Monday, 15 October 2007

Testing Skype's Extensibility

It has been quite some time since I have started using Skype - the free VoIP service provider. Being away from the homeland, we have been spending hours on the phone talking to family and friends. As expected the costs of calls were huge. So as soon as Skype has become available it is pretty much all the time on the menu.

The thing with Skype is, there is no way to indicate that you are in the call (simple feature found in MSN messenger for example). This way someone dialling in, has no idea you are busy, and makes you react to the incoming call or to bear the ring tone. This is a pain especially when you are away from the computer and to help myself with this,I have committed this simple Skype plugin

This little project has helped me to relax from my J2EE studies, I have been conducting lately. It was a really nice counter-point, I have to admit. It took a bit of C++, rough COM (no ATL) and C# together to get it going. I exposed myself to dynamic class loading, created custom controls and satellite assemblies to host Polish resources. Then I have thrown some code at NUnit and Rhino Mocks for testing. And everything using just publicly available development tools including Microsoft's Visual Studio Express

I have to admit that after Eclipse or even VS professional, it was really difficult to go back to such primitive development environment. Insufficient class browsing, limited code re-factoring, no free integrated tooling, limited debugging and project options - did not encourage. It felt like going back in time. I have to admit that at one point, I thought of using Resharper and VS 2008 BETA. But the idea got dropped.

It continues to surprise me how many free and well integrated tools there are available for Java, comparing to MS .NET - Is it just sad story or opportunity, what do you think?

Anyway, now after passing the test for J2EE architect, I have my plugin working, what makes me doubly happy..

No comments: