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Looking Good

Posted by daniel on August 14, 2003 at 8:41 AM PDT

Many recent weblog entries on java.net have highlighted different usability issues many of which could be resolved by presenting a powerful and easily navigated view to your clients. Today's feature article, Custom Layouts, by Doug Lyon shows you how to create your own Layout Manager.

In Lyon's example you create your own grid layout where the maximum preferred size of components such as JButtons is respected. You can adapt the same techniques to your own design constraints.

Today's featured Weblogs begin with Greg Vaughn's disturbing but accurate entry Mission Impossible: Requirements. How can you meet all of the requirements, come in with solid code, be on time, and still have a failing software project? Greg post points out that methodologies that only focus on the technical side of development may be doomed to fail. He writes:

I've known very few software projects that fail due to technical reasons. It's almost always political. It is usually an issue of either not understanding the business needs, or writing the software to please the wrong person(s). Because of this, focusing on optimizing the efficiency of the pure development effort, like XP, doesn't really help the underlying issue. Those of us typically introverted, logic-ruled developer types are going to have to determine to learn something about corporate politics. Yes, I actually believe that though I do not relish it.

Greg also references Philip Brittan's blog entry XP, User Champions, and Software Vendors that in turn is a response to a post of Greg's on XP. Brittan points out the need for a committed "user champion" for a project to succeed:

The most successful projects that I have seen all had a user champion who felt that the successful completion of the software project would positively impact their own job performance, and so they are willing to sacrifice time spent doing their normal job in order to spend more time on the software project. Just as important as the time they spend is the focus of their attention. An effective user champion will be thinking about the project all the time, and will therefore bring better insights and more attention to detail to the project.

In the Also Today section, we link to the ONJava interview on Java on the GameBoy Advance. Developers Masters and Mahan discuss the JEMBlazer "line of cartridges that add Java capabilities to various devices." Java developers can use the JFlame development kit to write GameBoy Advance applications in Java. The DevX tutorial From Zero to JSP 2.0 gives you a quick introduction to using JSPs, tag libraries, and a database to easily put together a dynamic web site.

From the Java Today News Page, news editor Steve Mallett, has gathered the following News Headlines .

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