When I wrote my last editorial I was on a plane to Toronto. What I neglected to tell you was where I was off to after Toronto. It was to Redmond, Washington, as the guest of Microsoft, where they showed me the virtues of their .NET framework. It was a very interesting visit and I learned a lot. I'm in the throes of writing up my report on the whole shebang and once I have my facts straight, I'll publish them in JDJ. So keep an eye out next month for that.
By the time you've read this, the World Cup will be over and another country will be heralded as the greatest football nation for the next four years, until they thrash it out again in 2006 in Germany. Why do I draw attention to this you ask? Well, it's a great test of the technology we're all building. It's at times like these that you realize just how powerful and far reaching the Internet has become. No matter how much capacity sites prepare themselves for, sometimes it's just not enough. Take the BBC Web site. On the first day of the World Cup they experienced some 8 million hits, three times more than normal traffic. Some users complained of being locked out, but on the whole it coped.
What I find wonderful about this tale is that a lot of the BBC site is run with Java technology - a great success story about the power of Java. A shot across the bow of the anti-Java brigade I say! While this sort of traffic peak is something the majority of developers will never experience, it is nice to know that should such a flood come our way, we've chosen a technology that's beautifully scalable.
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This month we have a new J2SE editor taking over the reins from Keith Brown. I bid farewell to Keith and thank him for his insight over the last few months. He'll still be popping up from time to time when his schedule permits, so you haven't heard the last of him. The J2SE mantel will be taken up by Jason Bell, a JDJ writer of old, who will give his slant on the whole Java space. That's two Jasons we have on the editorial staff...it's an invasion!
One of the best parts of this job is talking to you. Over time I have had some wonderful conversations with people from all walks of life - people now engaged in the world of Java, with origins from the strangest of places. For example, I had a delightful exchange with a Bill Reister who took me into the world of flying military jets. Another exchange was with a Razvan Surdulescu who came to us with a great idea for a story that we all instantly jumped at. Razvan has written an emulator for the ZX Spectrum in Java. His proposal got my vote for many reasons. I owe my current life choice to that little Z80-based machine. When I was just 11-years old it whetted my appetite for the world of computers.
How many of you remember programming in those days? It's funny to look at it now, especially when we look at the power Java has laid before us. For example, for a long time I couldn't figure out how programs could ever work without the notion of line numbers! Remember choosing 10, 20, 30...giving yourself enough spacing in case you had to add in additional statements.
For those of you who are aware of the Spectrum, check out Razvan's article this month; I think you'll enjoy the trip down memory lane. For those of you who aren't familiar with that machine, read it anyway; it's a great piece on emulation.
Until next month.
Alan Williamson is editor-in-chief of Java Developer's Journal. During the day he holds the post of chief technical officer at n-ary (consulting) Ltd, one of the first companies in the UK to specialize in Java at the server side.
Rumor has it he welcomes all suggestions and comments.