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Buy Where You Shop

Posted by daniel on December 29, 2003 at 8:15 AM PST

You go to a local bookstore to browse for a book. You go to a local camera store to hold the different models in your hand and choose the one you like the best. Then you go online and buy from an online source that doesn't incur the costs of inventory you can hold and salespeople you can talk to.

It hardly seems fair. On the one hand, you should be able to get the best deal on a product. On the other hand, as Tim O'Reilly writes in his essay Buy where you shop , if "you want to look at the physical product, for example browsing through a book in the store, you owe it to the retailer--and to yourself--to buy it there, rather than going home and saving a few dollars by ordering it online." Tim concludes his essay by saying, ", it takes a strenuous forethought to make sure we don't inadvertently damage parts of our world that we take for granted. It's easy to get fired up about large technical, social, and political issues, but the future we create is even more the result of small decisions we make every day."

The small decisions. My wife and I try to buy from local coffee shops, camera stores, and bookstores. It's sad but there aren't any independent bookstores near us anymore. So John Mitchell presents us with a small decision in his contribution to today's
Weblogs . Last week, Michael Nascimento Santos pointed to the JavaLobby page for accessing the J2SDK alpha. Downloading using this page required a JavaLobby membership. Today, John provides us with a direct link to the J2SE v1.5.0-alpha availability with JSR-166 updates. Although you can head directly to the download page, you may want to "Buy where you shop" and access the download by first heading to the JavaLobby page.

Michael contributes another blog entry today to demonstrate Achieving better compression with Deflator. He explains that "Deflater supports compression levels through a method named setLevel(int). The argument this method takes is yet-another-magical-int-constant-in-the-world, an int argument whose value ranges from 1, a.k.a. BEST_SPEED, to 9, a.k.a.BEST_COMPRESSION. Deflater is used internally by DeflaterOutputStream, which is the superclass of GZIPOutputStream".

Who better than Richard to tell us What's Richard Monson-Haefel up to in 2004. He plans to work on a book called "This is Java" that shows "how Java works under the hood." He has many interesting projects in mind after he accounts for the time needed to actually earn a living.


In Also in Java Today Merlin Hughes shows you how to Roll your own secret Santa Web application in his three part article about writing a J2EE application. Perhaps overkill for a secret Santa but the "First article focuses on the beans, their design and implementation, and the use of XDoclet to accelerate their development and deployment." The " second article focuses on the controller aspect of the application, and the use of servlets, JavaMail, and Jakarta Struts to support its development." Finally, the "third article focuses on the view aspect of the application, and the use of JSP technology, JSTL, and Jakarta Struts to support its development."

"According to a poll on Embedded.com, 68% of the respondents are using C for developing their embedded software. " In James W. Grenning's article Why are you still using C he points out many of the advantages of using an Object Oriented language (in his case C++) for embedded programming. In her response to the article, Debi Cole writes that it isn't true "that everyone involved in developing embedded applications needs/uses a 32-bit MCU and an RTOS, but the fact of the matter is, well over 60%, if not more, of us still use 8-bit MCUs with 4K bytes (or less) of memory every day." She responds that she is aware of the benefits of Design Patterns and OO but doesn't have the memory available to code that way.


In Projects and Communities, help fill out the new JavaPedia page on SAAJ, the SOAP with Attachments API for Java. Discussion goes below the line and formal content above. In Atom Authentication , Mark Pilgrim explains why Atom (the new syndication standard) can not use http authentication and describes what it is using instead.


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