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Blog Archive for editor during August 2005

Do we need an isolation layer for unit tests? There are lots of cases where you want to use an "isolation layer", a genericized API that keeps you from being trapped in the Vendor Lock-in Anti-Pattern. This approach allows you to write to the interface provided by the isolation layer, and avoid hard-coding anything that ties you into a specific API. J2EE's Data Access Object (DAO) is arguably...
Retrieving and manipulating NASA imagery There's lots of great data out there on the web, but pulling it down and manipulating it can still be a challenge. Today's feature article uses Earth imagery made available by NASA, but parsing the descriptor formats and working with the pixels still requires some manual work on the part of the developer. Fortunately, Java's wide collection of libraries...
Focusing on Java performance Sick of the "Java is slow" crowd yet? These assertions of Java non-performance are so predictable, I swear such posts on Slashdot are generated by 'bots (in my mind, most of these comments are perl scripts generating posts about how great PHP is). What's worse is when even Java people don't get it. I worked with some colleagues who were absolutely shocked that...
Java Web Start article hits a nerve I don't usually blog about the same thing two days in a row, but Joshua Marinacci's Java Sketchbook: Getting Started with Java Web Start article has generated a remarkable number of talkbacks in a single day (26 at last count). And aside from a small amount of flameage on a thread about security, most of it hits on substantial concerns people have with what...
From web link to double-clickable Ten years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that Java would be a huge success without Java desktop applications gaining significant traction. Working with the AWT and (later) JavaBeans, it seemed like we'd be writing cross-platform GUI's, replacing the platform-dependent applications that required expensive and difficult ports (or, more often, just...
Instead of cursing the darkness... If you use QuickTime on Mac or Windows and have paid for the "Pro" features -- editing, saving movies from web pages, full-screen playback -- then you're probably aware that every few major versions and without prior warning, your registration key stops working and Apple asks you for another 30 bucks. It happened when they released Mac OS X 10.4 ("Tiger"),...
But if you try an alternate spelling sometime... Some of the nicest and most natural elements of a human-computer interface can be quite hard to pull off. Consider the now-common example of the search engine's "Did you mean" feature, which catches a misspelling (or just a noticably low number/quality of hits), and proposes an alternate spelling that may generate more search results. On the...
The Hotspot/JIT vs. static compilation debate continues The forum topic Javac compiler option to build Windows native exe continues to expand. On the one hand, we have posts like this one from jwenting that are on the original topic of giving javac a simple means of generating a single-platform launcher or double-clickable: My main deployment platform is Linux, with secondary deployments on...
Java's curious disdain for serial connectivity This is one I truly don't get: why serial device connectivity seems so utterly off the Java radar. An ongoing thread on the forums describes the experiences people have had using the effective, but barely-maintained, javax.comm API for serial communication. As fak writes in Re: improve javax.comm: In College, I had to write a Java program that...
Are webapp frameworks more elaborate than they need to be? It's not hard to find web application frameworks that simultaneously claim to offer power and simplicity -- a great combination, but a rare one too -- and some of them are based on the idea of "components" or "controls": JSF is touted to be the ultimate component framework for Java web application programming. Tapestry claims to be...