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Miles Away

Posted by editor on September 26, 2008 at 7:21 AM PDT

The editor's desk moves north

So, I've been moving for the last month (you might remember my departure from Atlanta a few weeks back), holed up for September in an apartment while waiting for the house to finish and somehow arranging a home loan despite not being able to sell the old house... all of which has hopefully been more or less invisible to the average reader, except perhaps for the three days when I was so totally offline that O'Reilly's Kevin Farnham filled in for me (this would be about the time I was calling the JavaPosse at 10 at night while driving through a tropical downpour from somewhere between Knoxville and Lexington).

Anyways, I'm looking forward to being genuinely settled in as of tomorrow, which will complete this move. Of course, it's probably atypical: I'm going from Atlanta, which seemingly has gobs of Java jobs (I got three unsolicited e-mails from recruiters this week before realizing my resume still says I'm in Georgia), up to Grand Rapids, a metro area that's 80% smaller by population. The trick is that in some cases -- like writing, editing, contract programming, consulting, documentation, design, and probably a bunch more tasks I'm forgetting -- it's possible to move and take your job with you. Of course, this is true of anyone who works for him- or herself, but it seems like it should be increasingly true throughout our highly-distributed industry. Any job that can be offshored to Bangalore can also be outsourced to home offices in any town, large or small: what should really matter is the quality of the people doing the work, how well they know what they're doing, how reachable they are, and of course, how much they charge.

Instead of insisting all the developers live in decreasingly viable mega-cities -- sorry, Silicon Valley, I can't imagine paying those rents or driving 101 in anger on a daily basis -- wouldn't it be better if we could farm out the work all over the place? There are lots of places outside the cities with low cost of living, little to no traffic, and lots of space. All you need is high speed internet.

Mine's apparently getting hooked up Tuesday.

Apropos of this, the latest Poll asks "Have you ever relocated for a programming job?" Cast your vote on the front page, then visit the results page for current tallies and discussion.

The latest Java Mobility Podcast is
Java Mobility Podcast 58: Diamond Powder - data collectors for MIDP. The first in a series of podcasts from the Brazilian Month of Java, Renato Belia discusses his recently promoted project Diamond Powder and it's data collector facilities.

In Java Today,

Dalibor Topic has posted an update from this week's JVM Languages Summit. "he JVM Languages Summit takes place this week on Sun campus in Santa Clara. The agenda has links to individual talks, with slides appearing after sessions. So if you want to know more about Hotspot optimizations, JRuby internals, PHP on the JVM, ASM, Da Vinci VM, etc. and like me are only reading about the summit on twitter streams, this should provide some background to the tweets."

JBoss' Bill Burke has posted an article on Javalobby about Putting Java to REST. "Last month I gave you an Introduction to REST. It was 100%
theory, so now its time to see a little bit of REST in action. Since
I am primarily a Java programmer, Part II of this series will focus
on writing RESTFul Web services using the Java language. REST does
not require a specific client or server-side framework in order to
write your Web services. All you need is a client or server that
supports the HTTP protocol. In Java land, servlets are a fine
instrument for building your distributed apps, but can be a bit
cumbersome and require a bunch of glue-code and XML configuration to
get things going. So, about a year and a half ago, JSR-311,
JAX-RS, was started at the JCP to provide an annotation-based
framework to help you be more productive in writing RESTFul Web
services. In this article, we'll implement various simple Web
services using the JAX-RS specification. "

Josh Bloch gets concise in Bumper-Sticker API Design: "My conference session How to Design a Good API and Why it Matters has always drawn large crowds; on InfoQ was the third most viewed content last year. When I presented this session as an invited talk at OOPSLA 2006, I was given the opportunity to write an abstract for the proceedings. In place of an ordinary abstract I decided to try something a bit unusual: I distilled the essence of the talk down to a modest collection of pithy maxims."

In today's Weblogs, Terrence Barr passes along a deadline reminder in Mobile, Media & eMbedded Developer Days: Call for Papers closing soon. "As announced previously the Java Mobile, Media & eMbedded Developer Days have been moved to January 2009 and along with that we've also kept the Call for Papers open a little longer - it will close in a few days."

Rich Unger explains the reasoning behind creating a
Domain Specific Language for Cloud Computing. "The honest truth is that Apex was developed for purely technical reasons. could have implemented a Java layer to be its platform, or (*shudder*) as an XML schema. (For the record, that was never even seriously contemplated). Certainly both approaches would have resulted in being perceived as more "open". But, lots of things that Apex takes care of for you at a language level would have to be done in libraries, and with a lot less type checking."

Finally, Kohsuke Kawaguchi announces the Hudson 1.253 release. "Since I only had limited connectivity while I was on the road, I refrained from making a release for the past 2 weeks. The end result is that this 1.253 release contains two weeks worth of changes, making it a biggest Hudson release in recent years."

In today's Forums,
sm157516 explains the specifics of a now-fixed GlassFish bug in
Re: jdbc-connection-pool settings. "This is a bug with the AssocWithThreadResourcePool. Whenever a connection is got, the numConnUsed variable need to be incremented which is not done. Since a decrement is done for every connection closed without an increment, negative values are observed for this variable consistently. Sometimes, the numConnUsed's negative value could be equal to the number of times the same connection is reused by the thread before it is destroyed, since the connection is associated with the thread. This has been fixed as part of the issue 5129 :"

Harald Kuhr replies to yesterday's graphics-performance question in
Re: [JAVA2D] Long-running rendering ...was Re: Drawing to an off screen buffer. "You might want to take a look at the Task class from Swing Application Framework. It is a great abstraction for long-running operations in general. It's basically a fancy SwingWorker, with support for a nice publish/process-protocol, which I think you could use for your "drip-feed" mechanism. Not really sure it fits your needs, but I think it's worth looking into."

Finally, lordcenzin would like some guidance on doing
drag-n-drop panel to panel. "I'm quite new to java gui implementations. I'd ike to receive some suggestion on how to perform the drag-n-drop feature from one JPanel to another. The proble is that i need to drag an image (like an icon that represent some entity for my application) and show that image (eventually different). Just like a workflow. I read all tutorials, but I can't get many efforts. Do I have to consider the java.awt.dnd package?"

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The editor's desk moves north


"what should really matter is the quality of the people doing the work, how well they know what they're doing" Where have you been lately? All that matters is that they are colocated into a "work room", program in pairs, and have an onsight customer.

You're perfectly right, small towns are better than big ones, and countryside is even better. I'm happy that you made it. I've been trying to escape from Milan for several years, but so far I've been only able to stay there for less time. But sooner or later... ;-)

Welcome to my old home state Chris! There are a lot of good things there; the state parks, the great lakes... Also, as I'm sure you've noticed, housing is considerably less expensive there, but that goes hand-in-hand with the Michigan economy unfortunately. Winter will also be considerably different. I highly recommend the purchase of a snow-thrower! Snow shovels up there are referred to as: "Idiot Sticks." ;-) Also quite fortunately, Canada is quite close; be sure to make some visits, it is definitely worth the trip! Good luck in your new neighbourhood! John