Groovy Map to Json String converter

I use Groovy a lot. It’s simple and easy to use, runs on JVM and saves me from Java verbosity. I also like the fact that it’s dynamic.

I use it with a simple Servlet to return data to JavaScript AJAX requests. I like to keep the server side very simple, so I don’t create a lot of POJOs and I’m using HashMaps instead. Groovy has few convenient methods that makes it easy to work with Maps.

I do convert the maps into JSON when returning results to a browser. I don’t use anything fancy, just a couple lines of Groovy code to do that.

With this code there is quite a bit of assumptions though:

  • it will only work for Map
  • it assumes Strings are used as Map Keys
  • it will convert Maps, Lists and Objects
  • when it meets Object it will call .toString() on it to get it’s value
  • it will try to format it with tabs and new lines a bit, so it’s more pleasant for the eye and human readable

Hope it would be useful for you. Greg

Free Kanban board on Mac with no additional software

I’m a big fan of Kanban board. I prefer it over TODO list for all my professional and personal work.  It’s clear to understand, doesn’t require extensive management process and most important offers great visibility of work.

I’m not going to focus on Kanban itself. If you want to read more about it I would refer you to few external links for more info:

Example of a simple Kanban board
Example of a simple Kanban board

What I would like to focus on is how to do a cheap Electronic Board on Apple Mac without any additional software installed.

What you need?

If you got Mac you don’t really need anything more. I’m running OS X 10.8.3.

To make the Kanban board I used application shipped with OS X called Stickies and a custom made desktop backgrounds.

How to do it?

First of all, I’ve created a new Desktop using Mission Control and setup Desktop Background to my Custom “Kanban Board like” wallpaper.

Adding new desktop in the Mission Control
Adding new desktop in the Mission Control

I’ve prepared two backgrounds, dark and bright, which you are more than welcome to use for free.

Kanban Board - Desktop background - Dark
Kanban Board – Desktop background – Dark
Kanban Board - Desktop background - Light
Kanban Board – Desktop background – Light

My empty board is ready. All I need to do now is to add some Stickies onto it.

Background with Stickies
Background with Stickies

Voila. You can modify color of a sticky and make it transparent. I’m using colors to distinguish between different types of tasks. Stickies on the top are the one with top priority.

Once your Done column is full you can archive your Stickie by saving it and removing from the board.

Simple as that I hope you’ll find it helpful and easy to use. Greg