Thursday, December 30, 2004

Jini

A few weeks back I was at a customer site talking to them about Java development. The customer had constructed a high performance financial trading platform in Java without the use of an application server. The sales guy I was with couldn't fathom how that was possible. He couldn't grok how the J2EE hammer couldn't drive this particular users nail. This alien idea is something that many of us Java old timers have known for a long time. I mean app servers didn't show up until a few years after the development of Java. The java.net package pre-dates EJBs. I wish this idea would come more naturally to developers' minds when they architect a solution. I've seen many of them get snagged on the barbs of the EJB spec much too often. In fact, I saw another example of this at another customer site the very next week. Here they were trying to shoehorn a market data application into an app server using message driven beans. Oh the humanity! Sometimes folks, it's best to just open up a damn socket and send the int down the wire. Then today I find this article which makes a parallel point about web services and Jini. This article supports my point that you shouldn't approach every problem in the same way and that some of the benefits derived from using these big frameworks (SOAP and J2EE) come with some costs in flexibility, performance, and agility. I was at JavaOne and heard the Orbitz talk. I was impressed. I've never implemented anything in Jini, it wasn't mature enough the last time I did this kind of server side programming, but you can bet your bottom dollar the next time I have to write a service and I control both ends Jini Is going to be part of the solution. That is if it makes sense.

Friday, December 03, 2004

OpenOffice.org Slideshow Tip for Mac OS X

I use Keynote to prepare most of my presentations but I do use PowerPoint and OpenOffice.org from time to time. One thing that frustrated me about OpenOffice.org is that I could never seem to get the slideshow mode running right. Invariably, the slideshow would display but I would have either the menubar or doc from the desktop running alongside the presentation. Since OpenOffice.org is a X11 app, if you run X11 in full screen mode you can display the OpenOffice.org slideshow without any funny screen issues. You set full screen mode via X11 Preferences. Then you can use Command-Option-A to toggle between the X11 and Mac OS X desktops.

Feedburner Love and More Podcasting Thoughts

If you're blogging and syndicating then you really should be using Feedburner It allows you to add all sorts of nice features to your feed. I've written about it before but it continues to amaze me. I've just recently added "link splicing" which takes my del.icio.us bookmarks and adds them to my feed. For those of you who don't know about del.icio.us please take a look. You'll never bookmark anything in your browser again. More about that later. I am still spending a ton of time listening to Podcasts. Since I drive around a lot during the day it's fabulous to have a ton of great audio content to listen to instead of commercial radio or, dare I say, NPR. Yes, I'm hooked on the narrowcast aspect. I still haven't found a good world news podcast yet but when I do I may never listen to the radio again. Well that's not really true because traffic reports are useful here in The Sprawl. But I can imagine the fusion of Podcasting and say satellite radio where instead of broadcasting content in real-time, I get data, which I've subscribed to, pushed to my satellite radio tuner. Or maybe all I need is a Tivo for a satellite radio tuner with an internet connection. Then I could have traffic and weather "break-in" to my custom audio feed as needed. Anyone want to start a business?