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Making a difference

Posted by daniel on June 9, 2005 at 9:02 AM PDT

Slamming the profession

Last night I had dinner with Rob Stephenson, co-leader of the Global Education and Learning Community. He pointed me to this poem by Taylor Mali called What Teachers Make. In it, Mali is having a discussion with a lawyer who has made fun of teachers and believes he has properly put Mali in his place by asking him "What Teachers Make". By that, the lawyer means "what is your annual income", but Mali seizes on the multiple meanings and goes on a rampage (he engages in competitive poetry competitions known as slams) that includes some of the following:

I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.[. . . ]

I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize. [. . .]
I make them show all their work in math.

And hide it on their final drafts in English.

Today is the last day of the school year for my two kids. They go to an elementary school which includes kids in Kindergarten through fourth grade. Some schools have a graduation for the students who are leaving - at Boulevard elementary they have a clap out. The kids from kindergarten through third grade line the halls and applaud as the fourth graders walk through the building and leave for the last time. Some of us applaud a little longer for those teachers who took our children and helped them learn to read and think and explore.

Some day I'll return to teaching. If you haven't tried it I encourage you to do so. Maybe not in a formal setting, maybe not as the primary way you spend each day - but it is one incredibly satisfying way of making a difference.

Our official birthday is tomorrow but we're posting the pictures today
in our Featured Articles because the celebration will be half over in some parts of the world by the time we post tomorrow's site.
Happy Anniversary,
Your pictures of Duke and family celebrating's second anniversary.

The annual Netbeans and Eclipse cat and dog fight has started again. In today's Weblogs, Calvin Austin blogs about it in the Open Source IDE shootout and asks "Is this good or bad for the community?"

Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart notes that JWSDP is now also in GlassFish.
"Many of the projects in the JWSDP community have multiple lives and are available individually, in the JWSDP bundle, and in many other artifacts. The latest one is the new GlassFish project."

Mohamed Abdelaziz asks
Have you heard of Google's Summer of Code?

If you are a student, "Google is sponsoring the Summer of Code, and Project JXTA is one of the participating organizations."

In Also in
Java Today
relational and object databases lack many data management features required by modern applications, such as versioning, rich data references, inheritence, or fine-grained security. Content repositories extend databases with such additional capabilities. The Java Content Repository API (JSR 170) defines a standard to access content repositories from Java code, and promises to greatly simplify Java database programming. In Catch Jackrabbit and the Java Content Repository API, Frank Sommers reviews the Java Content Repository API and its open-source implementation, Apache Jackrabbit, from a developer's perspective.

The general problem of taking information from a SQL database and turn it into Java objects, and vice-versa is known as Object/Relational Mapping. Hibernate is a lightweight O/R mapping service for Java and gives you the means for persisting your Java objects to and from an underlying database. Rather than you writing the SQL and converting queries to and from first class objects, Hibernate can take care of all this for you. In Quick Hibernate, Satish Talim says "there are many books and articles available on Hibernate and what I want to do here is quickly get you started with Hibernate," which he offers in the form of a hands-on crash-course.

In Projects and
the Java Tools Community has released issue 40 of their community newsletter, soliciting pictures for the JavaOne Community Corner slide show and passing along a tip on how to avoid "polluting" your CVS tree when working with Eclipse. The newsletter also welcomes five projects that joined the community recently.

The JavaDesktop Community project Swing Utilities contains several handy and reusable utilities, such as the PreferencesMapper, which allows you to easily map Preferences to Components so that you can easily initialize configured components, or quickly extract their values.

In today's Forums,
Kohsuke responds to the thread
JAXB and xsd:include (common type libraries across multiple schemas).
"Generally, defining one namespace in multiple documents without referencing each other is going to cause interoperability issues. For example I know for sure that Xerces won't handle this correctly. If you've got errors from JAXB saying "duplicate definitions", that's technically a bug in the JAXB RI. I'm thinking about fixing this, but Overture would probably want to change their schema anyway."

In the Multiple return values thread lucretius2 writes
"It would be much nicer if an int (or other primitive value) was an Object. int would be a final immutable class extending Object. '1' would be a unique instance of int. So 1.equals(1) or 1 == 1, no matter what arithmetic operation created the 1. Autoboxing unfortunately is only guaranteed to work like this for numbers between -128 and 127, because these values are cached; other numbers are stored in objects on demand, so that if x == y (for ints x and y) we can't assume (Integer)x == (Integer)y. Autoboxing also has a space and time overhead, especially for large arrays of values, that would not exist if an int was an Object."

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Slamming the profession