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Posted by daniel on November 18, 2004 at 4:55 AM PST

Watching sausage being made

The Mustang snapshot releases make it easy for you to watch the next release of Java evolve. If you check out the href="">Mustang
Snapshots: Project Feedback forum you will see and can contribute suggestions to make this process even easier. But as you look around the code you may notice things that surprise you.

Did you ever wonder Why are there two of everything? In today's href=""> Weblogs Peter Kessler explains "Once you get into the sources for the virtual machine, you'll sometimes find that we often have two implementations of things. One reason for this is because we think backward compatibility is really important. While we are working on some new thing, we have to keep the old thing working, and the easiest way to do that is to keep the old thing around. While browsing through the sources, you'll find a lot of code guarded by command-line switches you probably didn't know about. (Look at all those command line switches in hotspot/src/share/runtime/globals.hpp!) Those are there so we can do A-B comparisons for functionality, conformance, performance, footprint, etc. Only when an new implementation shows itself to be compatible and substantially better than the old one do we through the switch to use the new one. And we usually leave the switch around for a release or two in case someone wants to revert to the old behavior."

James Gosling answers the question href="">What's happened to my
blog? "I've had several emails lately from folks wondering why I
haven't done much blogging lately. Mostly it's because I've tried to
stick to java-oriented technical topics, but life has been swamped by
other things."

In Also
in Java Today
, Ted Neward leads off the OTN series
"Mastering J2EE Application Development" with href="">
Slicing and Dicing J2EE. How do you decide which frameworks you
need for an enterprise project? Neward writes "It doesn't take much
to complicate the picture further, either: Just include the core J2EE
and J2SE classes in the mix. After all, wasn't it just yesterday when
we were told that EJB is the "core" of J2EE and that you'd be silly
to consider an enterprise Java project without it? Exactly how do
generics change your J2EE coding experience? And who let all that
Java Management Extensions stuff in the door, by the way?"

In the JavaWorld article A lightweight nonintrusive EJB testing framework, Phil Zoio posits that one of the reasons that EJB has become less popular is that "EJB components are inherently difficult to test." The approach he uses "involves the use of an in-container testing framework such as Cactus, from the Apache Jakarta Project. Here, the idea is to deploy the test code onto the container and run the tests in the application's real execution environment."

We feature posts from the href="">Mustang
Snapshots: Project Feedback board in today's href=""> Forums. Is
5075546 fixed? KellyOHair replies yes, "This bug should be
fixed. We are looking into why we are getting conflicting status
values on this bug, we should have this resolved soon. Thanks for
pointing this out. FYI... We will try and post the list of bugs fixed
in each snapshot. [Here's] href="">the list for Build 1 through Build 12.

Bino_George answers a question about CVS access for Mustang, "We are looking into providing diffs between snapshots for future. But you could do this now by downloading two snapshots and then doing a diff manually."

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Watching sausage being made