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Tower of Babel

Posted by editor on January 18, 2006 at 7:49 AM PST

The underappreciated hazards of blogging

Over at JavaLobby, Rick Ross is kicking off a very interesting program to spur interest and attention in overlooked blogs. In this week's newsletter, he announces a program to reward good blogs with a small cash bounty: $50, $30, and $20 to the top three blogs each day. Here's his rationale:

Having managed the 10,000-blog service for some time now, Matt and I have an unusual vantage point on the importance of blogs in the overall fabric of the Java developer community. Blogs are fascinating tools for personal empowerment, and we both respect them deeply as outlets for the individual expression of developer perspectives. The numbers of page views at popular blogs like Hani’s bileblog, which is one of the best known and most popular in the Java world, are small by comparison to the page views at a central community site like Javalobby. We feel that very talented bloggers are putting significant effort into publishing relevant, high-quality thoughts in their blogs only to have their words overlooked by a larger audience that might actually be interested. Ironically, we routinely observe people focused on expressing themselves exclusively at their blogs instead of at community sites, perhaps hoping that better content will attract more readers for their blog. We feel this perception of mutual exclusivity and tension between individual blogs and the community centers is unproductive and unnecessary.

The idea of paying bloggers seems potentially controversial -- after all, as the sage Cyndi Lauper said, "Money Changes Everything". You almost have to expect some sort of unintended circumstances with this particular carrot dangled in front of the blogging community.

But isn't it interesting that their problem is too many bloggers, and that they're motivated by a genuine desire to help good efforts stand out from the clutter. I can think of a lot of technolgies that would love to have 10,000 bloggers, just on one site.

Obviously, this isn't the course we've chosen on We've made the choice to have a limited number of bloggers, who we vet by a variety of criteria like their writing ability, the kinds of things they're working on, etc. Some of this is motivated by practical concerns, like the difficulty for readers of keeping up with an overwhelming number of blogs. But we also have tried to use our selection of bloggers to vary the kinds of topics you'll see on the weblogs page. Java EE developers probably outnumber Java ME developers by a factor of a thousand to one (or more), but that doesn't necessarily mean that it makes sense to have a thousand EE blogs for every one on ME. After all, isn't part of reading a blog the opportunity to hear someone else's voice, and be exposed to new things? We believe that a variety of voices, affiliations, and topics is a vital part of keeping things interesting for you, the reader. Let us know how it's going.

Speaking of our bloggers, they've got some interesting ideas in today's Weblogs. For one thing, Eitan Suez wants to
Skip the Compile:
"It seems to me that many issues that come up in Java stem from the "I don't want to have to recompile my code" argument. All kinds of design decisions stem from it too. [...] So here's what I find interesting: instead of coming up with all kinds of schemes to get around the problem, why don't we just deal with the root cause?"

In the mini-tutorial blog
Publishing a RESTful Web Service with JAX-WS, Doug Kohlert writes:
"The EA3 version of JAX-WS, or the JAX-WS released in JWSDP 2.0, supports the publishing and use RESTful Web Services. Here is an example that shows how to publish a RESTful Web Service using JAX-WS."

Vikram Goyal says his new project is in
Dependency hell:
"I started work on an existing project at my day job today and the first thing that I had to do was to download all the dependencies for the project [...] 21 dependencies in that folder. Twenty-One!"

In Also in
Java Today
the Java Developer Journal's Readers' Choice Awards single out the top products in 26 Java fields, including application servers, IDE's, rich client platforms, debuggers, profiling/testing tools, training, books, and more. Each award category lists the winner and three runners-up. Publisher SYS-CON also announced awards for SOA, XML, and web services.

One of the appeals of Maven is that it lays down a recommended way of dealing with a project's life cycle: not just building code, but reporting on it, releasing it, announcing it, and publicizing it. In the second part of an excerpt from Maven: A Developer's Notebook, Vincent Massol and Timothy M. O'Brien delve further into these later stages of a project's release cycle. Maven Project Reporting and Publishing, Part 2 looks at Maven's support for publishing Maven artifacts (JARs, WARs, EARs, and so on), and publicizing your project with release announcements and maintenance of a project website.

In Projects and
the latest JUG profile introduces the CEJUG of Ceará, Brazil. In JUG Profile: CEJUG, Eitan Suez interviews CEJUG coordinator Felipe Gaúcho about the group's organization and activities, including their novel Café com Tapioca meetings, where any member can present a lecture. He also discusses the state of Java in the region.

The JSR 168 FAQ wiki page is a sort of "Beginner's guide to Portlets", offering a set of basic definitions, a set of developer-oriented quick answers, and a collection of resources that include spec documents, articles, online portlet communities, and commercial and open-source implementations of the portlet spec.

In today's Forums,
jeremygwa seeks simplified error messages in
Exception stacktrace only one level:
"hello, how can i do a stack trace down only one level? I am not experienced in this topic, so your help would be great. eg. suppose if main calls 'a',then 'test', i would like to see 'a' then 'test' in the recursion. basically i want to log the all high level direct calls of the method, as a way of getting information about the body of the method."

tackline assuages some I/O buffering fears in
Re: Java I/O clarification required:
"Most operating systems will do some level of buffering. If you have sufficient free memory, both files may end up in the system file cache. It would be unfortunate if the disc head had to move across the disc twice for each iteration of your loop (assuming both files are on the same physical drive). If you are unlucky, your operating system may swap out your applications to make way. There is no need for the whole of either file to be resident in the process memory space at once, nor for any allocations to be made within the loop. Unless one of the input streams is, say, a ByteArray(In|Out)putStream."

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The underappreciated hazards of blogging