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Improving applications

Posted by daniel on March 25, 2005 at 8:40 AM PST

Beating on betas

"Being first and just good enough proved more advantageous than being best." So writes Frank Sommers in an article about a possible change in the way we create software titled
The Vanishing Middle
. He worries that "The key projects receive a disproportionately large percentage of user feedback, which, in turn, will make them even better.

Does that mean that it is hopeless to start a new project or product in a domain where there are already established players? Does it imply that new projects will eternally be doomed to marginal niche existence?"

In Also
in Java Today
, Frank writes his company "counted on receiving user feedback from early releases. We didn't charge for these beta releases, so I assumed that users would be happy to download and try new builds, providing us valuable feedback for future releases, and for the eventually for-pay release. I also hoped that having many users would improve the quality of the product.

I was in for a surprise, though. Instead of providing feedback on a free product, users expected the software to work perfectly from the start. When they encountered bugs or incomplete features, they complained instead of collaborating to improve the product. The feedback I did receive at the time was that users were willing to pay for something that worked exactly as they expected it from day one, rather than try and evaluate a free or beta product. This proved an expensive experiment for our company, because we had to provide technical support for a free product, a required condition for users to even try the software."

Java has been built for the network from day one. Unfortunately, day one was apparently the last time anyone upgraded some of its low-level features, like its HTTP support. Ry4an Brase and Chad Tippin have an alternative: "SwarmStream Public Edition augments Java's built-in HTTP networking implementation with support for automatic retries while providing a great many additional features, such as download acceleration, resume support, and disconnected operation." In SwarmStream: A Next-Generation HTTP Stack for Java, they show how to bring its improved HTTP support to your Java application.

Andreas Schaefer asks Is Microsoft reaching out to Java? in today's Weblogs . " A few Java community leaders were invited to participate in a summit organized by Microsoft and Rick Ross, the founder of JavaLobby, created presentation about it. No matter if you like, dislike or hate Microsoft the presentation is worthwhile to be listened to. "

Sekhar Vajjhala reports JAXB 2.0 Early Draft 2 is available. "There is lots of new functionality. Let us know what you think." Also, John Reynolds writes on Java and scripts and pipes.

VPatryshev writes About Static Imports in Java 5.0
in today's
Forums. "There are plenty of operations that are not "object-oriented" at all. Not everything is an object. And even if something is an object, e.g. we can think of a matrix as of an object - matrix multiplication is not something that belongs to that object or to matix class; it is rather an operation in the _class of matrices_; and if we want to operate within that universe, we can eitehr subclass from Matrices class, or static import its methods (all its methods must be static, I guess)."

Subanark comments on the thread FileReader, FileWriter should be deprecated. "One of the common complaints that java has is that simple tasks often require excessive parameters, and don't have good defaults. Examples of this are, no default size for frames, not being able to simply "add" elements to a JList. The constructor is useful for very simple programs possibly one use programs that just want to write text to file, that is latter copyed and pasted into a different document."

In Projects and
, the JavaDesktop community home page is featuring Charles Ditzel's Swing Pointers page, a collection of tips on using Swing and Java 2D including classic tutorials, recent blogs, forum postings, and other items.

The Java Tools community project rename-packages has graduated from the incubator. This tool allows you to simply rename packages created in AppFuse, performing all the necessary work in an easy-to-use ant task.

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Beating on betas