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Crystal Ball

Posted by editor on October 14, 2005 at 6:20 AM PDT

Discovering the Next Big Thing

Where did the AJAX wave come from? Or, last year, Hibernate? I'm not asking about how these are coded -- after all, one is an informal collection of practices, the other an open-source project -- I'm asking how is it that so many people came to be so aware of and enthusiastic about these two. After all, they are two of the biggest developments in the Java landscape in the last eighteen months.

With AJAX, it's not like things started with a press release, feature article, developer blog or anything like that: I think we all saw Google Maps for the first time and wondered "How the heck did they do that?!" That seems typical of Google, though, famous for letting their actions do the talking for them. I seem to remember the first word I got of Google Talk came on the O'Reilly Editors List, from people who'd noticed the appearance of and discovered the standard Jabber ports were open and operational.

Trying to understand where the buzz comes from is what's behind the latest Poll, which asks "What is your preferred source for learning about new products and projects?" Please cast your vote on the front page, then visit the results page for results and discussion.

In today's Forums,
linuxhippy redirects the discussion in
Re: Best x86 processor for float/double performance:
"To be honest when really writing number-crunching code I would recommend writing the low-level code which does actually the crunching in C and only the suoftware arround it in Java - this is the way we wrote our applications and we was able to nearly double performance. The reason is that modern C-compilers are able to vectorize code, which means they can e.g. pack 4 integers into an SSE register and perform the same instruction in one cycle on all 4 data elements, which the server-jvm is till now not able to optimize. Another problem with our code was random array access which could not be optimized away by hotspot."

riccardocossu is tyring to get an international sense of
Application devlopers salary:
"I read this article linked on Survey: Some AppDev Pay May Have Peaked. There I can read: 'By development language, programmers in CICS and COBOL shops fare best, drawing average salaries of $72,100 and $70,200, respectively. VB programmers came in at $65,100, while Java was ranked at $63,500' In the past weeks I read more articles on the same subject, but these salaries look very high to me, compared to what seems to be the average in Italy: I mean, in Italy a Java programmer usually gets no more than 30-35K Euros per year (gross income), which is about 40,000 U.S. dollars (I don't know whether this is gross or net income). Most of them (me included, I have over 2 years of experience and a CS degree) take much less (18-25K gross). Is it that IT professional in Italy are much less appreciated or am I missing something - just to know?"

Andreas Schaefer tests Drools Performance Limits in today's Weblogs:
"I had the chance to test the Rules Engine Drools and even tough I like it I concluded that Drools did not perform as we had expected. The main reason to drop Drools where that the number of elements participating in the rules where not confined to a small number. My tests showed that Drools is fine when either the number of elements in the test is small or when the many of the possible combinations can be removed because of failing conditions."

In Blog Bridge and performant Swing applications, David Herron considers how better programming techniques will improve Java desktop applications, using Blogbbridge as an example.
"Blogbridge, if you don't know about the application, is a really good RSS/newsfeed aggregator that runs on your desktop. Unlike webservice style aggregators, you have a real GUI with some nice and interesting features. As a Java app it will run on any platform having Java."

In The Open-Source Jini Landscape, Sebastian Lohmeier writes
"About half a year after Sun released the Jini Starter Kit under an open-source license it is time for an overview over open-source Jini projects."

In Projects and

Forever For Now's Java SE 6.0 Aesthetics Preview takes a look at the look of Mustang, carefully examining the current state of visuals on Mustang, running on Ubuntu Linux. The article takes a particularly close look at the state of subpixel rendering on LCD displays and the GTK look and feel as updated for Mustang.

The latest version of the Java API for XML Processing (JAXP), 1.3, is included in J2SE 5.0, and the article Easy and Efficient XML Processing: Upgrade to JAXP 1.3 helps put it to good use by highlighting JAXP's XPath and schema support, security enhancements, and more.

In Also in
Java Today

Justin Gehtland and Bruce Tate, authors of Spring: A Developer's Notebook, define Spring as "a lightweight container, with wrappers that make it easy to use many different services and frameworks. Lightweight containers accept any JavaBean, instead of specific types of components." In What Is Spring, Part 1, they show how to automate and Spring-enable an application. This article is the revised first chapter of the book, and corrects errata from the first printing.

Want to "learn how to combine the power of annotations with aspects to provision enterprise services declaratively, in an EJB 3.0-compatible manner, while still providing container independence"? Author Rod Coffin invites you to Try Declarative Programming with Annotations and Aspects. The article shows how to write an EJB 3.0 compatible bean and provision it with declarative transaction management, security, and resource injection by writing a few simple aspects.

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Discovering the Next Big Thing