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Where Were You Last Night

Posted by editor on January 10, 2008 at 5:09 AM PST

A hefty afternoon schedule at Sun Tech Days Atlanta

Sun Tech Days Atlanta got started yesterday with parallel tracks for NetBeans Day and Open Solaris Day. Actually, the schedule wasn't what you might expect: the sessions kicked off at 1PM and went fairly late into the evening (I think the last one wrapped up at 7PM), which left the morning free to get some work done or meet up with colleagues.

I shared a table for an hour with Marina Sum, and we swapped stories of projects long gone, working with authors on articles, and big picture overviews. One thing we came to agree on is that development is a far more social exercise than one might think. Whether it's working on a team, dealing with QA, or leaving your code in sufficiently presentable shape for someone else to maintain (and if it's even remotely useful, someone else probably is going to need to work with it), the ability to work with peers and build bridges, collaborate, and even build community, is essential to success.

Gregg Sporar and Jeet Kaul offered the first few sessions on NetBeans, covering new features, the Spring Application Framework, and Beans Binding. Combined with NetBeans' visual editor, these make for a very compelling way to build a desktop application: build the GUI visually, bind components to their values (rather than writing dozens of event listeners and wiring them all up in code), and work within a practical framework for application lifecycle management (instead of writing the whole public static void main..., and JFrame mainFrame = new JFrame ("My cool app"), and setDefaultCloseOperation(JFrame.EXIT_ON_CLOSE), and...). If you haven't seen these pieces put together, they do make a very compelling package deal.

According to the schedule on the back of the badge, today will offer four tracks: Enterprise, Rich Applications, Solaris, and Sys Admin / Hands-On Labs, all convening together in the middle of the afternoon for a Q&A with James Gosling. I'll probably be checking out the Java FX and deployment sessions, while I suspect the enterprise developers will be interested in the Metro and REST session, JRuby and Rails, and the look forward to the future of EE and GlassFish.

Again, if you're at the event, stop by and say hi.

In Java Today,
InfoQ is combining recent opinion pieces by Bruce Eckel, Kevin Dangoor, Cay Horstmann, and others, collecting, comparing, and contrasting their arguments in the opinion piece Debate: Should the Java language stop adding new features? "Recently, there has been a lot of debate over the future of the Java platform, with some arguing for more features to compete with languages such as C# and Ruby, and others saying that Java should become a more stable language lest it become too complicated to use. Bruce Eckel started a new round of debates by stating that Java should stop adding new features entirely."

Over on Artima, Frank Sommers looks at the recent debates over language changes and asks How Does Language Impact Framework Design?. "Developer productivity is as much a factor of productive frameworks as it is of language capabilities. Is there anything in Java that limits framework architects in their quest to design more productive APIs and frameworks? How do language features impact framework design?"

From The Aquarium comes this announcement that The GlassFish troubleshooting guide is yours to improve: "Some time before the holidays the Sun Java System Application Server Troubleshooting Guide was migrated to a wiki format. Of course this document applies equally to GlassFish v2. With the recent releases of both GlassFish V2 ans V2 UR1, this is probably good timing. Of course the wiki format really means that we would like people to contribute to this document and have a better flow of information between this one-stop-shop document and the GlassFish User FAQ. Specifically, hands-on experience and troubleshooting tips on enterprise features such as clustering is welcome. Maybe an idea for the Community Awards Program?"

In today's Weblogs, Joshua Marinacci wonders
How do I answer the question: What is Java?
"A technically savvy friend of mine asked me today: What is Java? He is a photographer and learning about linux system administration and databases so he has a technical background but isn't much of a programmer (yet!). At first the answer seemed obvious, but upon further reflection I realized that it's not so easy."

Rich Unger replies to the much-debated , Computer Science Education: Where Are the Software Engineers of Tomorrow? by making the case for Java as an educational language, in
Learning Computer Science: Where does Java Belong?
"By all means, teach classes in other languages. Students should be forced to take at least one class in a functional language. However, for CS 101, Java is an excellent choice."

Terrence Barr wonders
Do we need a Mobile Developer Alliance?
"Is the mobile ecosystem as a whole really facilitating the development and deployment of this new wave of content? Is it easy for developers and content creators to think up, build, deploy, and monetize the things that excite users and drive new uses of mobile technologies? Does the mobile industry in its current state provide a fertile ground for allowing innovation to occur and new ideas to flourish?"

In today's Forums, the4thchild wonders about the practicality of
JavaFX development on the command line.
"I am new to JavaFX and have been reading through its online documentation. I came across an article describing how to develop a JavaFX application from the command line, "although it is highly recommended to use an IDE." I have typically relied on the command line and my favorite source editor for Java application development. What are the reasons that an IDE is highly recommended for JavaFX? In particular, are there specific limitations from developing JavaFX from the command line and without an IDE?"

jslott looks at early performance characteristics for the Project Wonderland File System, in
Some initial WFS scalability benchmark numbers for v0.3.
"I performed an initial test of the scalability of WFS, testing how long it takes WFS to load the MPK20 demo world from a 'cold start'. (I suspect the performance profile after doing updates to a WFS running on a live server will look different). You can find these metrics here -- feel free to add your own profiling dumps. Essentially, 62% of the time to load a world -- and I suspect WFS is probably responsible for much of the time it takes for the Wonderland server to boot -- results from the actual reading and parsing the XML-formatted cell files (the XMLDecoder class in Java SE). It seems it takes this mechanism 10 ms to parse a file, resulting in a maximum theoretical bandwidth of parsing 100 cells/second. The total time it took WFS to load in the MPK20 was ~440ms for its 27 cell world. Granted, this was on a 2.11 Ghz Opteron Sun Ultra 20."

whartung discusses the realities of deep copying in
Re: jpa and object duplication/cloning.
:I'm going to effectively disagree with you that the JPA should handle the cloning of objects across EntityManagers. I'd say that it's spectacularly unqualified to support that, and there's a sound reason for it to do so. Many folks, in many languages and environments, lament that there's rarely any kind of system provided "deep copy" functionality. It seems so easy, but a deep copy is just rampant with edge case, black hole, and implementation defined details that are effectively very difficult, if not impossible to capture, especially declaratively. Java has its Clonable interface, but it's still a shallow copy. The closest we really have (as I mentioned) is serialization, and many folks complain about that simply because it's too eager, for example."

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A hefty afternoon schedule at Sun Tech Days Atlanta


"whartung discusses the realities of deep copying ..." Well, he did an offtopic rant, jumping on the deep copy subject, while in fact only ID cleaning was in question. He is right, but offtopic. Spotlight on this post might have given a chance to to solve this problem in a cleaner way, so thanks !

Sun Tech Days was a good time. I had the opportunity have one-on-one conversations with James Gosling, Greg Sporar and several others that made the whole thing worthwhile. Thanks again Sun for the experience.