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Community

I came across an interesting blog entry today (see URL reference) that refers to a Sun Java tech tip for generating custom taglets. The example shows linking to Javapedia page for examples. This is slick and deserves some attention, I think. Having javadoc web pages point to examples that are community created is great. In fact, I like this idea so much that I think I'll borrow it for the...
on Jul 25, 2003
I get a lot of private email from readers regarding various aspects of the Java spectrum (and discounting the surge of email from students at the end of the term, looking for someone to complete their final coursework for them) expressing a concern at being left behind. They are concerned that they aren't keeping up with all the latest developments and find it, at times, overwhelming. Which is...
on Jul 15, 2003
I recently read Will Iverson's "Mac OS X for Java Geeks" and thought I'd contribute my impressions of this recently published book. In summary: a quick read a good book nice diversity of topics well-balanced selection of topics This is one of these topics where you know it's a hot topic but you can't quite define it. Maybe it's because Mac OS X and Java are fairly orthogonal...
on Jul 10, 2003
Sun wants to dramatically increase the number of Java developers with Rave. They believe a significant portion of this increase will be accomplished by broadening the audience rather than converting existing developers. Many of these new faces will be end-users, or domain-experts. Rave promises to introduce a significant number of non-traditional programmers to the ranks of Java developers...
on Jul 9, 2003
I'm lucky enough to live in the Denver area that has one of the top 25 JUGs in the world. Technically, I suppose that makes it one of the top 25 in the universe. Java User Groups are a great way to get exposed to what's happening in your community. I know it's easy to say that you just don't have time for yet another meeting, but think about the benefits of attending a JUG meeting before writing...
on Jul 8, 2003
Supernova is part of what The Register calls "a giddy social whirl of conferences and and other airmile aggregation opportunities". As most of the speakers have weblogs, we have the opportunity to peek inside and perhaps get a preview of some of the content. Cory Doctorow has started an interesting thread, on a topic Liz Lawley hinted at a while back - whether always-on-ness is helpful or...
on Jul 6, 2003
I have commented to a few people that Blogging is a Big Deal. Not, I hasten to add, because I think that anything more than a core of special people (special can have many meanings, but I like Halley's article...) will ever decide to participate in a meaningful way in that specific activity. Rather, it's because of the work that it's catalysing, both extending blogging and going way beyond, as...
on Jul 2, 2003
How often have you asked yourself, "What do Open Source software, peer-to-peer file sharing, and Weblogs have in common with, say, a big lump of disgusting mold?" Never? Neither have I. But that's no reason to leave the question unanswered. In a chapter in Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software, author Steven Johnson describes the apparent intelligence behind the...
on Jul 2, 2003

Open Source

Just read Clay Shirky's talk, A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy". It reminded me of something else I've read. There's an insane theologian named Walter Wink who wrote a series of books called the "Powers Triology", in which he essentially equates demon possession to the organizational inertia of large groups. It's a very weird idea, and in many respects, Wink is just nuts. But he's one of those...
on Jul 25, 2003
There has been a lot of confusion regarding LGPL and how it applies to Java. This question is getting a lot more focus recently as it hit slashdot. ;-) Hopefully, the end result will be a clarification. Hosted not by the potential benefiaries, as that opens up the possibility of such statements being perceived as self serving and open to question. The terms 'link' and 'executable' have clear...
on Jul 18, 2003

Business

I love looking through case studies. They can teach you so much about what to do, what not to do, what is in vogue, etc. All those useful design patterns came from analyzing lots of case studies and seeing what worked; and sometimes, more importantly, what didn't work. So this year I decided to start listing case studies when I find them. And a great place to start is JavaOne, where lots of the...
on Jul 24, 2003
ebXML by Tom Clements EDI came first, the game deluxePlayed by major corporationsWith big bucksNext web services brought hopeReduced the ante, amplified the scopeOf doing business on the NetAnd yet One thing was lackingBusiness process definitions, asset trackingA global way for anyone to buy and sell --Transnational transactions:ebXML You can submit your technology poems by emailing them to...
on Jul 21, 2003
I wager I can walk into any Fortune 500 Company, pull a module of code, and discover that there is no corresponding unit test. Furthermore, the module most likely will not follow the company’s coding standards. Even though many of these companies contain documented processes for unit tests and coding standards, very few have independent auditors that can walk into a group and comprehend what is...
on Jul 6, 2003

Web Services and XML

The W3C XML Protocol Working Group has published the first working draft of a SOAP Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism or MTOM for short. This specification shows the direction in which the WG is headed to address the handling of attachments for SOAP 1.2 messages. On the wire, a message and its attachments are encapsulated within a MIME multipart/related envelope with the SOAP message as...
on Jul 23, 2003

J2SE

Return with me, if you will, to the early days of Java. It was hot. People started using it when it was alpha; by beta, there was at least one book out, Netscape supported it, and people were already using it on their web sites. Clearly, the great attraction of Java at the time was the ability to make your web pages actually do something. But Java had other attractions as a language. For me...
on Jul 21, 2003

JavaOne

I've been going through the published slides from the JavaOne presentations, and I've already extracted the majority of the performance tips (here and here ). But there are other sessions that are interesting too, and one of those is on programming puzzlers. This is a really fun session, but if you (like me) didn't get to attend you don't have to miss out. The slides at http://servlet.java.sun...
on Jul 18, 2003

Deployment

The Java VM installation and application launching has some serious problems. Its too hard to launch Java applications and make it seem as seamless as a native application (unless your on OSX). Sun is clearly trying to fix it with the creation of JavaWebStart and the new Java auto-update functionality. But Sun is really just putting band-aids on the problem. This really struck me as I watched a...
on Jul 17, 2003

J2EE

I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but hear me out just in case. I'm not speaking from the position of having already achieved guru status, but I think I've got a handle on the path to get there. Correct me if I'm wrong. Find some giants, and stand on their shoulders, to co-opt Isaac Newton's famous quote. I don't mean this as a way of keeping someone else down, but instead building...
on Jul 16, 2003
J2EE has placed a lot of emphasis on the middle tier -- so much so, that the development of J2EE clients has gone pretty much ignored. The J2EE patterns, that to a large extent deal with the interaction between the EJB clients and the EJB tier, provide only a stop gap solution. I guess that before getting much further into things I should explain what I mean when I use the term "EJB clients...
on Jul 8, 2003

Tools

One of the things that I've been somewhat annoyed by is the sheer variety of data types floating around. I'm reminded of the old days, when connecting to a BBS and you had to specify even/odd parity, or the bit order - nowadays, you can pretty much just assume that you can connect with a PPP connection to get a TCP/IP "dialtone." I've been somewhat surprised at how long the data type problem has...
on Jul 14, 2003