I forgot how to write this blog

Donald Raab
3 min readDec 31, 2022

An experiment in stream of consciousness writing.

Photo by Nikhil kumar on Unsplash

I rode my bike today

I followed the road from my house to the park, and meandered down the path that I ride several times a week. Every ride is the same, in that it is always slightly different. Today I just rode, and didn’t stop to take any breaks or pictures. I listened to music and went around the lake several times. The weather was nice, and a lot of people were in the park walking around the lake. I was in the zone pedaling away, so I had to occasionally go off the path on the grass to avoid stopping or running into folks. I only rode 6.25 miles today, but it was refreshing.

I miss learning. I miss teaching.

I miss classroom style teaching with hands-on programming using code katas. I haven’t taught much at all in the past three years of the pandemic. I feel disconnected from my audience in blogs and miss getting interactive feedback from students where I always learn something new. I have enjoyed learning JavaFX recently, and I bought some new books to read for 2023, including one on JavaFX 17. I hope to get back to in-person class teaching in 2023.

I miss shopping in person for tech books

I used to spend a lot more time in Barnes and Noble Bookstores perusing the technology shelves. I went to my local Barnes and Noble and was disappointed to find that the technology section had moved and shrunk. It felt dumbed down and sad. So I went online to Amazon to order some new tech books. I bought five new tech books that just arrived this week. I hope the reading replaces the complete lack of joy I felt not being able to pick up the book from the shelf, scan through the pages and take it to the register knowing I had found something good.

The books I bought to read in 2023 are:

  • Getting to Know IntelliJ IDEA — Helen Scott and Trisha Gee
  • The Well-Grounded Java Developer (Second Edition) — Martijn Verburg, Ben Evans, Jason Clark
  • Pharo 9 by Example — S. Ducasse and G. Rakic
  • The Definitive Guide to Modern Java Clients with JavaFX 17 — Stephen Chin, Johan Vos, James Weaver
  • Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 17 Developer — Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff (blog)

I watched Bullet Train

I watched the movie Bullet Train late last night with my son. It was fun, and I enjoyed the movie. The movie brought back memories of riding the Shinkansen on one of my trips to Japan many years ago.

I brushed up on Clipper 5.3 syntax

I started my professional programming career programming in Clipper. I haven’t written any Clipper code in over 25 years. I found a site that has the entire Clipper 5.3 syntax. I learned Clipper by reading books.

I wanted to refresh my memory about the syntax and structure of statements like IF, FOR and DO WHILE. Clipper is not a curly brace language, but it has a clear structure. This really brought back some fond memories of my early days as a professional programmer.

I enjoy coding with Emojis

I’ve written quite a few Java code katas over the years. I hadn’t written any code katas with emojis until a few months ago. Emojis can help make code katas more fun. At least I think they do. I enjoyed reading this year-end Apache Groovy blog from Paul King, which revisited some of emoji programming fun we had over the past year.

When I stop babbling like a brook

Then my Stream of Consciousness has run out and I otter print out the Stream in Java.

Stream.of("🏞", "🚴", "📙", "📚", "🚅", "⛵️", "🦦").forEach(System.out::print);

This is my final blog for 2022. Thank you for reading! I hope you all have a safe, healthy and Happy New Year!

I am the creator of and a Committer for the Eclipse Collections OSS project which is managed at the Eclipse Foundation. Eclipse Collections is open for contributions.



Donald Raab

Java Champion. Creator of the Eclipse Collections OSS Java library (http://www.eclipse.org/collections/). Inspired by Smalltalk. Opinions are my own.