Feb 23

Joda Time: Decent date support for Java?

Tech No Comments »

Joda Time is a new open source project which tries to give Java developers a decent Date API.

It is true, the Java Date utilities are painful to use in many cases. It is a shame that we have to resort to various packages that are out there. The fact is that what we have in java.* is “standard”, so what a pain to have to use something else.

From the Joda Time docs:

Date and Time handling is fundamental to many applications. However, the classes supplied in Java have always been weak. Date should have been immutable, like String. Instead, it has many deprecated methods. Calendar makes accessing ‘normal’ dates difficult, due to the lack of simple methods. Calendar also has some strange performance characteristics.

Feb 23

Andy making a “Case for Mail Services” in JBoss

Tech No Comments »

Andy Oliver has put together a Case for Mail Services, the new JBoss project.

It is very interesting to see JBoss branch out in this manner, using its JMX Microkernel for the base of a mail server.

Will Andy and team be able to come up with something “better” than the current open source and commercial tools? Will JBoss show to be a good base for something such as your email? Will Linux Sysadmins take to it (they are not used to this!). Time will tell.

The best parts of the documents for me were:

- Spam Tools: They wish to be groundbreaking in this area, via mail routing, common antispam methods, extending existing mail standards, and working with popular open source mail clients

This would be great. I hope they implement Reverse MX to make sure that you may be bill@microsoft.com, since you are emailing from a microsoft.com domain.

I also look forward to simple support for PGP on authentication and encryption. How many POP/IMAP clients are going over plain text channels every 5 minutes sending their user/pass combination!

It would also be cool to support a challenge system such as SpamArrest.

If we put all of these ideas together, maybe we can do something big against the spammers.

Good luck to anyone in that arena!

Feb 23

XDoclet, JSR 175, and the mistakes

Tech 1 Comment »

There is currently a lot of discussion on TheServerSide on Is XDoclet really needed?. There is a lot of talk on the subject of when codegen is OK, and how much of a saviour metadata annotations are.

JSR 175

I am looking forward to see the innovation that comes along with annotations. I expect to see a slew of annotations (some standardized), and some will be great. Within this shift, we will probably do what developers always seem to do: overuse new “fun” features.

Let’s face it… when a new technology comes in, a lot of people jump on the bandwagon and play with it. Over time we figure out “oh, we went too far down this path”. We are probably destined to do this with annotations. I can invision classes like:

@Overrides
@RequestForEnhancement(
id = 2868724,
synopsis = “Provide time-travel functionality”,
engineer = “Mr. Peabody”,
date = “4/1/2004″
)
@Hibernate(some=”thing”)
… insert 20 more annotations …
public ….. {}

Annotation hell will be abound. I look forward to having this settle down for a few years, and I know we will work out what SHOULD be an annotation, and what wouldn’t.

XDoclet

XDoclet certainly won’t “die” due to JSR 175. Code generation is a good thing. I think the Java community poo-poo’s it a lot. When I think about the majority of projects that I have worked on, MOST have multiple levels of code generation going on. Many times, if you test the generator, then you can develop extremely rapidly, with solid results.

XDoclet will grow, will integrate with JSR 175 in some ways, and we will see a brighter future :)

Feb 23

EDGE East in Boston

Tech 1 Comment »

I am hitting the EDGE East show in Boston tomorrow to Thursday. It will be interesting to what kind of conference this is, and who is there. The best part of these shows always seems to be meeting with smart people and talking tech.

If you are going to be there let me know!

Feb 21

RE: 100% pure java, or viable java?

Tech No Comments »

David Jeske had vented over the Java sub-culture that REQUIRES 100% Java!. These are people who believe that SWT is evil, or writing native code is evil.

I am a strong supporter of David on this one. I have seen a bunch of projects pass on by Java because of issues with AWT/Swing. I have seen small productivity tests that compared Java/Swing to Python/wxWindows.

I think there is definitely room to offer a choice to developers.

a) Swing: you want it to run everywhere? Go for it.
b) Native: Your office is all Windows and will be for a long time? You want to reuse already developed components? Use jwxWindows and run like the wind.

This isn’t to say that I don’t believe that Swing apps can cut it. A lot of modern tools show that Swing has grown leaps and bounds (mmm IntelliJ IDEA). But I still think that there should be a choice!

Feb 21

A harsh view of Mac OS X

Tech No Comments »

A lot of people in the OS X world coo longingly at their new friend. This isn’t the case with Michael Thomas. He has written down all of the things that bug him about OSX after 2 days of using it.

I am very happy with my PowerBook, but I am not as delirious as others around me. There are definitely things that bug me. Small things mostly, such as having to use the mouse in some situations (WHY doesn’t ENTER do the same thing as clicking on OK!!).

I have also had some problems such as burning DVDs. To be fair I have had these problems on my windows system too, but I always curse as I through away yet another dead disc.

Feb 19

Find Wi-Fi locations with Google

Google, Tech, Wireless No Comments »

I have used EZ Goal Wi-Fi Hotspots in the past to find a wi-fi location nearby.

Now Google is in the act, and you can query via the new “Search by Location” service that is in beta in the Google labs.

http://labs.google.com/location?q=wi-fi&near=02140

Feb 18

Yahoo! RSS Feed Aggregation

Personal No Comments »

I was playing with the new Yahoo! Search today. It seems pretty nice. I searched for “TheServerSide” and up came a line entry:

RSS: View as XML – Add to My Yahoo! [Beta]

So now My Yahoo! is an RSS aggregator! It is about time, and is a great addition. The service is in beta, but seems to work well, and it is cool that it is tied into search results!

Feb 16

AOP Isolation

AOP, Tech No Comments »

“Pinocio” has spoken out against AOP in the mainstream. His comment is about the fact that OOP has isolation via classes, yet AOP does not. Aspects are not isolated from eachother, which can cause issues.

He brings up an important point… however I think that we will learn to deal with this issue. We can already harm ourselves (as we have done) via overuse of inheritance in OOP. The same is going to be the case in AOP. No-one in AOP is saying “aspects everywhere” or “this is the silver bullet”, even though the media sometimes makes this claim. AOP complements OOP. We have to learn HOW to use the power that we gain, and NOT overuse it. Unfortunately I am pretty sure that many people will go headlong into AOP and go crazy with aspects… and this will cause a lot of pain. We will do our best to reign this in as much as possible, but it will be a hard task. If we listen to the gurus in AOP then we will be OK. Listen to them, not the media (apart from TheServerSide of course ;)

Read Pinocio in “On fundamental AOP deficiency”

Feb 16

Lots of new releases…

IDE, Java, Tech No Comments »

It is a good time to be a Java developer. We have the new IDE releases of IDEA and Eclipse, new frameworks like dynaop, WebWork 2, Chrysillis and more. Then we have the beta release of JDK 1.5. A lot of fun stuff!