New "Java Tech" Series Features Bite-Sized Java Solutions
Java.net has a long-standing tradition of publishing high-quality full-length Java technology articles. We also have a vibrant blogging community, and active forums. While these types of content can cover pretty much any problem that Java developers would find themselves facing, it seems like there's room for at least one more new type of content. For this reason, today we're re-introducing the Java Tech column. It will have the same hard technology focus as before, but will feature a new, "bite-sized" approach to presenting solutions to Java development problems and issues. The java.net article format will still be applied, but Java Tech columns will be much shorter in length than traditional full-length java.net articles.
So, what's the point of doing this? Well, the intention is for the Java Tech series to provide solutions to specific problems related to programming and Java technology. These problems and solutions are probably too narrowly focused to warrant a full 2000+ word technical article. Yet, the problems are sufficiently difficult that in most cases they deserve a more formal and complete presentation than is appropriate for a forum or blog post. Yes, some java.net bloggers in fact write the kind of fairly formal post I'm talking about, little articles really. But the point of the re-instantiated Java Tech column is to have a central organizing banner for publishing solutions to specific problems that may have broad application and relevance for many developers.
Today I published our first new Java Tech column, Marina Kamahele's "Transparent" Panel - Mixing Heavyweight and Lightweight Components. In this column, Marina talks about the problem of overlaying lightweight Swing widgets on top of heavyweight AWT components. Specifically, Marina addresses the issue of transparency. A real-world example application based on NASA's World Wind Java SDK is also included.
Marina shows how a developer can overcome the problem whereby "a lightweight
JPanel overlaid on top of a heavyweight AWT component cannot be transparent":
To overcome this problem, one can implement a
TransparentPanelby overriding the
JPanel::paint()method so that the
JPanelonly paints its children, as shown below.
Marina then provides code that illustrates the solution.
Illustrating and demonstrating solutions to problems is what the renewed Java Tech column is going to be about. The problems will range in complexity and breadth of scope, and universal relevance, somewhere between what you'd find in a forum entry or a small blog post, and what you'd find in a full-scale technology article.
Thinking about it in terms of number of words: these columns will mostly be between 500 and 1000 worlds, and include code snippets, perhaps a diagram or screen shot (depending on the problem addressed). That's what I mean by "bite-sized": relatively easy to read and digest in one sitting. And, also, nowhere near as difficult to write as a full-scale java.net technology article.
I'm excited about the new Java Tech series, because I think a lot of people in the java.net community have discovered solutions to specific problems that are relevant for other developers, and I'm hoping that people will want to take the time to document their discoveries for broader dissemination via the column. If you've got an idea for a Java Tech column, please contact me, and we can discuss the possibilities!
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