Why is so much software so bad?
I've read or heard this question thousands of times, and I
repeatedly ask this question myself (I am sometimes embarrassed
to be a programmer when my non-techno-friends struggle with bad
software). Robert Martin's blog entry on No
Next Big Thing bemoans the sorry state of software quality, and prompted me to ponder this question again.
James Gosling's blog entry on...
on Feb 26, 2005
Itâ€™s way too early in the morning, but the kids are tearing down the stairs, and making more noise than my aching head should tolerate. But itâ€™s Christmas, so I do. They are drawn to the biggest, flashiest, plastic toys first, but my wife and I share a knowing smile. That will change.
Iâ€™ve got a little kid inside me, but not when it comes to Java tools and frameworks. It takes a lot to...
on Feb 25, 2005
I just noticed that the Java Developer's Journal is holding their annual
Readers' Choice vote. At one level this seems a good idea, but, unfortunately, in this type of poll the results can vary substantially depending on who votes, and that can change a lot through a few well-placed hyperlinks. The consequence is that the results are, in my opinion, not necessarily instructive. Polls and...
on Feb 24, 2005
Erik Hatcher, author of Lucene in Action has put together a nice presentation overview of Lucene at JavaLobby.org. A login is required, but it is worth it.
Erik has been doing some fascinating work with us at the University of Virginia where we use Lucene to index The Rossetti Archive, a comprehensive digital edition of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's works. He transformed our search engine from a...
on Feb 23, 2005
I'm about to embark on a set of trips: I'm participating in the 2005 'No Fluff Just Stuff' software conferences tour. The first conference is up in Milwaukee; the tour is detailed on the NFJS web site.
I last participated in 2003, giving talks on a couple of open source projects. My talks in 2003 included the Castor data binding framework for Java, XUL, and my ashkelon open source...
on Feb 15, 2005
The Sun Education and Research Conference is getting started in San Francisco this week. Why is this important? The Global Education and Learning Community (GELC) is playing a part to enhance education worldwide and we are part of a focus at the conference. Most of us are not at this conference, so we need to rally ourselves within the virtual space of the java.net community. We all benefit...
on Feb 15, 2005
Growing up, one of the things that I was taught was that embellishing was wrong. That was confusing to me since the actual definition of embellish is: "To make beautiful, as by ornamentation; decorate." Of course, my mom and various "teachers" really meant to teach me that telling lies is a Bad Thing(tm). Alas, like so many of us, precision in language isn't much of a priority — we over-...
on Feb 12, 2005
I got be honest, when I first received the e-mail from Howard and I read his blog entry, which you can read at: http://howardlewisship.com/blog/2005/02/hivemind-and-pico-compared-on-javanet.html
I wasn't too pleased to show the readers what he had to say. However, after I thought about it, I thought to myself, "why not?". Let the readers benefit from it. I of course couldn't cover everything in a...
on Feb 11, 2005
What do you really look at when you're hiring people?
Does your team fall into the various mental traps that Malcolm Gladwell talks about in his latest book, Blink? I.e., do you look for people who fit your conscious and/or unconscious biases? Wouldn't it help if, like the symphony committees, we only hired people based on their ability to code where we could not see them?
Does your team fall...
on Feb 10, 2005
The Global Education and Learning Community welcomes more great projects. This time we have big integer software, a digital logic simulator, ad a problem-based learning simulator.
Take a look at these great new projects and join them if you can help them out.
A free program for calculating really big numbers
BigAl is a command line tool, it is written...
on Feb 10, 2005
JXTA vision is to abstract the Internet into a multitude
of user's defined virtual p2p network overlays allowing
Java applications to transparently roam from multiple
network locations or connectivities while still remaining
The latest JXTA application proXimio from Fabrice
Dimeglio is demonstrating this new dimension in Java
network programming. Wherever your are moving
on Feb 8, 2005
I am a big fan of Open Source software; in fact I canâ€™t imagine doing my job without it. Itâ€™s great to be able to benefit from shared code, and life as a programmer has certainly been a lot more fun since Open Source became prevalent.
Most of us have heard Open Source described as "cancer". I don't agree with that, but I do have to admit that source code covered by the GNU licenses (even...
on Feb 7, 2005
Daniel's recent blog on the new J2SE certification exam gives me hope... reducing trivia and tricks is a step in the right direction.
I've never taken any of the Java exams. I've looked them over and taken the practice exams, but I've never expended the effort to buckle down and get serious.
One of the factors that has stalled my commitment is my perception that studying for some of the exams...
on Jan 19, 2005
JStateSim - http://jstatesim.dev.java.net/
JStateSim is a framework project for the execution of Discrete Event Simulations. The project is hosted in the Global Education and Learning Community (GELC) of java.net. This project has been graduated from the GELC project incubator and is now part of the Learning Resources project area.
JStateSim was developed from scratch by...
on Jan 18, 2005
Want to learn about Java and you need a place to go to start learning? What about a project with forums, email list groups, lots of source code, tutorials and people like you and a few experts willing to answer questions. Dana Nourie, a Project Leader and Writer for java.sun.com has a group called New2Java in the Global Education and Learning Community. New2Java is currently the most popular...
on Jan 14, 2005
Every day for the last several weeks, I have gotten up, trudged through subzero temperatures that can literally freeze your eyelids shut, sat down at my desk in an old NASA-funded research building, and infected Windows XP machines with a wide variety of spyware, viruses, worms, IRC bots, toolbars, adware, and other assorted barnacles of the electromechanical world.
Barnacles, Spyruses, we have...
on Jan 14, 2005
What is the first thing you think about when you imagine teaching software development? Games, right? Project IENJINIA emulates an 80's video games console. This is done for two reasons. First, games, is rather simple as are the types of game design possible. The second is that the emulator is a very simple platform for exploring programming.
The project relies on BeanShell but also includes a...
on Jan 11, 2005
Q: Why do open source projects fail?
A: Because failure is easy.
You may run an open source project or a part of one. Odds are, things are not as rosy as you expected. Where are the volunteers? Where is the community? How can I make this project succeed?
The simple fact is that open source is not a guarantee of success. The real successes, like JBoss, Apache, Linux and others comes from the...
on Dec 29, 2004
Most folks are familiar with Andy Warhol's prediction: "In the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes". My 15 minutes have come.
I was at the express checkout (10 items or less) of the the HEB on Red River (that's a supermarket near UT here in Austin) when a young man (whose name turned out to be Ben) approached me:
Ben: Excuse me sir, I know this is going to sound strange, but...
on Dec 17, 2004
I was drawn to E-Surfer's recent weblog entry that asks the question: "Could I Still Pursue Software Development Career When Getting Older?"
E-Surfer's "friends" warn him that:"when getting older I would not be competent to pursue software development because of slowness of thinking, difficulty reading and writing, and so on."
I will be 48 years old on my next birthday, and I have been...
on Dec 13, 2004