Saturday, August 23, 2008


Class Viewer, Google searches, and rankings

Maybe more on-topic for Java developers I will again admit that I am curious about where my open source program Class Viewer for Java really ranks, where for years now I've puzzled over the #1 position held on a Google or Yahoo search on "class viewer" without knowing if it's really significant as hit counts to the page are pathetic, as in, 10 per day, on a good day.

The program itself isn't big or complicated and really just gives you a GUI for quick reference on Java classes to see all the public methods, fields and constructors, and it will open a browser to get javadocs, and can take you to the specific method:[],%20int,%20int)

The program built that URL and opened Firefox for me to it and I just copied that out to show here.

How good of a feature is that? I know now developers are using IDE's while when I was professionally programming I used an IDE with C++, but the Java ones were considered crappy by my fellow developers (should date when I was developing) so they convinced me to do everything from the command line. And I hate IntelliSense.

All the javadocs I need are kept up with in an xml file, so once they're in there, I don't have to look them up again and the program opens them up in an instant to the method I want, and if there are changes I just open it with a text editor and make the changes to the path for the URL.

I've considered letting people do that through the GUI but without feedback I don't know if it's needed or would be useful.

Oh yeah, as I cover neat features as I need more info, and getting feedback about users is a waste as I learned earlier, I'll ask about comparisons, one thing I love is the ability to do a search on every public method with a certain character string in it. Like I can search for everything with "ode", in String and get the following output:

int hashCode()
int codePointAt(int)
int codePointBefore(int)
int codePointCount(int,int)
int offsetByCodePoints(int,int)

So that just pulled everything with "Code", and that's everything in String. Or you can search on "char" and get every method that has "char" in it at all, which I think is just neat.

The program itself is just middle-ware I think on Java Reflections which returns methods with package information which makes that hard to read so the program strips that off (or tries to strip it off), and then it just gives you search, and finally you can double-click on a method and get javadocs opened up for you to that method.

So then, does all of that deserve a #1 ranking in Google for a search on "Class Viewer"?

Do the IDE's now do all of that for you?

And if it's a decent little program, why do I only get at best 10 hits per day on the main webpage?

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