O’Reilly has gathered quite the diverse crowd at the Emerging Tech conference this week taking place in San Diego. Where else could you be exposed to a digital democracy teach-in and relativistic time dilation in the same place? Alpha geeks, start your engines.It was quite the interesting first day kicking off with leading edge technical tutorial sessions and a packed room of about 400 political...
on Feb 9, 2004
JSR 133 -- Java Memory Model and Thread Specification Revision has been released for public review. Note that the review period ends on March 7, 2004 so check it out and submit your comments sooner rather than later.
on Feb 9, 2004
My last blog entry, "You can make EJB better" generated a lot of feedback from developers on Java.net and TheServerSide.com. I waited until Sunday night to review them so that people would have enough time to post their comments.
What struck me, after counting and grouping relevant posts, was that the developer community desperately desires a simpler programming model for EJB.
on Feb 9, 2004
According to a NYTimes article, the US administration has decided not to use the SERVE e-voting system in the fall elections. According to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz:
"The department has decided not
to use SERVE in the November 2004 elections. We made this decision in view
of the inability to ensure legitimacy of votes, thereby bringing into doubt
the integrity of the election...
on Feb 8, 2004
Sun is surveying Java folks about developer demographics and what they want in the 2004 JavaOne conference. If you think it might actually help get Sun to make a better JavaOne show then definitely fill out the survey!
on Feb 4, 2004
UPDATED: January 23rd, 2004
I've received a lot of mail and seen a lot of postings about this blog entry. Some of it has been supportive and some of it has been …. Well, not. The one thing that is common to all but a few of the responses is that people have misunderstood my point. This is good evidence that I did a poor job of articulating it – something writers struggle to avoid. Anyway, I...
on Jan 22, 2004
Java innovation continues to have many faces and it not always technical. Matt and Rick of JavaLobby recently invented a new handshake for Java developers to greet one another.
I think it's a cool idea and it will be interesting to see if it takes. Check it out in their forum and send in your picture!
To Matt and Rick: We love the stuff you are doing over at JavaLobby and would love to see...
on Jan 21, 2004
This week my team re-learned the debuggers' mantra: "What you think is improbable probably isn't as improbable as you thought.".
A horrible performance problem cropped up in an upcoming release of our web-based product last Thursday. Each page of the application would take almost thirty seconds to load. This is not a good thing.
Embarrassingly, this problem was hard to track down because we...
on Jan 13, 2004
James Strachan and others have been working on an awesome new scripting language for Java called, Groovy. I met James at the ApacheCon conference last year and he made me a convert to Groovy – its really a beautiful language and fairly easy for Java developer to learn. What makes Groovy really cool is that it integrates seamlessly with Java programs and is actually compiled into Java byte code....
on Jan 13, 2004
Data Abstractions are wonderful things, except when they aren't.
A recent request from my QA team lead brought me to this not-so-stunning conclusion. The request was pretty simple:
"Tell me which fields in our database correspond to the input fields on our HTML forms."
This is a very reasonable request. My QA team wants to initialize our relational database with a specific data set, verify...
on Jan 2, 2004
Check out my Artima blog entry, Deconstructing the Cmabirgde Uinervtisy Rschereach Sramlcbe, wherein the wild meme:
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae...
on Dec 24, 2003
I was going to blog about Date and Calendar (and how terrible they are), but these must wait now.
Straight to the point: if you want to get J2SDK 1.5.0 alpha, just go to:
This is a cooperation between JavaLobby - hey, just became a member 3 weeks ago, after years of Java, can you believe it? - and Sun. This is really a private release, so, you are not...
on Dec 24, 2003
Greg Wilkins, creator of the open-source Jetty servlet engine, spouts off in his blog about why he thinks that Servlets must DIE! Slowly!!
It's hard to argue that the servlet specification isn't full of cruft and that the servlet expert group of the JCP should take a major refactoring approach for the 3.0 version of the Servlets specification. However, does Greg's notion of "Contentlets" make...
on Dec 22, 2003
Like Joshua Marinacci How do you develop?, a number of programmers, including myself, have adopted a fairly iterative development style. For the most part, this has been a conscious decision. However, there are times when this isn't always so. Occasionally, the style has more to do with the nature of the work than with the desires of the developer.
I was recently preparing for a short...
on Dec 18, 2003
Joel Spolsky, of "Joel on Software" fame has posted a new essay called "Biculturalism",
which is a review of the book The
Art of Unix Programming by Eric
S. Raymond. (If you prefer bits to atoms, you can read the whole book online for free,
Eric being a famous Open Source advocate.)
[One digression: Follow that link to the book above. You will find yourself on a great website for books:
on Dec 16, 2003
We're going festive at this month's London Java Meetup with our Christmas party on Monday, 15th of December. The full details are available here, but essentially it's a change of venue and there may even be some cross-technology fertilisation as we mingle with some of the London Perl Mongers. This event is open to anybody and if you're planning to come along, please just leave a comment.
on Dec 10, 2003
We often hear George Santayana's adage:
"Those who do not understand the past are destined to repeat it"
Study history or you're going to screw up. Good advice, but rather on the negative side of the Kharmic spectrum.
Less often do we hear Sir Isaac Newtonï¿½s more positive sentiment:
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants"
Newton's adage is the one that came...
on Dec 8, 2003
Check out Dating Design Patterns for a refreshing take on just how powerful and useful patterns can be.
on Dec 5, 2003
A Microsoft wonk asked me an interesting question yesterday: Will IBM and BEA make the Java Community Process obsolete? The impetus for this question was the recent release of three J2EE "specifications" by IBM and BEA, which you can review here. Rather than develop these specifications from scratch within the JCP process, as is done in many cases, IBM and BEA decided to propose three new JSRs (...
on Dec 2, 2003
I have just finished writing up my interview with the well known Java celebrity Richard Monson-Haefel. It was a fun piece to do and I asked him many Java questions including his recent appointment to the JCP Executive Commitee.
One of the refreshing things I discovered was that Richard wasn't scared to point out Java's weak areas and wasn't one of the gung-ho bridgade that thought everything...
on Dec 2, 2003