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Vol: 3 Iss: 11

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Build a better mousetrap and the world will build a better mouse. In the beginning we had a two-tiered architecture (I count mainframes as prehistory), and we could figure out how to do things with it. Unfortunately, one of the things we figured out was that we needed more than two tie...
As we approach the end of the second millennium, history teaches us that the only thing that's certain is change. Both natural history and human history consist of changes that occur in waves. Like ocean waves pounding the seashore, transforming rocks and cliffs into sand, so the waves...
JINI is a new Java-based API from Sun Microsystems. Devices that are JINI enabled should be inherently able to talk to each other and even exchange code. JINI allows for store-bought devices to just "plug and work." What I'm going to discuss here is what JINI looks like to a...
Currently hard at work, the Object Management Group (OMG) is preparing for a preproduction release of the CORBA 3.0 specification before year-end. Such a release will give CORBA ORB vendors an opportunity to implement new CORBA services and identify potential problems before the final ...
One of the coolest pieces of technology I'd ever used was a programming interface for HK Systems' mechanical cranes. However, my coolness factor just went through the roof when I got a chance to try out the Cyberflex Open 16k Development Kit from Schlumberger Smart Cards and Systems. S...
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what words do you use when the picture is in the wrong format? Not exactly a Zen koan, but a valid question whose answer is JIMI, the Java Image Management Interface from Activated Intelligence.
The key selling feature of Java is its WORA (write once, run anywhere) promise. Let's pause and think about what's involved in making this promise a reality. "Write Once" is a concept that applies specifically to the Java language, the idea being that there is one and only o...
The company has just landed its most important account to date: a big client has signed a contract for the development of a Java program. It's an extensive application, requiring database connectivity and the use of ActiveX controls. You've been chosen to head up the project, which wil...
One of the most frustrating and expensive aspects of transitioning to any new software product or version upgrade is the impact to productivity while tackling the learning curve. The downtime associated with learning new tools and techniques can be a significant barrier to technology a...
I wish I had a nickel for each time I've had to explain to a new vendor or professional acquaintance that, just because I have the word "Bank" in my company's name - NationsBank -I don't spend my time dealing with huge, monolithic, batch-processing systems. (Sure, we have the...
Around the time Java made its mark on the world of programming there came to be another phenomenon, the IDE. Gone were the days of typing code, compiling, wondering what went wrong, typing more code, recompiling and so on. The IDE presented the application builder with an unprecedented...
Delivering on the Promise of Java
It's that time of year again - the time when we all pretend to get along with one another for a few weeks. It's the time for families to come out of the woodwork, for getting out that knitted pullover from the Auntie whose name you can never quite remember. I can't wait until the New Y...
So I get to the office in the morning and see Mr. Job Prospect's résumé lying on my desk. That gives me about 20 minutes to think of interview questions I'd like to ask him. A quick scan of the résumé reveals that he's done some serious work in Java that includes programming with JFC, ...
This month we'll build a pair of high-level widgets for application development. JSplash is a simple splash-screen window that displays a centered image for a timeout period - until the user presses a key or clicks the mouse. JTips automatically presents the user with a cycling set of ...
The Internet is rapidly evolving from a static, stateless, information-exchange medium to a dynamic transactional medium that offers new opportunities to change how we do business. To exploit these opportunities, leading-edge independent software vendors and corporate IT organizations ...
After my family and I moved to Seattle, my friend Barry visited us with his wife, Mary, and their beautiful daughter, Julia. We hadn't visited Mt. Rainier so we thought it would be a good idea for all of us to drive there together. We weren't even half an hour into the trip when Julia ...
Legacy systems are too important for Java developers to ignore, but needn't be a hassle to access. These systems include everything from packaged applications like SAP and Peoplesoft to aging home-grown mainframe systems and external data sources such as EDI. Despite what you may perso...