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Examining the Blackout

Posted by daniel on May 21, 2004 at 3:54 AM PDT

"You can run the same test a thousand times, but it’s not going to find bugs outside its parameters."

Check out Bret Pettichord's three part blog on the reasons behind last year's blackout. Bret includes many observations about detecting and fixing the race condition that led to the widespread blackout. At the end of the first piece he summarizes Nancy Leveson as saying " safety requires that we presume that failures can happen. It requires that the system be designed to minimize the impact of failures."

Also in Java Today
, Robert Simmons, Jr. identifies the use of Nested classes as a large source of confusion for Java programmers. In the first part of his excerpt on the topic, he looks at inner classes and their use in GUI applications. He writes that "Inner classes are best used to represent composition relationships in an object model. Therefore, the enclosing instances should always have total control over the enclosed instances."

Ted Neward adds an eleventh falacy to the list built from Peter Deutsch's "Eight Fallacies of Distributed Computing". Deutsch's fallacies include such common mistakes as "The Network is Reliable". In The 11th Fallacy of Enterprise Computing Neward suggest that "Business logic can and should be centralized" should join those ranks.

John Reynolds is puzzled why people are being critical in Beehive or hornet's nest? - BEA donates code to Apache. In
today's Weblogs Reynolds writes the BEA is "open sourcing are some of the components that are necessary to port a "Weblogic Workshop" application to a third-party J2EE server such as Geronimo or JOnAS."

We also have two pointers today. Eitan Suez is Excited about He writes " I particularly like the ability to add a feature or change some aspect of the system whenever it suits me. Ok, to be honest, what I like the most is no longer having to look at a monochromatic version of javadocs (I made sure to color-code all programming element types and style all modifiers; javadocs are so much easier to read that way)."

Satya Komatineni points to a tutorial he likes in A valuable server side java programming guide/reference. He says ". Unlike the title this tutorial actually covers servlets, jsp, tags, web services, jaxb, soap, xslt, jsf, localization, tomcat. Essentially everything that is needed to create real world server side applications with the exceptions of EJBs."

In today's Projects and Communities , the FileSearch project searches for files, by name or contents in local or networked files using J2SE 1.4's regex package to provide regular expression support in search terms, and nio to make the search fast and powerful.

Add or update your entry on the People Wiki. It is a place to let everyone know a little bit more about you - your real name, a bio, projects you're involved with and things that interest you.

"Any ideas on what components Swing should have but doesn't? Where are the holes?" Joshua Marinnaci asks for your thoughts on the component set in today's
Forums. He suggests that "the default Swing component set is a bare minimum of what's expected of a modern gui toolkit. Perhaps it was good enough in the mid ninties but today our applications demand more. It doesn't even have a built in font-chooser. "

In bookclubs John Mitchell asks the question at the root of much of software development. "Isn't the crux of software problems the fact that dealing with human beings is hard?"

Bwy has "noticed that dialogs and panels will display in their native color for a split second before being painted with the background color from the L&F". In Swing is not slow bwy writes that with experience there are just a few Swing problems that remain.

PeterBecker singles out the Layout Managers as being part of why simple things remain hard. He says that he would write his own "but my impression is (correct me if I am wrong), that there is no proper implementation of minimum, preferred and maximum size in Swing. Esp. the minimum aspect bugs me -- it is rather impossible to create dialogs that disallow changing size below the sensible amount."

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