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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


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
Here are a couple of recent articles with recommendations of Java exception handling practices... From, Gunjan Doshi gives us his Best Practices for Exception Handling. From, Jim Cushing gives us hisThree Rules for Effective Exception Handling. The questions of what, where, and why are spot on.
on Dec 12, 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


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: Amazon...
on Dec 16, 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


Philip Brittan blogs about his various articles dealing with Security Strategies. State is the second worst thing in distributed computing. No state is the worst. --John Ousterhout
on Dec 16, 2003

Open Source

Erik Hatcher writes Velocity: Fast Track to Templating -- a nice and quick introduction to the Apache Group's Velocity Templating engine.
on Dec 16, 2003


The IT security outlook just seems to be getting worse. Maybe it's time to change the rules. We are being bombarded these days about the increasing threat of security. Microsoft has long been a target in this area, as have Java, and Flash, but now Linux is also coming under attack. The attacks are coming with greater frequency and with greater destructive power, and they are coming in the...
on Dec 15, 2003