The Source for All Things Java

Joe Winchester

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Top Stories by Joe Winchester

Imagine you are a contestant on a TV game show and your grinning quiz master pops the question: "Name the one thing you most associate with Google?" Think about your answer - write it on a card (don't show me yet). Turning your card over, it's likely to be one of the following: Great Internet search engine on google.com Wicked share price, wish I'd bought some a few years ago Powerhouse of innovation for Java The first two are fairly obvious. The last one might not have been your first choice, but looking more closely it possibly should be. Things probably started when some of Java's engineering team moved from Sun to work for Google. I remember the highlight of JavaOne 2003 for me was being lucky enough to hear Josh Bloch and Neal Gafter deliver a fabulous joint presentation on Java 5's new features. I left not only thinking that the language was having a long overd... (more)

Java Opinion: Who Needs "Hardship Programming"?

While at lunch with colleagues recently I overheard four very able Java developers swapping horror stories of the kit they'd cut their teeth on as junior programmers. One had used a Sinclair ZX-81 with 1K of RAM and a black and white TV and a tape recorder in lieu of a hard drive. Things were so bad with the memory that the screen buffer was used to store program data. That story was trumped by tales of a Commodore 64 where after it was discovered that the built-in hard drive had its own processor, it was used to offload program work to create true symmetric multiprocessing on a ... (more)

Java: Money, Freedom and Open Source

The current polemic with Java and Open Source boils down to two important issues: money and power. Money In 1996, Sun created Java and the terms under which it is distributed. Since then, the Java Community Process (JCP) has emerged, allowing companies to participate in shaping language changes, but the ownership of trademarks, licensing agreements, branding, and other fundamental product issues remains unchanged. One is reminded of this fact every time the Sun MicrosystemsTM trademark appears alongside the Java coffee cup logo, or when one is greeted with the message "brought t... (more)

Ship Happens! Insights From the Eclipse SWT Community

The Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT) is the GUI toolkit used by Eclipse. The same folks that worked on the Common Widget (CW) library for IBM/Smalltalk developed it, this time for Java. Now, it's maintained as part of the Eclipse Platform project and distributed under an open source license, the Eclipse Public License (EPL). One key design point of SWT is that it uses native functionality on each operating system and, at the same time, presents a common, portable API. Joe Winchester, Desktop Java Editor for Java Developer's Journal, asked Steve Northover (SWT Team Lead) recently whe... (more)

Dialog Boxes, Habituation, and Single Threaded Thought

In Jef Raskin's excellent book, The Humane User Interface, he discusses how the human brain is able to perform many tasks simultaneously while only having the ability to focus on one conscious thought at a time. Being able to process information and analyze it intelligently is crucial to our ability to solve problems, but once we have learned how to deal with a particular situation, just as vital is our ability to remember and recall the response without thinking. This allows us to drive a car while thinking about what we're going to have for dinner that evening. If, on said jour... (more)