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Posted by editor on September 28, 2007 at 7:27 AM PDT


Tuned in to the perpetual back-channel conversation

It seems there's plenty of places to turn for information about technology, and Java in particular, but how do you filter out the junk -- the ads, the cross-posts, the calls for help from people who are in hopelessly over their heads -- and just find the good stuff?

Social networks help, knowing who you're talking to and assessing their contributions based on what you know about them. A few weeks ago, the Java Posse podcast mentioned an all-Java IRC client, jIRCii, and a #javaposse channel on freenode.net. Tuning in over the last few days, I've seen a lot of notable Java people on the channel, including Romain Guy (of Filthy Rich Clients fame), Coté of the Drunk & Retired podcast, Klaasjan Tukker of NL-JUG, and GNU Classpath's Dalibor Topic.

In fact, it was Dalibor who pointed me to one of today's most intriguing Java Today items, about a full-blown Java-based OS being built atop OpenJDK. The JNode project has announced version 0.2.5 of their Java-based OS, continuing their move to OpenJDK, as described in a FAQ. The new release features "Java 6 support, substantially improved consoles, experimental support for isolates and a large set of bug fixes and improvements to all parts of the system, including better memory mamagement and increased performance." The project's goal "is to get an simple to use and install Java operating system for personal use. Any java application should run on it, fast & secure!"


Also in Java Today,
the appropriately-named DotNetFromJava project offers you the ability to access .NET assemblies from Java directly without the need of writing native code/wrappers. "The intended purpose of this software API is to provide access to the .NET APIs, widening in this way the available java APIs. Furthermore, the java developer will gain development time by avoiding to write native code."

It's a well-known fact that hardware companies are abandoning the race for single-CPU speed and instead are focusing on multicore processors. Despite the fact that many algorithms can be easily parallelized, most client-side Java code is still written for single-CPU systems. In the article Multicore processing for client-side Java applications, Kirill Grouchnikov shows you how to fine-tune a core JDK array-sorting algorithm for improved processing speed of as much as 35%.


Apropos of the IRC discussions mentioned earlier, the latest java.net Poll asks "Where do you most often discuss Java?" Cast your vote on the front page, then check out the results page for current tallies and discussion.


The latest Feature Article offers up a new GUI concept called the
Fling Scroller, reminding us how Swing programmers should focus not only on "look" but also "feel", particularly if new kinds of gestures can make applications more pleasant to use. In this article, Jan Haderka introduces a new behavior to JLists to allow users to "fling" off the top or bottom of the list and have the scrolling continue briefly as a result of the gesture.


In today's Weblogs, Simon Morris returns to the ideas of "neo-desktopism" and other RIA taxonomies with a typically bold assertion:
Why Rich Internet Apps Will Fail.
"If I'm judging the current mood of the industry right, the future will bring a massive increase in mobility. Applications and data will follow the user around, from office to home and from PC to PDA, thanks to the much hyped RIA. But what issues may need addressing before we cast off the ball-n-chain of the locally installed application?"

Alexander Potochkin explains
Why I don't use Swing hacks (in production code).
"The recommended techniques seems to be too boring for some people, when you use a hack it's like you use a hidden knowledge, isn't it?"

Fabrizio Giudici has an important update in
NetBeans Governance Board elections in progress.
"Just a quick reminder: the elections for the NetBeans Governance Board are in progress. It's a group of three persons that deal with irresolvable disputes about the evolution of NetBeans (something that usually happens seldom, but it may happen)."


Do you get sick of the "URGENT PLESE HELP" forum posts that don't give an indication that the poster has really worked through their problems thoroughly, and may just find it easier to post a call for help than to experiment and research further?
That phenomenon seems to have spawned rafael.santos' Forum message

[JAI] [sort of off-topic] It is just me...
"... or people asking questions on this list don't care about proper writing (or even reading) anymore? I've seen several messages in this list with more or less the same contents: "I need such-and-such urgent" "[Message sent by forum member 'darth hamtaro']" I am *NOT* picking on english usage, just wondering if I should really bother answering those messages. Some people does not motivate us to help answer their questions, and I've received some messages (directly, not via the mailing list) with just the problem statement! Also, those people seldom sign their messages."

kschaefe announces a
JXDatePicker alternate approach:
"I have checked in my first version of the JXDatePicker, using a DatePickerEditor, into my incubator space. I have cribbed somewhat heavily from JComboBox (some comments still refer to the combo box). It is still a work in progress, but the test will display the JXDatePicker, as expected. There are a few focus issues and some actions to hook up, but I am pretty pleased with the rewrite. I wanted to post an early, yet workable version to get feedback on what's being done. I am particularly interested in hearing from the L&F implementors and those who have used custom editors with the current picker. I hope to have a fully working "Basic" picker done by the end of next week and additional core L&Fs done shortly thereafter."

tjquinn discusses GlassFish plans in
Re: RE: Problem with WebStart.
"Your suggestions are very much in line with some of what I have been planning for a long time to enhance the Java Web Start app client launching performance. In the original implementation for Java Web Start support we needed to impose as little additional logic as possible, compared to what the server was already doing for the appclient script case. That meant we needed to use the existing "fat" generated app client JAR, and there just has not been time or people to improve that during V2. Looking ahead to GlassFish V3 there are quite a few possible improvements. You have mentioned some that we have had on the drawing board for some time. There are others that will take advantage of the modular approach we are planning for GlassFish itself in V3, server and client side, which should shrink the client-side footprint of the app client container quite a bit which should also improve the Java Web Start download and start-up performance."


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Tuned in to the perpetual back-channel conversation