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What Is Hip?

Posted by editor on August 24, 2006 at 6:53 AM PDT

Iterating over successful habits

So how will you have your self-help: seven habits or six pillars? Finding the common traits of success is a popular pursuit -- it's what patterns are all about after all.

In some ways this line of thinking is as old as philosophy itself: what do you believe, and how should you act in accordance with that? If you believe that software should be robust, stable, predictable, easy to understand, and easy to maintain, then you'll soon ask yourself, "OK, how exactly do I do that?" It's not enough to just want to write good software; you have to have a self-awareness of what practices do and don't result in good code.

Robert J. Miller has an answer in today's Feature Article. In fact, he has five answers, which he calls Five Habits of Highly Profitable Software Developers:

Following these five habits will help development teams create software that everyone on the team can read, understand, and modify. When software development teams create new value too quickly and without consideration for the future, they tend to create software with increasingly high implementation costs. Inevitably, bad practices will catch up to these teams when they have to revisit the software for future comprehension and modification. Adding new value to existing software can be very expensive if the software is difficult to comprehend. However, when development teams apply these best practices, they will provide new value at the lowest possible cost to their business team.

One thing you might notice about his list is that rather than being high-level meta-processes, his habits are specific strategies for the use of methods and constructors. That may be why the title doesn't claim that these are the five habits... perhaps there are others. Take a look at Robert's list and see if you agree and if you have some other ideas about strategies for creating consistent, maintainable code.

Topping off the Java Today section, we look a few weeks ahead to the annual Jini gathering.
With the recent wiki-fication of the site, information for the 10th Jini Community Meeting is now collected as a wiki page. Those attending the Sept. 13-14 event in Brussels can use the page to learn more about the event, make plans, view schedules and session descriptions, and add themselves to the list of participants.

Will Java SE 7.0 have closures? In his blog entry Full Disclosure, Peter Ahé writes: " Some clever guys have written up a proposal on closures [PDF, 104KB] and been kind enough to put my name on it. I was just sitting in the room trying my best not to look too stupid." In a follow-up, Non-local return and lexical scope, he notes "i haven't seen any comments from people that understand closures saying they don't like them. So this makes you think if closures is just a matter of understanding them or not." ONJava blogger Dejan Bosanac also considers the proposal in Will we have closures in Java 1.7?

Shai's weblog is picking up links and commentary from around the Javasphere for arguing that Java 5 Language changes were a bad idea. "Don't get me wrong, I use Java 5 -- it is a great platform, but the language changes are a failure according to the criteria I care about and I think you should care about it too. Lets look at the features brought on by Java 5, with the exception of annotations none of them made Java any better and in fact made it more confusing with multiple syntaxes to accomplish the same thing"