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Plain Truth

Posted by editor on November 14, 2008 at 7:27 AM PST


A call for greater transparency

Last week's most-discussed topic was surely Kirill Grouchnikov's blog Sun setting down on the core Swing, which concluded that the de-funding of SwingX and a seeming shift of client/desktop emphasis to JavaFX implied that Swing has been effectively put into maintenance-only mode.

Today, Kirill follows up to say that the underlying problem may not be the actions taken by Sun and others, but the lack of communication about them:

Open-sourcing Java during the JavaOne 2006 and the announcement of OpenJDK project was hailed by Sun as the new era for Java, where everybody can lend their hand in shaping the future of the Java platform. Specifically in the client area, the summer of 2006 has supplied Swing developers with such gems as Chris Campbell's entry on soft clipping, Chet Haase talking about Java on Vista, official birth of JSR 295 and JSR 296, as well as lively discussions on the SwingX painters and layers. Those have been exciting times for me personally, as they showed a renewed and well backed interest in the Java client side development.

Unfortunately, the last eighteen months have been quite disappointing. The level of openness (or transparency, if you will) set in the summer of 2006 was not a genuine and lasting commitment to the community, which has been effectively shut not only from participating in the decision making process, but in following it as well.

In Trust is hard to build and easy to destroy, Kirill's core argument is that the trust developers have in the future of the platform, particularly on the client side, has been compromised by both deliberate choices to not communicate (which he typifies with an openjfx-compiler list message explicitly declining to discuss a JavaFX bug fix in a then-closed library), to the long periods of quiet after initial announcements, such as the short-lived JavaFX blog or the continued absence of an umbrella JSR or timeline for Java 7. Without any kind of reliable information, the users have no ability to make plans based on the product:

Can you justify being "heads down" in development / testing to create a void to be filled with rumors, conjectures, interpretations and wild guesses?

It's certainly ironic to be reading such a denunciation of Java openness, particularly two years after Java itself was open sourced. But maybe it's not just about the code, but rather where that code is going.

Kirill is redirecting comments to his blog on pushing-pixels.com. I suspect it's going to be a busy day over there.


In a related vein, the latest java.net Poll asks
"Did you expect Java 7 to be released in 2008?" Cast your vote on the front page, then visit the results page for current tallies and discussion.


Among today's other Weblogs, Jim Driscoll continues his Ajax adventures in JSF 2.0: Writing fully reusable Ajax Components. "We'll take another look at my example Spinner component, and this time, we'll modify it so that you can put multiple components on a page. There's a few tricks you need to know, but once you get past those, it's pretty easy."

Carol McDonald has materials from her most recent hands-on lab in
HOL on REST Dojo Comet. "Yesterday I gave a Hands On Lab on REST, dojo and Comet at JFall. You can download the Hands On Lab."


In Java Today,
Java was well-represented at last weekend's Silicon Valley Code Camp, with a reported 33 Java sessions of the 113 total. Java Champion Van Riper was a co-organizer of the event, and he has posted a slideshow to the Java Champions page. Arun Gupta has also posted a trip report about the GlassFish team's activities: " Jitu, Jiandong, Jacob, and I presented on GlassFish at Silicon Valley Code Camp over the weekend. The event had higher attendance (close to 500) than last year and certainly is a great networking event for the local community."

The Refact4J project describes itself as "a set of framework: functors library (like C++ Standard Template Library) and meta-model programming (Entity Object Model). The main goal is to exploit functors and meta-model as a simple design and implementation based on concept of generic and functional programming. Refact4J is a framework for data application development which includes a simple architecture and a number of plain Java APIs."

Continuing a series on ME networking with real-world protocols, the SDN has posted Bruce Hopkins' Asynchronous Communications with Java ME and SIP: Part 2. "As you may recall from Part 1 of this series, I showed you two example applications that used the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to send a simple message asynchronously from one application to the other. In this tech tip, we are going to explore why the REGISTER method type is important and learn how to use it. "


In today's Forums, cowwoc asked us to pass along his request to try
Tracking Java Versions using Google Analytics. "I just posted a blog entry explaining how to track the Java version of your website visitors: http://cowwoc.blogspot.com/2008/11/tracking-java-versions-using-google.html . I would love to see Google integrate this as a standard feature of Google Analytics but in the meantime we can do it ourselves. If you own a popular website please share your statistics with everyone else. I'd love to find out what Java usage is like in the wild."

cowwoc also wonders
How to select dates that span months in SwingX. "I tried using JXMonthView but it only lets me select a range of dates within a single month. The closest I've seen to the behavior I'm looking for is Windows Vista's Calendar application. Clicking the mouse button and dragging to the bottom right automatically scrolls to the next month(s). Dragging to the top left scrolls to the previous months. There is also Google Analytics that lets you pick the start date and end date without dragging but does so without opening and closing new calendars every time. What is the acceptable behavior in this case? Do you simply use two JXDatePickers?"

Finally, lucasrj posts an announcement for an
Informative Event For Darkstar, Wonderland, and SunSpot Projects. "The IGSA, the Asian Diversity Network @Sun, and Sun Microsystems invite you (and your development staff) to learn more about open source technologies that you can leverage for the development of online games, virtual worlds, and social networking applications. [...] This will be an excellent networking opportunity. The event will be attended not only by the gaming community, but also by SUN, JAVA, training, academic, and other development communities. Meeting date: Tuesday, December 2, 2008. Time: 5:00-8:30 pm."


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A call for greater transparency