More Steven Wilson

Long time readers of the site will know that I adore Steven Wilson’s music, whether with Porcupine Tree, Storm Corrosion or as has been the case for the past few years, his solo material. I’ve attended gigs on all of his tours to date, sometimes twice—this time around being no exception: Woowar and I attended both the London and Wolverhampton shows.

Steven Wilson, Hand. Cannot. Erase. Imagery

As ever, fantastic stuff with spell-binding lighting and visual elements. On his current Hand.Cannot.Erase. tour, Wilson has made use once again of the talents of Jess Cope and co. at Owl House Studios to produce a beautiful animated film as backdrop for one of the centre-pieces of the new album, a track called “Routine” (which features a choirboy by the time of Leo Blair… yes, from that Blair family!)

The tour has moved to Europe now: if any of my continental chums can make a show (lots are sold-out) I recommend you do so. Wonderful.

Trying to sum up IBM ConnectED 2015

Just been sitting here pondering the mess that is my desk and wondering where to start—both with the desk…

… and with how to summarise the past week. Was it a swansong? No idea. All I know is, I’m so glad I came to Florida this year (I’m a part-time Sphereian), and yes I’m feeling those delicious post-conference blues on a grey wet Saturday :-)

We at LDC Via missed our terrific friend and colleague Matt White a hell of lot, but we tried to push on through. I reprised my role as “big spoon” in the room sharing arrangements with woowar and all was well. Let us see if I can summarise (in no particular order)…

#ClosedTheDolphinBar, #BJs, #MallAtMillenia, #HolderBros, #BoughtASonosForAPrize, #MaiTais, #PenumbraDinner, #LameParty, #CarrotSticksWTF, #FultonsCrabHouse, #Marmalade, #CrossWordComp, #LDCViaTees, #Beavis, #BeyondTheEveryDay, #DuskyPink, #DepravedMonkey, #25Years, #PenumbraChampagne, #IBMChampions, #Kimonos, #BigSpoon, #CaughtTheSun, #ESPN, #BigRiver, #BoughtClothes, #FilthyBrunch, #DrinksOutside, #GreatAngularSession, #BaumanRobertsApocalypse, #WookieeSession, #JavaWithMinimalCode, #GabAndTims, #JellyRolls, #Mooney, #BLT, #LouisRichardson, #Pollack, #Litton, #JonVon, #Susan, #VirginNotlantic, #EyeOfTheStorm, #AskTheIBMers, #PretzelCookieGate, #NerdGirlsSparks, #ArtBenjamin, #Mathemagics, #HadABlast

Photo: sunset over IBM ConnectED

A change of IDEs

For more years than I care to remember, Eclipse has been my Java IDE of choice. I’ve been known to branch out to things like MyEclipse as required, but in recent years, just base Eclipse.

As Indigo, Juno, Kepler and company came and went, tweaks were made, user interfaces polished: fair enough. But of late, Eclipse has become more and more sluggish, and downright Domino Designer-ish on occasion (which is clearly intolerable!) The last straw for me was when both Kepler and Luna decided to periodically “forget” that they had integrated JUnit test-runners: a re-start was required to render test-running functional once more.

Time to change.

At a number of clients I noticed other Java developers crowing about IntelliJ IDEA. I’ve had good experiences with other JetBrains products (TeamCity and ReSharper, specifically), so figured I’d give it a go. I’m glad I did! Of course, one cannot simply forget years of Eclipse-focussed muscle memory, but I have found IntelliJ to be fast, responsive, logical, and chock-full of good features. Compared with Eclipse, IDEA makes good use of space, and an ability to quickly tuck away individual panes / windows / views / call-them-what-you-will is useful too. The JUnit shizzle is integrated well, and tests run very quickly. IDEA has extensive refactoring support too… in short, it’s all there, and I’m converted.

If I have piqued your interest, be sure to check out what’s coming in version 14, the next major release. There are some splendid things coming, like an integrated decompiler, scratch files and in-line operator expressions evaluation.

What’s new in IntelliJ IDEA 14.


I’m a developer / general IT wrangler, specialising in (often mobile-friendly) web apps using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5, etc.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. Read more…