Thursday, September 30, 2004

Looking for Swing developers in Toronto

Are there any Senior Swing developers looking for work in Toronto? The position is at a large financial institution. Canadian Securities Course and Fixed Income knowledge a definite asset but probably not essential if you're very good.

Send me an email at "" with contact info and resume.

Who cares if Java 5 is out

I sure as hell don't.

It amazes me the number of people who make a big stink of this. I really envy those people as they must get to work on projects with the latest versions of all the coolest tools. Must be sweet to change midstride and upgrade to the latest greatest JDK available or simply download the latest jakarta libraries and install the newest version of XYZ appserver.

I recall being stuck on JDK 1.2.2 for years as the rest of you priviledged folks were using 1.4. Tis the burden of working in an environment handcuffed by the appserver vendor's choice of jdk (Websphere back then). At this present job, we *just* migrated from 1.3.1 to 1.4.2.

I need to get a job like the rest of you where you get to constantly revamp your development environment with the latest bleeding edge tools.

Seriously, I'm so jealous. I bet your petstore's run so much quicker.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Forums or lists for JMX support?

I've been subscribed to the JMX-FORUM@JAVA.SUN.COM mailing list for 6 weeks now and it's simply not active enough. In 6 weeks there have been a measly 59 postings. We're talking about JMX here...hell even a niche technology like Jini has more activity on it's mailing list.

Anyways, I'm having problems and looking for help. Can anyone suggest a better forum or list for support?


Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Someone convince me about Spring

I've read the hype, read the user docs and I've even purchased Rod Johnson's latest book. I've even spent an evening or two trying it out myself. While I can't (or haven't yet) convince myself that the Spring Framework is the second coming of Java development, I can't help wonder if I'm missing the point entirely and can't see what the masses are raving about.

The most common argument goes like this, "it's amazing, I can develop with MySQL on my workstation and then with the flip of a switch my application deploys to Oracle|DB/2|[insert industrial strength db here]".

In a corporate environment where choices are sometimes not plenty, is this pluggable feature (ie. Hibernate, iBatis, JDBC, etc) really really that beneficial?

I work mostly with large corporations with large databases and we integrate many legacy applications with newer modern systems (ie. typical J2EE layer above the aging but still necessary mainframe legacy application). I have rarely had the luxury of simply creating/installing a database on my workstation to develop against and simply deploy against the official one. The problem usually stems from lack of data (or abundance of it depending on which side you wish to view it from). I'm not developing petstore applications or shopping cart systems for ecommerce sites. We're dealing with massive amounts of data, the data that is the backbone of your business logic/applications. Without the data model from that legacy database, you don't have much of an application. We're not talking about a toy USER table with the corresponding ADDRESS table and whatever dinky little model you can imagine and populate with a few rows of test data. Sure you can harp on how it's useful for a new application, etc. but IMO this is a rarity in large corporate system development. At best, you might have new tables that are linked with pre-existing data but it's unlikley you get to create that application scratch from the ground up.

Here's something I've noticed in most places I've worked, Companies don't change database servers very often. Ok, I shouldn't make such a generalization because I know there are all those little shops out there who started with MySQL, outgrew it and upgraded to postgresql or hell even spent a few bucks and bought one of the commercial databases (you get my point). This just strengthens my point though, those are probably small companies evolving their infrastructure as needs grow. Large companies rarely switch database vendors. I'm not going to go into specifics as to why but to be brief just consider the amount of work to do data conversion, upgrading all applications that use the data and what do you do about all those archived tapes?

In my experiences, the argument that I quoted above doesn't hold much value in large organizations. Yet, I can't be the only one who thinks this...the entire blog nation can't be wrong.

What I do see is a lightweight container with an assemblage of useful frameworks from the Java OSS community, sort of a revolutionary, underground J2EE movement fighting against the evil doctrine evangelized by Sun, aka "Java Enterprise BluePrints".

Someone enlighten me.

Before you start flaming, let me add a disclaimer that I actually think Spring is cool. I'm just struggling to understand it's purpose. I'm actually working on an EJB application at the moment and I've thought of using Spring's BeanFactory but I ran into problems when trying to create the BeanFactory in my ejbCreate() (others have reported similar problems in the forums), so I've put that little project aside while I work on real stuff.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Hey George W...we got some G.M.D

Yes, that's Genocide of Mass Destruction happening in Darfur.

It is sickening to read about the happenings over there. Especially in light of the fact that the most powerful nation on this planet isn't doing anything about it because they are busy filling their pockets with black gold over in Iraq.

Here's a quote from the Globe and Mail newspaper, "The United States has proposed a draft UN resolution threatening oil sanctions against Sudan as a way to stop ethnic violence in Darfur.". Oh come on, TENS of thousands of lives have been exterminated and all you can do is threaten to stop selling them oil? Why does it always revolve around the oil?

Ok, I really don't mean to be distasteful here but what puzzles me is that if the Arabic militias have such an anti-black sentiment, why would they rape the women? Really now, if you hated a race so much that you didn't think hey deserved to co-exist with you on this world...why would you want to stick your d*ck in there?

Yes people still pay for software

Here are my comments in regard to Bob Smith's blog today at:

Bob claims that if you are an open source fanatic like Richard Stallman then you might as well switch careers because writing all that free software gets you nothing in return.

Bob, take a look at the landscape of open source projects and you should notice that they mostly framework, library type projects. It's very rare to see a complete custom solution to an actual business need. The reason for this is the inherent complexity of writing some generic enough that can satisfy most organization's needs. So what you get instead is people writing class library type stuff or frameworks. Remember back in the 90's when you had software vendors like Rogue Wave who became successful writing libraries such as Math++, etc? Open source has killed that whole cottage industry because the requirements are easy to gather and it's generic enough that it will have broad use.

So take comfort in the fact that Open Source isn't going to force you to into a career change midway through your professional career.

It's the offshore labour that is going to put you out of a job. So yes, people still pay for software....they just pay alot less than before.