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Blog Archive for daniel during August 2003

Sarah and Tony, the magic elves in the back room, keep adding functionality to java.net. When we launched with blogs some of the bloggers asked "why don't you ...". Two of the requests were for trackbacks and for referrer logs. This past week we quietly introduced these features to the java.net blogs. If you would like to trackback to a blog, please do so and let us know how it worked. Once a...
Imagine a class where, as a student, you don't have to try to outguess the instructor. You know exactly what is required and there are acceptance tests you can run to see how you are doing. This sounds like a lot of work for an instructor - creating a test harness for each assignment. In the featured article Extreme Teaching: Introducing Objects you see how the FIT framework along with the open...
Today my eldest daughter begins second grade. Last week we received a supply list of what she would need this year: a box of number two pencils, a pink eraser, a glue stick, scissors, and so on. Take a minute and think of what you will need to do your job in the next nine months. We can both guarantee two things. First, your list will be incomplete. Second, in order to grow as a developer you...
Long before cell phones were ubiquitous, Bill Joy remarked that they changed basic assumptions about how we think about phone numbers. With land lines, personal phone numbers were mostly bound to a place. When you dialed a number you were calling a location. With cell phones you might not know where the person answering is. Think back to the good old days when you would make a phone call and...
In his latest blog entry URLs are your friend, James Gosling explains using URLs where you may have used other Java classes in the past. Gosling provides two interesting examples. There are times when you are on the receiving end of a drag-and-drop from a file browser or a web browser and find yourself with a string instead of the object you may be expecting. Gosling's solution is: to...
Think of the on-line groups you belong to. How do you judge the health or activity of a community before deciding to join? There are over 400 registered projects here at java.net. How might you suggest the health of a group be measured and reported? We don't know how or if we could provide useful metrics for our projects that would help you find those that best meet your needs and interests....
Starting today, Java.net invites registered users to submit news stories. Our rule for most content on the site is that it doesn't have to be specifically about Java but it should be of interest to Java developers. So, for example, one of the stories featured today is on a W3C recommendation for OWL, the Web Ontology Language. This is designed to help with the representation and processing of...
Whether it be offshore development, power grids, or cattle, what types of fences should we build? Philip Brittan's blog entry Blackout comments on the fact that "21 major power plants spread out over 9,000 square miles all shut down within 3 minutes of each other, as a defensive response to some type of surge in the grid, leaving roughly 50 million people without power." In many areas that...
Something goes wrong with an open source project that you're using - what do you do next? Maybe you write a nasty note to the newsgroup or quietly remove the software and go on with your life. What about taking a quick look to see if you can locate the source of your problem and suggest a fix. This isn't for everyone, but I witnessed an almost perfect execution of what could be captured as the...
Google has added a Calculator function that allows you to "evaluate mathematical expressions involving basic arithmetic (5+2*2 or 2^20), more complicated math (sine(30 degrees) or e^(i pi)+1), units of measure and conversions (100 miles in kilometers or 160 pounds * 4000 feet in Calories), and physical constants (1 a.u./c or G*mass of earth/radius of earth^2). You can also experiment...