Tuned in to the perpetual back-channel conversation
It seems there's plenty of places to turn for information about technology, and Java in particular, but how do you filter out the junk -- the ads, the cross-posts, the calls for help from people who are in hopelessly over their heads -- and just find the good stuff?
Social networks help, knowing who you're talking to and assessing their contributions based on what you know about them. A few weeks ago, the Java Posse podcast mentioned an all-Java IRC client, jIRCii, and a
freenode.net. Tuning in over the last few days, I've seen a lot of notable Java people on the channel, including Romain Guy (of Filthy Rich Clientsfame), Coté of the Drunk & Retired podcast, Klaasjan Tukker of NL-JUG, and GNU Classpath's Dalibor Topic.
In fact, it was Dalibor who pointed me to one of today's most intriguing Java Today items, about a full-blown Java-based OS being built atop OpenJDK. The JNode project has announced version 0.2.5 of their Java-based OS, continuing their move to OpenJDK, as described in aFAQ. The new release features "Java 6 support, substantially improved consoles, experimental support for isolates and a large set of bug fixes and improvements to all parts of the system, including better memory mamagement and increased performance." The project's goal "is to get an simple to use and install Java operating system for personal use. Any java application should run on it, fast & secure!"
Also in Java Today, the appropriately-named DotNetFromJava project offers you the ability to access .NET assemblies from Java directly without the need of writing native code/wrappers. "The intended purpose of this software API is to provide access to the .NET APIs, widening in this way the available java APIs. Furthermore, the java developer will gain development time by avoiding to write native code."
It's a well-known fact that hardware companies are abandoning the race for single-CPU speed and instead are focusing on multicore processors. Despite the fact that many algorithms can be easily parallelized, most client-side Java code is still written for single-CPU systems. In the article Multicore processing for client-side Java applications, Kirill Grouchnikov shows you how to fine-tune a core JDK array-sorting algorithm for improved processing speed of as much as 35%.
Apropos of the IRC discussions mentioned earlier, the latest java.net Poll asks "Where do you most often discuss Java?" Cast your vote on the front page, then check out the results page for current tallies and discussion.
The latest Feature Articleoffers up a new GUI concept called the Fling Scroller, reminding us how Swing programmers should focus not only on "look" but also "feel", particularly if new kinds of gestures can make applications more pleasant to use. In this article, Jan Haderka introduces a new behavior to JLists to allow users to "fling" off the top or bottom of the list and have the scrolling continue briefly as a result of the gesture.
In today's Weblogs, Simon