Saturday, June 25, 2005

Gmail vs. Blogger Composer

Speaking of Gmail: I wish Google will unify the Gmail and Blogger message/post composers. They are almost identical, but each of them has its advantages:

Gmail: looks better. The "font" and "size" selectors are smaller (better). Better speller.
Blogger: Allows images to be inserted to the post. Allows HTML source editing.

In Gmail, you can only insert an image that is already hosted somewhere on the web (like it used to be with Blogger). You add an image by dragging it from a webpage to your message. You cannot however embed an image that is attached to the message.


Gmail subdomain changes

It seems like Google is changing Gmail's subdomain from to When you go now to you are redirected to - instead of the regular
For a few minutes the domain was unavailable, now it redirects to the new subdomain.

I wonder if it means anything about Gmail's name. Will they change it from Gmail to Google Mail?

Anyway, they'll have to update their help item about phishing to reflect this change, or some people will mistake them for phishermen...


Google adds image upload to

Finally, users can easily upload and add images to their posts, without using 3rd party image hosting solutions. This was only a matter of time, after Yahoo! had acquired the service most used for that purpose among Blogger users - Flickr.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Finally, the Final Project is over

I'm happy to say that my Final Project, on which I blogged here in the past, is done. The project is a Statecharts code generator and simulator suite. It uses technologies like XML, UML, XMI, XSL, Java, Swing, and more. Yes, it is fully buzzword-compliant ;-).
The project was built for a large high-tech company, and by their requirements. It was very interesting to design and implement. The only "problem" is that now I have to write a report about it, for the college (Jerusalem College of Engineering).

Since the project itself is not yet production-quality (more like an initial alpha), it requires more work. And since I already work for this company (although on a different project), I might help in its future development.


Monday, June 20, 2005


I've just added a Blogroll section to this blog - you can see it in the right sidebar ("I Read"). It is powered by, which is the news aggregator I use.

I will later customize the appearance...


Friday, June 17, 2005

Bruce Eckel on Object Design

If you're into Software Engineering (like I am), you'll be interested in reading Bruce Eckel's blog post on Object Design. He writes (also) about how people confuse abstraction layers, and how the UML doesn't help in this field.
I also wrote a comment in the thread, which I'll duplicate here (but first read the original post):

I'm a Software Engineering student - graduating in a few weeks. My final project is a Statechart code generator + simulator for a high-tech company.
Interestingly, I had two problems with UML while developing the software:

1. The designer of the statecharts I had to generate code from uses UML it in a very abstract manner. For example, in actions he doesn't call real functions - he just puts some text that will mean something to someone. That's because this is the company's first attempt at code generation - and the designer "knows" that a human will read the charts and translate them into code (and not a computer).

2. When, in the middle of the year, I had to prepare UML diagrams to document my own software, I found it impossible: most work (code generation) was done in XSLT, which is not OO - so I found no matching UML diagram. Instead, I came up with a DFD that shows what my software does. Since DFDs are not part of the UML, and because I found no open-source DFD diagramming tool, I had to use... PowerPoint!

For fixing the first problem, I wish UML tools had "design modes", something based on Fowler's UML Mode ( referred-to earlier in this thread. That is, in the "sketch" mode, the tool will hide those detailed-design features of the UML (like composition/aggregation). When running in "programming" mode, users will be able to add these details to the model. Later, when the high-level designer edits the model again, those features will be hidden - but will remain in the model. I realize that doing this correctly is not trivial - it's in my wish-list nevertheless.

The second problem is different. UML is for OOAD, not procedural/functional design. But there are still projects that use the older methods. What diagrams should they use? In my college, they teach UML thoroughly, but say next to nothing about the other options - as if one should never develop non-OO software.