You’re a Java developer. You’re brimming with all of these cool ideas about a custom inventory tracking system that you’ll build in your spare time between episodes of “Deal or No Deal” and “Heroes”. You have all the experience because you’ve been working on business systems projects your entire career. You done everything from order entry apps, to pseudo content management systems using every programming language under the sun. You touched on all of the popular choice technologies, ASP, COM+, VBA, VB6, Java, COBOL, RPG, Python, even C/C++. Why not show your stuff and write your own system from start to finish? Every other company you work for seems to miss the point. None of them practice Agile, some create their own issues with complicated un-automated build processes, homegrown bug tracking software that misses the point and the complete lack of developer collaboration tools. You’ve been self-schooled in the worlds of CVS and Subversion. You’ve even taught yourself a little bit about Bazaar. You use Maven2 on your own pet projects that hardly ever go live. You’re busting at the seams with all of these Agile toys you’ve experimented with on your own. All you need is to put it all together.
Let’s build our killer system!
So where do you start? You have a hard drive with an install of the latest Ubuntu, hot off the press. (If by now you think I’m telling my life story you’re completely wrong! I don’t even watch “Deal or No Deal”, and I’ve never touched COBOL before. This story is about a buddy of mine called Fred. Yeah, that’s it. His name is Fred and he’s a general know it all wanting to be the next big ISV.) Ubuntu Edgy doesn’t do much out of the box for a Java developer. I mean you still need one of those fancy cool IDEs. You need to install a SCM (I pronounce it scum and it stands for Source Code Management.), You need a build system. Most important, you need help. So you call your buddy, Earl, and entice him to join in your wild idea about starting your own business. The two of you exchange notes on scrap paper and over IM and email about this killer app that’s going to be 100% agile and blow the socks off of the competition. None of you know how to do good layout and design so in walks Mark. Mark has never touched a line of Java, VB, or Perl but can whip together a HTML page that would bring Deebo to his knees in worship. Each one of you needs to setup a machine for working on the project. None of you have the funds for complicated commercial products. None of you have the time to research the more popular development products out there such as AntHill, Continuum, and the like for continuous integration. Nobody knows much about installing a good wiki like Atlassian. But you all have a vision. You will build it and they will come.
Out of the box solution
Nothing is better than getting your bacon served with your eggs and hotcakes on the same platter. Enter Buildix the all in one solution to your new developer dream-team’s woes. Buildix is something I just found out about. I’ve done absolutely no research on the project so use it at your own risk. However it sounds pretty cool so I thought I’d mention it here in case any of you have ambitions similar to the guy in the above story. If you’re down on your luck, looking to make a buck, download the Buildix binaries so your code doesn’t suck! (Hey I made that up just now all freestyle-like! I use to call myself an M.C. back in my younger days so don’t get surprised if I drop a line here and there.)
What is Buildix? Why are you asking me? I just told you I’ve done zero research on it. Click the link and figure it out for yourself! Oh alright, since you’re still reading the page and all I’ll tell you what I know and completely confuse you. Buildex is a Knoppix live CD promising everything a Java dude would need to get his new project and business off the ground. (VC, office building with skylight view and company line of credit not included.) A Knoppix live CD is one of those cool things all the Linux geeks are talking about that plugs into your CD drive and runs a complete operating system bells and whistles sans installation. In other words you download Buildix and burn it to a CD. (I use CD-RWs to avoid making coasters.) Then you shove it in your drive and hit the reset button on that big rectangular thing where your keyboard mouse and monitor is plugged in. (Don’t have a reset button? Just pull the plug out the wall, plug it back in and hit the power button making sure the drive is completely shut before pulling the plug.) After some whirring and text whizzing your monitor will pretend you have a source control system, a wiki, a project management system, and a continuous integration tool installed on your computer. It’ll even pretend that you have Linux installed. It’ll be so convincing that it will actually do stuff like checkins and accepting wiki posts, and running builds and stuff. Then you’ll be like, “Man that’s banging! I wish I had that installed on my machine!” And you know what? Since it’s Knoppix and all the install can be as simple as a button click or two. Hell, you might even be able to surf the net while it installs. Of course you don’t have to take my word for it. You could go out and piece together all the stuff yourself without the cool live disk and then be like, “This sux! I should’ve listened to Cliff. That guy is brilliant! I’m going to pay him some money right now for being so smart!” Make up your own mind. Shotz out to Buildix for putting together an interesting product. Show me some love if you like what’s above…