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Nothing Is Good Enough

Posted by editor on March 26, 2008 at 8:15 AM PDT

Continually making it better

There's a theme of improvement runnign through today's blogs, with developers looking to improve their own code, or Java itself, though better, more thoughtful design.

Let's start with Evan Summers' First Class Java: Call of Duty 4

So i had this vague idea some weeks ago for some blog articles to keep myself amused if no one else. The idea is... to dream of a Java Refined. Not something totally different like JavaFX Script, or Scala et al, but some kind of evolution of the Java language that would be dreamy with a dollop of double-thick cream on top...

So i started making a list of things i would want, which went something like: first class properties; first class meta stuff like methods (FCM), fields and what-not; better annotations; better generics; structured literal data (eg. XML) and queries and what-not in the language; first-class handling of externalised data like localisable text and customisable what-nots.

Realizing how often he was calling for "first class" this or that, Evan dubbed the language of his dreams "First Class Java", and seeks your suggestions for what should be incorporated into it.

Meanwhile, Fabrizio Giudici is working and reworking the APIs for blueMarine, and reports on his design work in Designing flexible method calls.

The design has been changed two or three times so far, and I'm pretty happy this is the first time I went in mostly-TDD mode for blueMarine (thus having 90%+ test coverage since the beginning), since I was able to perform dramatic changes with no fear of breaking anything. After some integration tests passed yesterday, I think that the design is almost complete, so I started consolidating and documenting (and also removing some possible over-engineering).

So here it is a quick technical post about it and I like to have some feedback before I freeze the APIs.

Time to think, time to get it right... sometimes it's a luxury, but if you've got it, make the most of it.

Also in today's Weblogs, Bruce Chapman recounts a performance investigation in
Hot Threads:
"new Desktop machine - netbeans really really really slow to install - other java apps running really really really slow - JMX to the rescue"

In Java Today,
Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart writes on The Aquarium about Fast Directory Deployment in GlassFish: "The Servlet specification describes how to deploy a Web Application as a
WAR file
but most AppServers,
GlassFish included,
support deployment from an (expanded) directory.
Directory deployment allows fast and easy detection of file changes and
thus can lead to an improved deployment experience.
Which is what Vance has been doing for
NetBeans 6.1 and
GlassFish v2.1 combination.
Check out the description of the new functionality, first through
Debug Tracing
and then via
Some Commentary."

In a pair of interviews, "From the Trenches at Sun Identity," Marina Sum covers identity management projects for the Java developer. In the first part, Access Management for Web Applications, Jamie Nelson, Sun's director of engineering for access and federation management, points out a major oversight in Web development, elaborates on the current state of single sign-on, and suggests the right tool and the right platform for securing application access. Part two covers OpenSSO, a Thriving Community, with Sun federation architect Pat Patterson reflects on the open-source project for single sign-on, outlining its mission, adoption, challenges, future, and an unexpected boon to Sun. OpenSSO is a twin of Sun Java System Access Manager.

Ed Burns has posted a three-part video interview on TheServerSide, entitled JSF at Big Lots! Following a presentation at JBoss World 2008, Ed talked to Big Lots! developers Kunal Bajaj, Mark Hanes, Chris Henson and Keith Naas about their real-world use of JSF. "Big Lots! has had enormous success with Sun's JSF implementation, Mojarra, and other Java EE technologies in delivering inventory management and other store essential software on time and within budget.
My number one take-away from the presentation was a feeling of satisfaction in seeing a line-item validation of many of the design decisions within JSF. As you can see in the presentation, some of the JSF features leveraged by Big Lots! included, custom components, leveraging the JSF lifecycle, separation of rendering from components, custom converters and validators, [and] client device independence."

In today's Forums,
rogerd_dev considers a Squawk port in
Re: Squawk on a Spartan 3E FPGA.
"I'm thinking about how to attach the Squawk VM as a ThreadX task running on an existing Altera ARM9 system. I'm not yet clear about separating the VM from the underlying hardware resources, and if there is a memory map and drivers that the VM expects to find. The Theory of Ops is pretty sparse about how all the classes are arranged in the flash, what the bootloader does, and how the class loader finds the classes. So I think I am not very far along the journey..."

macintyrei reports a JDK6u10 performance regression in
Modal dialog behaviour with new plugin.
"Modal Dialogs are much slower to dispose than under the old plugin. After clicking the close button on a modal dialog the dialog takes about 1-2 seconds to disappear (you see the dialog lose focus before disappearing). In addition, clicking outside the dialog results in a very slow dialog focus flicker. In the old plugin there was a very quick focus flicker (mimicking how Windows does it I presume). In the new dialog I see the dialog lose focus, after a second the parent browser get the focus, then focus is passed back to the dialog. This behaviour repeats a few times until the dialog regains permanent focus (it takes about 3.5 seconds)."

jooper prompts a discussion of real-world programming practicalities in
Re: JMS Standalone Client.
"Please mind your words. Professional software engineers know that user requirements are never idiotic. For me an expected file size can be a very real requirement. For example in applet situations. Downloading 40 MB for a simple Swing application can be unacceptable. It is a different story when you install a server. Perhaps then a few megabytes do not count. Did you forget why flash is so sucesful compared to Java applets? Been there done that."

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Continually making it better