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.

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Donald Raab

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