Flock is the next big things

31 October 2005

Well you have to try it ! Specialy if you already have a blog and a Delicious account : you have no excuse. There are many things going on about web semantic, like FOAF, RDF, Microformat, Folksonomy, but still almost no application to use them. (RSS being the sole exception.) Flock is one of them. One of the first client implementation that exploit thoses promises.

There is a lot of data on the web and still few mean to exploit them.

This post has been writen with Flock !
(Well it doesn’t mix well with UTW, but it is easy to change.)

Microformats and Web 2.0

31 October 2005

Microformats and Web 2.0 by Micah Dubinko in XML.com. It is mainly about Microformat and not much on Web 2. I looked at the hCard example of microformat : I wouldn’t rely on that for anything big. Read Norm Walsh Supporting Microformats, there are good comments too.
Obviously, it is something to know and I wait for browser supports since there is really a lack of implementation of the semantic web !
Hope that Flock will change this.

People Matter Most

31 October 2005

Another testimony about the importance of people in software development : PeopleMatterMost by Martin Fowler.
He emphasis on developpers being productive, pleasant and what a compagny could do to hire such person, basically : high salary and geek environment.

I would ponder this point of view with “Beware of a guy in a room” by David Gristwood he states 21 rules of thumbs – How Microsoft develops its Software. I quote the whole thing, since the original HTML is too bad (search google and view source if your curious.)

This is really just a special case of “Don’t go dark.” Specialist developers who lock themselves away in a room, going dark for long stretches, are anathema to shipping great software on time. Without regard to their individual brilliance, before investing a developer with a significant assignment, it is essential that they understand and agree with the type of development program you intend to run. They must be capable of performing on a team, making their work visible in modest increments and subjecting it to scrutiny as it matures. Some people find this intolerable, and though there is a role for people of this disposition in the software world, it is not as part of a team devoted to shipping great software on time.

There are many pathologies at play here as well as certain healthy patterns of creative behavior. One pathology is a type of savior complex that cannot be satisfied without blowing every single deadline but the last, and then emerging victoriously with a brilliant piece of work five minutes late. A more healthy pattern is that of the true innovator who is truly designing something great, but who has no personal resources left over for anything but the work at hand. Every ounce of psychological, emotional and intellectual energy is being consumed in the work itself. Teamwork, in this case, is an insignificant factor to a person immersed in this sort of creative experience.

But whether or not the cause is healthy or bogus, the results are uniformly fatal to the professional development organization. Beware. Extricating yourself from this trap is nearly impossible.

Both opinions are debatable, but still inline with Characterizing People as Non-Linear, First-Order Components in Software Development

Java Web Database Publisher and persistance

31 October 2005

There are many solutions for database driven applications. An article in TSS raises questions about what to choose for what applications. I will extracts some thoughts :
There are “high level” frameworks like : OpenToro or DbForms and “low level” JSRs for persistence (JSR 243-JDO 2.0, JSR 220-EJB 3.0) that allow portable query languages (JDOQL, EJBQL) , in addition to SQL. There are good open-source implementations of these JSRs (JPOX, OpenAccess, Hibernate.) A lot of work has been put into these ; it seems a waste not to make use of them, and their accompanying tools.
OpenToro for example is restricted to SQL-92 and uses Reflexive Architecture.
I will try to investigate and compare if I have time …

Open Source Java Metrics Toolset

28 October 2005

In the search of a Open Source Java Metrics Toolset, I found some references :

Java trace analysis

24 October 2005

Welcome to the world of javacore, heap dump and trace.log. If you have to put your hands into this, here are some references and tools. (Sadly, it is not always possible to plug your IDE into the environment that produce thoses nasty traces.)
Detecting Java leaks using IBM Rational Application Developer 6.0 (16 Aug 2005)
HeapAnalyzer : A graphical tool for discovering possible Java heap leaks.
If you use JRockit from BEA use : management console with the built-in Memory Leak Detector.
And you could also use the new Heap Analysis Tool (Jhat) from Mustang (Java 6) ! (note that it can analyse hprof files from older jvm.)

Better post printing in WP

19 October 2005

Sometimes, it is usefull to print an article. Then you don’t want to have the sidebar, comment forms and so on. So, I simply put thoses 4 lines in the header template and it will save some paper. (I don’t show the sidebar when displaying a single article.)

<style type="text/css" media="print">
#commentform {