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Still Crazy After All These Years

Posted by editor on September 14, 2007 at 6:54 AM PDT

Thumbing through Filthy Rich Clients with a smile

My copy of Filthy Rich Clients arrived yesterday, and it's fun to just pop around in the book to see what Chet and Romain cover. projects are prominent throughout the book, particularly Aerith and the timing framework, which gets two whole chapters to itself. Both authors have a strong sense of humor, yet it doesn't get in the way of delivering the material -- Chet goofs on the Wikipedia definition of a convolution kernel in a footnote, but still delivers the goods on what the ConvolveOp is, what it does, and why it's the one BufferedImageOp from the java.awt.image package that you should absolutely master.

Writers like Chet and Romain are pretty rare commodities, it seems: effective writers who write to be read, do so with an engaging and fun style, and have a wide-ranging set of interests. Anybody hoping to write articles and books would do well to pause a moment and think, "what is it about the stuff that I really like to read that makes it good?" It's usually not the topic, but rather the presentation. Good writers engage the reader's interest, develop their thoughts in a fashion that's easy to follow, occasionally remind the reader of where they're going with all this, and don't indulge in unneccessary sidetracks or details. We had one article the other week that was made dramatically better when the author simply moved the "how it works" section down to the bottom of the article -- it allowed the reader to start by learning about the topic in general and seeing what it did, and only then got into the details, even though the details are generally what's most interesting to the expert. It's the old novice-expert shift, and good writers help their readers make the move from one side of the scale to the other.

Over on TheServerSide, Joseph Ottinger recently posted some guidelines on submitting items to that site, starting with a set of tips, and then getting more deeply into the topic of the concepts of tech writing. Some of this guidance actually resembles items in the writer's guide, like writing for readers who don't already know everything about your topic (since that's, you know, kind of the point...). I Skype'd with Joseph yesterday, and we traded notes about how to help writers better reach their potential readership. He's got some great points in his two guideline articles, and would-be writers should check them out.

And then go read Filthy Rich Clients, because Chet and Romain are clearly enjoying what they're doing with the graphics APIs, and write in a way that shows they want you to come along for the ride.

In Java Today,
the ME Application Developers project is becoming a treasure-trove of content
for application developers. They report, "over the last couple of weeks and months we've added
the Mobile Ajax sub-project, the phoneME UI Labs project, and the brand-new
MobileAerith demo. The wiki has been updated with more good information and
links to several JavaOne sessions on relevant topics have been added. The
ME Application Developers project front page also has been updated to highlight
the new content."

The latest edition, issue 138 , of the JavaTools Community Newsletter is out, with tool-related news from around the web, announcements of new projects in the community and a graduation from the incubator (AppTale), and a Tool Tip on using keyword expansion with Subversion.

InfoQ reports on modularity concerns in JSR 277 and JSR 291 Interoperability threatened by lack of a prototype. "The latest salvo in the discussion of JSR 277, JSR 291, and OSGi appeared last week in the form of a post by Glyn Normington, spec lead for JSR 291 and Expert Group member for JSR 277. He is concerned that the Expert Group has not been presented with a strawman yet and that the Expert Group will end up merely rubber stamping the strawman rather than discussing it in detail and making changes."

Today's Weblogs, starts with shout-outs from Terrence Barr. In Proudly presenting: The Mobile & Embedded Community Stars!, he writes,
"because we really appreciate your interest and investment in the community we'd like to recognize special community members who are going the extra mile by engaging in the forums, writing blogs, contributing ideas and code, or any other noteworthy activity."

Mike Duigou continues his coolness tour of JXTA in
JXSE 2.5 : What's Cool #4 -- Generics & enums.
"JXSE 2.4 was the first version to require Java Standard Edition 5.0. For that release we used only a small amount of JSE 5 specific functionality. [...] In JXSE 2.5 we have continued to make greater use of both of these features and each are now used extensively through out the JXSE source."

Finally, Ryan Shoemaker has another report from the kick-off of the Sun Tech Days tour in
Day 2 - Sun Tech Days - Boston, MA.
"I spent most of Day 2 of the Sun Tech Days working on the pavillion floor at the JavaDB booth. Things were pretty quiet during the technical sessions and keynotes, but we did get a fair amount of traffic in between sessions and during breaks."

The latest Poll asks "How many bugs or feature requests have you filed with projects?" Cast your vote on the front page, then visit the results page for current tallies and discussion.

In today's Forums,

Kirk Turner reports on the Feasibility of LG3D applications on Windows platform.
"There is no problem running LG3D from netbeans on windows. I've done so in the past (I only use ubuntu these days) - most of the class loader work I did was done while on windows. What you cannot do under windows is run native applications (e.g. firefox), but you can run the lg3d applications. They key is to have java3d installed. It might be worth having a look at the plethora plugin for netbeans (there is a link from the main page)."

alexeyp explains JT Harness use in
Re: FAQ: How Do I Contribute?.
"In order to run tests on CDC device using JT harness and ME Framework you need to: - write these tests, create and build test suite, - install agent application on your device, - select appropriate communication channel in the test suite interview. Please refer to [the Developer's Guide] for details."

Finally, ratoo wonders about
wsdl 2.0 support in Metro.
"Is there plans to support wsdl 2.0? Actually I am interested in possibility to use owl instead of schema definition. By now our project use OWL and then pass an XML to home-made parser. So we do not use any automagic JAXB xml -> classes. I'm thinking of using jaxb, but I'm not sure how to hook it. I mean having owl I don't want generate all classes for it. I'd like something like a callback when jaxb context ask me calling "UnknownEntytyWithNameGreen" and I generate the class Green dynamically from owl to it."

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Thumbing through Filthy Rich Clients with a smile