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I Can't Explain

Posted by daniel on July 12, 2006 at 7:13 AM PDT

We need to build more slack in

Chris is traveling today so you've got a substitute editor again . . .

Lately it seems that I've got so much to do that I just can't think straight. Does that ever happen to you? The weight of what you need to accomplish seems to demand its own bit of attention and so you accomplish less.

That's one of the things that's worrying me about the upcoming Sun layoffs. I worry that instead of trying to do a lot less with the lower head count, they are going to try to accomplish the same as they ever did and will crumble under the weight of this task. I'd love to see the engineers have some time to mess around on their own and play with the APIs they are creating. Not quite as free as the Google policy, but more like an institutionalization of what happens each year before JavaOne.

Before the yearly conference, the various teams realize they need something to show off. They need a nice demo or some story they can tell about their corner of the Java World. The better the demo, the higher the chance that they'll make it into a keynote. And so the work on what is ordinarily their day job is ignored a bit while they work on the cool demo. Apart from JavaOne, the value of that demo is minimal.

It's one of those things that everyone knows has to happen each year and yet no one can explain the benefits at the macro level.

I'd like to see it institutionalized. I'd like to see the Swing team spending one day a week throughout the year working on great looking Java applications. Maybe they'll even create one or two that can be turned into consumer products with some revenue model.

Joshua Marinacci and Romain Guy and others have been working on Aerith which was a JavaOne demo. But now they work on it in their spare time. What if their time on that project became part of their job. I've explored this a bit more in an article that will be published in ONJava later today. The quick takeaway is that Java will benefit from having people who communicate regularly with the Java team writing consumer applications. Sun could own this space. Java could have been AJAX before AJAX was AJAX. That's another thing I can't explain.

Aerith developer Joshua Marinacci blogs about Getting started with the Aerith Mapping Component: "A few days ago we released the code to Aerith, our JavaOne demo that combines photos, mapdata, and 3d effects. We worked very hard to get the code out to you and let you see how everything works. However, if you've downloaded the code you may have noticed that the code for the map parts is missing. Only the binaries are provided in the JXMapViewer.jar file. That's because the map component has a brighter future than just a JavaOne demo. It is now the first component in our new SwingLabs project: The Swing Web Services components, or SwingX-WS..."

Also in Java Today,
The College of Engineering at University of Michigan has put together three examples of Sun Grid applications. These examples include running matlab applications, obtaining AFS tokens, and running Fluent simulations.

Rich Blair writes "I was greeted this afternoon by a retching Hans Muller who begged me to upload a better looking demo for the Yahoo! News web service I posted about last time. He likened last week's entry to a fat man in a speedo. Yikes. Here's a barely better demo (pun intended)."

Scott Violet has streamlined the process for graphics tweaking. In today's Weblogs he writes that BeanShell + 2D = Instant Graphics

Wonseok Kim provides EJB 3 & JPA material used in JavaOne wrapup seminar held in Seoul. He thinks "it was so popular because this seminar covers most interesting topics in this year JavaOne - Java SE 6, Java EE 5, EJB3, Ajax and Scripting language. My session was about "GlassFish, EJB 3.0 and Java Persistence API". The presentation material covers more things than was metioned in the seminar. You can download it." Also Laird Nelson blogs on Anemic vs. Obese Domain Objects.

In today's Forums, dmouse writes about the JXDatePicker w/DefaultDateSelectionModel. "If we start going down this path how do we decide when to stop adding convenience methods? The main reason convenience methods are being added currently is to allow for easier manipulation through IDEs. This wouldn't fall under that category but doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. Just pointing out my current reasoning for doing things. Though so far I haven't heard a very convincing reason to add a cover method for this."

Kelly O'Hair notes that "In Mustang, Windows 98 and Windows ME have been moved to a very low level of testing, under the bar that designates a platform we consider 'supported'. Since Mustang and Tiger share many of the same build components, it's still quite possible that Mustang will continue to work on Windows 98 and Windows ME, Sun just can't guarantee everything works and Sun doesn't consider these platforms officially supported."

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We need to build more slack in