Working for "them"
Ward Cunningham writes "As of December, 2003, I've taken a position at Microsoft with the title Architect."
Hmmm. I have a semi-reliable memory of an exchange that followed Doc Searls' ApacheCon keynote address. Someone asked Doc how do we help big companies understand the value and culture of open source software. Doc answered, "you go work for them."
And now Ward has gone to work for them. It's not his first time working for a large corporation. He has written about his time working for IBM . Moreover, he acknowledges that some folks who frequent the big wiki will have problems with his going to Microsoft, saying "that some authors here have no good will for the company. Please remember I will remain the same person."
Don Box has been at Microsoft for almost two years. He's already contributed advice to the Tips for Ward at Microsoft page. He writes, "Code talks more than you know. Concrete artifacts have considerable weight." Box also advises that "There are lots of idioms getting born right now due to generics/iterators/anonymousmeths/partial-types - you'd add tons of value extending (and pruning) the emerging communal thoughts on this."
Frequent Microsoft blogger, Robert Scoble, adds "Having a blog will help you get visibility for your ideas (and will let you credit people and ideas that influence your work, as other comments on this blog say you won't do that)."
As a Mac OS X and Java guy, there's a part of me that is worried to have Ward working "over there". But, then again, Ramon Leon reminds us that "Microsoft can only benefit from Wards presence." He adds, "Hey Ward, show em how it should be done!"
In Also in Java Today Glenn Vanderburg considers where we went wrong with J2EE in his post Wrong Turn. It started with the report of a question that Pragmatic Dave Thomas asked Mike Clark on how he would write a J2EE app that displays "Hello World" on a web page. In Mike's post Hello Cruel World, he explains that "I know how to do it and Dave probably does too, but it's the question that's important. [...] how much infrastructure do we need to evoke that simple salutation? Do we need better tools or less complexity? Where did we go wrong with all of this?"
In Glenn's response, he writes, that the problem with J2EE is that "we started with a language that is insufficiently reflective (so that it can only be extended in limited ways from inside) and that has too much syntax (making it difficult to adapt to more declarative tasks). So we have containers, code generators, interface generators, EJB compilers, and bytecode enhancers, XML config files running out the ears, and on and on."
Ted Kosan has been thinking about teaching beginning programmers and he has concluded that before we introduce Java we should start the students off with BASIC. In BASIC as a pre-Java language for Programming Beginners he writes that BASIC is the "best language that I have encountered to date for introducing programming to beginners" and that he "couldn't escape the fact that almost every excellent programmer I currently know first learned how to program in BASIC on either an APPLE II or a Commodore 64." Kosan has started a JXTA based project to support this idea and is working on supplementary materials.
In Projects and Communities, another script language for Java is being created in the Pnuts project. They have made binary, source, examples, and docs available. Also, NetBeans has posted the NetBeans 4.0 Release Plans. Many of the feature you've come to rely on in other IDEs are scheduled for next summer's release. This includes an Ant based Project System, refactoring support, JUnit integration, and editor enhancements such as Smart Templates, autogeneration of JavaDocs, and Automated Imports Management.
Vincent Brabant looks at the nearer future for the IDE in today's Weblogs . Vincent asks Will the future release 3.6 permit to NetBeans to stay in the race or is it too late ? He writes that it is not too late and adds something that I didn't know. There are nice features for NetBeans that other IDEs don't yet have for which "you need to know keyboard shortcuts to use those functions. Some very nice functions are only available via keyboard shortcuts, but never by mouse or in the menus."
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