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Two Straws

Posted by daniel on November 27, 2003 at 7:06 AM PST

Today is Thanksgiving in the US. Yesterday, I went to my four year old daughter's pre-school for their Thanksgiving lunch.

Three dozen preschoolers were each allowed to bring a parent and lunch for two. At 11:30 with Elena leading the way tugging on one of my hands and with her pink princess lunch bag in my other hand, we walked into her classroom and found a cozy table for two. The chairs were really tiny, but surprisingly sturdy. Elena served our lunch of salami, cheese, and crackers. As we ate, she popped out of her chair every few minutes to greet another classmate.

As I look back at the things I'm thankful for, getting to carry a pink lunch bag and sit in really uncomfortable chairs for an hour tops the list. After the lunch was over I asked what else she would like to do. She remembered hearing about a lunch date I had had with her older sister not long ago, and she wanted the same prize as the seven year old.

We headed over to the cafe at Borders book store and she politely ordered one root beer with two straws. We arranged the straws in the cup and first she took a drink and then I did. She shook her head. I was doing it wrong. She tipped each of the straws slightly so we could drink at the same time. We spent a half hour talking and sipping and mainly hanging out nose-to-nose. It's moments like that for which I am most thankful.

In Weblogs , Michael Nascimento Santos asks Why is everyone talking about grid computing? And what are you doing about it? He writes:

Have you ever thought about reducing the time your Ant builds take to run? What if you could use other developers' machines to run it in parallel while they are having coffee or are out in a meeting? Wouldn't that be great? And what if you could perform parts of a specific transaction in some machines available in a cluster instead of loading one box for a minute when the user could get the response in a few seconds? Those are the kind of things that may be accomplished with grid computing in an easier way.

Cool examples. This grid compiling idea is built into Apple's XCode IDE. There are plenty of spare cycles when you are coding and not just while you are out for coffee. Most of the coding time is spent reading code or typing some in. Your box could certainly be helping to compile another programmers code in the background. Michael urges you to get involved in helping shape the Java standard for grid computing.

Simon Brown blogs about the Inconsistency between Servlet specification implementations. He presents an example where different implementations handle authentication using the getUserPrincipal() method differently. He explains that "What this means is that after authentication, you cannot consistently tell from that method whether the current user has been authenticated or not. Tomcat/Resin will report yes, while JBoss/Jetty will report no." He asks whether all implementations should be put through the J2EE compatibility tests.

In Also in Java Today Faheem Khan continues the developerWorks series on Locking down a J2ME application with Kerboros. In Authoring a request for a Kerboros Ticket Khan shows how to "generate a cryptographic key used for encryption and decryption in Kerberos messaging [... and] how the J2ME client will author the request for a Kerberos ticket."

Every web application should have a filter for caching and a filter for compressing. That's Jayson Falkner's advice in his ONJava article Two Servlet Filters every Web Application should have. In addition to showing you various techniques for each type of filter, he also provides the following advice on when to and when not to apply them. "You should almost always try to compress content. [...] Text content (basically anything a JSP produces) can usually be compressed quite well, but already compressed content (e.g., a JPG image) or randomized content (e.g., anything encrypted) cannot be so easily compressed." And also that "While caching can save a web application a lot of time and processing power, [...] Some pages can't be cached because the page's content must be dynamically generated each time the page is viewed".

An article in Java Magazine highlights the Brazilian Bloggers. Their members belong to two of the larger Java User Groups featured in Projects and Communities . Also the JXTA community features the new collaboration tool project called jxcube or the JXTA eXtreme Cube.

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