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Teaching Tiger

Posted by daniel on October 4, 2004 at 7:41 AM PDT

Where do you start?

Suppose you were designing an introductory course in
Java. This course mainly targets people new to programming but
certainly people new to OOP. What should this course contain and
where do you start?

I've been thinking about this because we sometimes forget that
there are people coming to Java all the time and those coming to the
language and the platform now are very different than those who came
four or even six years ago. How do we change the intro courses? In
addition, as the language itself changed with Tiger, should we stop
teaching them the old way to do things?

It's a logging love fest in today's href="">Weblogs with Rory
Winston's href="">
Why I love log4j. He writes that he "hadn't realized that
there was life after log4j 1.2.8, which has been out for a long
time now, but the log4j committers have been very busy, and there
are a whole host of new things coming in log4j 1.3, such as a new
GUI (Chainsaw v2), enhancements to performance, configuration,
i18n, and much more. There's also a little-publicized "Micro"
version of log4j, called log4jMini, designed for J2ME-style

Brett McLaughlin is turning into our resident curmudgeon. First he
takes on Java itself, then Open Source and now he blogs href="">
Tiger's Out - Will it Matter? One problem he cites is "all the new
error- and warning-checking going on in Tiger. Don't get me wrong;
this is "long-term-good". But in the meantime, code that runs fine on
both Java 1.4 and 1.5/5/Tiger (got to get that naming right) literally
spews warnings under Tiger. Lots of folks aren't going to be too happy
about all those new "lint" warnings. And, even more imporantly, lots
of peoples' bosses won't be happy with them."

Joshua Marinacci has released another mini app. Countdown to your
favorite holiday. The feedback addresses some of the issues in his
initial code. Check out href="">
Countdown to Christmas: a Customizable MiniApp.

Also in Java Today
, Janice Heiss interviews href="">
Graham Hamilton about the new features in J2SE 5.0. He answers
the question of what his favorite feature of the new release,
saying "I know many people really like generics. But personally, I
think the single most important feature in Tiger is JSR 175
annotations, and that's largely because of the impact it's having
on J2EE 5.0 going forward. For example, take a look at the recent
public draft from BEA for Web Services metadata (JSR 181) or the
recent early draft for EJB 3.0 (JSR 220) to see how they are using

New versions of Java sometimes roll previously optional packages into
the core, as is the case with 5.0. Java Management Extensions (JMX),
along with a new client called JConsole, are now part of the JRE, so
you can count on them being there. In href="">Monitoring
Local and Remote Applications Using JMX 1.2 and JConsole, Russ
Miles claims, "The combination of JMX 1.2 and JConsole in J2SE 5.0
brings Java application management and monitoring to the front line of
Java development like never before." He supports this by setting up a
simple monitored application, then shows how JConsole can reveal the
app's memory stats, thread usage, and other metrics, locally or across
the network.

In Projects and
,Edwin Goei has placed a draft of his project
on href="">
Writing and Importing JSF Custom Components for Sun's Java Studio
Creator into a project linked off of his people page.

The java-synaptics
library in the href="">Java Tools community
"gives Java developers direct access to Synaptics TouchPads and other
Synaptics human interface devices. The initial release,
java-synaptics version 0.1, has just been released."

Are there href="">
no secrets in Java? In today's

, Fiachra writes "Pretty much all Java code
might was well have the source code distributed with it - it's
so easy to decompile and recover the source. That's the
argument in Godfrey Nolan's new book, Decompiling Java."

Speaking of no secrets, Murphee continues the cryptography thread,
"Every cryptographer will tell you, that algorithms *have* to be open,
have to be reviewed over and over again. With the last AES standard,
for instance, this was done extensively. Every algorithm was public
before the final algorithms were chosen... and guess what: most of
them were broken, some of them even only minutes after they were
presented. If they had been kept secret, these weaknesses wouldn't
have been found."

In today's
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Where do you start?