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The arc of a profession

Posted by daniel on September 9, 2004 at 3:23 PM PDT

Blacksmiths, bookkeepers, and programmers

What was so different about the professions of bookkeeper and blacksmith that enabled one to evolve and survive to this day while the other is not at all common. The message of Max Goff's article is sobering. We look at jobs that are essential today and try to imagine this world without them. He reminds us that "it is difficult to imagine how pervasive and important Longfellow's smithy was to a well-functioning society in mid-19th century America (as well as economies in other locales around the world). Blacksmiths worked with iron to make or repair the tools that were necessary for farming (including horse- and ox-shoes) and for the myriad enterprises in the shops of the villages and towns. Smithies also made the tools that were necessary for daily household chores, such as pots and pans for the fireplace."

Is today's software developer analogous to the village smithy?

How do you run an open source
In today's
, Daniel Brookshier writes "With new projects at come new
questions. But sometimes they are really old questions that need new
answers. Today the question was, how do you manage an open source project
here? Read on to see what the basics are."

Chet Haase links to his href="">article on Intermediate
Images. The article shows you how to "Improve your graphics
performance by caching rendering results in images that you can then do
simple copies from; this is much faster for many complex (and even some
simple) rendering operations."

The Public draft of WSRP
v1.0 Primer is now available for review
. Alex Toussaint provides
links in his latest blog.

Also in Java Today
, you find the answer to the question: Can someone give us examples of
SOA that are not Web Services? Steve Wilkes answers yes, in href="">SOA
Much More Than Web Services. SOA is just "A way of designing and
implementing enterprise applications that deals with the
intercommunication of loosely coupled, coarse grained (business level),
reusable artifacts (services) that are accessed through well-defined,
platform independent, interface contracts." Wilkes shows how you can
expose a service in multiple ways.

SOA is all about serving "customers with temporary or rapidly changing
needs, where software can be rented over the Internet, composed to deliver
the required outcome, and then discarded." In the ACM Queue article href="">Negotiating
in Service-Oriented Environments, the authors argue that "Logical
separation of need from the need-fulfillment mechanism is at the heart of
the service model."

Projects and Communities
, the JELC
community has graduated the following projects from the incubator: jsim,
jactiongroup2, graphtool, rfwnet, twinpeaks, and BioBox. Daniel Brookshier
summarizes each project
in his blog

Tim Boudreau blogs that he has just "committed some href="">changes to NetBeans key
bindings handling, so that Mac users will get key bindings that are
much more like other mac apps (no change for Windows or Linux users)."

A discussion on href="">Hardware/Software
constraints continues in today's
. Smartinumcp writes "Java seems more flexible to me in its evolution
possibilities. Here are some problems it will have to allow:- Multiple CPU
threading, it's coming! - Parallel programming within a method - Multiple
hardware interaction (combinations of mouse,palm, usb devices,etc...)
We've had the mouse for 20 years, where's the "Thought" mouse?"

What about href="">lightening
up the core of Java? Jonathan Simon writes "I've been a big fan of a
"core java" for a while now. We have Jar files that help us extend the
language -- and alot of Java is written, well, in Java. So there is no
technological reason why there couldnt be a really small core Java and
everything else be extensions. [..] I think its awesome that the threading
lib is independent. I wish more worked like that! And I'm always happy to
deal with an extra lib on my side to speed up the 2 year release process
from sun..."

Rythos follows up on reaction to a previous post with the question "What
would a href="">fundamental
change in the language which allowed AI and multithreading to be
easily expressed in look like?"

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