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Summer reading

Posted by daniel on July 9, 2004 at 10:44 AM PDT

Our next two bookclub selections are very different from each other.

Starting a week from Monday, we'll start making our way through Joshua Bloch's "Effective Java". There are many gems in his book. Whether or not you agree with his recommendations for improving your code you'll find the rules of thumb worth considering. Ron Hitchens has agreed to lead that discussion.

We've had this book on the list as a future selection, but the announcement, reported on TheServerSide, that Bloch is leaving Sun for Google prompted us to move the book up to the next slot. I started alternating the writing of the Core Java Tech Tips with John Zukowski a year ago and Josh Bloch was my first reviewer. He was brutal - that was almost my last tip. And then I looked at the before and after and noticed how much his comments improved the tip. Most of his comments referred to sections in his book. It should be a lot of fun reading or rereading this one together. By the way, in August we will begin reading Paul Graham's "Hackers and Painters".

Chris Adamson is resting up for the conference he really likes: the conference formerly known as MacHack and now known as ADHOC. He describes past versions of the conference in JavaOne unpack, ADHOC repack
in today's
Weblogs. He writes that a "big part of ADHOC is the idea of coding at the conference, preferably stuff that's crazy, clever, and useless, for a grand show Friday night. Last year's 'hacks' included turning the desktop into a game of 'Asteroids' (with the active windows as the asteroids to be shot up), and a progress bar that overflowed and spilled into its containing dialog, eventually drowning its contents in sloshing aqua."

Recovering from a move and JavaOne, Will Iverson is still Putting things back together: JSF, EJB 3, Looking Glass, and WA. Will says that "JSF is clearly the future for Java-based web UI development.", "EJB 3.0 is looking good." And that "There is a ton of great new stuff in J2SE 5."

Eitan Suez looks back at his Experiences with Swing. He likes what is in Swing and appreciates the power of the community and has particularly benefitted from some third party additions. He challenges us by saying "Swing could be more than just 'nice,' more than just 'ok' or 'i can live with it.' Swing could be the most awesome thing out there. If only through the magic of open source development. The community is already there. The code is waiting to be integrated. What do we need to do next??"

In Also in Java Today , Don Schwarz begins his article Peeking Inside the Box: Attribute-Oriented Programming with Java 1.5, Part 1 with an appeal to geeks who like looking at the gears and pistons that drive antique machines. Schwarz shows how to use StatusManager to peek inside the inner workings of a running Java application. He notes that traditionally the logging "code is intertwined with the application's business logic in such a way that developers must 'work around it' when trying to debug or understand core functionality, yet remember to update this code whenever that functionality changes. What we really want to do is to centralize the status-reporting logic in a single place, and manage the individual status messages as metadata."

Martin Fowler is looking for a UML tool that allows him to specify his UML diagrams as text. In UML Sketching Tools, Fowler acknowledges "That may sound strange - after all UML diagrams are diagrams, so why use text? Text has some advantages. Much of diagram layout is tedious to fiddle with in diagrammatic form, and would be much easier to do textually - using the diagrams as a visualization rather than an editing mechanism. Also text formats allow you to easily track changes over time with cvs and diff."

Projects and Communities
, make your testing more efficient with parallel-junit. This Java Tools community project allows multiple JUnit tests to be run concurrently, while still providing options for specifying ordering for some of the tests.

Game developers looking for a higher-level 3D API will appreciate Xith3d, which provides a scene-graph, renderer, and collision detection. It is meant to be similar to the Java3D API, and has been implemented atop fellow Java Games Community projects JOGL and LWJGL.

I love the Spinal Tap reference in the name game by batate
in today's Forums. He asks "Did anyone see This is Spinal Tap? There's a great scene where the rock stars are looking at an amplifier, and talking about those nights when you need that extra kick.Most amps have numbers that go to 10. 'But this one goes to 11.' "

Other speakers note that feedback comments don't match their JavaOne presentations. Hoffman asks " Anybody got any ideas who else to contact? I'd like to get the feedback for my session. I can't even be sure if the non-text feedback (percentages) are for me or not... "

Calum says that the Tiger J2SE release is a big one. "My point is that JDK 1.5 is not a minor update - the change from 1.3 to 1.4 was not a minor update nor was it a revision. We will take the move from 1.4 to 1.5 as a major versionupgrade not a revision. I agree that the numbering scheme should be the version.majorrev.minorrev scheme thus I see the move to removing the (now fairly irrelevant) '1.' as a move towards a schem such as this, but the JDK should also drop the 1. to a avoid such a glaring inconsistency and now be jdk5.0"

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