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Posted by editor on April 18, 2007 at 7:45 AM PDT

Are all these devices good or bad for us?

Two of our bloggers today have very different perspectives on the benefits and effects of the kinds of electronic devices that we generally take for granted. Let's start with Qusay H. Mahmoud, whose blog Java ME and BlackBerry wireless devices in the classroom relates personal stories about projects for college programming courses, one of which was based on a significant real-world problem: linking doctors and pharmacists, since the latter often can't read the handwriting of the former. He relates the payoff for students in getting out of the desktop development model:

In summary, teaching computer programming in the context of simple mobile applications using Java ME provides a motivating and inspiring framework for students, and raises the level of excitement and satisfaction. I encourage everyone to integrate Java ME into their courses to introduce students to a programming model different than the desktop. In the desktop market, the application is deployed on a platform similar to the one on which it was developed, but in the Java ME space, the application is developed on a desktop platform and deployed on a totally different platform.

On the other hand, David Van Couvering relates the culture shock of returning from a disconnected vacation in Mexico to the ultra-wired environment of the Web 2.0 Expo, in his blog Call me a Luddite...

The whole world is "getting connected." And those of us at the Expo are generally very excited, and see lots of opportunities to make money and and to build things that lots and lots of people will use.
But I feel a sadness when I find myself in this environment. I feel like I am losing something. I watch myself "plug in," and I feel like I am actually losing connection. I crave the open sky, the deep stillness and power of the ocean, of the smiles of people who said "Hi" to my son.

Does technology open doors for people or close them off? Or is that not the right way to see things at all? What do you think?

Also in today's Weblogs, Mark Lam asks
Why choose Java?
"Those of us who have worked with the Java platform tends to take its benefits for granted. However, to a developer who is new to the Java platform, the reasons to choose it may not be so obvious. This article will try to capture once again why the Java platform makes sense both from a technical and business perspective."

In Java Today,
Java EE 6 was proposed to the JCP as JSR 313 on April 3, then withdrawn on Monday. A story on TheServerSide speculates on the issues behind the retraction: "The retraction was apparently caused by TCK licensing; the EC wanted it clarified. The JSR will be resubmitted when the TCK licensing terms are clarified. Chances are good that everyone is more sensitive to licensing issues thanks to Apache's open letter to Sun on the subject."

Iowa developer Brian Harry, also known as "leouser" on, is renowned for the bug fixes he contributed to Java SE 6, which number well into the hundreds and won him a Duke's Choice award for outstanding platform contributions in 2006. His method was simple: He scanned Sun's openly available bug database for intriguing bugs, primarily in the Swing user interface (UI) code, printed them out, and put the bug reports on a stack beside his computer. Then, he fixed them one by one, submitting them through the standard JDK Community contribution process. In the interview Getting the Bugs Out: A Conversation With Bug Fixer Brian Harry, he discusses his bug fixing strategies and shares anecdotes of what he's discovered in the JDK along the way.

In the latest SDNtv episode, Coolest Beans Yet, Sun's Tim Boudreau and Tor Norbye discuss what's new in NetBeans 6.0, including a revamped editor that's faster than ever and includes semantic highlighting. A new integrated profiler targets specific code, saving time and generally making a developer's job easier. You can see 6.0 firsthand on May 7 at NetBeans Day the day before JavaOne.

In today's Forums,
wierob wonders
How to enforce ReferenceProperty on WS-Addressing Header?
"My web service requires that the SOAP request contains a WS-Addressing Header with a certain reference property. I know that I can use @Addressing to force jax-ws to check that the SOAP contains a WS-Addressing Header. But how can I specify that this header must contain a certain ReferencProperty and how can I get the value of this ReferenceProperty?"

Vladimir Sizikov discusses an ME test strategy that he hopes NetBeans will support, in the thread
Re: Please review: issue #74 (NetBeans support for exported tests).
"I'd like to have this feature. More often then not, when running some tests, I wanted to quickly modify sources to investigate some particular functionality, and even just to add print statements, or breakpoints, in order to figure out what's going on. Having a generated netbeans files, would allow me and others to quickly modify sources and run/debug them from within the IDE, with all its nicities, like code completion, debugging support, highliting, etc."

paulby points out some helpful code in
Re: Implementing Collision Detection in Java 3D? How is it done?
"lg3d-wonderland includes a new collision system which you might find useful. We use it to do collision between the avatars and the world. The collision system uses world geometry for collision tests, but is optimised to extract the triangles only when they are within a certain bounds of the avatar. The collision system is in a separate package, but currently there are no standalone examples. Hopefully after JavaOne we will have some time to write a simple example."

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Are all these devices good or bad for us?