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Place in the Country

Posted by editor on December 6, 2006 at 10:48 AM PST

A visit from's first editor

Original editor Daniel Steinberg stopped by the house earlier in the week, on a quick one-day business trip to Atlanta. As we were talking about the site and how it came together, one of the things that came up that's surprising in retrospect is the fact that there was a pretty significant level of skepticism about the site when it first launched. We think that we've answered the critics, and then some, because after three and a half years, this site probably wouldn't be here, at least not in this form, if it weren't delivering some genuine value to the Java community.

A couple of predictions of how we'd screw it up (I've seen others, but these are some of the higher-rated hits in Google):

  • InfoWorld thought the site was to be a JCP alternative. Wrong, considering that a JCP community is part of our site, but there are some prescient ideas in the article that have largely been realized, such as "Sun clearly hopes that will be more than a clearing-house for Sun's own open source projects" and "the most interesting role of may be as an open testing ground where a large number of developers can participate in the development of technologies that then get proposed as Java standards." We've seen some examples of the latter (stuff from JDIC in Java SE 6, for example), but it would be great if more projects evolved into JCP standards.

  • Matt Raible thought the blogs would be irrelevant or censored. "So has weblogs. Boring ones I suspect. Why? Because this seems to be a 'corporate' portal and I doubt that these folks are going to wite about how cool their kids are or how nice their mountain bike ride was [...] Can these bloggers speak their true feelings (can they cuss) - or will Sun remove their posting?" For what it's worth, one of our guidelines to bloggers is to "write on topics of interest to Java developers" (meaning it's not really the right place for mountain biking blogs), and the last time I admonished anyone about a blog, it was months ago and was because they'd linked in some Google Ads, which is inappropriate for an ad-free site.

  • Slashdot's Sun Opens said the site was "worth a look", but most of the discussion complained about the possible confusion with Microsoft's .NET. One modded-up comment was pretty prescient though: "I think there should be a seperate community site for J2EE systems with a code repository, forums and recommendations, or am I ignorant of such a site?" I would submit that the Java Enterprise community and the GlassFish community fit that bill pretty well.

But enough about the past. Three and a half years in, are we living up to our Guiding Principles and Vision? Let us know if we're getting it right, and sure to tell us if we slip up.

Going back to the idea of getting your code into the official Java SE pipeline, today's Forums, kicks off with an offer from jessewilson to help bring data binding to SwingX. In

Re: JFreeChart + Swing in Incubator, he writes:
"We did some JFreeChart binding in Glazed Lists. The approach worked well, if you're interested in it, I'd love to contribute code to SwingX. If you run our demo, you can see a line chart and pie chart being drawn dynamically, this is data is bound to the list of issue objects that are being downloaded."

john_silver is looking for a phoneME
"I have a simple question that seems to have no simple answer. What is sun using to benchmark its JVM, or phoneME to stay on topic? I have tried several Benchmark suites that I have found laying around the net [...] More precisely I want to validate that optimising the JVM for let say a coprocessor, like iwmmxt on arm/xscale is worth it. And to see the performance differences of the JVM across different hardware and/or compile flags"

sksamuel complains about the state of GlassFish documentation in
web.xml and jdbc resource:
"I'm having real difficulty understand how to configure a JDBC connection pool resource, not being helped by the terrible documentation Glassfish has (full of information but no organisation to it). Anyway, in Resin I define a database inside the web.xml file and that contains everything I need to get a DataSource via JNDI in Servlet. In Glassfish I can't seem to do this. I seem to have read that I define resource ref in the web.xml and then 'map' it to a JDNI name in a sun.xml file? I cannot find a walkthrough that actually tells you how to configure this just numerous passing references. I've not even seen a tutorial that explains what this sun.xml file is or where to set it up."

In Java Today,

Milestone 5 of NetBeans 6.0 (Dev) is now available for download. The biggest changes in M5 are Java editor improvements and a new Java language infrastructure that is based on Javac. Other improvements in NetBeans 6.0 M5 include a new "project group" feature, and a progress indicator in the status line for Ant proceses. For more information, see the New and Noteworthy wiki page and the overall report for M5.

The Enterprise-class WSRP Open Source Project, part of the overall Portal Open Source Project, aims to provide a WSRP v1 Producer, a WSRP v1 Consumer that can consume Remote Portlets exported by any WSRP v1 Producer, support Registries that allow publishing and discovery of remote portlets, and support user identity propagation and other security and policy capabilities between the Producer and the Consumer. The WSRP specification is defined by the OASIS Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) TC.

Mark Petrovic argues that Desktop Java needs better network security policy management: "Desktop Java developers wishing to deploy with a security policy are hamstrung by the current policy file literal syntax for network addresses. For server side administrators, you have a human discovering allowed network addresses, and entering them into the policy file. But client side developers have to code these decisions in program logic - a generally much harder set of determinations to get right." He points to an RFE from 2003 that would support IP address prefixes.

Brian Leonard has some JPA guidance in today's Weblogs. In Need a Primary Key? Let Me Show You the Ways, he writes:
"When you're adding a table record and need a primary key, you can choose to generate one yourself or let the Java Persistence API do that for you. In this entry, I'm going to review a couple of the alternatives the JPA provides you for creating primary keys."

Mark Lam relates
A Tale of Two Stacks, which explains
"why the phoneME Advanced VM (CVM) uses two physical stacks per thread instead of one, and other stack related stuff..."

Finally, Evan Summers offers
Enhanced DTs with CGLIB:
"This article started off as a part of Swing and Roundabouts 1E, which got too long and so was refactored into its own series or two, namely "Invetigation in Process" and "Enhanced DTs" of which this is the finale."

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A visit from's first editor