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Fans of Sun's Masood Mortazavi may be interested in Part Two of my interview with him where we explore some of his work as a project manager and developer. Masood's "On the Margins"(http://blogs.sun.com/MortazaviBlog/) blog is one of the liveliest and most popular at Sun. Masood is currently charged with mandates that include management of MySQL developer tools (connectors, administrative GUI tools, the workbench and docs). What's the biggest problem companies have in getting the most out of Java applications? "I would point to problems related to a mishmash of technologies, the lack of ability to select properly, and a relative increase in nonstandard, de-facto, programming platforms. My advice is to keep to the standards, and to Sun-supported technologies in this area. They are excellent and have been tested by time and the marketplace." When I asked about the distinctiveness of Java EE he said: "Scalability. Java EE is an enterprise technology for scalability, separation of business logic and system concerns, portability, and long-term maintenance. In these areas, Java EE is truly unique." And one message he offers about the virtues of Java: "Using Java, you can better reason about your program's correctness. This has to do, not only with Java's strongly typed system but also with the relative paucity of ambiguities in Java when compared to various functional, scripting, or even typed languages." Masood is smart, wise, and sensible. Check it out.

A Java Developer's Quiz Blog

Posted by hiheiss Mar 4, 2009
Put Away Your Books and Get Out a Piece of Paper Check out a new quiz from yrs truly on java.sun.com. I combed through interviews looking for questions that might entertain and inform.          Here's an example:          Fill in the blank: Joshua Bloch says that the strangest thing about the Java platform is __________.            A. Poor Unicode support.       B. java.lang.Cloneable does not contain clone() method.       C. The byte type is signed.       D. The creators of the Java programming language modeled the syntax after C and C++.       E. java.io.InputStream is an abstract class and not an interface.          Let me know which questions you enjoyed and even which annoyed.
Got Advice for Students? If so, check out my article on java.sun.com where 11 leading Java developers -- from Joshua Bloch to Tor Norbye to Chet Haase -- offer advice about how to become better developers. I've excerpted and consolidated useful advice from previous interviews. Here's a brief sampling: Josh Bloch: "Write lots of code. Have fun with it! Collaborate with people who are more experienced than you and learn from them. Join an open source project. Code reviews are a great way to learn." Tor Norbye: "Learn to use your tools. And I don't mean just enough to get by. I mean really learn how to use your tools. Become an expert user..." ... Learn how to make trade-offs.... ... Finally, learn the platform APIs." Chet Haase: "Take the math courses you need. It doesn't need to be higher-level stuff, but I've leaned heavily on linear algebra and some amount of calculus for a lot of what I've done." Rags Srinivas: "Don't be overwhelmed by the language or the platform. If you break it down, the basics of the language are based on object-oriented programming, threading, concurrency, and event-driven programming. It's necessary to become a master of these concepts since the rest of your career will depend on this foundation." Cay Horstmann: "First, don't panic. When students first see the API with thousands of classes, they despair. I used to be able to tell them, That's OK, at least the language itself is very simple.'" So check it out if you want to read the wisdom of others, or pass on your own in the comments section.
I recently conducted a java.sun.com interview with Sun's lead engineer for JavaFX media, Tony Wyant, to coincide with the JavaFX 1.0 launch which offers developers an expressive, rich client platform for creating and delivering rich Internet applications (RIAs) across all the screens that consumers use. And, as Tony puts it, "The JavaFX media APIs are designed to make it extremely simple to incorporate audio and video media into applications built with the JavaFX technology. It should take only a few lines of FX Script to add audio or video into an application." Check out JavaFX 1.0. Tell me what you think...

QA with Josh Bloch Blog

Posted by hiheiss Oct 29, 2008
In a java.sun.com interview, More Effective Java With Google's Joshua Bloch, I conducted with Josh Bloch, the author and eminent developer as always has lots of interesting things to say not only about his revised edition of his book, Effective Java, but discusses many other topics too. He informs readers: * The strangest thing about the Java platform is that the byte type is signed. (I'm curious what others may find strange.) * His favorite programming rules (for the day at least): "Minimize the accessibility of classes and members" and "Minimize mutability". * When to break his rules. * What he learned about the Java platform from the perspective of a user working at Google. * How generics have worked out. * Why Java developers mistakenly optimize code.  * Why Java developers fail to use libraries -- especially when they need concurrency utilities. * The importance of unit tests. And more... Please check it out and tell me what you think and if you agree with Josh or not on some of these points.... I'm interested.
Anyone interested in brushing up on their Java SE 6 troubleshooting skills might take a look at my article, Chuk-Munn Lee of Sun Microsystems Troubleshoots Java SE 6 Deployment, based on a Tech Days presentation by Java technology evangelist Chuk-Munn Lee, given in Sydney, Australia, in March 2008. The article covers Java SE 6 troubleshooting updates; memory management; tools like jps, jinfo, jstat, JConsole and Java VisualVM; and more.  Based in Singapore, Lee works frequently with individual developers and software vendors, helping them to architect and prototype both their server and desktop-based Java applications. He's a sharp guy with a lot of experience. (This Tech Days was my first visit to Sydney, Australia. It's a beautiful, vibrant city. I highly recommend it as a destination.)
Anyone interested in the insightful observations of a GlassFish engineer might check out the java.sun.com interview I did with Sahoo who, among other things, is currently involved in enabling GlassFish to run on the OSGi platform and writing a portability checking tool for Java EE applications. Some highlights: -- The GlassFish team is implementing an OSGi-based microkernel architecture. GlassFish v3 will be delivered as a set of OSGi bundles along with Felix, an open-source OSGi framework. Users are free to choose their own OSGi framework as well. -- By modularizing GlassFish using OSGi, it will be a lot easier for GlassFish partners to add extra modules in GlassFish to suit the needs of their users. GlassFish will use system resources with greater efficiency and life-cycle management of GlassFish will be a lot easier, making it a candidate to be embedded in other applications. -- In the coming year, GlassFish will be implemented in Java EE 6. -- GlassFish is being made available to non-Java programmers such as JRuby and Groovy users. -- The GlassFish team is exploring deployment of priority-aware complex event-processing applications in GlassFish, which may require them to take a look at Real-Time Java in GlassFish. -- A lot of Java EE applications are non-portable, which could become a serious problem as Java EE seeks to define multiple profiles. Their nonportability is primarily caused by the use of proprietary APIs and incorrect use of Java EE facilities. Sahoo is working on a tool that identifies these issues and warns users much earlier in the development cycle.
Anyone interested in Java ME or the challenge of teaching computer science to undergraduates might take a look at my recent interview with Java Champion Qusay Mahmoud, who is something of a pioneer in introducing mobile devices into the curriculum where he teaches at the University of Guelph in Canada. He got his hands on some second-hand BlackBerries and gave them to students to work with. He introduces students to the application development life cycle with them, and finds that when he teaches multithreading students come alive when they see how threads can be used to handle network connections on an actual physical device. He characterized the current generation of undergrads as "Generation C," concerned with content, cash, choice, and control. Has anyone else heard this? He's founded the Centre for Mobile Education Research" (CMER) to research ways to enhance mobile learning and is creating a kit to help computer science teachers to that end. Qusay has smart things to say about teaching with mobile devices from my perspective.
I finally had a chance to put up three vodcasts I captured of demos from the 2008 JavaOne conference pavilion floor. Spence Murray, a developer with Sentilla, a company that believes "The World is the Computer," demoed their new Sentilla developer kit. James Gosling commented on the kits:
Here's a recent interview I did with Java Champion Kirk Pepperdine, a primary contributor to javaperformancetuning.com which is widely regarded as the premier site for Java performance-tuning information. Kirk has much to say about performance tuning concepts and misconceptions; database and memory problems; the importance of writing simple, "dumb" code; tricks he uses to defuse stress when he's called in by a company to solve a problem; and lots more. Would be great to get your reaction to what he says.
For those of you who are hungry for insight and information about Java EE, I can recommend no one more highly than Adam Bien who I interviewed in a vodcast that you'll find in the "Developer Spotlight" section of java.sun.com or on blip.tv. Adam explains how to make Java EE programming easier and takes some of the mystery out of distributed computing. I also did a podcast interview with Adam that focused on JavaFX technology, his open-source projects, scripting languages, and more. He's a creative and interesting guy, and imo well worth listening to.
JavaOne '08 has come and gone before I could catch my breath or let you know where I blogged about this wonderful event this year. Anyway, if you're still interested, I blogged over here. Stop by and have a look at postings by yours truly and the rest of the jsc writers. For those of you who went to JavaOne, what are you doing reading this? You must have better things to do. Just kidding -- actually, I can recommend some interesting Java Rock Star interviews that you'll find at the java.sun.com JavaOne website, interviews with Chet Haase, Tor Norbye, Ben Galbraith, Josh Bloch and others. I posted blogs on the implications of open source for Java ME; Project Aura -- a new recommendation engine; Project Darkstar; Modularity in Java; what makes open source communities go bad; and more. Come visit!
Please check out my java.sun.com interview with Java Champion and Java EE expert Adam Bien, who says: * "There are three big fallacies. First, believing that J2EE is complex; second, believing that Java EE 5 is easy, and third, believing that distributed programming could be simpler." *
In a new article NetBeans, Solaris, GlassFish: The Ruby's Red Slippers Fit just up on java.sun.com, yours truly covers the Ruby/JRuby landscape. I got to adventure into new territory and learn a bit about Ruby and accompanying technologies that share some of Ruby's glitter. Those who have not wandered in Ruby land might take a look -- a lot is happening. * The TIOBE Programming Community index which gives an indication of the popularity of programming languages, ranks Ruby 10th in popularity with 2.66% of programmers. * As is well known, much of Ruby

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