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A lot of people have put out lists of what they expect to see for the new year. Instead of going across the industry I'm going to focus on one topic in particular: networked applications. I really think that 2004 is the year of the netapp. Now sure, I know what you're thinking: "I thought 1994 was the birth of the most popular networked application ever: the webbrowser. You're about ten years...
on Jan 5, 2004


No, I have no shame. One of the things I most wanted (and got) for Christmas was Karaoke Revolution, a PlayStation 2 game in which you use a USB headset to sing along with an onscreen avatar and are graded for how well you hit the pitch and timing of the original song. Of course, it helps that I've already spent years with the in-no-way embarrassing Dance Dance Revolution, and have a set of worn...
on Jan 5, 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


Querying a database is no big deal. SQL has been around for a long time and has become the de facto standard for doing that. So has JDBC, even though nowadays it is being used more as the foundation of other solutions and frameworks. But what you do when you have to query objects? Most people wouldn't be able to answer it, really. Three more common ways of querying your objects in Java are...
on Dec 31, 2003
Rather than being forced to register at JavaLobby to be able to get access to the release, you can download the Java 2 SDK, Standard Edition v1.5.0 alpha release directly from Sun. People interested in the JSR-166 Concurrency additions should note that the Tiger alpha release does not contain the latest version of the package. You can get the latest version from the JSR 166 resources web site.
on Dec 28, 2003
Now that the J2EE Web Services book has been published and I'm wrapping up work on the 4ed of the EJB book, I can talk a little about what I'm planning to do in 2004. So what's next? I've wanted to write a book on J2SE for a couple of years, but since this space is already crowded I've put it off. Recently, however, I've decided to test out some material for such a book - I may post it on the...
on Dec 27, 2003
I've recently been playing more intensively with CVS - I've always used either IDE support for it or any nice GUI client for CVS available - and found out more about GZIP compression than I knew before. That's my main motivation for this post. It's been quite a while - since JDK 1.1, according to javadocs - Java has been providing support for working with ZLIB compression through its API. The...
on Dec 26, 2003
If you read my last blog entry about J2SDK 1.5 alpha availability, you know you cannot make public comments about. So, with that information in mind, let's move on :-D Suppose you download a J2SDK version from Sun that comes with no documentation at all. Well, all of them come without it, but for most you can get the docs as a separate bundle and install them. Very recently, I downloaded a J2SDK...
on Dec 25, 2003


The December issue of the Java Performance Newsletter was published, contents are: We list all the latest Java performance related news and articles "we've only been building up steam on the Java steamroller. The real ride is only just starting. Whoopee, it's full steam ahead!" The roundup of performance discussions over the last month. Kirk covers when to use PL/SQL, a "semi-deployed"...
on Dec 31, 2003


I love Java. I love writing Java code. I've even written a Java book. I've used zillions of programming languages and Java is the one I like the best. But there's a question that's been nagging at me lately: Does Java, or any programming language, really matter any more? Having been in the computer business for a very long time - the first computer I ever worked with used punched cards and was as...
on Dec 30, 2003
I'm not a big fan of the expression "digital convergence", but I do appreciate its results. One of the most important of these results: Cell phones with built in digital cameras (some people refer to them as camera phones, but I prefer cellcams) . I first wrote about cellcams in my first blog entry. In it, I discussed the Nokia 3650, my main device since mid-2003. The 3650 is a...
on Dec 23, 2003
A couple of years ago, I addressed an all-hands meeting for a small division of a Very Big Computer Company I Won't Name. This little division had just over 100 employees. I began with a single question, "How many of you have seen a customer in the last 30 days?" (about two hands went up.) "The last 90 days?" (one additional hand). "The last YEAR?" (couple more hands). So, these folks managed to...
on Dec 22, 2003
Jim Cushing talks about three phases in his Personal Progress blog today: Inquisitive, Complacent, and Emboldened. I often find it more productive to look at the stages of personal progress via the classic growth cycle of childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and senescence. Alas, when I look at things that way, I sometimes get sad since I see that (all too many people and organizations in) our...
on Dec 18, 2003


Not having the burden of managing transactions by yourself - a.k.a Container Managed Transactions, CMT for short - is a compelling reason for using EJBs. Obviously, EJB is not the only technology that gives you that, but that's a entirely different discussion. Back to the point, the fact you don't have to call any transaction management method neither in java.sql.Connection nor in any class...
on Dec 29, 2003

Extreme Programming

I'm reflecting on the most important tools I've been using this past year for my Java projects. IntelliJ Idea - A fine IDE. My current default. Eclipse - I've used it some, and found it a little clunkier than IntelliJ's. But I plan to move toward it more this coming year. P4 - Perforce source control system. It's free for a single user, and does a nice job. I've used two primary testing...
on Dec 25, 2003


There ain't no rules around here. We're trying to accomplish something! --Thomas Alvo Edison If you've ever been thrust onto a project already in progress, you've no doubt gone through a few different phases. No, I'm not talking about project phases, such as design, develop, test, etc. I'm talking about the personal phases that you, as an idividual developer, go through. When you're new to...
on Dec 18, 2003