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Posted by daniel on February 23, 2004 at 11:58 AM PST

Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt use a gardening metaphor for programming.

Too often, authors use construction to describe programming. In part two of Bill Venners Pragmatic Programmers Interview, Thomas explains that "We want people to view software as being far more organic, far more malleable, and something that you have to be prepared to interact with to improve all the time." Building maintenance has a different feel than what is required to maintain a garden. A " garden is something that you're always interacting with to improve or even just keep the same."

The pair used the gardening metaphor in their book The Pragmatic Programmer. Hunt says that with a garden you may do a lot of up front planning. Just as a software team might first bring in an architect, with gardening there may be a landscaper who helps plan what goes where. "But when you plant the bulbs and the seeds, what happens? The garden doesn't quite come up the way you drew the picture. This plant gets a lot bigger than you thought it would. You've got to prune it. You've got to split it. You've got to move it around the garden. This big plant in the back died. You've got to dig it up and throw it into the compost pile. These colors ended up not looking like they did on the package. They don't look good next to each other. You've got to transplant this one over to the other side of the garden."

This gardening metaphor is highlighted in
Also in Java Today
. Our first link is to a story detailing the recent problems with the Mars Rover. In Ron Wilson's EETimes story The trouble with Rover is revealed he explains that the memory limitations and network latency and limited availability contributed to a problem that began when "Spirit attempted to allocate more files than the RAM-based directory structure could accommodate. That caused an exception, which caused the task that had attempted the allocation to be suspended. That in turn led to a reboot, which attempted to mount the flash file system. But the utility software was unable to allocate enough memory for the directory structure in RAM, causing it to terminate, and so on." The article goes on to describe how the engineers were able to identify and repair the problem.

The ONJava article The Eclipse project moves ahead is a belated report from this year's EclipseCon conference in Anaheim, California. Erich Gamma and John Wiegand describe the future direction of Eclipse 3.0 in their keynote. Also, Eclipse spokesman Skip McGoughey and others talk about the changes to the governance and their future goals for the platform.

In today's Projects and Communities it's time again for JXTA Bug day. Several JXTA J2SE core developers will be online for the next JXTA Bug Day Wednesday, February 25 8a-3p PST to help create and update issue reports and to help resolve existing issues.

In his CodeHaus blog, Vincent Massol proposes a Jini IDE in which each module is a Jini service which would mean the IDE is completely distributed, self-healing, secure, and support hot patching.

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