Saturday, May 28, 2011

My situation recently: hot trains, workaholic and PHP

It's been a couple of months since I've posted anything here. The situation in Tokyo is getting better. Everything is almost back to normal. The only main difference is that we have to be careful on how to use electric appliances. With Fukushima's nuclear central down, we are facing power shortage. In trains, the air conditioning is not as low as usual. Train companies were told to keep it at least 2 degrees higher. It's already getting pretty now. I don't want to think about riding on trains this summer...

The reason why I've not been posting here is that I've been very busy since April. I'm working late every day, so I can't find much time to read programming books now. I've received Seven languages in Seven weeks, but I haven't opened it yet. I also wanted to buy The Joy of Clojure and a book about Cloud Computing, but I finally gave up.

I'm working on a web project, in Java(JSP,servlets,EJB), for a securities corporation (brokerage house?). The servlets/EJB part is hidden in a proprietary framework, so web pages can be created without any servlets/EJB knowledge. Most of the java classes and the JSP files are automatically generated. We are using Excel to generate XML files, and an Ant script to generate Java classes from the XML files. It's easy to generate, but the learning curve is steep. To make one screen, with a search button, a save button and a back button, it takes about 15 Excel sheets to write. The worst part is that it's not 100% automatically generated. Some of the XML files have to be manually edited, and some of the generated Java classes also have to be manually edited. After editing a Java class, we have to merge any new changes to avoid previous changes to be overriden. This is a bit annoying.

My company told us that there were more and more PHP projects available, so I decided to take a step away from Java and learn PHP. I intend to take the Zend PHP certification in September. I've bought Beginning PHP and MySQL to begin with. I played a bit with PHP ten years ago, but never had any opportunities to use at work. It was quite popular in France at the moment, but not in Japan. After all these years using Java, it's exciting to start something different.