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Get Your Feet Back on the Ground

Posted by editor on August 21, 2006 at 7:34 AM PDT

Less B.S., more code

Tom Ball has an interesting blog today -- those of you behind filters may not be able to see it due to his brief and arguably appropriate use of a term meaning bovine excrement or statements meant to make listeners think well of the speaker, regardless of their truth or falsity -- and it's all about whether top Java minds should actually, you know, write Java code.

Depending on what kind of work experience you've had, you might find it remarkable that another side to this argument exists. If you work for scrappy little startups and adhere to an agile methodology, then chances are everybody you know writes code. Heck, the CEO and CTO might be writing code (they might even be the same person). On the other hand, in a big, established company with huge ornate projects that take years to finish (if they ever do), you might find it common practice to have some top-tier architects who hand down designs for the more junior staffers to go and implement.

It's this latter scneario that Tom considers in his blog Is Writing Code a Career Limiting Move?. He writes:

The top jobs these days are for "software architects", and architects aren't supposed to write code; instead they write specifications which us lowly programmers are to blindly follow. This was certainly true with the J2EE engineering team a couple of years ago, where the "spec lead" was not allowed to write any code; that was the job of the junior "implementation engineer" for that API. I got into a heated exchanged with one of their Distinguished Engineers over this issue, and of course arguing with DEs at Sun is yet another CLM!

So is the path to a better salary and nicer office to not write code at all? Check out the rest of Tom's blog and let us know what your experience tells you about advancing your career.

Also in today's Weblogs, Sun Chief Open Source Officer Simon Phipps collects his
Thoughts on Open Sourcing Sun's Java Implementations:
"I'm writing about open source and the Java platform over on my other blog - here are links in case you're interested."

Dominic Da Silva is
Coming home to Struts (after life in the land of JSF) and in his latest blog he ansnwers the question
"what's it like moving back to Struts after working with JSF for the past year?"

Simon Phipps, user webmink, also appears in the selections in today's Forums, adding an explanation on licensing policy in the thread Re: Flexibility (Licensing):
"The Sun JDK has been licensed under a new license, the DLJ, specifically to overcome objections from Debian to the binary distribution license. While the source is not yet open, the binary can now at least be carried in the non-free repository which, while pedantically not a "part of Debian" as Dalibor explains, makes the Sun JDK available with simple and familiar commands to every Debian user who chooses to enable access to the non-free repository. On Ubuntu, it's become as simple as checking a box in Synaptic because of this."

zmonster is concerned about non-spec JAX-WS calls in
Re: Problem with New 2.0.1 M1 Release:
"I don't think that JAX-WS should be calling a method that is not present on the JAXB API. This makes JAX-WS incompatible with other implementations of JAXB. What if someone had their own JAXB implementation, or wanted to use a non-Sun solution? They would not be able to use JAX-WS without having to reference the jaxb jar included with JAX-WS, and that would cause all kinds of problems. Does anyone agree that JAX-WS should not reference non-standard JAXB API? I hope others agree because I would like to see a quick patch to JAX-WS that fixes the problem I outlined above."

This week's Spotlight is on partner Cenqua offers several helpful services in support of projects. If your source is hosted on, you can use the FishEye tool to get a web-based view of your code repository to analyze change sets, see diffs, search, and more. This feature works with both CVS- and Subversion-based repositories. Projects can also apply for a free license for Clover, a coprehensive code-coverage tool.

In Java Today,

Evan Summers looks at the challenge of moving long-running calls in desktop applications off the AWT event-dispatch thread, in Swing and Roundabouts 1P: Epoxy DTs. "This is one approach to building some EDT-safe helper classes, which we can use from code running in SwingWorker background threads. We avoid the isEventDispatchThread() and invokeAndWait() boiler-plate code, using dynamic proxies."

Validation reports whether a document adheres to the rules specified by the schema. Different parsers and tools support different schema languages such as DTDs, the W3C XML Schema Language, RELAX NG, and Schematron. Java 5 adds a uniform validation Application Programming Interface (API) that can compare documents to schemas written in these and other languages. Elliotte Rusty Harold's article The Java XML Validation API looks at the javax.xml.validation API and its uses.

Weiqi Gao says The First Thing I Would Do When I Get My Hands On Open Source Sun-Java will be "to kill the startup delay". "The Java start-up time is the number one ill of the whole Java phenomenon. This single fault killed the Java applet concept, and spawned the application server market: 'Hey, that Java thing starts so slowly, why don't we pre-start a Java process, and cramp all of our applications into that one instance.' It really is unforgivable that after ten years, we are still suffering from the slow-start-ness of Java."

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Less B.S., more code