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So far, of the people I’ve brought in, no one has been able to answer a simple Swing threading question. Several even suggested to use SwingUtilities.invokeLater() for expensive work - not knowing it’s actually executing in the Swing thread. I’m making a point of this because it highlights a disconnect between the design of the Swing API and its users. Is the Swing API too...
on May 10, 2004


I just handed in my last assignment for my masters degree, completing a ten-year effort. Maybe there is a reason why they put a "Slow Children" sign in front of our house. And JSDK 1.5 is rolling out some time soon. It's a good week for a blog about finishing things -- time for an article about shutdown hooks. A shutdown hook is a Thread designed to be run after a program receives a signal to...
on May 9, 2004


Update Recently I had the honor of being named one of the 53 most influential people in the Java industry by The Middleware Company. My card was the 9 of Clubs – I have no idea how to interpret that distinction. Obviously, it’s a nice complement especially considering that the votes came from developers who subscribe to mailing list – a resource I consult...
on May 6, 2004
In light of the recent announcement that Sun Microsystems and Microsoft would stop their bickering and play nicely with each other, I thought it only appropriate to write my first entry on about the need for software that knows how to be social and play well with others. Social networking systems, despite being the new Hot Technology to grab the attention of Valley venture capitalists,...
on Apr 29, 2004


When I was old enough to join the Cub Scouts, my father got me a really impressive Swiss Army Knife. For an 8 year old boy this gift was pretty cool, and I proudly lugged the thing around with me on all of our camping trips. I cannot recall all the tools, but there were several blades, screw drivers, can openers, and I distinctly remember a corkscrew. After the "new" had worn off, the knife...
on May 6, 2004

Open Source

Quite often an open source project is started because somebody wanted some functionality that didn't already exist (or that they weren't aware of). A small project is released and it will either flourish or languish depending upon whether others find it useful or not. I've seen small one time hacks even become released products from commercial companies. Once such a one-off hack becomes a...
on May 6, 2004
Recently I've been trying to get various open source applications running on Solaris on x86 machines. These were mostly GNOME applications, but some of them were dependant upon underlying libraries that come from the Linux world. I've been having some trouble with some of these software distributions because the author(s) have only ever been concerned with GNOME and Linux. I'm old enough to...
on Apr 28, 2004


For those looking for some reference information on Java development, this lab takes a user through elements of setting up Eclipse, checking out a project using CVS, running and deploying a project using Ant, and running a web service over Tomcat/Axis from both Java and Perl clients. Includes information and implementation of good design elements using both Log4J and JUnit. Access the lab here
on May 5, 2004
So it's been a week and I've seen a lot of response to my last entry. One commentor in particular asked for a point by point rebuttal; which struck me as a spectacularly good idea. Here are the bulk of the arguments and my responses. The Arguments Java isn't Free / Open Source / GPL / RMS-friendly Why use Java when there are plenty of native languages / environments to choose from. Java is...
on May 3, 2004
I'm going to try to really tackle the issue of opensourcing Java and state my opinion of why it's a bad idea. Then I'll propose a way would could do it without all of the problems. It's a long one but please read to the end and provide your feedback. This is an issue that many feel strongly about and has the potential to influence Java's long term future. And as a career Java developer, it's...
on May 3, 2004
One developer, 2 modifications A developer has made 2 modifications, one to a client class, and a second to component classes. The client and component classes are packaged separately, but deployed together. When the developer tries to run the application, a "NoSuchMethodError" exception is thrown. The "NoSuchMethodError" problem is a common one seen by developers new to Java. The exception...
on May 3, 2004
I fear that most programmers (myself included) usually think of the word "legacy" as something bad, as in the following article: Do your customers have legacy COBOL applications written around the time King Nebuchadnezzar II built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Legacy doesn't have to be a bad word, as is seen in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: leg•a...
on Apr 30, 2004
I spoke with a couple of Geronimo's developers this morning, and I'm told the first version of the server (with all the pieces in place) is tagged in CVS and will soon be available for binary download. I'm also told the release notes caution users not to bet the farm on it in its early form. This will be a release for hackers, enthusiasts and 3rd party vendors who will be contributing major...
on Apr 28, 2004
What is RI Many developers first introduction into J2EE is in the form of JSP & Servlets. Using JSP & Servlets requires the services of a servlet container, and one of the most commonly used is Tomcat. However, Tomcat is more than an open source servlet container, Tomcat is also the Servlets and JavaServer Pages reference implementation (RI). Tomcat demonstrates one of the core...
on Apr 28, 2004


There is a lively discussion going on at TheServerSide at the moment,concerning the recent vetoing of JSR 243 by three large vendors - IBM, BEA, and Oracle. The reasons cited by the three vendors basically boil down to the seeming overlap between JDO 2.0 and the upcoming JSR 220. Of course, I suppose it's not surprising that three app server vendors with a heavy investment in EJBs would be...
on May 5, 2004
I am a huge fan of O/R mappers like Hibernate and JDO. They insulate developers from the database mechanics, speeding up development and boosting productivity. They also add a layer of insulation above the database itself, which aids portability. However, insulating developers from the database layer completely is not always a good thing. Developers still need to be aware of the performance...
on Apr 29, 2004


I had the privilege of writing the forward to a new book, Enterprise Java Development on a Budget: Leveraging Java Open Source Technologies. I just got their book in the mail. I'm proud of what I wrote, so I thought I'd share it here. J2EE development is hard. I have been developing with Java for the past 6 years, and there are areas of the enormous API that I have not touched. J2EE covers...
on Apr 28, 2004

Extreme Programming

It boils down to this: You can use Picocontainer's constructor-dependency-injector strategy to automatically pipe an object instance into an action component, with the understanding that once the action is executed, it will alter the state of its dependency objects. This is one of the core principles of the WARS style. So, you create an object, invoke the execute() method on it, and assume...
on Apr 28, 2004


History is made of this... Another week, another games ramble. The history of computer games can be viewed a myriad of different ways. For me, the big “historical events” have been the growth of new genres. Once a genre is established it will get worked in every possible manner but to me those have always been the boring details. I find DOOM far more interesting a phenomenon then...
on Apr 27, 2004

Web Services and XML

Tim Bray has yet another must read piece that apparently emerges from the collision of his deep understanding of XML concepts with realities he experiences at Sun. According to Tim, today's web service best practice is built on the foundations of asynchronous XML messages, produced with the assistance of programmer-friendly tools that hide the arcana of SOAP and XML (but not their basic...
on Apr 27, 2004