doing TODAY and not getting caught in the HYPE of tomorrow

Alan Williamson

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Top Stories by Alan Williamson

If you were to believe the hype from the media and certain so called industry experts, you would be forgiven for thinking that cloud computing is the second coming. The answer to all our scaling and usage problems. Everything to everyone. The notion that the "cloud" is always on, or up, is a myth that is being propogated, irresponsibly, around the corridors of tech. As they say, what goes up must come down and software is no different. The measure of a redundant system isn't that it stays up 100% of the time, it's how it copes when parts of its systems go down. Can it heal itself? Switch in alternatives? Fail to backup? Reboot parts of itself before disaster is met? All without a disruption in service. Any long term user of Amazon's EC2 platform knows that instances will disappear without warning every so often. You can be lucky and never experience an outage. Ev... (more)

A Talk with the Father of sendmail

LWM: It wouldn't be overstating the case to call you a living legend. How does it feel to be the creator of one of the most used pieces of software on the Internet? Eric Allman: I sure don't feel like a legend. I have to remind myself sometimes that I haven't taken the typical career path - it's always seemed very natural to me. Mostly I've worked on what seemed interesting at the time, and that's served me well. Of course, luck had a lot to do with it too. LWM: Many new technologies have emerged, but still one of the most used communication channels is good old trusted e-mail. Wha... (more)

Swing Is Swinging Java Out of the Desktop

Over the last few months I have made more than a passing reference to the fact that I personally feel that, in its present state, Java doesn't stand much chance on the desktop against the march of Microsoft's WinForm technology from the .NET Framework. A view, I have discovered, shared by many of you. Before I go on, let me clarify my position here so we are all on the same page. The frameworks currently available to the Java developer from the standard JDK, of course, are AWT and Swing. Naturally we are not talking about other client-side technologies, such as SWT, Thinlets, and... (more)

What's in a Specification?

This past month gave me a newfound respect for specification writers. I remember when James Davidson marshaled the early Servlet API and the lively discussions that ensued on the mailing lists, basically coordinating the entire operation (no JCP in those days, eh?!). The point is, at least there were discussions and, more important, a formalized document was produced at the end of the process. This past month I found myself dabbling in a number of technologies that sat outside the comfort of Javaland. For a project I'm involved with (Blog-City), I was tasked with building the XM... (more)

Does Sun's Desktop System 'Hijack' the Java Brand?

Like many of you, I keep an eye on what Sun is doing as a company. I keep an eye on their press releases, official statements, and general product lines. I don’t necessarily pay a great deal of attention to the output unless it specifically mentions Java because, as we know, there is more to Sun than just Java. I’ve known about their "Mad Hatter" (Linux desktop) project for some time now. It’s essentially a collection of open source projects, all designed to work together in one desktop, running initially on Linux. This is Sun’s continued play to become a single-stop solutions co... (more)