doing TODAY and not getting caught in the HYPE of tomorrow

Alan Williamson

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Calling Dick Tracy...Calling Dick Tracy

Calling Dick Tracy...Calling Dick Tracy

All change on the JDJ front, eh? What's going on? It's all gone topsy-turvy! "Alan at the back, a whole host of new faces, and a new front cover." Don't panic; it's all under control. JDJ has undergone a major renewal process, taking us into version 3. We do this every so often so we don't get complacent and to ensure that we are always providing you with information that best serves you. The office of editor is an important one and when we rev another release, we like to appoint a new editor-in-chief to control the next wave. I'm very proud and pleased to announce Joe Ottinger as the next editor-in-chief of JDJ. Joe has an impeccable pedigree and is a very lively, passionate, and highly intelligent individual who will steer JDJ through the next stages of its growth.

The team we have assembled at JDJ is worthy of special mention. Our latest addition is Kirk Pepperdine, who takes on the role of "enterprise editor." Kirk is someone we've all known for a long time; we have been fortunate enough to have him write for JDJ a number of times. In this issue, we also have Joe Winchester and his new editorial section, "Desktop Java," which will be focusing on the major developments Java is making on the client side of the equation.

I haven't cut all ties with JDJ, mind you. I'll be building out and managing the online side of JDJ and creating an environment that we can all contribute to. In addition, I'll be profiling and interviewing key individuals in the Java space as we look at the major inroads Java is making in our lives. Plenty of work still to do and we are all looking forward to getting our teeth into it.

Location, Location, Location
So this is the back page. Look at all this space - how wonderful. In this space I'll be looking at the world of Java and profiling some of the more interesting tidbits that have caught my attention in the past month - generally the cool stuff that doesn't require a whole page of editorial or a product review, just a paragraph or two. Stuff to put faith back in the world of Java.

Driving one Saturday afternoon I heard a report on BBC Radio regarding major wireless operators and where they were making most of their revenue. No great surprise to hear that the teenage market is the model customer for the likes of Vodafone and T-Mobile. Gone are the days of pandering to the stuffy old businessman or salesman. The next time you have an urge to play with J2ME, first ask a teenager what he or she thinks would be "cool" and code accordingly. Although one startling fact emerged: for the first time in history, ringtones of the (UK) Top 40 pop chart are outselling the actual Top 40 chart! Not sure what that says about the current pop industry, but it can't be good.

Dick Tracy Watch
Java is popping up on phones and wireless devices all over the shop. Barely a week goes by when there isn't some announcement being made regarding the number of Java-enabled units available. It's a shame the development market isn't growing accordingly. Have you noticed the distinct lack of free Java MIDlets? Everyone is out to profit, to hopefully claim their piece of the "China" effect (you know, sell a small item to every Chinese citizen and you've made a billion customers). I only wish we would see in the MIDlet world what we had seen in the applet days: lots of free downloads. But mobile phones aside, did you see that in Tokyo, just before Christmas, Aplix announced a Java-enabled wristwatch ( Looks very interesting and probably is a hot contender for this year's JavaOne cool giveaway.

Go on, admit it, which file sharing service do you use? Kazza? Morpheus? One that's sneaking around the outskirts is BitTorrent (BT) ( BT operates differently from the others in the sense that there is no one centralized server and it's true peer-to-peer. The more people sharing a file, the faster the download for others, as each person downloading also uploads a small share of the same file. Red Hat has begun to ship their latest releases using BT, which takes a lot of the bandwidth away from Red Hat, while at the same time offering users a much faster download rate. I'm also looking at this for our purposes here at SYS-CON as a potential way to speed up the digital edition PDFs. Because the technology is open source, there are plenty of clients popping up. One that I've settled on is Azureus ( It took me a wee while to realize that this was in actual fact a Java SWT application. It's very slick, operates quickly, and downloads really fast. The UI is rich with many features and cool widgets. It's a good demonstration of an SWT application in action.

On that note, I'm off. Need to chase up a rumor I heard that Sun is looking to license .NET from Microsoft! Stranger things have been known to happen.

More Stories By Alan Williamson

Alan Williamson is widely recognized as an early expert on Cloud Computing, he is Co-Founder of aw2.0 Ltd, a software company specializing in deploying software solutions within Cloud networks. Alan is a Sun Java Champion and creator of OpenBlueDragon (an open source Java CFML runtime engine). With many books, articles and speaking engagements under his belt, Alan likes to talk passionately about what can be done TODAY and not get caught up in the marketing hype of TOMORROW. Follow his blog, or e-mail him at cloud(at)

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