The latest release of coolest newest slickest RSS news aggregator, Beggregator is out. The 0.2 release includes tons of new features and bug fixes. You have to check this out, even if you are happy with your current RSS reader. JIRA for tracking features and bugs for Beggregator @ http://jira.eugenebelyaev.com.

Great job Eugene. Can’t wait to try out the plugin version of IDEA 4.0 🙂

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Looks like a pretty good week for BEA Systems. The stock (NASDAQ: BEAS) is up a lot in the recent day and I caught a few decent press releases about Portal and JRockit.

Saw this article about the eWeek Portal article. Also caught the JRockit JVM Benchmark on TSS.

I know from personal experience that JRockit totally rocks. We just migrated our production applications to new servers running RedHat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 and WebLogic 8.1. The performance improvement that JRockit provides is just amazing. I am also trying to convince our JBoss folks to run it under JRockit instead of the Sun JVM. Will be interesting to see if BEA provides a JRockit implementation for Solaris. Talk about a hot political potato. 🙂 If I had anything to say about it, I would recommend BEA release a Solaris version of BEA. Sun has done nothing but screw BEA, specially when BEA is or was responsible for tons of Sun hardware sales. Another reason Sun will not be a factor in the next few years.

My MSNBC News Alert starting flashing, and my Pavlovian response was to click the little red blinking icon in my system tray. The first article that caught my eye was titled ‘Outsourcing to usurp more U.S. jobs‘. A lot of us in the IT industry are dealing with this reality. Most of us work for companies that are either looking at or have already started outsourcing development offshore.

The CNET article quotes a Gartner study and states that one out of every 10 jobs at information technology companies and at companies that provide IT services will move to emerging markets. It also forecasts that one out of every 20 jobs within internal IT departments will shift overseas by the end of 2004.

I guess this is just another reality that we will face in the next few years. Many of us may be replaced or outsourced to some offshore development shop that will do the same job for cheaper. The manufacturing sector faced the same problem in the 80’s and 90’s where a lot of blue collar jobs went to third-world countries for purely economical reasons. I’m sure the same thing will happen to the technology industry as development is slowing becomes a commodity. Companies will look for the cheapest option and that is just a reality of this global economy.

I like Dave’s take on this whole issue. In an article entitled, How To Keep Your Job, Dave Thomas talks about how we need to reexamine our position in the face of these changes and figure out how we add value as individuals, and how can we position ourselves to be effective and attractive in the new marketplace.

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Mozilla Firebird 0.6.1 has been released and here are some reasons to switch to the Mozilla Firebird browser.

If you ask, as I did – ‘What’s the difference between Mozilla Firebird and Mozilla?’ The FAQ answers: Mozilla (Application Suite) is a complete suite of web related applications, such as a browser, a mail/news client, a chat client and much more. Mozilla Firebird is just a browser, which makes it a better choice if you already have a mail client for example. Also, since Mozilla Firebird is smaller than the whole Mozilla suite, it’s faster and easier to use.

Just caught this article this article about Sun proposing a new Web services specs on CNET’s News.com. Looks like Sun, Oracle, Iona Technologies, Fujitsu Software and Arjuna Technologies will submit the specifications, the Web Services Composite Applications Framework (WS-CAF), to W3C or OASIS for acceptance. Never heard of WS-CAF before.

To quote the article, “WS-CAF, which compromises three individual specifications, proposes a mechanism for coordinating transactions across many machines in multistep business processes. The authors of the specifications hope simplified interactions between Web services will allow companies to assemble business applications with Web services more quickly“. That sounds interesting.

What’s even more interesting is the absence of BEA, IBM and Microsoft from this process. Apparently Microsoft and IBM were invited to participate but decided to decline. I wonder if this is going to be another WS-I like mess.


O’Reilly has just released iPod: The Missing Manual. Written by New York Times tech columnist J. D. Biersdorfer, this book is a collection of useful tips, tricks, and shortcuts.

This book covers all iPod models for both Mac and Windows, including the new 15/30GB iPods. It is also a guide to iTunes, MusicMatch Jukebox Plus, and even the new iTunes Music Store. The book is also supposed to highlight the versatility of iPod where you can use it as a PDA, hard drive, e-book reader, and game platform. Can’t wait to get my copy and learn more about my shiny new iPod.

Found this on TSS — TSS is hosting a Tech Talk with Gregor Kiczales on Aspect Oriented Programming.

Gregor lead the PARC team that developed AOP and AspectJ at Xerox. In this interview, Gregor looks at the history of AOP and the current challenges it faces moving forward. He discusses the meaning of crosscutting structure, the standardization of AOP, how AOP and OOP fit together, and addresses syntactical issues surrounding AOP. He looks at the current state of AspectJ and predicts the impact AOP will have on software development.

Great interview – Check it out: Interview on Aspect Oriented Programming.

I have used FeedReader as my default news/feed aggregator for a while now. FeedReader works just fine and is a pretty decent product. But I had to switch when I first discovered Beggregator. Beggregator is a great feed reader written in Java by Eugene Belyaev, President and CTO of JetBrains – the makers to the BEST DAMN JAVA IDE IN THE WORLD, IntelliJ IDEA.

Beggregator is totally under construction and Eugene is looking for feedback on additional features. Please check it out and offer him feedback on features, enhancements, etc. One of the neat things about Beggregator is the much talked about ‘three-pane layout‘. Check out the latest version or check out the screenshot.

I saw this on Cedric’s blog first – BEA has released a WebLogic Aspect Framework that is based on AspectJ and is made of a set of predefined pointcuts that WebLogic users can simply reuse and write aspects for. You can download the framework at the dev2dev site

I haven’t kept up with the AOP ‘revolution’ and so can’t really comment on it. I have been trying to learn more about AOP to see if it really lives up to the hype. In fact, Merrick was blogging about this and had a great article titled Understanding AOP. Very concise article that really does a great job about explaining Aspect Orientated Programming. In fact, he sums up AOP as ‘fundamentally about separation of concern‘. Love that. Great way to describe AOP. The Spiders were also talking about AOP in their Geek Book Club, but I couldn’t make any of the sessions due to work conflicts 😦 Sorry Dave, Rossi and Vibhu.

Just caught this on CNBC Squawk Box this morning — Buy.com launched a new digital music download service called BuyMusic.com. My first reaction was finally!! A solution for us non-MAC (i.e. non cool) people. Here are some basic facts about this new service. They will charge 79 cents per song vs. Apple’s 99 cents. The major problem is that BuyMusic.com only supports Windows Media format of audio and NOT MP3. This makes my shiny new iPod useless.. 😦

If this service is only going to offer WMA files, what makes it different from Pressplay that offers that same thing and is much cheaper? I think Pressplay offers unlimited downloads for $9.95 per month. I know Microsoft is also working on a similar service, which will also offer WMA files as well. I just wish Apple would start supporting the Windows users with their music store.

The Ideal Programmer

July 21, 2003

Bruce Eckel’s MindView, Inc: 7-20-03 The Ideal Programmer

– Just reading about the new PDA from Sony called the PEG-UX50 . The PEG-UX50 is the latest beautiful PDA from Sony running Palm’s OS (v5) with built-in support for 802.11b WiFi and Bluetooth. This PDA also includes a 0.3 megapixel digital camera that supports up to VGA (640×480) resolution. You can also record and play back video (MPEG4, 30 fps, 160×112).

The new screen design features a high-resolution 480×320 display. The screen also lifts to expose the keyboard, or swivels to hide the keyboard and use as a touch screen. Pretty neat design that’s unique to the Clie line. Wired News also has a pretty neat review/article titled Sony Breaks Ground With New PDA

This new PDA is priced at $700.00 which is pretty much in line with the standard WiFi PDA’s from Toshiba and Compaq/HP. $700.00 is pretty pricey for a PDA as I just read this article on The Register about a $799.00 tablet PC. I also remember when Lindows first announced their $799.00 laptop. Pretty bizarre. PDA and laptops are really the same price. Laptops has a much better form-factor and aren’t as ‘input disabled’ as typical PDA’s. What’s a geek to do? 🙂

Just caught this blog at the Software Craftsmen – Is there any bloody value in coding standards? And I have to answer with a resounding ‘maybe’ 🙂

But really, I think there is a lot of value in coding standards but turning them into religious wars isn’t right. I have to agree Oliver’s comment in the blog about working on large projects with many developers. I’ve created the coding standards at my company and they can be summed up in 2 pages. Most of the document revolves around best practices in things like use interfaces, make sure all value objects (DTO’s) are Serializable, etc. In fact, the document is called ‘Developer Standards and Practices’.

And since IDEA is our standard, developers can check out code and have it look the way they like it and format it to the corporate standard when they check it back in. Everyone’s happy 🙂

In reading the comments on the blog, it was great to see how people are using Checkstyle and Jalopy to get around the problem of standards and just reformatting the code to meet the corporate standard. Must investigate them more to see if they can add value without causing the typical headaches that most people face when talking about coding standard. In fact, the old adage that says ‘Never talk about politics or religion at the dinner table’ should be changed to ‘Never talk about politics, religion or coding standards at the dinner table’ 🙂

Software Craftsmen

July 15, 2003

Found these great articles on Mike Hogan’s blog while surfing TSS. Hosted under the site are 2 great articles titled Maintainability Pattern: Manage Dependencies and Maintainability Pattern: Write less code.

Apparently, Mike has been working on the same 50,000 lines of code for the last 2 years and obviously had some great exposure to maintenance issues. These articles linked above provide techniques people should employ to make code more maintainable. These articles talk about simple things that all developers *should* know. Great stuff Mike. Please keep it coming and thanks 🙂

My Amazon.com habit :)

July 12, 2003

Just got back from my trip to Boston to find a few pretty Amazon.com boxes waiting at the door. woohoo

My Amazon habit, as my wife calls it has me buying about 10-15 books a month. 🙂 The latest packages include a few new books including Java Persistence for Relational Databases by Richard Sperko, Java Data Objects by David Jordan, Craig Russell, Tomcat: The Definitive Guide by Jason Brittain, Ian F. Darwin and Head First Java by Bert Bates and Kathy Sierra. I am really looking forward to reading Java Persistence for Relational Databases as Rick is friend and a brilliant guy. This is bound to be a great book and I can’t wait to post the glowing review.

Another book I am really interesting in reading is Head First Java. I was intrigued by the description of the book when I first saw the press release. I am always looking for new and innovative ideas in teaching Java and this book looks great. I better post this and start reading — Lots of books to read 🙂 Cheers

Just back from vacation and catching up with my daily dose of TSS when I see this headline – BEA Releases XMLBeans to open source. I was just blogging about this topic earlier this month. This is great news and I hope the Apache group will accept XMLBeans as an Apache project and allow us to get to a really nice, rich, robust and now open XML – Java binding framework.

I’ve used XMLBeans that’s ships with the 8.1 release of WebLogic workshop and I just love the idea of getting away from writing XML plumbing code. It’s great to see another standards complaint tool out there that will simplify XML – Java binding and the schema validation is just the icing on the cake. Kudos to BEA and the XMLBeans team for making this happen.

In my daily browsing of my ‘must-read’ blogs, I ran into this entry from Cedric’s blog. Cedric is another Uber WebLogic geek and the creator of EJBGen, an EJB code generator) The entry titled,
‘import *’ considered bad for your breath talks about limiting the usage of lines like ‘import java.util.*’. And I couldn’t agree with that more. In fact, that is another reason why I love IDEA. IDEA has configurable options on how imports and handled and in most cases will have the explicit import to that class you are using. Cedric is proposing the creation a group called ‘Society for Limiting Asterisks in Programming (SLAP)’. Cameron Purdy (Mr. Fluster Cluked – I still have the t-shirt from eWorld) proposed another group on TSS and I love Cedric’s idea of the merging of the groups 🙂 You’ll have to read the blog to see more 🙂

Just discovered my new favorite new website – Gizmodo : The gadgets weblog.

A friend of mine just picked up a copy of the Pete McBreen book, Software Craftsmanship: The New Imperative and he was pretty impressed with it so far. The book presents an alternative approach to software development. I guess the premise is that organizations should spend more time on building people vs. getting certifications. Ok. How can you argue with that? Tim also tells me about a line in the book that says that good developers should make $150,000.00 to $200,000.00. Ok. I’m sold. 🙂

I’m a big fan of the The Pragmatic Programmer and wonder how this book will stack up. It was interesting to see Dave Thomas has written the foreword for this book.

I just ordered by copy from Amazon.com and want to check it out. Anyone out there have an opinion on this book?? Leave me a comment if you have any comments. Thanks.

Just saw this on TSS and was really excited to see the headline – eBays J2EE backend serving over 400 million transactions a day. Wow. This is just huge for J2EE as eBay was implemented using Microsoft technologies. In reading the TSS thread, I agree with Cameron’s comments about the real number of transactions. I’m sure there will be more to come on this.