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Making things right

Posted by daniel on October 13, 2003 at 1:34 PM PDT

I recently set up a new computer. Installing the applications and getting everything working wasn't so hard - but they didn't feel quite right. I had to go through and reset my preferences and tweak the applications in those little ways that make them fit me - key bindings, font size, window location, ... the usual.

When you write a Java application, how much time to you spend making sure that the application is easily configured so that your users can customize it in those small but important ways. In the feature article Configuration Blues , Craig Castelaz considers three approaches to making your apps more user friendly. Although not covered in the article, he recommends that your application auto-detect default settings when possible. Other than that, he considers using Properties, Preferences, and Java Management Extensions.

In Also in Java Today , the Oracle Technology Network publishes part two of their series Jump-start your Java Development on Linux . This installment focuses on command-line development tools familiar to UNIX and Mac OS X developers.

In The Philosophy of Ruby Bill Venners interviews Yukihiro Matsumoto. "Matz" explains his thinking behind Ruby language design decisions.

Language designers want to design the perfect language. They want to be able to say, "My language is perfect. It can do everything." But it's just plain impossible to design a perfect language, because there are two ways to look at a language. One way is by looking at what can be done with that language. The other is by looking at how we feel using that language—how we feel while programming.

Andreas Schaefer credits Mike Clark with convincing him to try TDD (test driven development. In his Weblog entry jUnit to the Rescue , Andy describes his path to implementing jUnit tests for "revamping the transaction handling of the J2EE server without breaking it but improving performance and removing any resource leaks." He also lists two requests for the next jUnit release that you may want to respond to.

In P2P Could Make Internet More Reliable: Gettin' JNGI With It Steve Mallett says that the recent VeriSign SiteFinder situation is an example of how the "current top-down architecture can cripple the internet". Steve points to a report from the MIT Enterprise Technology Review and to the JNGI project about which he says

the idea is that peers can detect when other peers are taken down (attack or otherwise) and pick up the slack by redistributing the work so the network and it's current operations are not interrupted.

If anything the internet is in danger of being attacked out of existence. Legal, Worms, Viruses, you name it, it is denying service to internet users on a 24X7 basis. The time has never been better to visit JNGI and get to work on a truly P2P based net.

In Projects and Communities, the Education and Research community maintains the edu-incubator project. This is where the new and experimental projects for this community live. Also, Eric Newcomer writes about how hard it is to get agreement on "higher-level specifications such as security, reliability, transactions, and choreography or orchestration". In The Web Services Standards Mess he writes that this is notable given how easy it seemed to be to get agreement on SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI.

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