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Where are you working?

Posted by daniel on September 20, 2004 at 8:00 AM PDT

Our poll asks the continent on which you code

We run a new href="">poll each
Friday. The latest asks On
which continent do you mainly write code
. Even a simple question
like that is difficult to phrase correctly. We wanted to know a bit
about where coders are. But we couldn't ask where are you from as
people are often not coding in the country that they consider to be
their nationality. Then we got an objection from some folks who travel
all the time (so we put in the word mainly). Then, of course,
we got feedback on our choices. We did not mean to be insensitive in
not including island nations but I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that they
were naturally associated with a continent. We were also taken to task
for leaving out Antarctica - but I'm ok with that one. If you care to
try your hand, you can always href="">suggest a future
poll and the associated responses.

There are a ton of Web Services specs out there an more seem
to be coming all the time. In today's href="">Weblogs, Michael
Champion blogs about href="">More WS-* specs, more
questions about architectural viability. He thinks he finally
understands "why half the smart
people I know are involved with specifying and implementing the
WS-* specs, and the other half think it is a waste of time."

John Mitchell starts a conversation on href="">Security: Open source
vs. Commercial. Reponders counter that the opposite of open is not
commercial it is proprietary and that there can be open source
commercial software.

Steve Mallett publishes "a follow up on my previous essay that
argued we must wrestle away the power of a few sites to own all our
data by publishing our contributions to the web in distributed XML
files like we do with RSS. The tools to do this exist now, and that
all factors point toward a future of owning and publishing all our
contributions. The
future of the Semantic Web is Here and is evenly distributed

Also in Java Today
, Ward Cunningham has been thinking
about the href="">Wiki
of the Future. Eugene Wallingford reports that "Ward's latest
thoughts on wiki focus on two questions, one technical and one
social, but both aimed at a common end. First, how can we link
wikis together in a way benefits them all? [..] How could we
manage automatic links across multiple wikis, multiple servers?
Second, how can wiki help information to grow around the world?
[..] Can my wiki gain information while forgetting or ignoring the
stuff that isn't so good?"

Static initializers are used by many Java programmers, but not
everyone understands their side-effects and other oddities. In a
section of href="">Understanding
the Interplay Between Utility Classes and Static Initialization,
Satya Komatineni shows how you can write static initializers that are
not run when you access variables in their
superclasses. Taken a little further, it's easy to mistakenly assume
that shared fields accessed as statics are initialized when they may
not be. His solution is that "the unwanted dependency demonstrated so
far can be broken by using a holder class that can hold the single
resource," which leads to a new pattern, the Static Resource Holder,
which can manage the static resource and ensure it is initialized

Projects and Communities
, follow the latest status
of your favorite JSRs. The href="">JSR community
homepage includes the latest news from the specifications in
the right hand column.

The Java Games
Community's href=";action=display;num=1095487829">Performance
tuning forum points to this summary of href="">JVM

Forking is the big issue in today's

. MThornton href="">
responds to the assertion that the Java Team won't provide
some often requested features saying "It isn't just the
Java team, but a significant proportion of the user community
also want nothing to do with certain proposed extensions. To
be sure there are extensions I would like, but in my opinion
forking the language is too high a price.

Terkans adds "If you truly wish for a language with those features,
write your own compiler to href="">
build that language for the JRE platform. Many languages are
already doing that, and making sure they interoperate well with the
existing Java libraries. Take a look at the languages discussed in the
alt.lang.jre columns at ibm/developerworks/java for examples. Most of
those languages are open-source, so grab a copy of their compiler, and
start coding your own dream language."

Cowwoc, however, "would like Sun to fork Java once
every 10 years
. Specifically, release J2SE 2.0 (or by now, 6.0 I
guess) in a manner that is not constraint by backwards compatibility
issues. Specifically, work on improving API cohesiveness, remove
multiple ways of getting the same thing done (i.e. the old way and the
new way). etc... The underlying language can remain 100% the same
(maybe minor performance tweaks for Generics?) but the focus would be
on API refactoring."

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