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The Crazy Ones

Posted by daniel on May 11, 2004 at 8:28 AM PDT

"Most real innovation is done by crazy people doing crazy things."

James Gosling explains the keys to innovation in The world needs more crazy people in today's Weblogs. A Wired article on NASA's funding of "crazy" projects has moved him to note that this is the "kind of over-the-edge thinking that bring about the most interesting innovation.

Gosling doesn't advocate running full speed blind in the dark. That would really be crazy. His advice includes "Learn all you can before you go adventuring, don't be afraid to make mistakes, [and] only make new mistakes.

His post reminds me of my favorite advertisement copy of all time. Here's to the crazy ones. It is a beautiful piece that still brings tears to my eyes and ends:

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been
written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? [...]

While some see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Jonathan Simon blogs that Swing: People still aren't getting it! Simon asks whether Swing should only be attempted by a select few who know the ins and outs of the APIs. He says that "Either the Swing API is too hard to use, there is a misconception about the user base, or Swing is poorly explained. Either way- there is a big community disconnect and I think a lot of people don't 'get' Swing."

Jeff Kesselman reports back with his (City of Heroes) CoH Update. Jeff reports that the CoH team has "definitely gone new places with this game and done a great job. By eliminating all of the things that frustrate casual players and lead to feelings of inferiority when weighed against the hard core players, they may have finally opened up this genre of game for the general public."

Also in Java Today
, authorization controls the access rights of persons, processes, and machines to system resources. In Java authorization internals, Abhijit Belapurkar writes "about both the old code-centric Java authorization architecture, and the newer user-centric one. [He explains] the mechanisms underlying the Java 2 platform security architecture's runtime access checking feature, including the stack inspection and traversal mechanism for determining whether or not a permission is to be granted. [He also covers] the notion of subject-based access control, and show how it has been implemented, in JAAS, on top of the original stack inspection mechanism of the Java 2 platform security architecture."

The presence of primitives in the Java Language has long been an issue. With Tiger, the new feature of Autoboxing Treats Primitives Like Objects. In his Java 101 column for JavaWorld magazine, Jeff Friesen explains how "Autoboxing implicitly converts primitive type data to reference type data, via a new conversion known as the boxing conversion. In source code where a data item of some primitive type is specified but a reference is required (such as int specified but Integer required), boxing automatically creates an object of the appropriate wrapper class type -- Boolean, Byte, Character, Double, Float, Integer, Long, Short -- to encapsulate the data item."

In Forums, what do you really expect a candidate to show you in an interview situation? JWenting writes that "You're placing the candidate under a lot of pressure and he gets uncertain. He doesn't know the answer but thinks you will hold it against him if he admits that so he stalls. You'd better consider asking what the candidate would do to find information he doesn't have."

I like a tester with a good victory dance. Tackline adds that to the conversation on collegial despotism in the Mythical Man Month discussion. "
It's very rare to find someone who doesn't slack off documentation, testing or just puts in a quick hack. I regularly find myself tempted to. [..] It's no good giving the responsibility to a person either without the ability or without the necessary authority."

On the topic of Productivity John Mitchell asks "Does anyone work in organizations where they formally track developer "productivity"? If so, what methods of measurement are used?[...] Are the results used in an ongoing manner or are they only used before (i.e., for estimation) or after (i.e., for learning and/or blame)?"

In today's Projects and Communities , the first discussion of the Bookclub has been extended two weeks. Pick up your copy of the Mythical Man Month and join in.

The Sunday before JavaOne, there will be a day long work session for the JavaPedia. Check the JavaPedia front page for more details.

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