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Famous Last Words

Posted by editor on March 31, 2009 at 9:39 AM PDT

A very big round of thanks.

Editing for the last three years has been a process made infinitely more pleasant by the assistance and companionship of people from O'Reilly, Collabnet, and Sun that I've had the pleasure of working with. Indeed, those of us working on the site today are walking in the footsteps of those who originally created the site back in 2003. So, while all of them have moved on to other things, I'm indebted to people like Chris Cheline, Helen Chen, and Daniel Steinberg, who forged this site out of nothing but time, money, and bytes, and started building the thriving community.

I came along later, first as an associate editor, then started doing the front page and editor's blog in June 2005. Since then, I've worked with a number of great people, including Marla Parker, Miky Vacik, Rachel Thurow, Craig Palmer, Jim Wright, Padma Ramanujan, and Shilpa Vora. Currently, we enjoy guidance from Sun's Gary Thompson and Sonya Barry, and Collabnet's project-hosting services as overseen by Eric Renaud and Andrew Kelly. On the O'Reilly editorial and community-building side, it's a pleasure to work with producer Jennifer Palm, the seemingly-able-to-do-anything Sarah Kim, freelance editor Jamie Barnett, the O'Reilly graphics and department and tech support people, and our ever-available manager, Nancy Abila.

Tomorrow's front page is coming to you from O'Reilly editor Kevin Farnham. I think he's going to enjoy working with this team. I've enjoyed their friendship, and being able to rely on them.

In Java Today,
John Rose is providing some details on JSR 292 support in javac. "In order to work with dynamic types, method handles, and invokedynamic I have made some provisional changes to javac as part of the Da Vinci Machine Project. The mlvm wiki has a full description for Project COIN. It is most desirable, of course, to program invokedynamic call sites as Java expressions, not just ASM code, and that's what those langtools patches are for."

The Warning: Applet Window message has long been criticized for confusing and scaring users, despite the importance of alerting users to the fact that such windows are spawned by untrusted applets and not their browser or other installed applications. In Exploring Security Warning Functionality, Anthony Petrov and Alla Redko discuss the evolving presentation of the applet window warning, and explore a new API, com.sun.awt.SecurityWarning, introduced in JDK 6u12 to give developers some control over the positioning of the warning icon.

Java Card 3 is a major evolution of the current Java Card 2 platform. In the SDN article Java Card 3: Classic Functionality Gets a Connectivity Boost, Peter Allenbach writes, "while Java Card 3 enhances the classic interoperability, security, and multiple-application support in the platform, it exploits such new hardware features as more memory, more processing power, and enhanced communication capabilities. In this way, Java Card 3 comprises both the Classic Edition and a new Connected Edition."

The latest Java Mobility Podcast is
Java Mobility Podcast 75: Daniel Green on kids and computers, in which Daniel Green from Sun Microsystems talks about computers in education, getting kids excited, and computer clubs on thumb drives.

In today's Weblogs, Jan Haderka passes along the welcome announcement SwingX 0.9.6 Released. "Almost on the spot 3 months since the last release SwingX 0.9.6 is out. This release focuses on one last code API cleanup before 1.0 release."

Marina Sum links to
A Visual Display of OpenDS Code Commits. "See a short video, called CodeSwarm, of the history of code commits for the OpenDS project, courtesy of community manager and architect Ludo Poitou. What an impressive picture!"

Next, a disappointed Felipe Gaucho reports that the QTI 2.1 draft specification has been removed from the IMS website. "A sad day for the global education community - the IMS Global Learning Consortium decided to withdraw the QTI 2.1 draft specification."

In today's Forums, dave_raymer is giving sockets a workout and reports a
JDK1.6.0_07 and _03: Non-blocking socket "oddity". "I have the following situation (on both Linux and MacOS) -- A non-blocking connection established to a server for a long-term persistent message oriented exchange (request-response). I'm doing negative testing and see something very odd (at least to my somewhat experienced "C" socket programming eyes). When I pull the cable, the select does not wake up (this is good, and what what I expect). When I write to the socket while the cable is pulled, I expect to see an IOException, but I don't. When I plug the cable back in at the server, the select in the java application "breaks", and the recovery processing is initiated. So, is this normal expected behavior in Java? Shouldn't the SocketChannel.write( ByteBuffer src) call fail?"

Clive Brettingham-Moore offers some suggestions in the response
Re: Disabling ?WSDL "If request path needs changing you have no alternative beyond trying to avoid metro wsdl (maybe filter, trying to get load balancer to redirect ?wsdl, or try and rewrite the WSDL coming though (though that would be hard)). Otherwise you can try and get metro to have the correct URL: The address in the wsdl is derived from the servlet request enviroment. Hostname and port can be statically overridden using tomcat connector attributes. Alternatively if the request path (as opposed to host/port/protocol) is not changed, you could avoid request rewriting (can still do request routing or course) at the proxy so the web service sees the true URL via either http or ajp)."

Finally, iminar posts a feature request in
Re: asadmin in v3: Requesting user feedback on functional spec... "First of all let me just say that I love all the proposed enhancements and new features. Given that as developers we spend a great deal of time working with asadmin, it's great to see that the tool is getting attention in v3 release. [...] One thing that has always bugged me was an inability to do a domain restart with one command. I don't know why such a simple, yet commonly needed feature is missing."

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If you've gotten this far, then maybe you remembered that I said yesterday that I'd be providing the answer key for the Daily Editor's Blog musical reference game.

First, a note about the history of the game: it was my Shakespeare lecturer in college who said that constraints make you more creative, not less. He pointed out that Shakespeare had to work with a rowdy mob in the frontmost seats that weren't above harassing the actors if they got bored, and female parts played by young men in drag. Instead of being frustrated by such limitations, Shakespeare used them to his advantage: he starts his plays with spectacle to win over the rowdies, and often had his female characters pose as men, thereby turning male actors back into male characters. Using a similar logic and self-discipline, Chuck Jones imposed hard rules on his Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons, and they were the better for it. Another inspiration: Tim Monroe's long-running QuickTime column for MacTech cleverly used only movie titles as the title of every installment. In fact, Tim once told me (the year that JavaOne and WWDC were the same week) that when he wrote an article about QuickTime for Java, he found that only one major movie title had ever used the word "Java", namely Krakatoa, East of Java (fortunately, his followup was easier: Swing Time).

I wasn't really satisfied with my attempts to mimic Daniel Steinberg's personal and anecdotal style when I filled in for him for a few days in December, 2004, so when I started doing the front page and the blog full-time, I decided to latch on to musical references as a framing device that would challenge me to find a relationship to the items on that day's page. This happened around JavaOne 2005, which I arrived at just hours after attending the "Dear Friends" symphonic concert of Final Fantasy music in Atlanta, so I used songs from that series for the first set of titles (something I went back to a year later, after the Aerith project debuted at JavaOne 2006, named after the tragic heroine of Final Fantasy VII). I'd probably be doing it next month too, as I have tickets to the new tour, "Distant Worlds", here in Grand Rapids in two weeks.

Sometimes, people who don't read the blog regularly see their favorite band and comment "hey, are you an X fan too?" Actually, I used up most of my long-time favorite bands over the first year, and have had to do research (iTunes Genius, the KFOG 10@10 set lists, friends' Facebook favorite music lists [Robert Cooper reminded me of Pixies, and The Jam was inspired by Dick Wall]) to come up with new references, though in many cases this has led me to cool new music (still need to check out Von Bondies, now that I think of it). I think the only person who ever requested a band was Dalibor Topic, who asked for (and got) the Belgian rock band dEUS.

The history of musical references has a lot of in-jokes that only I get. Every time that I was working on while taking my family to Disney World, I used Disney songs as the week's themes. I also kept using increasingly recent titles for these, so in February, I was forced to go with crazy-obscure end-credit songs from Bolt and Meet the Robinsons, which I'm sure nobody caught. Last Summer, when I moved to Grand Rapids, I did a couple weeks where all the artists were participants in the first Rothbury Music Festival, which takes place about 30 minutes from here (in fact, if you're coming, stop by the house... we're off exit 38 on I-96).

One other fixture of the blog band game was that the easiest way to bring people out of the woodwork was to use Rush. For whatever reason, the fanatical Rush devotees fell over themselves to acknowledge the appearance of the band's classic titles in the editor's blog. It helped that their titles are often abstract concepts that are easy to match to items on the front page ("Mission", "Distant Early Warning", "Marathon", "Working Man", etc.). I think I went back to this particular well three times before deciding that it was just too easy. I also did The Who three times (one or two of these days were Daniel filling in while I travelled, and he cleverly kept with the theme), which is remarkable when you consider how few albums The Who actually put out (especially in the years after Tommy).

OK, enough theory and history. Here are the answers:

Week of Artist / theme
7/1/05 "Final Fantasy" soundtracks
7/11/05 Roxy Music
7/18/05 The Tubes
7/25/06 The Who
8/1/05 Elvis Costello
8/8/05 The Rolling Stones
8/15/05 David Bowie
8/22/05 Holly Cole
8/29/05 The Beatles
9/5/05 Joe Jackson
9/12/05 Oingo Boingo
9/19/05 The Offspring
9/26/05 Green Day
10/3/05 The Kinks
10/10/05 Utopia
10/17/05 Frank Zappa
10/24/05 Supertramp
10/31/05 Anime theme songs
11/7/05 The Moody Blues
11/14/05 Boz Scaggs
11/21/05 Steely Dan
11/28/05 The Alan Parsons Project
12/5/05 Devo
12/12/05 "Dance Dance Revolution" soundtracks
12/19/06 Little Feat
1/2/06 Chicago
1/9/06 Roxy Music
1/16/06 Elton John
1/23/06 Todd Rundgren
1/30/06 Rush
2/6/06 Dire Straits
2/13/06 Talking Heads
2/20/06 Genesis
2/27/06 Greg Kihn
3/6/06 Jools Holland Big Band
3/13/06 Santana
3/20/06 Disney feature animation soundtracks
3/27/06 Queen
4/3/06 Van Morrison
4/10/06 The Residents
4/17/06 Yes
4/24/06 The Clash
5/1/06 David Bowie
5/8/06 Rush
5/23/06 "Final Fantasy" soundtracks
5/29/06 Sly and the Family Stone
6/5/06 They Might Be Giants
6/12/06 Billy Joel
6/19/06 Pink Floyd
6/26/06 Tom Petty
7/3/06 The Who
7/10/06 The Who
7/17/06 Squeeze
7/24/06 The Pretenders
7/31/06 Bjork
8/7/06 Matthew Sweet
8/14/06 Stevie Wonder
8/21/06 Tower of Power
8/28/06 XTC
9/4/06 Be Bop Deluxe
9/11/06 Thelonious Monk
9/18/06 Level 42
9/25/06 Janet Panic
10/2/06 Warren Zevon
10/9/06 King Crimson
10/16/06 The Offspring
10/23/06 The New Pornographers
10/30/06 Nellie McKay
11/6/06 Peter Gabriel
11/20/06 Prince
11/27/06 Robert Palmer
12/4/06 Adam & the Ants
12/11/06 The Doors
12/18/06 Rod Stewart
1/1/07 Electric Light Orchestra
1/8/07 Jeff Beck
1/15/07 The B-52's
1/22/07 Kansas
1/29/07 The Cars
2/5/07 Collective Soul
2/12/07 NRBQ
2/19/07 Joe Tex
2/26/07 Aerosmith
3/5/07 The Tubes
3/12/07 The MC5
3/19/07 The Delgados
3/26/07 U2
4/2/07 Fleetwood Mac
4/9/07 The Bangles
4/16/07 Kraftwerk
4/23/07 Pete Townshend
4/30/07 Depeche Mode
5/14/07 The Arcade Fire
5/21/07 Sarah McLachlan
5/28/07 Disney feature animation soundtracks
6/4/07 Cyndi Lauper
6/11/07 Immaculate Machine
6/18/07 Thomas Dolby
6/25/07 The Police
7/2/07 Paul McCartney
7/9/07 The Zombies
7/16/07 R.E.M.
7/23/07 Smashing Pumpkins
7/30/07 Tegan and Sara
8/6/07 John Mellancamp
8/13/07 Lindsey Buckingham
8/20/07 John Lennon
8/27/07 Public Enemy
9/3/07 Jackson Browne
9/10/07 Paul Simon
9/17/07 Foreigner
9/24/07 Dave Matthews Band
10/1/07 Rilo Kiley
10/8/07 Indigo Girls
10/15/07 George Harrison
10/22/07 Jane's Addiction
10/29/07 Nine Inch Nails
11/5/07 Emma Pollock
11/12/07 The Crystal Method
11/19/07 John Sebastian
11/26/07 Bonnie Raitt
12/3/07 John Mayer
12/10/07 KT Tunstall
12/17/07 Jack Johnson
1/2/08 Bend Sinister
1/7/08 Travelling Wilburies
1/14/08 The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
1/21/08 Fugazi
1/28/08 dEUS (Dalibor's suggestion)
2/4/08 Foo Fighters
2/11/08 The Replacements
2/18/08 Belle & Sebastian
2/25/08 Death Cab for Cutie
3/3/08 The Jam
3/10/08 Tokyo Police Club
3/17/08 Tori Amos
3/24/08 Aimee Mann
3/31/08 INXS
4/7/08 Pixies
4/14/08 Neil Young
4/21/08 Spilt Enz
4/28/08 The Polyphonic Spree
5/12/08 Sonic Youth
5/19/08 Jason Mraz
5/26/08 Sugar
6/2/08 Herman's Hermits
6/9/08 Duran Duran
6/16/08 Barenaked Ladies
6/23/08 Sparks
6/30/08 Chris Isaak
7/7/08 The Black Keys
7/14/08 STS9
7/21/08 Modest Mouse
7/28/08 Von Bondies
8/4/08 The Apples In Stereo
8/11/08 Hüsker Dü
8/18/08 Jamiroquai
8/25/08 Kevin F guest blogs + Born Ruffians
9/1/08 Juliana Hatfield
9/8/08 The Killers
9/15/08 The Stills
9/22/08 The Verve Pipe
9/29/08 Lucinda Williams
10/6/08 The Decemberists
10/13/08 Daryl Hall & John Oates
10/20/08 Fall Out Boy
10/27/08 Mustard Plug
11/3/08 The All-American Rejects
11/10/08 Gentle Giant
11/17/08 Love and Rockets
11/24/08 Seven Mary Three
12/1/08 Joel Plaskett Emergency
12/8/08 The Cribs
12/15/08 Mandy Moore
12/22/08 Blind Faith
1/5/09 Nickelback
1/12/09 Journey
1/19/09 New Order
1/26/09 Robbie Williams
2/2/09 Rancid
2/9/09 Saga
2/16/09 Disney feature animation soundtracks
2/23/09 Styx
3/2/09 ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
3/9/09 Echo & the Bunnymen
3/16/09 Ani DiFranco
3/23/09 My Chemical Romance

Hey look at that, I never did go and do the threatened "Broadway show tunes" week.

A very big round of thanks


Best of luck, and thanks for everything, Chris. - eduard/o

Good luck, Chris!

You have added a special style to the site that was very much enjoyed. Happy Hacking, John

Chris, thank you very much for teaching us with your daily posts. We are gonna miss your entries at, I wish all the best in your new projects.

Again, thanks for everything Chris. Best of luck and see you soon, D