Skip to main content

Pretend the solution is simple

Posted by daniel on November 29, 2004 at 9:48 AM PST

Time for Dr. Phil to make way for Dr. Ken

Ken Arnold is high on my list of self-help gurus. While we have lost
millions of hours of productivity arguing where an opening brace
belongs, Ken says perhaps both sides are right - perhaps neither side
is right. It doesn't matter. Choose one. Don't convene a multi-year
panel, just flip a coin and choose one. Once you've chosen one,
enforce this one true way with your compiler.

It's kind of like going to see a professional because of something
like a fear of public speaking. There are professionals who will
insist on getting to the root of the problem and going back to see
what your mother or a teacher or somebody did in your past to lead to
this fear. Perhaps that's a useful approach. Other professionals will
say, it's ok to be scared - let's get you up and speaking even when
you are scared. In my view, Ken comes from this second school when it
comes to software.

In Weblogs, Ken blogs about Ludicrous as a Balm for Patent Idiocy. He restates his prime directive:

Often it seems that if you pretend the solution is simple, it becomes so.

By the way, I think the directive reads better if you use a Patrick
Stewart as Jean Luc Picard voice. But the core of Ken's current
thoughts on patents is that "A patent is 'ludicrous' if it is
'trivial to one normally skilled in the art.' Note the range opened up
between "obvious" and "trivial". On a scale from 1 (stupid) to 10
(Einstein), we could say that an idea is "obvious" if is a 6, and so
any patent should be a 7 or above. Whether an idea is a 5 or 6 or 7 is
something reasonably people could argue about, and so is not fraud to
disagree. But at some point -- let's call it 3 -- it's just plain

In Also in
Java Today
, J2EE applications can serve many users at once,
but that has the potential to disenfranchise more people when a box
crashes. More boxes help, but then you need to account for sharing
information between them. In href="">Session
Replication in Tomcat 5 Clusters, Part 1, Srini Penchikala shows
how Tomcat 5 handles this feature in clusters and how you can use
configuration and code to best suit your application's needs.

In practice, there seems to be two approaches to Service-oriented
architecture (SOA): business services and integration services. In href="">SOA
Design, Meeting in the Middle Boris Lublinsky argues that "For
complete SOA implementations it makes sense to partition ESB into
business services ESB and integration services ESB."

In Projects and
, check out the latest crop of Swing based
applications as the
Java Desktop
community points to href=""> Swing
Sightings #21. Features include Grokker for communicating large
result sets, the BlogBridge blog viewer and many others.`

Brad Neuberg has let the href="">JXTA community know about
an update to the open source href="">P2P Sockets
project. The project aims to return the end-to-end principle to the
internet by providing an alternative peer-to-peer domain name system
that bypasses ICANN and Verisign.

In today's
, Kelly O'Hair writes "We are in the process of
prioritizing the href="">
build improvements we need to do in Mustang, and you have pointed
out most of the higher priority ones. So expect these kind of changes
to made over the coming months. It's hard to predict when we will have
these done. As you know, changing native compilers is something we
need to do very carefully, but we will be changing, we just have to be
very careful. The newer compilers can create some compatibility
problems, and we need to make sure we don't break any older products
that need to mix with the J2SE libraries."

KCPeppe reports "I just did a micro-performance benchmark and
found that in the JDK 1.4, a simple cast to String added 1.3% to the
overall runtime (iterating through an ArrayList containing 1,000,000
String objects). So while it's not free, it's not a performance
hotspot running under these conditions."

In today's
News Headlines

  • WinLAF 0.5
  • PJIRC 2.1.0
  • Omea Reader 1.0.2
  • Kanaputs 1.4
  • jGnash 1.8.1
  • Jakarta Commons-Transaction 1.0 RC1
  • Registered users can submit news items for the href=""> News Page
    using our news
    submission form
    . All submissions go through an editorial
    review before being posted to the site. You can also subscribe to
    the href="">
    News RSS feed.

    Current and upcoming
    Java Events

    • December 6-9, 2004 href="">
      TheServerSide Enterprise Java Architecture Workshop
    • December 7-8, 2004 href="">Eighth Jini Community
    • December 13-17, 2004 href="">JavaPolis, 2004

    Registered users can submit event listings for the href=""> Events Page using our href=""> events submission
    form. All submissions go through an editorial review before being
    posted to the site.

    Archives and Subscriptions: This blog is delivered
    weekdays as the
    Today RSS feed
    . Also, once this page is no longer featured as the
    front page of it will be
    archived along with other past issues in the href=""> Archive.

    Time for Dr. Phil to make way for Dr. Ken