (table.TryGetValue(key, out finalizer))
    {
      finalizer.Handler -= handler;
    }
  }

  ~Finalizer()
  {
    var handler = Handler;

    if (handler != null)
    {
      handler(key);
    }
  }

  private event Action<K> Handler;
  private K key;

  private static readonly ConditionalWeakTable<K, Finalizer> table =
    new ConditionalWeakTable<K, Finalizer>();
}


Key key = ...

Finalizer.Bind(key, k => { /* clean up. */ });

Using this approach we have created a class WeakTable<K, V> modeled after ConditionalWeakTable<TKey, TValue>.

So, this is our take in the problem: WeakTable.cs.

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 21:57:16 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
.NET | Java | Thinking aloud | Tips and tricks
# Monday, 11 November 2013

Before to start we have to confess that afer many years of experience we sincerely dislike JSF technology, as we think it's outdated compared to html 5 + REST.

We have a JSF 2.2 application, which is configured to track session through url. In this case Session ID is stored in url and not in cookies, as there may be many sessions opened per a client.

At the same time application uses libraries that expose scripts and css resources. This resources are referred to like this:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" jsfc="h:outputStylesheet" library="css" name="library-name.css"/>
<script type="text/javascript" jsfc="h:outputScript" name="library-name.js" library="scripts" target="head"></script>

At runtime this is rendered as:

<link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet"
  href="/App/javax.faces.resource/library-name.css.jsf;jsessionid=FC4A893330CCE12E8E20DFAFC73CDF35?ln=css" />
<script type="text/javascript"
  src="/App/javax.faces.resource/library-name.js.jsf;jsessionid=FC4A893330CCE12E8E20DFAFC73CDF35?ln=scripts"></script>

You can see that Session ID is a part of url path,  which prevents resource caching on a client.

It's not clear whether it's what JSF spec dictates or it's Oracle's Reference Implementation detail. We're certain, however, that it's too wasteful in heavy loaded environment, so we have tried to resolve the problem.

From JSF sources we have found that h:outputStylesheet, h:outputScript, and h:outputLink all use ExternalContext.encodeResourceURL() method to build markup url.

So, here is a solution: to provide custom wrapper for the ExternalContext.

This is done in two steps:

  1. create a factory class;
  2. register a factory in faces-config.xml;

1. Factory is a simple class but unfortunately it's implementation specific:

package com.nesterovskyBros.jsf;

import javax.faces.FacesException;

import javax.faces.context.ExternalContext;
import javax.faces.context.ExternalContextWrapper;

import com.sun.faces.context.ExternalContextFactoryImpl;

/**
* {@link ExternalContextFactory} to prevent session id in resource urls.
*/
public class ExternalContextFactory extends ExternalContextFactoryImpl
{
  /**
   * {@inheritDoc}
   */
  @Override
  public ExternalContext getExternalContext(
    Object context,
    Object request,
    Object response)
    throws FacesException
  {
    final ExternalContext externalContext =
      super.getExternalContext(context, request, response);

    return new ExternalContextWrapper()
    {
      @Override
      public ExternalContext getWrapped()
      {
        return externalContext;
      }

      @Override
      public String encodeResourceURL(String url)
      {
        return shouldEncode(url) ? super.encodeResourceURL(url) : url;
      }

      private boolean shouldEncode(String url)
      {
        // Decide here whether you want to encode url.
        // E.g. in case of h:outputLink you may want to have session id in url,
        // so your decision is based on some marker (like &session=1) in url.
        return false;
      }
    };
  }
}

2. Registration is just three lines in faces-config.xml:

<factory>
  <external-context-factory>com.nesterovskyBros.jsf.ExternalContextFactory</external-context-factory>
</factory>

After that change at runtime we have:

<link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet"
  href="/App/javax.faces.resource/library-name.css.jsf?ln=css" />
<script type="text/javascript"
  src="/App/javax.faces.resource/library-name.js.jsf?ln=scripts"></script>

Monday, 11 November 2013 13:08:53 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Java | JSF and Facelets | Tips and tricks
# Monday, 14 October 2013

Till recently we were living in simple world of string comparisons in SQL style, and now everything has changed.

From the university years we knew that strings in SQL are compared by first trimming traling spaces, and then comparing in C style.

Well, the picture was a little more complex, as collations were involved (national, case sensivity), and as different SQL vendors implemented it differently.

Next,
we're dealing with programs converted from COBOL, which we originally thought follow SQL rules when strings are compared.

 

Here is where the problem has started.

Once we have found that java program has branched differently than original COBOL, and the reason was that the COBOL and java compared two strings differently:

  • COBOL: "A\n" < "A";
  • Java: "A\n" > "A"

We have looked into COBOL Language Reference and found the rules:

Operands of equal size
Characters in corresponding positions of the two operands are compared, beginning with the leftmost character and continuing through the rightmost character.

If all pairs of characters through the last pair test as equal, the operands are considered as equal.

If a pair of unequal characters is encountered, the characters are tested to determine their relative positions in the collating sequence. The operand that contains the character higher in the sequence is considered the greater operand.

Operands of unequal size
If the operands are of unequal size, the comparison is made as though the shorter operand were extended to the right with enough spaces to make the operands equal in size.

You can see that strings must not be trimmed but padded with spaces to the longer string, and only then they are compared. This subtle difference has significant impact for characters below the space.

So, here we've found that COBOL and SQL comparisons are different.

But then we have questioned how really SQL beheaves?

We've tested comparisons in SQL Server and DB2, and have seen that our understanding of SQL comparison holds. It works as if trimming spaces, and then comparing.

But again we have looked into SQL-92 definition, and that's what we see there:

8.2 <comparison predicate>
3) The comparison of two character strings is determined as follows:

a) If the length in characters of X is not equal to the length in characters of Y, then the shorter string is effectively replaced, for the purposes of comparison, with a copy of itself that has been extended to the length of the longer string by concatenation on the right of one or more pad characters, where the pad character is chosen based on CS. If CS has the NO PAD attribute, then the pad character is an implementation-dependent character different from any character in the character set of X and Y that collates less than any string under CS. Otherwise, the pad character is a <space>.

So, what we see is that SQL-92 rules are very close to COBOL rules, but then we reach the question: how come that at least SQL Server and DB2 implement string comparison differently than SQL-92 dictates?

Update: we have found that both SQL Server and DB2 have their string collation defined in a way that <space> is less than any other character. So the following is always true: '[' + char(13) + ']' > '[ ]'.

Monday, 14 October 2013 20:23:11 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Java | SQL Server puzzle | Thinking aloud | Tips and tricks
# Sunday, 28 July 2013

Time after time we run into the same problem on different platforms, with different languages. The problem's name is "Visual to Logical conversion for right-to-left or bidirectional text". The problem is usually due to legacy code, which stores texts in visual order from left to right. In case of English it's ok, but with Hebrew this means that texts are partially reversed.

It worth to note that we've solved the same task with Windows API for native and .NET applications more than 10 years ago.

On the other hand, for Java, we yet didn't see any acceptable standalone solution. To remedy this omission, we publish here our solution to this problem.

package com.nesterovskyBros.text;

import java.text.Bidi;

/**
 * Utility that uses {@link Bidi} class. 
 */
public class BidiUtils
{
  /**
   * Implements visual to logical order converter.
   * 
   * @author <a href="http://www.nesterovsky-bros.com">Nesterovsky bros</a>
   *
   * @param text an input text in visual order to convert.
   * @return a String value in logical order.
   */
  public static String visualToLogical(String text)
  {
    if ((text == null) || (text.length() == 0))
    {
        return text;
    }
  
    Bidi bidi = new Bidi(text, Bidi.DIRECTION_DEFAULT_LEFT_TO_RIGHT);
  
    if (bidi.isLeftToRight())
    {
        return text;
    }
  
    int count = bidi.getRunCount();
    byte[] levels = new byte[count];
    Integer[] runs = new Integer[count];
  
    for (int i = 0; i < count; i++)
    {
       levels[i] = (byte)bidi.getRunLevel(i);
       runs[i] = i;
    }
  
    Bidi.reorderVisually(levels, 0, runs, 0, count);

    StringBuilder result = new StringBuilder();

    for (int i = 0; i < count; i++)
    {
       int index = runs[i];
       int start = bidi.getRunStart(index);
       int end = bidi.getRunLimit(index);
       int level = levels[index];
  
       if ((level & 1) != 0)
       {
         for (; --end >= start;)
         {
           result.append(text.charAt(end));
         }
       }
       else
       {
         result.append(text, start, end);
       }
    }

    return result.toString();
  }
}
  

This method utilizes embeded Bidi's algorithm, see class java.text.Bidi.

Be aware that there is no perfect algorithm that covers all possible cases, since BIDI was written for an opposite task, but our implementation based on Bidi.reorderVisually is usually acceptable.

Here is an JUnit test for this method:

package com.nesterovskyBors.text;

import static org.junit.Assert.*;

import org.junit.Test;

import com.nesterovskyBros.text.BidiUtils;

public class BidiUtilsTests
{

  @Test
  public void testsVisualToLogical()
  {
    String text = "123 יתימאה ןחבמ";
    String actual = BidiUtils.visualToLogical(text);
    String expected = "מבחן האמיתי 123";
  
    assertEquals(expected, actual);
    
    text = "תירבע English תירבע בוש";
    actual = BidiUtils.visualToLogical(text);
    expected = "שוב עברית English עברית";
    
    assertEquals(expected, actual);
  }
}
  
Sunday, 28 July 2013 15:44:17 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Java | Tips and tricks
# Thursday, 08 March 2012

For a long time we were developing web applications with ASP.NET and JSF. At present we prefer rich clients and a server with page templates and RESTful web services.

This transition brings technical questions. Consider this one.

Browsers allow to store session state entirely on the client, so should we maintain a session on the server?

Since the server is just a set of web services, so we may supply all required arguments on each call.

At first glance we can assume that no session is required on the server. However, looking further we see that we should deal with data validation (security) on the server.

Think about a classic ASP.NET application, where a user can select a value from a dropdown. Either ASP.NET itself or your program (against a list from a session) verifies that the value received is valid for the user. That list of values and might be other parameters constitute a user profile, which we stored in session. The user profile played important role (often indirectly) in the validation of input data.

When the server is just a set of web services then we have to validate all parameters manually. There are two sources that we can rely to: (a) a session, (b) a user principal.

The case (a) is very similar to classic ASP.NET application except that with EnableEventValidation="true" runtime did it for us most of the time.
The case (b) requires reconstruction of the user profile for a user principal and then we proceed with validation of parameters.

We may cache user profile in session, in which case we reduce (b) to (a); on the other hand we may cache user profile in Cache, which is also similar to (a) but which might be lighter than (at least not heavier than) the solution with the session.

What we see is that the client session does not free us from server session (or its alternative).

Thursday, 08 March 2012 21:56:19 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
.NET | ASP.NET | Java | JSF and Facelets | Thinking aloud
# Thursday, 10 November 2011

A bit history: the first release of this solution was about 9.5 years ago...

Today we've run into a strange situation. One of our clients ask us about automatic conversion of data from mainframe (that were defined as COBOL copybooks) into XML or Java/.NET objects. On our suggestion to use eXperanto, which is well known to him, he stated that he wouldn't like to use a tool of a company that is no more exists...

The situation, in our opinion, become more strange when you consider the following:

  • eXperanto (the design-time tool and run-time libraries for Java and .NET) were developed, well tested, and delivered by us to production already several years ago.
  • the client bought this set (the tool and libraries).
  • the set is in production yet already in another big company, and is used time to time by our company in different migration projects.
  • the client talks with developers of this tool and run-time libraries, and he knows about this fact.
  • the client uses widely open source solutions even without dedicated vendors or support warranties.
Thursday, 10 November 2011 22:14:09 UTC  #    Comments [2] -
.NET | Java | Thinking aloud
# Sunday, 16 October 2011

Incidentally, we have found one new implementation of yield return in java that is in the development stage. Sources can be found at https://github.com/peichhorn/lombok-pg/zipball/master. Just to be sure we have copied those sources at other place peichhorn-lombok-pg-0.10.0-39-g384fb7b.zip (you may search "yield" in the archive).

It's broken according to source tracker, but the funny thing is that sources, however different, still resemble our yield return implementation (Yield.jar, Yield.3.7.jar - Indigo, Yield.zip - sources) very much: variable names, error messages, algorithmic structure.

Those programmers probably have forgotten good manners: to reference a base work, at least.

Well, we generously forgive them this blunder.

P.S. our implementation, in contrast, works without bugs.

P.P.S. misunderstanding is resolved. See comments.

Sunday, 16 October 2011 13:49:33 UTC  #    Comments [3] -
Java | Thinking aloud
# Sunday, 28 August 2011

Recently one of users of java yield return annotation has kindly informed us about some problem that happened in his environment (see Java's @Yield return annotation update).

Incidentally we have never noticed the problem earlier. Along with this issue we have found that eclipse compiler has changed in the Indigo in a way that we had to recompile the source. Well, that's a price you have to pay when you access internal API.

Updated sources can be found at Yield.zip, and compiled jars at Yield.jar (pre-Indigo), and Yield.3.7.jar (Indigo and probably higher).

See also:

Yield return feature in java
Why @Yield iterator should be Closeable
What you can do with jxom.

Sunday, 28 August 2011 19:11:45 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Announce | Java | xslt
# Thursday, 16 June 2011

There is a problem with XML serialization of BigDecimal values, as we've written in one of our previous articles "BigDecimal + JAXB => potential interoperability problems". And now we ran into issue with serialization of double / Double values. All such values, except zero, serialize in scientific format, even a value contains only integer part. For example, 12 will be serialized as 1.2E+1. Actually this is not contradicts with XML schema definitions.

But what could be done, if you want to send/receive double and/or decimal values in plain format. For example you want serialize a double / BigDecimal value 314.15926 in XML as is. In this case you ought to use javax.xml.bind.annotation.adapters.XmlAdapter.

In order to solve this task we've created two descendants of XmlAdapter (the first for double / Double and the second for BigDecimal), click here to download the sources.

Applying these classes on properties or package level you may manage XML serialization of numeric fields in your classes.

See this article for tips how to use custom XML serialization.

Thursday, 16 June 2011 22:14:36 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Java | Tips and tricks
# Thursday, 26 May 2011

We did not update languages-xom already for many monthes but now we have found a severe bug in the jxom's algorithm for eliminating unreachable code. The marked line were considered as unreachable:

check:
  if (condition)
  {
    break check;
  }
  else
  {
    return;
  }

  // due to bug the following was considered unreachable
  expression;

Bug is fixed.

Current update contains other cosmetic fixes.

Please download xslt sources from languages-xom.zip.

Summary

Languages XOM is a set of xml schemas and xslt stylesheets that allows:

  • to define programs in xml form;
  • to perform transformations over code in xml form;
  • to generate sources.

Languages XOM includes:

  • jxom - Java Xml Object model;
  • csharpxom - C# Xml Object Model;
  • cobolxom - COBOL Xml Object Model;
  • sqlxom - SQL Xml Object Model (including several sql dialects);
  • aspx - ASP.NET Object Model;

A proprietary part of languages XOM also includes XML Object Model for a language named Cool:GEN. In fact the original purpose for this API was a generation of java/C#/COBOL from Cool:GEN. For more details about Cool:GEN conversion please see here.

Thursday, 26 May 2011 05:15:11 UTC  #    Comments [2] -
Announce | Java | xslt
# Wednesday, 04 May 2011

As you may know, JAX-WS uses javax.xml.datatype.XMLGregorianCalendar abstract class in order to present date/time data type fields. We have used this class rather long time in happy ignorance without of any problem. Suddenly, few days ago, we ran into a weird bug of its Sun’s implementation (com.sun.org.apache.xerces.internal.jaxp.datatype.XMLGregorianCalendarImpl). The bug appears whenever we try to convert an XMLGregorianCalendar instance to a java.util.GregorianCalendar using toGregorianCalendar() method. I’ve written a simple JUnit test in order to demonstrate this bug:

  @Test
  public void testXMLGregorianCalendar()
    throws Exception
  {    
    SimpleDateFormat formatter = new SimpleDateFormat("yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss");
    XMLGregorianCalendar calendar = 
      javax.xml.datatype.DatatypeFactory.newInstance().newXMLGregorianCalendar();

    calendar.setDay(1);
    calendar.setMonth(1);
    calendar.setYear(1);
    
    System.out.println("1: " + calendar.toString());

    System.out.println("2: " +
      formatter.format(calendar.toGregorianCalendar().getTime()));
    
    GregorianCalendar cal = new GregorianCalendar(
      calendar.getYear(), 
      calendar.getMonth() - 1, 
      calendar.getDay());
    
    cal.clear(Calendar.AM_PM);
    cal.clear(Calendar.HOUR_OF_DAY);
    cal.clear(Calendar.HOUR);
    cal.clear(Calendar.MINUTE);
    cal.clear(Calendar.SECOND);
    cal.clear(Calendar.MILLISECOND);

    System.out.println("3: " + formatter.format(cal.getTime()));
    
    /*
     * Output:
     * 
     * 1: 0001-01-01
     * 2: 0001-01-03 00:00:00
     * 3: 0001-01-01 00:00:00
     */
  }

As you see, the date 0001-01-01 is transformed to 0001-01-03 after call of toGregorianCalendar() method (see output 2).

Moreover, if we’ll serialize this XMLGregorianCalendar instance to XML we’ll see it as 0001-01-01+02:00 which is rather weird and could be potential problem for interoperability between Java and other platforms.

Conclusion: in order to convert XMLGregorianCalendar value to GregorianCalendar do the following. Create a new instance of GregorianCalendar and just set the corresponding fields with values from XMLGregorianCalendar instance.

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 09:19:52 UTC  #    Comments [1] -
Java | Tips and tricks
# Wednesday, 23 February 2011

A search "java web service session object" has reached our site.

Unfortunately, we cannot help to the original searcher but a next one might find this info usefull.

To get http session in the web service you should add a field to your class that will be populated with request context.

@WebService
public class MyService
{
  @WebMethod
  public int method(String value)
  {
    MessageContext messageContext = context.getMessageContext();
    HttpServletRequest request =
      (HttpServletRequest)messageContext.get(MessageContext.SERVLET_REQUEST);
    HttpSession session = request.getSession();

    // go ahead.
  }

  // A web service context.
  @Resource
  private WebServiceContext context;

}

Wednesday, 23 February 2011 11:33:37 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Java | Tips and tricks
# Sunday, 20 February 2011

Last few days we were testing Java web-applications that expose web-services. During these tests we've found few interesting features.

The first feature allows to retrieve info about all endpoints supported by the web-application on GET request. The feature works at least for Metro that implements JAX-WS API v2.x. In order to get such info, a client sends any endpoint's URL to the server. The result is an HTML page with a table. Each row of such table contains an endpoint's data for each supported web-service method. This feature may be used as a web-services discovery mechanism.

The second feature is bad rather than good. JAX-WS API supposes that a developer annotates classes and methods that he/she wants to expose as web-services. Then, an implementation generates additional layer-bridge between developer's code and API that does all routine work behind the scene. May be that was a good idea, but Metro's implementation is imperfect. Metro dynamically generates such classes at run-time when a web-application starts. Moreover, Metro does such generation for all classes at once. So, in our case, when the generated web-based application contains dozens or even hundreds of web-services, the application's startup takes a lot of time.

Probably, Metro developers didn't want to deal with implementation of lazy algorithms, when a web-service is generated and cached on demand. We hope this issue will be solved in next releases.

Sunday, 20 February 2011 10:20:12 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Java | Thinking aloud | Tips and tricks
# Tuesday, 08 February 2011

A while ago we have created a simple cache for Java application. It was modelled like a Map<K, V>: it cached values for keys.

Use cases were:

Cache<String, Object> cache = new Cache<String, Object>();
...
instance = cache.get("key");
cache.put("key", instance);

But now we thought of different implementation like a WeakReference<V> and with map access as additional utility methods.

 Consider an examples:

1. Free standing CachedReference<V> instance.

CachedReference<Data> ref = new CachedReference<Data>(1000, true);
...
ref.set(data);
...
data = ref.get();

2. Map of CachedReference<V> instances.

ConcurrentHashMap<String, CachedReference<Data>> cache =
  new ConcurrentHashMap<String, CachedReference<Data>>();

CachedReference.put(cache, "key", data, 1000, true);
...
data = CachedReference.get(cache, "key");

The first case is faster than original Cache<K, V> as it does not use any hash map at all. The later case provides the same performance as Cache<K, V> but gives a better control over the storage. Incidentally, CachedReference<V> is more compact than Cache<K, V>.

The new implementation is CachedReference.java, the old one Cache.java.

Tuesday, 08 February 2011 15:20:29 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Java | Thinking aloud
# Saturday, 05 February 2011

We have updated @Yield annotation processor to support better debug info.

Annotation processor can be downloaded from Yield.zip or Yield.jar.

We also decided to consider jxom's state machine refactoring as obsolete as @Yield annotation allows to achieve the same effect but with more clear code.

JXOM can be downloaded from languages-xom.zip

See also:

Yield return feature in java
Why @Yield iterator should be Closeable
What you can do with jxom.

Saturday, 05 February 2011 21:12:05 UTC  #    Comments [3] -
Announce | Java | xslt
# Thursday, 27 January 2011

A method pattern we have suggested to use along with @Yield annotation brought funny questions like: "why should I mark my method with @Yield annotation at all?"

Well, in many cases you may live with ArrayList populated with data, and then to perform iteration. But in some cases this approach is not practical either due to amount of data or due to the time required to get first item.

In later case you usually want to build an iterator that calculates items on demand. The @Yield annotation is designed as a marker of such methods. They are refactored into state machines at compilation time, where each addition to a result list is transformed into a new item yielded by the iterator.

So, if you have decided to use @Yield annotation then at some point you will ask yourself what happens with resources acquired during iteration. Will resources be released if iteration is interrupted in the middle due to exception or a break statement?

To address the problem yield iterator implements Closeable interface.

This way when you call close() before iteration reached the end, the state machine works as if break statement of the method body is injected after the yield point. Thus all finally blocks of the original method are executed and resources are released.

Consider an example of data iterator:

@Yield
public Iterable<Data> getData(final Connection connection)
  throws Exception
{
  ArrayList<Data> result = new ArrayList<Data>();

  PreparedStatement statement =
    connection.prepareStatement("select key, value from table");

  try
  {
    ResultSet resultSet = statement.executeQuery();

    try
    {
      while(resultSet.next())
      {
        Data data = new Data();

        data.key = resultSet.getInt(1);
        data.value = resultSet.getString(2);

        result.add(data); // yield point
      }
    }
    finally
    {
      resultSet.close();
    }
  }
  finally
  {
    statement.close();
  }

  return result;
}

private static void close(Object value)
  throws IOException
{
  if (value instanceof Closeable)
  {
    Closeable closeable = (Closeable)value;

    closeable.close();
  }
}

public void daoAction(Connection connection)
  throws Exception
{
  Iterable<Data> items = getData(connection);

  try
  {
    for(Data data: items)
    {
      // do something that potentially throws exception.
    }
  }
  finally
  {
    close(items);
  }
}

getData() iterates over sql data. During the lifecycle it creates and releases PreparedStatement and ResultSet.

daoAction() iterates over results provided by getData() and performs some actions that potentially throw an exception. The goal of close() is to release opened sql resources in case of such an exception.

Here you can inspect how state machine is implemented for such a method:

@Yield()
public static Iterable<Data> getData(final Connection connection)
  throws Exception
{
  assert (java.util.ArrayList<Data>)(ArrayList<Data>)null == null;

  class $state implements java.lang.Iterable<Data>, java.util.Iterator<Data>, java.io.Closeable
  {
    public java.util.Iterator<Data> iterator() {
      if ($state$id == 0) {
        $state$id = 1;

        return this;
      } else return new $state();
    }

    public boolean hasNext() {
      if (!$state$nextDefined) {
        $state$hasNext = $state$next();
        $state$nextDefined = true;
      }

      return $state$hasNext;
    }

    public Data next() {
      if (!hasNext()) throw new java.util.NoSuchElementException();

      $state$nextDefined = false;

      return $state$next;
    }

    public void remove() {
      throw new java.lang.UnsupportedOperationException();
    }

    public void close() {
      do switch ($state$id) {
      case 3:
        $state$id2 = 8;
        $state$id = 5;

        continue;
      default:
        $state$id = 8;

        continue;
      } while ($state$next());
    }

    private boolean $state$next() {
      java.lang.Throwable $state$exception;

      while (true) {
        try {
          switch ($state$id) {
          case 0:
            $state$id = 1;
          case 1:
            statement = connection.prepareStatement("select key, value from table");
            $state$exception1 = null;
            $state$id1 = 8;
            $state$id = 2;
          case 2:
            resultSet = statement.executeQuery();
            $state$exception2 = null;
            $state$id2 = 6;
            $state$id = 3;
          case 3:
            if (!resultSet.next()) {
              $state$id = 4;

              continue;
            }

            data = new Data();
            data.key = resultSet.getInt(1);
            data.value = resultSet.getString(2);
            $state$next = data;
            $state$id = 3;

            return true;
          case 4:
            $state$id = 5;
          case 5:
            {
              resultSet.close();
            }

            if ($state$exception2 != null) {
              $state$exception = $state$exception2;

              break;
            }

            if ($state$id2 > 7) {
              $state$id1 = $state$id2;
              $state$id = 7;
            } else $state$id = $state$id2;

            continue;
          case 6:
            $state$id = 7;
          case 7:
            {
              statement.close();
            }

            if ($state$exception1 != null) {
              $state$exception = $state$exception1;

              break;
            }

            $state$id = $state$id1;

            continue;
          case 8:
          default:
            return false;
          }
        } catch (java.lang.Throwable e) {
          $state$exception = e;
        }

        switch ($state$id) {
        case 3:
        case 4:
          $state$exception2 = $state$exception;
          $state$id = 5;

          continue;
        case 2:
        case 5:
        case 6:
          $state$exception1 = $state$exception;
          $state$id = 7;

          continue;
        default:
          $state$id = 8;

          java.util.ConcurrentModificationException ce = new java.util.ConcurrentModificationException();

          ce.initCause($state$exception);

          throw ce;
        }
      }
    }

    private PreparedStatement statement;
    private ResultSet resultSet;
    private Data data;
    private int $state$id;
    private boolean $state$hasNext;
    private boolean $state$nextDefined;
    private Data $state$next;
    private java.lang.Throwable $state$exception1;
    private int $state$id1;
    private java.lang.Throwable $state$exception2;
    private int $state$id2;
  }

  return new $state();
}

Now, you can estimate for what it worth to write an algorithm as a sound state machine comparing to the conventional implementation.

Yield annotation processor can be downloaded from Yield.zip or Yield.jar

See also Yield return feature in java.

Thursday, 27 January 2011 10:33:54 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Java | Thinking aloud | Tips and tricks
# Monday, 24 January 2011

We're happy to announce that we have implemented @Yield annotation both in javac and in eclipse compilers.

This way you get built-in IDE support for the feature!

To download yield annotation processor please use the following link: Yield.zip

It contains both yield annotation processor, and a test project.

If you do not want to compile the sources, you can download Yield.jar

We would like to reiterate on how @Yield annotation works:

  1. A developer defines a method that returns either Iterator<T> or Iterable<T> instance and marks it with @Yield annotation.
  2. A developer implements iteration logic following the pattern:
    • declare a variable to accumulate results:
        ArrayList<T> items = new ArrayList<T>();
    • use the following statement to add item to result:
        items.add(...);
    • use
        return items;
      or
        return items.iterator();
      to return result;
    • mark method's params, if any, as final.
  3. A devoloper ensures that yield annotation processor is available during compilation (see details below).
  4. YieldProcessor rewrites method into a state machine at compilation time.

The following is an example of such a method:

@Yield
public static Iterable<Integer> generate(final int from, final int to)
{
  ArrayList<Integer> items = new ArrayList<Integer>();

  for(int i = from; i < to; ++i)
  {
    items.add(i);
  }

  return items;
}

The use is like this:

for(int value: generate(7, 20))
{
  System.out.println("generator: " + value);
}

Notice that method's implementation still will be correct in absence of YieldProcessor.

Other important feature is that the state machine returned after the yield processor is closeable.

This means that if you're breaking the iteration before the end is reached you can release resources acquired during the iteration.

Consider the example where break exits iteration:

@Yield
public static Iterable<String> resourceIteration()
{
  ArrayList<String> items = new ArrayList<String>();

  acquire();

  try
  {
    for(int i = 0; i < 100; ++i)
    {
      items.add(String.valueOf(i));
    }
  }
  finally
  {
    release();
  }

  return items;
}

and the use

int i = 0;
Iterable<String> iterator = resourceIteration();

try
{
  for(String item: iterator)
  {
    System.out.println("item " + i + ":" + item);

    if (i++ > 30)
    {
      break;
    }
  }
}
finally
{
  close(iterator);
}

...

private static <T> void close(T value)
  throws IOException
{
  if (value instanceof Closeable)
  {
    Closeable closeable = (Closeable)value;

    closeable.close();
  }
}

Close will execute all required finally blocks. This way resources will be released.

To configure yield processor a developer needs to refer Yield.jar in build path, as it contains @Yield annotation. For javac it's enough, as compiler will find annotation processor automatically.

Eclipse users need to open project properties and:

  • go to the "Java Compiler"/"Annotation Processing"
  • mark "Enable project specific settings"
  • select "Java Compiler"/"Annotation Processing"/"Factory Path"
  • mark "Enable project specific settings"
  • add Yield.jar to the list of "plug-ins and JARs that contain annotation processors".

At the end we want to point that @Yield annotation is a syntactic suggar, but it's important the way the foreach statement is important, as it helps to write concise and an error free code.

See also
  Yield feature in java implemented!
  Yield feature in java

Monday, 24 January 2011 10:23:53 UTC  #    Comments [2] -
Announce | Java | Thinking aloud | Tips and tricks
# Friday, 14 January 2011

For some reason we never knew about instance initializer in java; on the other hand static initializer is well known.

class A
{
  int x;
  static int y;

  // This is an instance initializer.
  {
    x = 1;
  }

  // This is a static initializer.
  static
  {
    y = 2;
  }
}

Worse, we have missed it in the java grammar when we were building jxom. This way jxom was missing the feature.

Today we fix the miss and introduce a schema element:

<class-initializer static="boolean">
  <block>
    ...
  </block>
</class-initializer>

It superseeds:

<static>
  <block>
    ...
  </block>
</static>

 that supported static initializers alone.

Please update languages-xom xslt stylesheets.

P.S. Out of curiosity, did you ever see any use of instance initializers?

Friday, 14 January 2011 21:29:04 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Announce | Java | xslt
# Tuesday, 11 January 2011

We could not stand the temptation to implement the @Yield annotation that we described earlier.

Idea is rather clear but people are saying that it's not an easy task to update the sources.

They were right!

Implementation has its price, as we were forced to access JDK's classes of javac compiler. As result, at present, we don't support other compilers such as EclipseCompiler. We shall look later what can be done in this area.

At present, annotation processor works perfectly when you run javac either from the command line, from ant, or from other build tool.

Here is an example of how method is refactored:

@Yield
public static Iterable<Long> fibonachi()
{
  ArrayList<Long> items = new ArrayList<Long>();

  long Ti = 0;
  long Ti1 = 1;

  while(true)
  {
    items.add(Ti);

    long value = Ti + Ti1;

    Ti = Ti1;
    Ti1 = value;
  }
}

And that's how we transform it:

@Yield()
public static Iterable<Long> fibonachi() {
  assert (java.util.ArrayList<Long>)(ArrayList<Long>)null == null : null;

  class $state$ implements java.lang.Iterable<Long>, java.util.Iterator<Long>, java.io.Closeable {

    public java.util.Iterator<Long> iterator() {
      if ($state$id == 0) {
        $state$id = 1;
        return this;
      } else return new $state$();
    }

    public boolean hasNext() {
      if (!$state$nextDefined) {
        $state$hasNext = $state$next();
        $state$nextDefined = true;
      }

      return $state$hasNext;
    }

    public Long next() {
      if (!hasNext()) throw new java.util.NoSuchElementException();

      $state$nextDefined = false;

      return $state$next;
    }

    public void remove() {
      throw new java.lang.UnsupportedOperationException();
    }

    public void close() {
      $state$id = 5;
    }

    private boolean $state$next() {
      while (true) switch ($state$id) {
      case 0:
        $state$id = 1;
      case 1:
        Ti = 0;
        Ti1 = 1;
      case 2:
        if (!true) {
          $state$id = 4;
          break;
        }

        $state$next = Ti;
        $state$id = 3;

        return true;
      case 3:
        value = Ti + Ti1;
        Ti = Ti1;
        Ti1 = value;
        $state$id = 2;

        break;
      case 4:
      case 5:
      default:
        $state$id = 5;

        return false;
      }
    }

    private long Ti;
    private long Ti1;
    private long value;
    private int $state$id;
    private boolean $state$hasNext;
    private boolean $state$nextDefined;
    private Long $state$next;
  }

  return new $state$();
}

Formatting is automatic, sorry, but anyway it's for diagnostics only. You will never see this code.

It's iteresting to say that this implementation is very precisely mimics xslt state machine implementation we have done back in 2008.

You can download YieldProcessor here. We hope that someone will find our solution very interesting.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011 16:08:41 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Announce | Thinking aloud | Tips and tricks | xslt | Java
# Monday, 20 December 2010

Several times we have already wished to see yield feature in java and all the time came to the same implementation: infomancers-collections. And every time with dissatisfaction turned away, and continued with regular iterators.

Why? Well, in spite of the fact it's the best implementation of the feature we have seen, it's still too heavy, as it's playing with java byte code at run-time.

We never grasped the idea why it's done this way, while there is post-compile time annotation processing in java.

If we would implemented the yeild feature in java we would created a @Yield annotation and would demanded to implement some well defined code pattern like this:

@Yield
Iteratable<String> iterator()
{
  // This is part of pattern.
  ArrayList<String> list = new ArrayList<String>();

  for(int i = 0; i < 10; ++i)
  {
    // list.add() plays the role of yield return.
    list.add(String.valueOf(i));
  }

  // This is part of pattern.
  return list;
}

or

@Yield
Iterator<String> iterator()
{
  // This is part of pattern.
  ArrayList<String> list = new ArrayList<String>();

  for(int i = 0; i < 10; ++i)
  {
    // list.add() plays the role of yield return.
    list.add(String.valueOf(i));
  }

  // This is part of pattern.
  return list.iterator();
}

Note that the code will work correctly even, if by mischance, post-compile-time processing will not take place.

At post comile time we would do all required refactoring to turn these implementations into a state machines thus runtime would not contain any third party components.

It's iteresting to recall that we have also implemented similar refactoring in pure xslt.

See What you can do with jxom.

Update: implementation can be found at Yield.zip

Monday, 20 December 2010 16:28:35 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Java | Thinking aloud | Tips and tricks | xslt
# Saturday, 11 December 2010

We have a class Beans used to serialize a list of generic objects into an xml. This is done like this:

public class Call
{
  public Beans input;
  public Beans output;
  ...
}

@XmlJavaTypeAdapter(value = BeanAdapter.class)
public class Beans
{
  public List<Object> bean;
}

Thanks to @XmlJavaTypeAdapter, we're able to write xml in whatever form we want.

When we're serializing a Call instance:

Call call = ...
Beans beans = ...;

call.setInput(beans);

JAXBContext context = ...;
Marshaller marshaler = context.createMarshaller();
ObjectFactory factory = ...;

marshaler.marshal(factory.createCall(call), result);

things work as expected, meaning that BeanAdapter is used during xml serialization. But if it's happened that you want to serialize a Beans instance itself, you start getting problems with the serialization of unknown objects. That's because JAXB does not use BeanAdapter.

We have found a similar case "How to assign an adapter to the root element?", unfortunately with no satisfactory explanation.

That is strange.

Saturday, 11 December 2010 08:48:00 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Java | Thinking aloud
# Sunday, 05 September 2010

One of our latest tasks was a conversion of data received from mainframe as an EBCDIC flat file into an XML file in UTF-8 encoding for further processing.

The solution was rather straightforward:

  • read the source flat file, record-by-record;
  • serialize each record as an element into target XML file using JAXB.

For reading data from EBCDIC encoded flat file, a good old tool named eXperanto was used. It allows to define C# and/or Java classes that suit for records in the source flat file. Thus we were able to read and convert records from EBCDIC to UTF-8.

The next sub-task was to serialize a Java bean to an XML element. JAXB marshaller was used for this.

Everything was ok, until we had started to test the implementation on real data.

We've realized that some decimal values (BigDecimal fields in Java classes) were serialized in scientific exponential notation. For example: 0.000000365 was serialized as 3.65E-7 and so on.

On the other hand, the target XML was used by another (non Java) application, which expected to receive decimal data, as it was defined in XSD schema (the field types were specified as xs:decimal).

According with W3C datatypes specification:

"...decimal has a lexical representation consisting of a finite-length sequence of decimal digits (#x30-#x39) separated by a period as a decimal indicator. An optional leading sign is allowed. If the sign is omitted, "+" is assumed. Leading and trailing zeroes are optional. If the fractional part is zero, the period and following zero(es) can be omitted. For example: -1.23, 12678967.543233, 100000.00, 210..."

So, the result was predictable, the consumer application fails.

Google search reveals that we deal with a well-known bug: "JAXB marshaller returns BigDecimal with scientific notation in JDK 6". It remains open already an year and half since May 2009, marked as "Fix in progress". We've tested our application with Java version 1.6.0_21-b07, JAXB 2.1.

Although this is rather critical bug that may affect on interoperability of Java applications (e.g. Java web services etc.), its priority was set just as "4-Low".

P.S. as a temporary workaround for this case only(!) we've replaced xs:decimal on xs:double in XSD schema for the target application.

Sunday, 05 September 2010 12:58:23 UTC  #    Comments [0] -
Java | Tips and tricks
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