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Small changes and fast progress

Posted by daniel on April 28, 2004 at 8:14 AM PDT

Finally one of our feature stories that has a chance of being made into a movie.

Making small changes may bring up the image of a tortoise. But the famous fable of the tortoise and the hare seems to be as flawed as each of Zeno's paradoxes. It seems that the tortoise should win in the Achilles paradox as well and yet time and again you find yourself on the wrong side of that bet. How could the results be otherwise in software development? Can the tortoise win?

The feature story Keep Changes Small: A Happy Jack Story questions the image that small changes means that you're moving slow and steady. Author Michael Ivey provides an example of how small changes can actually give you the confidence to move much more quickly. Even in cases where you are sure that you can not break up your tasks into ten minute bites, Ivey suggests that perhaps you can.

In today's Weblogs , Michael Champion points out that it is intellectual capitol and not committees that is responsible for innovation in the internet space. In WS-Simplicity he writes "The internet and the Web looked like overnight successes (and committees fairly quickly established the core Web standards) during the 1990s, but they drew on at least 20 years of academic and government R&D. The industry seems to have learned the wrong lesson, believing that it was the committees writing the specs that created the intellectual capital upon which the Web was built, and hoped that more committees would keep the momentum going during this decade. I suspect that the capital formation occurred in a lot of research labs and email lists and conferences over a decade or two, and the standards committees just refined and refactored out what was relatively common."

Bobzilla is a crash reporting framework. Bob Lee writes about his experience creating and using this app in Automatic Crash Reporting. Bobzilla " does not impact application code; we combine a custom Servlet filter and a custom log4j appender to capture the log messages for the scope of a request in a thread local buffer. When the filter catches an exception, it creates a new bug in Bugzilla and uses the log messages leading up to the exception and the exception's stack trace as the bug description."

Jeff Kesselman looks at the history of games through the lens of the introduction and growth of new genres. In History is made of this... he looks back at some of the key landmarks in his memory. Join the talkback and add to Jeff's list.

In Forums today, pixel popper poses the following question in Streaming Audio & Older version JVMs. "I am developing a pure Java application for playing synchronized audio+video either from the jar file or streamed from the host. I have custom video & audio formats. My player successfully plays video, & via the JavaSound API plays synchronized audio. The issue I have is how to render audio in a scenario where the JavaSound API is not available (eg in older browser versions)?"

In the Book clubs forum, moderator John Mitchell prods "What's the largest project that you've worked on? How did your organization manage the extra complexities of such a large project (both structurally and technically)? Did it work?" Respond to Chapter 3: Mammoth projects.

Also in Java Today
, the ServerSide points to Ted Neward's angry rebuttal to an article on Security. In Really Bad JDJ security article: rebutted, Neward writes "The basic upshot is simple: I sincerely believe these three authors were more interested in showing off how smart they were than in genuinely helping Java code authors. Otherwise, how can you explain an article on Java security that never once mentions the AccessController/SecurityManager, JAAS, Permissions, or policy?"

The second part of Chapter 17 of WebLogic: The Definitive Guide by Avinash
Chugh and Jon Mountjoy. This week covers WebLogic's various security providers
and their default implementations. You'll be led through explanations and examples
of authentication and authorization. You will read how to build a JAAS client
and a custom authentication provider.

In today's Projects and Communities , the Jini community points to the Blitz JavaSpaces project which tries to "provision of essential resources such as:
Pattern library,[..] Openly available implementations of various services, tools and frameworks, [.. and]
Deployment examples."

The Java Tools community's Visual IDE-Style LL(k) Parser Generator project "uses an editable tree with icons for tokens and non-terminals to represent the grammar symbols and grammar rules."

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