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Joe Winchester

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Top Stories by Joe Winchester

Paul Simon sings, "Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts." Each person who attempts to conquer the highly fickle music or fashion market frequently does so by merely rehashing old ideas. Trends are repeated and what was once passe becomes fashionable again, as the definitions of old and new are blurred by memory and packaging. Software is no different. Each new wave is set in motion by realizing the failings of the current technology and then trying to solve those failings. Rather than progressing in a forward direction, however, what often occurs is the very forces that drove the latest technology are also found to be lacking, and so there is a return to the old ideas. In some ways this is no different from politics where, if an incumbent is thrown out on the weakness of his/her current form, the opposition merely returns and attempts the ideas that fai... (more)

i-Technology Viewpoint: Java's Not Evolving Fast Enough

A programming API represents a documented contract between a function that provides some kind of computing service and those who wish to use it. In Java, once an API is used there is a physical contract between the two that the compiler and JVM enforce. If at some point in the future the author of the API wishes to make changes, they are limited in scope; if the author renames methods or removes arguments, programs that are bound to the previous signature will no longer run. The change can be published with the new version of the class library or framework so that users can upgra... (more)

Java Developer's Journal: 'To Dwell in the Future and Forget About Today'

Some of the words I dread most in a meeting are: "What if ?" They're fine in the present tense of "What if a user tries this option?" or "What if the database read fails mid flight?", but as soon as the future tense is introduced I begin to worry. "What if the database and middleware changes?" or "What if sometime soon we don't just have to run on PCs but need to work on mobile phones?" There is also the future future tense such as "What happens to the UI if the operating system is ported to run on a wrist watch?" or "What if one day the company merges with another whose corporat... (more)

SWT - A Native Widget Toolkit for Java Part 1 of 2

The Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT) is a Java class library that allows you to create native user interfaces. It's designed to provide efficient, portable access to the underlying facilities of the operating system on which it's implemented. SWT uses native widgets wherever possible, giving an SWT program a native look and feel and a high level of integration with the desktop. In addition, SWT includes a rich set of controls such as tree, table, and tab folder. This article introduces SWT by describing some of the basic concepts and classes. Hello World: A Simple SWT Program The e... (more)

Desktop Java

Java is enjoying a renaissance on the desktop. There are several reasons for this The issues that plagued early client/server projects or Java desktop applications have largely been solved. Swing 1.4.2 delivered great performance improvements and good fidelity XP and GTK look and feel classes. Java Web Start now exists as a way to deploy programs to a client PC that run in a local JRE and enjoy the benefits of local caching, lazy update, and execution within Java's security model Java is becoming part of the default installation setup for many PCs vendors, such as Dell, HP, Gatew... (more)