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Questioning Authority

Posted by daniel on March 1, 2005 at 7:17 AM PST

If it's a rule, can I please see the rule

There are many times we, as programmers or as people, follow a practice because we think it is a requirement. We half remember that there is a rule (or even a law) for doing something or other - and so we comply. Perhaps, we can remember now and then, in a polite and non-confrontational way, to ask to see this rule we are following. Sometimes the reason can be just to better understand what is being asked of us and sometimes it's to make sure the person asking us, has an understanding.

In Also
in Java Today
James Gosling's latest blog entry Article on John Gilmore points to this former Sun engineer's fight for the right to privacy. In Grounded: Millionaire John Gilmore stays close to home while making a point about privacy, Dennis Roddy chronicles an adventure that includes Gilmore's refusal to show an ID when asked for it when flying. "The gate agent asked for his ID.
Gilmore asked her why.
It is the law, she said.
Gilmore asked to see the law.
Nobody could produce a copy. To date, nobody has. The regulation that mandates ID at airports is 'Sensitive Security Information.' The law, as it turns out, is unavailable for inspection."

In Changing Behavior Based on the Value of an Enumerated Type you may recall "When you first use enumerated types, you might simply see them as an alternative to using constants. However they have other interesting uses. For example, you can change the behavior of a class based on the value of an enumerated type. This tip will show you how to implement enumeration constant-specific behavior in an elegant way."

Tom White points to an early peek at The Java Language Specification, 3rd Edition in today's
Weblogs .
" Four years since it was last published, the JLS 3rd edition (which rolls up all the language changes from Java 1.4 and 1.5) is available for 'maintenance review'. "

John Reynolds has an extended post on Why is so much software so bad? " James Gosling's blog entry on Sharpening the Axe includes a confession that is a telling clue in our search for some of the causes for bad software. "

Doug Twilleager addresses yet another Java Game Development Myth : "Why aren't there more commercial games written in Java".

In Projects and
in his blog The Linux Java community, Fernando Lozano introduces himself and his new role with the community and asks for your suggestions on where to take it.

Chat with key members of the Java Web Start engineering team, in the JavaLive chat Deployment with Java Web Start . Bring your questions for Andy Herrick, Stanley Ho, and Thomas Ng March 1, 2005 11:00 A.M. PST/19:00 UTC.

Bino George responds to a user's requests in today's href="">Forums. "A Swing Date Picker component that lets user select a date through an easy interface that pops up with a calendar [..] is in the works for Mustang, as far as I remember. An easy way to make JTreeTable (and also to use them easily, printing, [..] is in the works for Mustang as well. [Also] there is some work being done to make Text components easier to use, printing etc."

MGrev writes "We need to do away with the heavy weight layer rather than intermix it more! A quick look at the source code makes it obvious that without the heavyweight intermix the code path would be much cleaner...Clean is good; and bug free."

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If it's a rule, can I please see the rule