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Posted by editor on January 3, 2007 at 11:41 AM PST

Who is "me" and "you" in computer terminology?

During the break, I took a QuickTime example written in C and ported it to Java (and then posted it). Touring the Apple code reminded me how annoying C can be (native QuickTime usually reserves return values for error codes since C doesn't have exceptions, so if you want something returned, you have to pass in an address where you'll receive a pointer... yuck). The other thing that was striking was the constant use of "my" variables in Apple's sample code... mySndTrack, myMedia, myInputMap, myTweenData, etc.

I don't fully understand the idea behind the "my" variables. I guess it does help to distinguish between the sample's variables and constants versus those inherited from imports (another thing that makes C less readable to me... I'd rather see something like ScrollPaneConstants.VERTICAL_SCROLLBAR_ALWAYS so I know where a value is coming from), but if that's the case, then it's just a coping mechanism against a C code smell. Sure, maybe they're "my" variables in the context of an example, to remind me of what the sample code is responsible for managing versus what's coming from a library, but I can't help but think that this will lead to bad programming practices among newer programmers. I would hate to see a 100,000-line enterprise program with a naming scheme so ambiguous as to use myAccount, myDbConnection, etc.

David Walend apparently shares this concern, writing in today's Weblogs about
Me and You In User Interfaces:
"The pronouns we use when we address computers and imagine them addressing us hides some profound insight. I haven't pinned down exactly what [...] I think the way we use these implied points of view in computing is really strange and not very consistent. Someone could write a decent master's thesis drawing some conclusions on these inconsistencies."

Also in the Weblogs,
Bhakti Mehta has a tutorial blog on
Developing Webservices using Glassfish AS 9.1 and JDK 6:
"This blog will show how to develop, run and deploy JAX-WS based webservices with Glassfish v2 Milestone 3 build using JDK 6."

Finally, Joshua Marinacci is looking forward to a
Rockin' 2007:
"Well, the new year has come and my vacation is over. So what does 2007 bring? For me personally, a lot less moving. I'm settled in Oregon now (still have to get a new license) which means that I can get back to SwingLabs and cool open source projects."

We're still clearing out some year-ender stuff in the Java Today section today.
ONJava's wrap-up for 2006 is as much a preview of the big stories in Java for 2007 as a year-ender for the previous year. "What happens next? That's the big question. As with a lot of this year's events, it's not obvious what [GPL'ing Java] will lead to, rife as it surely is with unintended consequences. So for this year's '2006 In Review' article, we're taking a different approach: we're listing some of the major developments and pointing out what to look for in 2007 as a result of those events."

Did you learn new Java techniques in 2006? The SDN is challenging you to Test Your Knowledge of Java Technology: In 2006, staff authors published articles about Java technologies, such as JavaServer Faces technology and the Java API for XML-Based Web Services, as well as about new methods such as getFreeSpace() and getUsableSpace() that were added to the familiar class. Additionally, the Java platform has added new capabilities, such as the ability to use scripting languages. See how well you do on this online quiz.

Artima recently noted Fabrizio Giudici's blog Clustering with Rio, which describes how the Mistral graphics-processing engine can be deployed on a cluster using Jini and the Jini clustering tool, Rio. "I think that we should first start with two basic questions. What is Rio? How does it work? I will try to explain it in a very quick fashion, taking a well known model such as J2EE as a term of paragon."

In today's Forums,
kolotyluk is putting forth a proposal for a
Swing Automated Test Harness (SwATH):
"I have an idea for a JSR, but I’m not currently a member, nor is my current employer Kodak a member. I was wondering who I might contact as a sounding board to see if the idea is worth pursuing – without having to write a formal JSR Proposal. One of the difficult areas of software testing is Graphical User Interfaces. It is particularly hard to automate such testing because of the dynamic and interactive nature of the GUI. There are a number of tools on the market to aid in automated GUI testing but these usually require a huge investment in design, implementation, and (well) testing, and are often not very flexible especially in regression testing when the UI changes. I have some experience in automated testing in wireless networking. Automating testing was very practical and straightforward because usually you could create a test harness that simply monitored and replied to network traffic and protocol simulation. For some time now I have desired something similar for GUI testing. What I think would work well is to embed a generic test harness into the Swing API. The test harness would consist of a specified TCP port to communication with the test system."

joshy checks in with a
JXMapViewer update:
"I've updated the JXMapViewer code to fix some bugs with repainting and tile loading (some hidden Out of Memory Errors were getting missed). I have also uploaded a second tile set based on the 2km resolution Blue Marble data rather than the 8km before. That's 16 times more marbly goodness! It also has under-ocean features now rather than a black void. You can see the latest build of the applet here."

And forsey85 has a question about
Java SE 6 Splash Screen functionality in Java web start:
"I have a jar application which makes use of the new splash screen functionality available in Java SE 6. When I run the jar locally as normal, the splash screen shows as expected, however when the app gets launched from Java web start, no splash screen is shown. Any ideas why? I know you can specify an image in the jnlp file, but this is just a static image while the jars are downloading. The splash screen in the app itself should run while the jar is starting up. The splash screen is fairly important as the app has ~10 sec startup time."

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Who is "me" and "you" in computer terminology?