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Cruel Angel's Thesis

Posted by editor on November 2, 2005 at 6:01 AM PST

The book club discusses "Beyond Java"

The Book Club forum is kicking off a lengthy discussion of Bruce Tate's Beyond Java, a book that's already prompted responses from bloggers (including John Reynolds, Vikram Goyal, and Fernando Lozano). The book's premise is that while Java has been a breathtaking success - even re-defining what it means for a computer language to be successful - that it has reached the limit of what it can achieve in many important ways, and that innovation is starting to occur outside of the Java realm.

We're going to discuss one chapter per week, by opening a new thread for each chapter. This first week is an exception, though, since the introductory chapter is short and largely exists to introduce the broad themes and ideas of the book. So, we've launched threads for chapters 1 and 2.

The discussion of Chapter 1: Owls and Ostriches begins:

Chapter 1 establishes the pros and cons of keeping your head in the sand, ignoring what's going outside of Java. It argues that when a language is in its prime, this is perfectly appropriate, even beneficial, as it's better to spend your time with the language du jour than to look for alternatives. But when a language starts to show signs of wear, it's time to start looking for alternatives. Is it time? The chapter uses the analogy of boiling a frog, which doesn't even realize it's boiling until it's too late.

The next thread, Chapter 2: The Perfect Storm, discusses the perhaps inevitable rise of Java:

Chapter 2 begins "To know where Java is going, you've got to know where it came from. You need to remember the conditions that caused us to leave the existing dominant languages in droves. You must understand the economic forces that drove the revolution. And you cannot forget the sentiment of the time that pried so many of us away from C++, and other programming languages for the Internet." It argues that Java benefitted (and propelled) a number of important trends: OOP, backlashes against Microsoft and C++, programming for the Internet. It also talks about the tremendous amount of Java open source development, arguing that it is the open source developers who are driving innovation in the Java space. Whatever comes next will have to learn from Java: "Java completely rewrote the rulebook defining what it takes to be a commercially successful programming language."

If you want to participate but haven't bought Beyond Java, or if you're not sure you want to, you can try before you buy with the Online Books service, Safari Bookshelf, which offers a 14-day free trial. Once you've joined, you can read Beyond Java online.

Else where in today's Forums, suggestions continue to pour in for Planning JavaOne 2006. In Re: Tools, mgrev writes: "I would be very interested in how Sun are going to get the JavaBean Component market started. Not before there are oodles of really good component will the desktop truly take off. Today .NET outweight Java 10 to 1 in this area since the component support is so much better on that competing platform. Basically it easier to make an advanced component and edit that is Visual Studio. Some connection to JSR-273 would be good."

Chet Haase is echoing the call for JavaOne 2006 input in today's Weblogs. In
JavaOne 2006: Ideas for Desktop Talks?, he writes:
"In the interest of having the Greatest JavaOne Ever, I'm putting out this request: what would you like to see at the conference? What are the must-see topics? What speakers should we try to get? What are particular talks you'd like to hear? What are cretive new ideas for the conference overall, or for covering particular topics?"

John O'Conner relates a ruinous gotcha in
NetBeans 5.0 Beta...ouch:
"I use NetBeans every day. I like it. However, there's one thing that really irks me...and that's when a tool destroys code."

"Death to the Browser" - bring on a real application platform, Kirill Grouchnikov scoffs at a buzzword-happy prediction of the next generation internet interface, since Java already does it:
"All in favor of reinventing the wheel - raise your hand. All others - continue using Swing"

In Projects and

Does JSF imply JSP? Not necessarily. "Facelets steps outside of the JSP spec and provides a highly performant, JSF-centric view technology... The difference is under the hood where all the burden of the JSP Vendor API is removed to more greatly enhance JSF performance and provide easy plug-and-go development."

A message to the list that the JXTA-RM project is ready but needs testing beyond the LAN. The project intends to provide reliable multicast in JXTA, as there is no multicast implementation based on UDP transport. Part of the solution is the Java Reliable Multicast Service (JRMS) library, which isolates applications from multicast details.

An important question tops Also in
Java Today
: Is AJAX the right client-side solution? "There is an enormous amount of hype surrounding AJAX, as well as criticism. It's only natural that there is a great amount of skepticism about whether AJAX will be just another passing fad, but some very big names in software are jumping on the bandwagon." In Is AJAX Here to Stay?, Jordan Frank looks at the advantages of and criticisms against AJAX and argues that the increasingly consistent handling of AJAX by the major browsers will help secure its relevance for future web application development.

In Learning Java 2D, Part 2, Robert Eckstein moves beyond graphics primitives like shapes and text and digs deeply into images, showing how Java 2D manages BufferedImages internally and how you can apply filters to them. It also introduces double buffering techniques in Java2D and hardware-accelerated VolatileImages.

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The book club discusses "Beyond Java"