Tag Archives: Hector’s Reminder Service

Open source project breakdown.

I realised today that I actually have a fairly large number of open source projects published online (all on google code. Another thing I realised is that I should fix that).

I also realised that some of these are totally defunct.

I thought this would be a good time to do a quick breakdown of them, explaining what’s there, what they do and what their current status is.


Code generator for creating immutable data structures in Java. The idea was to define simple datatypes with a record notation and get an immutable class from them with correct equality, hash code and toString implementations, getters for the properties and a builder class for generating instances.

Status: Very very dead. It was at best a weak idea, and I have no interest in pursuing it. Use Scala’s case classes instead.


A brief foray into functional programming in Java. Lazy generators with functions like map, filter, etc.

Status: So dead. I didn’t get very far before concluding that trying to do this in Java was unusably awful.

Lazy Strings

Experiments in efficient representation of String types, with the aim being to provide a drop in replacement for java.lang.String with a different set of performance characteristics. Started in Java, moved to Scala.

Status: Just resting its eyes. I’m not doing much with this at the moment, but I occasionally peek at it and will probably factor out some of the ideas and turn it into a more tightly focused library.

Ranged Types

Very small Scala library for statically checked numeric ranges.

Status: Awaiting a use case. I occasionally think about picking it up again, but then I wonder why. It’s a fun idea, but I don’t actually have anything I need to use it for and as far as I can tell neither does anyone else.


A small library for binary serialization and deserialization of Scala data types, based on Haskell’s Data.Binary.

Status: Very much alive. I’ve just released version 0.1 RC1, am using it as a dependency in other things and am continuing to tinker with it to improve its usability.

Prefer Scala

A wrapper around the Java preferences API designed to be nicer to use from within Scala and support a wider variety of preferences in a typesafe way. Uses SBinary to serialize Scala types to and from the preference backing store. It’s been factored out of the code for Hector’s Reminder Service.

Status: Fledgling. I’ve only just released it. It’s very small, and I intend it to remain so, so I expect to push it towards a 1.0 fairly quickly and then have it enter maintenance mode where future updates are just to fix bugs and bring it into line with the latest versions of its dependencies.

Hector’s Reminder Service

Unlike the other ones, this one is an application. It’s a small cross platform status bar application based on QT which gives you reminder messages on a semi-regular basis. Designed to be unobtrusive and simple and intended for the occasional casual reminder rather than of specific events. Uses “Prefer Scala” for persisting of state between application runs.

Status: Again, quite recent. I have a semi-official version released which works and more or less does what I want. I’m intending to polish that, add a very small number of new features (currently planned are a more expressive way of specifying message intervals, the ability to temporarily suppress a message group and possibly a simple API for other programs to interact with him) and then declare it to be feature complete. Once it’s reached that point it will enter a similar state of “Updates are only to fix bugs and match new dependency versions”.

Hector’s Reminder Service: QT Jambi and Scala

Well, I spent a lot of today putting together the application I mentioned in my recent rant.

The program is called “Hector’s Reminder Service”. Basically it’s a taskbar reminder app. You specify a random lists of messages and their approximate frequency. It gives a little notification message (not a popup window!) on the task bar showing one of those messages about that often. You can configure as many different groups of messages as you like and they’ll be scheduled independently.

The code is available here. It’s GPLed, mostly because it depends on QT and I couldn’t be bothered to figure out the ramifications. Anything I consider reusable will be factored out into a library and released under a more moderate license. I have a few more things to sort out with it (mainly packaging) and will then release a version 0.1 of it.

Currently there’s no packaging system set up. If you want to build this you’ll need QT Jambi installed – both for the user interface file compiler and for the native libraries. It’s currently untested on anything except windows, but now that I’ve given up on Swing and switched to QT I expect it should by and large work on OSX or any X-windows setup with a compliant toolbar. No doubt there will be problems, but they should be surmountable. Give me a shout if you do want to build it and discover it doesn’t work on your platform. I’ll do my best to help.

Edit: Actually, unless you’re feeling brave you probably don’t want to build this. It depends on having Scala 2.7 and jerbil installed as well as the QT Jambi libraries. You can download a prebuilt version from http://hectorreminder.googlecode.com/files/hector.zip , but you’ll still need the QT Jambi libraries installed.

Edit 2: I can confirm that Hector does work properly under linux. You need to replace the qtjambi.jar in the lib directory with the one from your jambi install (turns out that’s windows specific. Oops). Other than that he works perfectly.

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