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At ApacheCon

Posted by daniel on November 17, 2003 at 11:59 AM PST

ApacheCon is a week in the desert with a wide range of talks on all of your favorite Apache projects. Richard Monson-Haefel is blogging from the conference to give you a flavor of what's going on.

By the way, as we talk to authors, which Apache projects would you like to see us give more attention to? Drop me a line if there is a particular angle you would like to see covered for an upcoming article. New projects that we're planning to cover include Geronimo , XMLBeans , and others.

In today's featured Weblogs , Douglas Tait looks at Network Computing - Programmers Nightmare or Java Dreamland. Douglas worries that " As computing becomes faster and denser, processing capabilities are enveloping switching and signaling technologies making the “Network become the Computer”. So what is the effect on Java? As Java moves into more difficult asynchronous processes, the synchronous nature of the Java environments presents roadblocks for the developer." Cajo responds "Massively distributed, and networked collaborative applications can be developed easily and efficiently; when an clean architecture is chosen."

John Reynolds has been thinking about Martin Fowler's essay on the Unwanted Modeling Language that we recently linked to. In UML and Process Definition for Java - JSR 207, John writes that although he has found Class Diagrams, Use Case Diagrams, and Sequence Diagrams " to be useful, but I have never found them to be integral to my development process. Inevitably the diagrams languish once "real development" begins, and if I need them later I reconstruct them from the code. I'm definitely not in the "UmlAsProgrammingLanguage" camp, and most of my colleagues prefer to "read the code" rather then fire up a UML tool. Javadoc is our preferred communication tool."

He hopes that we will benefit from the two standardization processes: JSR 207 and the XML Process Definition Language XPDL 1.0. In fact, he hopes that these groups will compare notes and that "Perhaps a stronger linkage between the business process definition and source code implementation will produce applications that will live longer. At the very least, it should make it much easier to develop modeling tools that are valuable throughout an application’s lifecycle."

Simon Brown is an IntelliJ Idea user who is considering Reasons to use Eclipse and SWT. So far, he isn't convinced. As he explains, " to summarize my understanding, SWT takes all the things that Java tries to achieve (platform independence, compatibility, etc) and throws them out of the window for something that is perceived to be faster, richer and more stable than Swing? I think I need some more convincing, particularly with the advances that J2SE 1.4.2 has provided in this area." He does conclude, however, that >Eclipse's large market share can not be ignored. For now, however, I'm with Simon. IDEA is still my favorite IDE. In fact, it's the only IDE I've stuck with and not returned to a text editor and command line tools.

In Also in Java Today , James Gosling blog seems to have gotten a lot more active since his return from Sun labs. Recently, he's posted about his Game addiction to the game OIDS and about the importance of using trained right-brained artist types in Syntax coloring is evil. But perhaps his most important post is the first thoughts on next year's JavaOne T-Shirt Hurling contest.

In the past there has been the trebuchet, air cannon, catapult, and just flinging limited edition t-shirts out to the audience in an annual JavaOne keynote tradition. This year Gosling would like to open up the distribution method to a contest that currently consists of "two phases: first: entrants submit proposals that get judged by a panel. second: the top three actually build/perform/whatever their proposal in front of the JavaOne crowd and the winner gets chosen then."

In reality there seem to be two core rules (in priority order):

  • Don't Freak out the fire marshal
  • Get Cool

The second link is to Michel Katz's xJen Architecture. More than anything else, in light of some of the bigger developer frameworks challenging for your attention, his article points out that we always have the ability to create our own tools. Michel uses XML and JDom in a code generator whose goal is to push "code re-use much further without contravening the OOP approach; the templates must follow proper OOP structure. We are trying to create better code, not more bad code faster."

In Projects and Communities , the Java Tools community has a Filesearch tool that allows you to search directories as well as inside of jar files and zip files. The UI is still in an early stage but you can download the core library or the source code. Want to know who's writing the entries in the Javapedia project? Check out the Javapedia authors page. If you have contributed to the wiki, add your name to the list.

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