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More free time

Posted by daniel on October 9, 2003 at 4:15 PM PDT

There's plenty of pressure to run a leaner organization. You're being asked to squeeze every bit of productivity out of your team. Tell them to take half a day each week to "play".

Jim Shore begins his post Continuous Learning in Also in Java Today by repeating John Brewer's force your team once a week to take half a day to play. There are many good reasons for taking a break now and then. There is the common experience of walking a way from a problem you've been beating your head against for hours. Over dinner, in the middle of a movie, or while you're sleeping the answer will just come to you. But that's not what Jim is recommending.

Jim's suggestion is similar to the "Gold Cards" used elsewhere. He told his team

Every Thursday afternoon, we would experiment with any technical concept that interested them. The only rule was that it couldn't be project related.

I thought the team would jump at the opportunity. Instead, they balked. "That's a waste of time," they complained. "We're here to write software for our company, not play."

Jim's story ends happily. Not only do the developers learn new techniques but they quickly find they are able to apply this new found knowledge to their current project. Tom DeMarco's book "Slack" is filled with similar examples of the benefits of making sure your organization isn't running too lean.

BEA's David Orchard uses a pair of axes in Making Sense of Web Services Standards . Along one axis he organizes the standards by whether they are core, emerging core, or extensions. So, for example WSDL, SOAP, and HTTP are examples of core standards; URI and WS-Policy, and WS-Security are in the Emerging Core; and David considers UDDI, BPEL4WS, and WS-Transactions to be extensions. The other axis partitions the web services in the categories of Discovery, Description, and Delivery.

Jayson Falkner's debut Weblog entry Blog, blog, blog may seem at first like a complaint against blogs and blogging, but really he's asking you for suggestions for topics. Jayson is a member of the JSP 2.0 expert group so zander posted the suggestion that maybe Jayson could explain why JSPs are still relevant.

In Embrace, Extend, Extinguish on the browser? Philip Brittan suggests that a recent article "Has Microsoft Forsaken IE?" may signal that we've entered into the extinguish phase. He writes, "Microsoft has been pushing its Smart Client technology heavily recently, insisting that these server-managed fat clients are what customers really want for applications. While it seems indubitable that Microsoft will continue to support the browser for viewing Web pages, but I can easily see them degrading IE's ability to serve as a platform for real applications."

Simon Brown latest entry is File access in EJB . The trouble starts, Simon explains, with the restriction that "An enterprise bean must not use the package to attempt to access files and directories in the file system. " Simon bolsters the recommendation that file I/O is bad and then takes a more pragmatic approach.

Today in Projects and Communities, the JXTA community features the AIsland project where "Mobile Agents travel between different AIslands." The agents communicate using JXTA. The JavaDesktop community points to an article on getting the most out of Swing and the Java2D API. The article explains that the trick is knowing where and what to paint.

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