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New "Java Tech" Series Features Bite-Sized Java Solutions

Posted by editor on November 3, 2009 at 5:27 AM PST

Java.net has a long-standing tradition of publishing high-quality full-length Java technology articles. We also have a vibrant blogging community, and active forums. While these types of content can cover pretty much any problem that Java developers would find themselves facing, it seems like there's room for at least one more new type of content. For this reason, today we're re-introducing the Java Tech column. It will have the same hard technology focus as before, but will feature a new, "bite-sized" approach to presenting solutions to Java development problems and issues. The java.net article format will still be applied, but Java Tech columns will be much shorter in length than traditional full-length java.net articles.

So, what's the point of doing this? Well, the intention is for the Java Tech series to provide solutions to specific problems related to programming and Java technology. These problems and solutions are probably too narrowly focused to warrant a full 2000+ word technical article. Yet, the problems are sufficiently difficult that in most cases they deserve a more formal and complete presentation than is appropriate for a forum or blog post. Yes, some java.net bloggers in fact write the kind of fairly formal post I'm talking about, little articles really. But the point of the re-instantiated Java Tech column is to have a central organizing banner for publishing solutions to specific problems that may have broad application and relevance for many developers.

Today I published our first new Java Tech column, Marina Kamahele's "Transparent" Panel - Mixing Heavyweight and Lightweight Components. In this column, Marina talks about the problem of overlaying lightweight Swing widgets on top of heavyweight AWT components. Specifically, Marina addresses the issue of transparency. A real-world example application based on NASA's World Wind Java SDK is also included.

Marina shows how a developer can overcome the problem whereby "a lightweight JPanel overlaid on top of a heavyweight AWT component cannot be transparent":

To overcome this problem, one can implement a TransparentPanel by overriding the JPanel::paint() method so that the JPanel only paints its children, as shown below.

Marina then provides code that illustrates the solution.

Illustrating and demonstrating solutions to problems is what the renewed Java Tech column is going to be about. The problems will range in complexity and breadth of scope, and universal relevance, somewhere between what you'd find in a forum entry or a small blog post, and what you'd find in a full-scale technology article.

Thinking about it in terms of number of words: these columns will mostly be between 500 and 1000 worlds, and include code snippets, perhaps a diagram or screen shot (depending on the problem addressed). That's what I mean by "bite-sized": relatively easy to read and digest in one sitting. And, also, nowhere near as difficult to write as a full-scale java.net technology article.

I'm excited about the new Java Tech series, because I think a lot of people in the java.net community have discovered solutions to specific problems that are relevant for other developers, and I'm hoping that people will want to take the time to document their discoveries for broader dissemination via the column. If you've got an idea for a Java Tech column, please contact me, and we can discuss the possibilities!


In Java Today, Geertjan Wielenga has filed a Conference Report: TheServerSide Java Symposium:

"Power strips everywhere" was the first thought that struck me at TheServerSide Java Symposium, which took place Tuesday and Wednesday this week in Prague, Czech Republic. Instantly, the sad flat laptops around squashed JavaOne beanbags became little more than grim memory. Wireless was immediately available and excellent throughout and, with the preamble prior to the keynote mercifully short and sweet, the conference had begun...

Josh Marinacci announced that the JFXStudio Challenge: Five is over!:

JFXStudio Challenge: Five is now completely over. We got several entries that I'm excited for you to see. Unfortunately I won't be able to get them judged this week as I am in Sweden for the OreDev conference, but rest assured you'll find out the winner, and next month's theme, very soon...

Kirill Grouchnikov announced the Flamingo 4.2 official release:

I am excited today to announce the availability of the final release for version 4.2 of Flamingo component suite (code-named Hiolair). It is a stabilization release that adds a few minor features and fixes all known bugs.

Here is the list of minor features added in release 4.2:

  • Support for placing small command buttons in ribbon galleries
  • Option to specify the callback for populating the default content of ribbon application menu
  • Command buttons support no icon / no text mode
  • Emitting full bounding box coordinates in SVG transcoder
  • Support for changing the expand listener of ribbon bands
  • Better tracing of inconsistent ribbon resize policies ...

In today's Weblogs, Jan Haderka announces SwingX 1.6 released:

It's already five months since the version 1.0 have been announced at JavaOne. Today, new version of the SwingX have been released. This release is first Java 6 only compatible release. Setting base line to Java 6 allowed us to drop all the extra code necessary to maintain backwards compatibility for functionality added to the cora Javasince the release of Java 5. So as of today, you can benefit cleaner and leaner code behind API of various SwingX components, such as searching and filtering APIs of JXTable, JXTreeTable and other components. Moving to Java 6, you now also get the full Nimbus LAF support...

John Ferguson Smart provides More Groovy Magic with Maven pom files:

Last time, I introduced some of the new Groovy support available in Maven 3, and looked at how you will be able to write your pom files in Groovy, or in other non-XML notations. In this article, we'll take a further look at what you can do with a Maven pom file written in Groovy. Jason Dillon, the guy who brought us GMaven, has been working hard on extending the Groovy pom scripting features, and is coming up with some great new capabilities...

Fabrizio Giudici provides advice on how to Kick your bugs in the ass! with the Chuck Norris Hudson plugin:

Just installed a fundamental Hudson plugin ...


In the Forums, REV Tamas has questions about jmx alerts: "Hi, On a GlassFishESB v2.1 production server we'd like to receive some kind of alerts every time a SEVERE or WARNING-level log is issued. We checked the "Alarm" on Logger setting page, but couldn't catch any alarm with..."

polski has questions regarding World managment, Octree, setUsedData() etc...: "I have a question about world management. I have considering implementing an OctTree or some kind of tree like structure for 3D. Does java3d internally sort the coordinates (x,y,z) in the BranchGraph? That is, does it balance..."

And bernard_horan talks about Internationalising Wonderland: "I've just posted a new blog entry reporting on our progress internationalising Wonderland. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Ronny Standtke for taking on this work and also Michel Denis for producing a French localisation..."


Our current Spotlight is the java.net ks2009 open source project: "KS - 2009®" is the world's 1st Karnaugh Map Solver for handheld devices. Karnaugh Maps are used to normalize complex digital circuits to reduce the requirements and complexity of hardware while implementing Digital Logic circuits. Mobile devices being so easy to access, this software will be a boon for all those digital circuit designers who are very often confronted with the problem to normalize complex digital circuits, and find normalization procedure using Karnaugh maps manually, very time consuming and difficult.


This week's java.net Poll asks What's your view of the JCP's role in guiding Java's future? The poll will run through Thursday.


Our current "(Not So) Stupid Questions" topic for discussion is Does Java Speak for Itself? It was suggested at Oracle OpenWorld that Java indeed does speak for itself. But, what does that statement mean? Does it have any truth? Register your view by posting a comment.

Our Feature Articles include Varun Sood's Applying Creational Design Patterns in Java, which provides an overview of creational design patterns, describes when they apply, and illustrates their use; and we're featuring a new Java Tech guest column by Marina Kamahele: "Transparent" Panel - Mixing Heavyweight and Lightweight Components.


The latest Java Mobility Podcast is Java Mobile Podcast 90: Augmented Reality: Excerpts from the JavaOne 2009 Augmented Reality session with Kenneth Andersson and Erik Hellman of Sony Ericsson.


Current and upcoming Java Events:

Registered users can submit event listings for the java.net Events Page using our events submission form. All submissions go through an editorial review before being posted to the site.


Archives and Subscriptions: This blog is delivered weekdays as the Java Today RSS feed. Also, once this page is no longer featured as the front page of java.net it will be archived along with other past issues in the java.net Archive.

-- Kevin Farnham

O'Reilly Media

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