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Today is my birthday so here is a gift

Today is my birthday! Hooray for me!

To celebrate I decided to release the source code for JotBot.

JotBot is a cross-platform desktop application written in JRuby. It was a commercial product released somewhere around 2009.

It is notable for being one of the first commercial JRuby apps as well as for being a reasonably robust example of Monkeybars.

JotBot never sold very well, and the JotBot Web store was shutdown around 2011.

The source code is being released to provide some examples of Monkeybars usage. Also, it’s a useful app.


First and foremost JotBot (and Monkeybars) was primarily the work of David Koontz and Logan Barnett .

I contributed to both Monkeybars and JotBot (and am now the Monkeybars project admin) but the bulk of credit belongs to David and Logan.

Monkeybars arose out of a private commercial project first started by David and then continued by Happy Camper Studios (that being David, Logan, and myself).

Happy Camper disbanded around 2009 and I was granted ownership of JotBot. I, through my company Neurogami, sold JotBot using Shopify and a Ramaze + JRuby + Glassfish Web app that handled license key generation and delivery when a sale was made.

JotBot sold like shit, and it cost more money to maintain the sales infrastructure than it ever generated. But I learned a lot. Still cheaper than business school.

We used JotBot at Happy Camper (we wrote it to scratch our own itch), and I continued to use it since then.

The code has been sitting in private git repo all this time, and I kept thinking I’d find a way to revamp it and re-market it.

But, I haven’t, and likely never will. Lately I’ve been working more with assorted hardware, and have started a publishing site (Just the Best Parts) for E-books explain technology for artists.

So I’m making the source available for personal, non-commercial use.

(I still write Ruby code of course, and long-term I want to write JRuby apps to help connect Kinect and Wii game controllers with assorted audio/visual programs, but I got faster immediate gains using Processing.)


I’ve been using a version compiled around 2010. Since then there have been changes to JRuby, Java, Monkeybars, and Rawr.

Somewhere along the line stuff got misaligned and compiling JotBot got gnarly.

In preparation for releasing the code I removed a number of tangential files (e.g. all the code for the Web site and assorted experimental rigs) and tried to par down the source to what is essentially for just building a running copy of JotBot.

It builds but fails (for me at least) when run. I suspect there’s some subtle problem due to changes in JRuby and or Java. Might be an issue in Monkeybars.

I didn’t want to stall the release just because of a small problem, such as the application failing to run.

I’m assuming that I or someone else will figure out what the problem is and the code will get updated.

Even if that never happens the code offers some interesting Monkeybars and JRuby+Swing examples.

You can find the JotBot source code at https://github.com/Neurogami/JotBot

Make the most of it, for what it’s worth.

Feed your head!

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Neurogami: Dance Noise

Neurogami: Maximum R&D