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The Chrome-Plated Megaphone of Destiny

Posted by editor on October 17, 2005 at 8:00 AM PDT

Announcing your project

I'll assume for the purposes of this blog that project owners actually want to get the word out about their projects: that they want their stuff to be used, they want feedback (bug reports or encouraging forum posts), that they want other programmers to commit code. Maybe there's a case where this isn't true, but if so, why host on an open source site like That'd kind of be missing the point of collaboration.

So, you want people to find out about your project... how do you get on the front page?

I'm glad you asked. We just updated the Publicize Your Project page, which has a permalink in the left nav of all pages, and is also the focus of this week's Spotlight. This page describes the major sections of front page -- feature articles, spotlights, projects and communities, java news items, etc. -- and shows you how to get your project promoted through whichever of these channels is appropriate to you. The new update covers forums, weblogs, and the idea of using your project's web space for hosting arbitrary kinds of web content like tutorials and how-to's: the weekly JavaTools Community Newsletter is a good example of this approach.

As you seek to work with the community on your projects, please make use of these tools and let us know how we can help you.

James Gosling has a shout-out in today's Weblogs.
Fault Containment: an unsung hero, he writes:
"As I suffered through the nth application crash of the day, I couldn't help thinking of my favorite underappreciated Java feature: fault containment. Between try{}catch and the tight memory model, failures tend to happen close to where the error is, and they can be caught with a very good chance that there has been no corruption of neighbouring data structures."

Greg Murray has an AJAX FAQ for the Java Developer:
"In the land where Java flows freely I have encountered many that are not familiar with AJAX and ask many of the same questions. As I started to note down common questions they became an FAQ. Questions include many topics such as usability, JavaScript libraries, AJAX response formats, sending images, partial submits, internationalization, and much more. See the AJAX FAQ for the Java Developer."

Developing Java project - a team effort, Kirill Grouchnikov writes:
"Every year, a couple of 'golden hammers' die and a couple of new 'golden hammers' are (re)invented. Bloggers proclaim the new kings, consultants rush in for a quick buck, managers start believing that they will be able to ship the next version on time... Where does it leave us, the guys who actually get stuck with these hammers?"

mustangqa puts out a call for feedback
in today's Forums:
Need help with research for graduate class describes the situation:
"I'm doing a project for a college course on Software Quality Engineering. We've been assigned to perform SQE tasks on an open-source project and I've chosen Mustang for this. For anyone who would be willing to help, I'd be very grateful if you could answer some questions about the new features that are going to be included in this release of Java. If you can help, please either post a response to this message or send your reply to my email address. I've selected a small number of new features and am asking two questions about each one: how likely are you to use that feature at some point in the future, and how important that you believe it is for the feature to be bug-free / work as documented."

Re: Comparison operators by value, kcpeppe tempers calls to fix autoboxing.
"Yes, you are absolutely correct in your assesment of autoboxing. This is but one of the reasons that I started editorializing against Autoboxing before the 1.5 was released. Autoboxing has been ill thought out. But unfortunately we 'needed' it for its cool factor! The biggest problem that said.. 'humm, maybe we should think about this again before releasing them into the wild ' is the does 0 == null or does 0 == 0 question. That the answer to this question is intractible suggests that autoboxing is the wrong answer to a real problem. In fact, Smalltalk supports primitive math operations. It does so without exposing the details of primitives to developers. I'm not suggesting that Smalltalk had all the answers to these questions however, it does indicate that there is a much better way to notationally handle primitives. Unfortunately the gene is out of the bottle and there is no putting it back."

In Also in
Java Today
Figuring out a remote problem can be made simpler by creating a checklist
of preconditions and tests to run against a troublesome system. Running
this automatically can save you and your users time in finding the problem. Surprisingly, Ant is remarkably well equipped to run a wide
battery of tests. In Diagnostic Tests with Ant, Koen Vervloesem shows
how to set up an Ant-powered battery of diagnostics to figure out what's
wrong before you spend hours on the phone with an angry customer.

In his Artima blog entry Back to Generics: Contravariance and Erasure, Bruce Eckel (author of Thinking in Java) writes: "The Concurrency chapter is finished (hurray!), and now I re-wade into the mysteries of Java Generics. The chapter isn't looking as bad as I was remembering, but there are still some issues that I'm struggling to understand and explain."

In Projects and

Daniel Brookshier's weblog entry New Projects in the Education and Learning Community highlights some early-October additions to the GELC, including an open source "clicker" implementation, a project for comparing path-planning algorithms, algebra computation software, an open-source grading system, and more.

The article Automate your team's build and unit-testing process shows how to set up a Linux system to build your code and run unit tests every time the code changes. This approach uses daemontools to keep CruiseControl running as a service. It also shows how to work with Maven and manage dependencies between projects.

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Announcing your project