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The Book club

Posted by daniel on April 6, 2004 at 5:44 AM PDT

We will launch the book club later today as a forum hosted by John Mitchell. Our first book is Fred Brooks' "The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering".

Pull out your original copy, head to the library, or buy a fresh copy and read along with us. We decided to launch the book club with a classic that is not specific to any area of technology. We will link to the book club later in our spotlight section. Do you have suggestions for future titles we should feature? Use our talkback section below.

Also in Java Today
, Greg Travis provides an example of combining a scripting language with Java in Cross the Gap Between PHP and Java . He explains "PHP runs on the server side, but because it is usually used to generate HTML - which the user sees directly - it is sometimes thought of as the client-side portion of server-side code." In his example, PHP code sends a pair of numbers to a server. On the server side some Java code takes these numbers and adds them and returns the sum. The PHP code is waiting for the answer and displays it. You can see how the data moves back and forth and is handled by each side.

You can secure data using one key or using a different key to encrypt and decrypt. Kevin Jones looks at Java for Symmetric Cryptography. The article presents a simple example to get you started and some helpful warnings such as the following. "Keys have to be generated. As stated above keys have a length and need a source of randomness. [..] Note that it is very important to use random data that is very random. Using java.util.Random is simply not an option as the data is not random enough. You can provide your own random bytes by timing keystrokes, for example, or by measuring fluctuations in the cosmic ray background, or you can use the SecureRandom classes and algorithms supplied with the installed providers."

In today's Weblogs , Marc Hadley reports that W3C charters new XML Binary Characterization Working Group. It "is tasked with gathering information about uses cases where the overhead of generating, parsing, transmitting, storing, or accessing XML-based data may be deemed too great for a particular application, characterizing the properties that XML provides as well as those that are required by the use cases, and establishing objective, shared measurements to help judge whether XML 1.x and alternate (binary) encodings provide the required properties."

Bill Day starts a monthly roundup of what's new in "wireless and mobility related news, presentations, and technical information." The dozen or so links in his Wireless Recap, Mach 2004 includes notes from vendors and links to why this will "be the year of wireless baseball."

Socket sets (you know the kind you use to loosen spark plugs etc) is the metaphor that Joshua Marinacci uses to explain From Scarcity to Excess: The economics of commodity software. He considers the economics of paying more for a set that lasts longer and then brings the argument back to software saying "In the long run the configuration cost is the biggest one. Cycles will continue to get cheaper, and software will cost less (both through proliferation of free software, and due to larger markets for commercial software), but software is still complex and costs configuration overhead. For end user software this means GUI configuration and usage overhead (the UI itself). For non-directly user-facing software (server processes and libraries) this means the ability to reconfigure and integrate the software with the rest of the system. Even if the dollar cost of a wiki is 0, the integration cost in terms of time and supporting resources may not. If we can lower this cost we can start to see lots of new behavior."

In today's Projects and Communities , there is a discussion in the JXTA community about upcoming improvements in the Jambalaya release to the JXTA security services.

Find out more about Sun's open source APIs for Java game developers in today's Java Live, chat with key members of Sun's Game Technologies Group Tuesday April, 6 11:00 A.M. PDT.

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