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Room for Big Ideas?

Posted by daniel on January 12, 2005 at 7:45 AM PST

Re-examining keynotes

In the December 2004 Communications of the ACM the association's
president, David A Patterson wrote that statistics for ACM conferences
show they are healthy. "I am concerned, however, about the overall
impact of increasing workloads on program committees and conferences
and the decreasing acceptance rates on authors, especially authors of
papers focusing on big ideas or new directions."

His suggestion is that we set aside a set of talks devoted to big
ideas (this could also be sessions within other tracks). Further, he
suggests that there be "a separate program committee to select
them. This committee could consist of a few former program committee
chairs and authors with a record of producing such papers.

He further suggests that a keynote address could be replaced by a
session with these big ideas talks and it reminded me that JavaOne
used to do this. There used to be a keynote at JavaOne devoted to big
ideas. Danny Hillis spoke about the Long Now. Douglas Adams spoke
about computing from a users standpoint. There were panels that
considered the future and were given enough time to do so. Last year,
this may have taken the form of "The Big Question" debate.

In any
case, as the track chairs look at the submitted papers, perhaps they
can earmark the ones that don't seem to fit because they are "big
ideas" and pass them on to a committee considering putting together an
interesting higher level keynote address.

In today's Weblogs ,
Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart follows Peter Delisle's lead in asking for
ideas for href="">
WS and XML Sessions at JavaOne '05. Peter also provided a list of
sessions from last year but you can look in the JavaOne archives for

Max Goff points to recent articles that may signal the return of
technology has begun. In href="">Fire
and Ice he asks "Will 2005 mark the beginning of a raging bull
market for technology? Or will a 21st century IT stagnation

RegExGuy asks about jar within jar in today's href="">
Forums. "When building apps designed to run as java -jar
foo.jar it has always been a big nuissance that one can't readily
incoporate some third party jar inside foo.jar. So what everybody does
is unjar the third party jar and the re-jar it into foo.jar. It would
be nice if one do something this:jar -cvf foo.jar -R bar.jar
com.x.Y.class where -R stands for "Re-Jar". This command would
extract the contents of bar.jar and place them in foo.jar"

Pete Kirkham writes,
"Often you want immutablity at the interface level, but the
implementation caches state for performance reasons. Having the
compiler enforce that all fields of an immutable class are final
prevents this (maybe mark them with transient in lieu of a mutable

In Also
in Java Today
, ONJava's second reader survey of 2004 recently
concluded, and the article href="">
Results from the Second 2004 ONJava Reader Survey compiles the
responses. Did dominant tools tighten their grip on developers'
loyalty, or are there new tools that demand your attention? Where do
developers expect the Next Big Thing to come from? What kinds of
articles do you want to see on ONJava in 2005? The answers to these
questions and more are in the survey summary, so please have a look
and contribute any ideas and opinions in the talkback section.

The article href="">Securing
ebXML: Message Exchange is the first in a two part series
examining security in ebXML. This first article looks at
message-level security and security policy mechanisms for ebXML
messaging. The second installment will cover ebXML content attacks.

In Projects and
, the href=""> JavaPedia
page on href="">JavaDoc has
been updated. Add to the links provided or initiate discussion about
new JavaDoc features.

Greg Anderson's JavaWorld article href="">
Dynamic Behavior in Java illustrates "a design pattern similar to
the Chain of Responsibility pattern that allows applications to change
object behavior at runtime by attaching special class instances to the
objects being modified."

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Re-examining keynotes