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Copyrighting code

Posted by daniel on June 15, 2004 at 7:21 AM PDT

Should code that appears in a book be protected under a different license than the prose that surrounds it?

In today's Forums Chris Adamson writes "the code examples in my writing are meant to be taken and reused freely. It's not enough, IMHO, to describe the principles of some technique - if I think there's an ideal way to do something, I'll say "do it this way", and I would want a reader to take that code and use it verbatim.

After all, if readers aren't taking the material and applying it to their own work, then there's no point writing the article or book in the first place."

He asks " what kinds of license would you like to see on articles posted on or in books by your favorite publishers? If there were, say, an attribution requirement, would you be unable or unwilling to use such material in your work?"

JWenting responds " I see no problems with using separate licensing for code and text.

As long as the license for the code states it can be used as long as it is only by owners of the book I think you're covered.

I fully agree that licenses that say the code cannot be used in any way are plain silly."

In Also in Java Today , Martin Fowler describes an episode of chasing a bug in code using DiffDebugging. He checked out code from before an error was created and "threw a diff tool on the two directories to see what had changed. I started with the most likely file and ran my eyes down the changes. There were some comments added, a couple of renames (which I've never had fail with IntelliJ), and ooo - a line removed. A line whose name clearly indicated it was relevant to the failing test." Finding the bug went fairly quickly, but Fowler also points out that you should take a moment to try to figure out why the error occurred.

In this Excerpt from Designing Web Services With the J2EE 1.4 Platform, you take a look at the Adventure Builder Reference application which demonstrates the coding of a J2EE 1.4 web service. This excerpt looks at "the design decisions that were made and the rationale behind those decisions. There are many other important aspects to consider when learning the reference application; there are web service endpoint design issues, client considerations, and challenges when managing more complex web service interactions."

Mark Reinhold is looking for your feedback in Tiger Snapshots: An experiment in openness. Readers respond that they would like to provide feedback but don't know where to go to do so.

Also in today's
Weblogs, Malcolm Davis writes that LAMP might be the platform that fits your needs and allows you to sidestep the J2EE vs .Net debate.
"DealNews is an ISP rack mounted solution, running LAMP. No complicated server configurations or high-end J2EE solutions. DealNews has a small staff, with a major development theme of 'if it works, don’t fix it'."

In today's Projects and Communities, well, this is Nice... an "eNhanced Integrated Class Editor". This Java Tools community project provides a UML class diagram editor, allowing the user to design classes visually and generate code on the fly.

Developing web applications is made easier by e-Gen, a project from the Brazilian Java Users Group. e-Gen uses JavaServer Faces and Java Struts to produce applications that even new developers can maintain easily.

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