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Show Me the Way

Posted by editor on September 28, 2006 at 5:53 AM PDT

Looking for the future of Jini and of media presentations

It's a statistical quirk that the two people who've ever edited this site -- Daniel Steinberg and myself -- are big Jini fans, even though Jini itself has a fairly small user base. Personally, I found Jini's clear-eyed realism about distributed code to be a real breakthrough after working for a few years on a sometimes fragile client-server system (JMS "guarantees" delivery of messages, my eye!). A proof-of-concept I wrote with Jini ended up turning into production code because it had that most essential of qualities: it worked.

Daniel has attended a number of Jini Community Meetings and is significantly involved in the community. In advance of the 10th Jini Community Meeting, he asked me to look over the script to his presentation and I could see he was up to something really different. Instead of the usual five-bullet-point per slide presentation that is then read aloud with a few embellishments, Daniel proposed a rapid-fire presentation with short phrases (even single words) meant to emphasize or counterpoint what he was saying at a particular moment.

I thought the intended effect would be terrific, provided he could speak well at the same time that he handled the slides, which came up at an average rate of about one every five seconds. If anything, it almost read like an A/V script. And that got me thinking: what would happen if we re-recorded the presentation and then made a carefully-timed video track of the slides? Usually, sitting on a slide in an online video is boring, but these would come often enough, and raised interesting ideas and counterpoints of their own, that they would probably be worth watching in addition to listening to the audio of Daniel's presentation.

So it's in the spirit of experimentation that we offer
our Feature Article, entitled Jini Beyond the Choir. We're interested both in your reactions to this style of presentation as an online video (we also have an audio-only version, so you can listen to it while you drive), and in Daniel's idea about reorienting the Jini community to figure out what it can and should do in today's world.

Plans for source-controlling the open-source Java project top today's Weblogs. Martin Englund starts off with
Migrating from TeamWare to a new SCM:
"As Mark pointed out, I'm investigating the technical details on how we should migrate from TeamWare to a more recent SCM. At the moment I'm busy gathering data about Mercurial to determine the impact it will have on disk usage..."

In his blog,
Teamware, Mercurial, and SCCS revs that go bump in the night, Kelly O'Hair discusses the key advantages of the previous source-control management system and why they need to be present in its successor.
"Besides all the basic SCM features you'd want, Teamware provided two extremely valuable features in my view. The primary feature was the ability to have any number of workspaces (repositories) with a parent/child relationship, there is no single repository. The second feature was it's extremely powerful merging tool called filemerge."

Finally, Greg Murray has some advice for
Preventing Cross Site Scripting Attacks:
"There has been a great deal of news about cross site scripting (XSS). Here are some tips for both JavaScript and Java developers on keeping you and your site out of the news for some of the most common problems."

Where did the JDK 6 builds go? The answer is in today's Forums. In

Re: No build 100 this week? Had to ask., ray_gans writes:
"We're finishing things off and into final (heavy) testing. New builds should be coming out much less frequently now. JDK 6 is still slated for release in December. See Mark Reinhold's blog entry for more information."

Meanwhile, Ingo Lütkebohle asks about
[JAI] vectorization in java on x86:
"The recent discussion of JAI native acceleration for Mac OS X reminded me of something related: Is there a way to have the JIT "vectorize" certain statements, that is, compile bytecode to SIMD instruction based on whatever processor support is available (e.g., MMX, SSE, whatever AMD has got...). There has been research into something like this for quite a while, e.g. see this workshop page from 1999 (search for vectorization). I also found a post from 2005 by Chris Campbell (cc'ed) that something like this has been implemented for Sparc/VIS but not for x86 yet. Any news on x86 implementations? It would really kick butt."

In Java Today, the latest SDN interview lets you Meet Shannon Hickey, Tech Lead of the Swing Team. In this article, he discusses backwards-compatibillity and the possibility of a "compatibility API" to let callers declare their own needs for Swing fixes versus backwards compatibility. He also discusses drag-and-drop, Swing misconceptions, and more.

The Hibernate Tools Suite project is an easy to use toolset which may be used for developing Hibernate-based applications. Along with smooth NetBeans integration it features session factory management, a powerful HQL editor with syntax coloring, code completion, Java to HQL (and reverse) formatting features, a powerful query result browser, and more.

"Sometimes [...] programmers need to access database metadata in order to dynamically generate SQL statements when programmatically determining the capabilities of a given RDBMS or finding the names and types of tables and columns in the database. Since obtaining database metadata is not very common in applications, there are no good frameworks or APIs to obtain it, as there are for obtaining the data itself." At least not until now. The DevX article Java API Makes Database Metadata as Easily Accessible as POJOs looks at how the open-source SchemaCrawler project attacks this problem.

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Looking for the future of Jini and of media presentations