Saturday, 22 July 2017

NetBeans on CentOS 7

The default appearance of NetBeans on Linux is not so good. Here are some settings you can use to improve it.

Menu Appearance

When using the GTK look and feel with the default GNOME Shell Adwaita theme popup menus are drawn without borders. This can be fixed by installing the NetBeans plugin from

Recommended GNOME Shell font settings

Font settings can be changed using gnome-tweak-tool. I recommend “DejaVu Sans Book” for the interface and “DejaVu Sans Mono Book” for monospace. These fonts render well on Linux and include a large number of Unicode characters. Use “Slight” hinting and “Rgba” anti-aliasing for LCD monitors.

In addition create the file $HOME/.config/fontconfig/fonts.conf and run the command fc-cache:

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM 'fonts.dtd'>
 <match target="font">
  <edit mode="assign" name="rgba">
 <match target="font">
  <edit mode="assign" name="hinting">
 <match target="font">
  <edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle">
 <match target="font">
  <edit mode="assign" name="antialias">
  <match target="font">
    <edit mode="assign" name="lcdfilter">

OpenJDK with patches

JetBrains, the creators of the IntelliJ IDEA IDE, maintain a version of OpenJDK patched for better font rendering on Linux. This can be downloaded from

The default JDK used for rendering NetBeans can be set in the NetBeans installation directory in file “netbeans-8.2/etc/netbeans.conf”: 


Also in netbeans.conf add the following to netbeans_default_options: 

-J-Dswing.aatext=TRUE -J-Dawt.useSystemAAFontSettings=on

NetBeans font settings

In NetBeans Options→Fonts & Colors be sure to select “Monospace” to avoid a bug where Japanese characters are not rendered.

For my taste the default line spacing is too big. To match the line spacing used by Sublime Text edit the file $HOME/.netbeans/8.2/config/Editors/Preferences/org-netbeans-modules-editor-settings-CustomPreferences.xml and add the lines:

<entry javaType="java.lang.Float" name="line-height-correction" xml:space="preserve">

Sony VPCEH2P0E and Windows 10

At first I was worried about installing Windows 10 on my aging Sony VPCEH2P0E laptop because of Intel's stated position that they did not support the HD3000 chipset for that version of Windows.

The drivers available via Windows Update (version dated 2016-05-19) run great and I have not experienced any issues.

I have upgraded a few parts since the initial purchase: 8GB RAM, 500GB SSD and a 5GHz WiFi dongle. This is still a very useful machine and Windows 10 seems to perform better than the original Windows 7 install.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Censored by The Guardian

This comment was censored by The Guardian.

Thursday, 4 August 2016


Takarazuka's latest footcare centre!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Brexit and the democratic process

You have to regard the success of the Leave campaign as being an endorsement of the democratic process.

A group of people keen for the UK to leave the EU form a single issue political party (UKIP) and campaign and stand for election. Despite being (sometimes) represented and supported by loons and fruitcakes their candidates, over time, succeed in winning local, parliamentary and European elections.

They use this power base and links with Eurosceptic groups within the Conservative Party to pressure the Government into agreeing to a referendum on a UK exit from the EU.

Despite the massed ranks of the political elite, business leaders, the media, foreign heads of state and assorted celebrity gobshites they succeeded in winning the required share of the vote agreed to by all parties prior to the vote taking place.

The correct way for any group to achieve its aims in a democratic society, no?