Did you know I got back to Java? Well, I did. Developing software is addictive, especially when you have some witty company around. But don’t worry, I didn’t forget writing—I’m working on something new and you can expect a new release of something One God-related very, very soon.
The programming world and the writing world started to fuse in my head and I came to the conclusion I should analyze the available Java tools, some concepts and ideas I came up with during the last months and find out if they’d be useful in my New Awesome Book project. Let’s dive into the scary world of IT freaks worshipping Java and see what we discover there.
I move from one Java concept to another—in case you need more explanations, please drop me a line.
Lambdas replaced previous Java tools and are said to simplify our work. For me they’re piss-easy and look bloody glamorous. However, the guys who prefer the old syntax tend to dislike them as my beloved short and concise lambdas are confusing.
When writing I often face pretty much the same dilemma: use a shorter and sparkling passage or get more into detail. Usually more detail is better provided you stick to the matter.
Verdict: lambdas approach is rather useless for writers.
This is a series of conditional statements in Java, e.g. if 2+2 = 4 then send an e-mail to my Mum, and if not (else) send an e-mail to my ex (one e-mail fortunately).
As a writer I use if-else all the time. However, unlike Java, books don’t require mentioning all the possible options. Actually the options shall remain unclear if someone is to read the book. In case of Java everything is laid on the line.
Verdict: if-else are useless for writers.
This one tells the computer to do something as long as the given condition is true (e.g. keep playing the songs as long as the playlist isn’t finished). Personally I hate while. I’m a master of infinite loops that never ever end (e.g. as long as 2+2 = 4 send an e-mail to my best friend who as a result receives 328573850394034 e-mails before I kill the process).
While is also useless for writers: when the characters do the same thing over and over again the book tastes like overcooked broccoli.
Verdict: no whiles!
The tools that help you develop Java applications enable code completion. As a programmer you don’t worry about the correct wording and even finishing the commands—the tool (called IDE, Integrated Development Editor) will complete the code for you and in case of errors pinpoint them AND suggest how to fix them!
Oh, it’d be lovely if the computer could complete the books for us, don’t you think? No more wrist pain, no more browsing the web for cool words, no more rephrasing. Neat, clean, efficient writing, that’s what I’m dreaming about (as I’m not fond of the concept that creators should suffer).
Verdict: code completion would be cool!
Christ, I’ve got no damn idea what it is, no matter how many times do I hit stackoverflow.com or ask Darek, my head programmer, to explain this shit to me! Similarly, sometimes I haven’t got an idea what a given book is about and why was it actually written—the world would be a better place without it, still I try to understand. It’s so annoying and frustrating.
Verdict: oh, no, no anonymous classes! Never, ever!
This is particularly tricky in Java. The point is you can convert one type of information into another. An easy example is a number, let’s take 41, my age. It can be interpreted as a number and take part in 41 – 20 = 21 expression (I’d love to be 20 again) or it can be interpreted as a word/ string of characters/ letters. In the latter case trying to do 41 – 20 will throw an error as you can’t subtract numbers from text. I hope you get it. In case you want to show off the error is called class cast exception.
As far as books are concerned I think keeping the things tricky is good. If a delicate woman murders three persons with a hammer as they trampled the anemones in her garden it throws a hell of an error, doesn’t it? The reader is thunder struck but as soon as he or she gets over the shock, they’ll keep reading! Good job, this is what we want them to do! However, keep casting types on a short leash. Don’t get into the that’s a likely story pitfall. Don’t overdo—the reader quickly gets used to jump-scares and riding a roller coaster.
Verdict: okay, but be careful.
Some developers say they were craftsmen and some say they were artists and if someone isn’t an artist he or she should file a notice (yeah, right). Whatever the truth, I’m a craftsman and my fellow database specialist is an artist. I’ll never ever do stuff he can do while listening to the music and having his tea.
And this is the last and the most important Java/ programming concept writers might implement. Sure it’s good to have a plan, a breakdown, a structure, a timeline and an output in pages but nothing feels like freestyle writing. Am I right? So… Go and get me some freestyle pages! Have fun!