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Space Oddity

Posted by editor on August 16, 2005 at 6:18 AM PDT

Retrieving and manipulating NASA imagery

There's lots of great data out there on the web, but pulling it down and manipulating it can still be a challenge. Today's feature article uses Earth imagery made available by NASA, but parsing the descriptor formats and working with the pixels still requires some manual work on the part of the developer. Fortunately, Java's wide collection of libraries -- from network and IO classes to retrieve the data, to JOGL to do high performance manipulation of the pixels -- is more than up to the task.

You've seen the beautiful images of Earth from space taken by NASA astronauts and satellites. By viewing a series of images one after another like frames of a movie, you can replay and study changes due to weather, natural events, and human activities. In the Feature Article, Earth Animations for Education from NASA, Tom Gaskins describes how to write Java software that uses the OpenGL graphics interface to display these images on a 3D globe.


Gregg Sporar has some NetBeans news in today's Weblogs.
In
Profiler Milestone 8 Now Available, he writes:
"The latest milestone build of the NetBeans Profiler is now available. It has some important enhancements. The most important one to me is the automatic exclusion of server code when profiling a web application. This is just the default - you can enable profiling of the server's code if you want."

Richard Bair challenges the conventional wisdom that bashes the Not Invented Here mindset:
"'Not Invented Here', a clever phrase often used as a pejorative to indicate that somebody (usually due to ego?) would rather reinvent the wheel and write their own implementation than leverage an existing (and by implication, better) implementation. In this entry I try to shed some light on real technical reasons why 'rolling your own' may be better than relying on somebody else's implementation."

Kirill Grouchnikov has some solutions for
Showing licenses for your application:
"Most of the nowadays open-source and commercial products extensively use other products. These tools come in variety of licenses, most of which require you to include the corresponding licenses along with the executable version of your own library. Here is how you can show licenses for bundled third-party libraries in a single user-friendly window."


In Also in
Java Today
,
the article Introducing the JDesktop Integration Components introduces the JDesktop Integration Components (JDIC), an open source project that's building components that bridge the gap between native applications and their Java counterparts. JDIC's single Java API lets your applications tap into native OS features while maintaining cross-platform support. It currently offers native Web browser (Internet Explorer or Mozilla) support, system tray support, file-extension integration, and other desktop features.

"The list of cool and useful applications seems to be growing daily, with sites such as Flickr, Google Maps, The WebORB Presentation Server, etc.
Those sites and others have created an avalanche of AJAX hype. To be fair, the technology does have the potential to improve the online experience. For all its goodness, however, something smells a little funny about this holy grail of Web communication; like beer and chocolate before it, there is an evil side to what -- on the surface -- seems pure and innocent."
In Using the XMLHttpRequest Object and AJAX to Spy On You, Earle Castledine says "while the XMLHttpRequest object and AJAX can provide huge user and developer benefits, there are some issues you probably haven't thought about yet -- but it's time everyone did."


In Projects and
Communities
,
the XML Config Reader project offers an open-source extension of Java ResourceBundle class to read configuration data directly from an XML file. The data is read into a hashtable and can be retrieved with simple getString(), getInt(), and getDouble() method calls.

The Portet Community has noted the recent release of several portlet suites and portlet containers, including Stringbeans 3.0 RC 2 (which introduces WSRP support), Kosmos 0.1.0RC1 (project management portlets), and Apache Pluto 1.0.1 RC 4 (the reference implementation of JSR168).


Mobicents collaboration is in the works in today's Forums. In

SIP RA Type, ben_evans writes:
"Hi all, my name is Ben Evans and I work at Open Cloud writing SIP RAs and services. I see has Ranga mentioned me in an earlier thread - we have talked in the past about cooperating on a common JAIN SIP RA Type definition, however not much has been done yet, so I would like to kick off a discussion here. My goal would be for us to converge on a "standard" RA Type so that SIP SBBs can be easily portable between Mobicents and Open Cloud's Rhino SLEE, and others. I think they are probably pretty similar already, both based on the SLEE spec recommendation, so this should not be too difficult."

tmarble reposts some important considerations
Re: Java EE postings: "In many environments when we look at performance, database performance turns out to be at least as crucial as appserver performance per se. One of the most significant ways this manifests itself is in JDBC statement caching. Statement caching allows the database to reuse the SQL plan for a particular query, which greatly improves the performance of the database (and hence your appserver). It's crucial that you write your Java EE application to allow statement caching. If you're using CMP (or something else where the containter generates the JDBC calls), you can be assured that your appserver does the right thing. If you are writing servlets with your own JDBC calls, it's up to you: you must use prepared statements, and the text of the prepared statement must be the same in order for statement caching to work."


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Retrieving and manipulating NASA imagery