Where Are the Listings?
First off, good magazine! I'm relatively new to Java, after working for many years with (and finally giving up on) Microsoft technologies. JDJ has a good mix of beginner and expert articles so I can quickly get up to speed on the wide range of technologies out there. I hope you keep an overall expert/cutting-edge level as well as some occasional beginners material in there.
My only gripe and major complaint is that most listings are available online only. I understand that you do this to save space, but I tend to read magazines like this on the bus or underground on the way home from work. As a professional developer in a finance company, I don't have time to sit beside a PC at work and read the articles (unless it's to develop a specific bit of code); when I come home after staring at a screen for 10-12 hours, I don't want to log on and read online or have to print the article.
More important, I bought the magazine in Australia (where perhaps the publishing schedule is out of date as I'm only reading Vol. 6, issue 6 now). I'm now online to print the code of an otherwise unreadable article, "The Impact of EJB 2.0" by Tyler Jewell, which continuously refers to the listings. I have gone online to ultimately print these out and it's available only to subscribers! First, it was hard to find this out as the listings were not in the source code section of Vol. 6, issue 6. I only found it by an author search, which told me it was for subscribers only, then referred me to the magazine subscription page.
The fact that I purchased JDJ and am unable to read the listings for the articles is an unacceptable situation.
From the editor:
Thanks for your note. We are working on a new system to make the source code more accessible. Watch this space.
This is my fifth year as a software developer. What I hate most is rewriting the same routines again and again - one time you're writing it in VB on Win32, another time you're working in C on an embedded system, and so on!
I like to do new things, to investigate new solutions. At this time I'm developing embedded software and am very interested in J2ME. I'd love to develop my applications on a workstation and then see it run on my embedded system regardless of the underlying hardware!
Yes, I know Java is sometimes slow... Well you can compile it! There is a GCC front-end for doing that.
I guess Microsoft is trying to jump on the Java train again since Java is now one of the major players in the software development process. I've been working in the insurance industry for quite a while and noticed that Java is used most of the time in new application development. There are exceptions, for example, if new applications are pure mainframe and are developed in Cobol or PL/1. It's the same in the banking industry. Since both the insurance and the banking industries are the big customers for every software vendor, it's obvious that Microsoft has to support Java, but doing it the way it is now - running only on the .NET platform, not supporting the Java standards defined in the Community Process - I think Microsoft is shooting itself in the foot.
Comments on Vince Bonfanti's Editorial
I think Vince Bonfanti's editorial, "J2EE Without EJBs?" (JDJ, Vol. 6, issue 11), is dead-on. So many times projects get warped by marketing bull. Web development is already expensive and swaying customers toward an "enterprise" server that they don't need is ridiculous. I agree that there are great reasons to use EJB solutions, but a lot of solutions can be handled without them and, yes, they are J2EE compliant.
Maybe EJB was a marketing tool exploited by the vendors. The problem is that system architectures and designers also fell for the trap and instead of giving their customers the best value for their money by using JSP/Servlets and JDBC, they went for EJBs, which resulted in the loss of time, effort, etc. Not to say that EJB shouldn't be used; however, it has its own place and purpose.
We've built large applications without a single EJB - we used JSPs/Servlets with logic encapsulated in JavaBeans. I think the most important factors that make EJBs almost mandatory from a design perspective are the transactional nature of the application and the handling of distributed enterprise resources (multiple databases, messaging, ERPs, etc.). I believe the use of EJBs are justified even if these two factors are a medium to long-term likelihood for a project.