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Almost invariably, when I write an article I know pretty much what I want to say, and the part I have the most difficulty with is the introduction. This is my first column as editor-in-chief of Java Developer's Journal, so while most of you are familiar with our magazine, many of you may be less familiar with me. I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, and also describe where I think we'll be taking JDJ over the next few months.

First of all, this is the second magazine I've edited - the first being our sister publication, PowerBuilder Developer's Journal (PBDJ). I've been writing about technology for approximately five years now, starting with several articles in PBDJ, then a regular column and finally as editor for the past two years.

During that period I think we've seen the software version of Moore's Law, the one that states that the number of transistors on a chip will double, roughly, every eighteen months. That software version is of course the programming paradigm under which we work and it takes longer than eighteen months, but it changes just the same. I started working in the industry as client/server was enduring its growing pains, and relational databases were just beginning to penetrate smaller companies. I spent a good deal of time developing PowerBuilder applications and frameworks to do various tasks.

Then, two or three years ago, the paradigm began to shift again. We started talking about application partitioning and three tier architecture. Eventually the horsepower (hardware and software) was available at the right price to physically make three tier design architecturally feasible.

Right along with that came the explosive growth of the Internet, and HTML as the default language. Java stepped up as a language that was suitable for any number of purposes, particularly for platform-independent networked applications and for simple but powerful multitasking.

As a technical architect for a large consulting company, I have been involved with Java and Internet programming for several years now. I'm also happy to have the opportunity to move to this magazine and help guide its course as we discuss all things Java.

In particular, I find Java a challenging language to write about and describe. That's because no one vendor really owns Java in the same sense that a single vendor owned PowerBuilder or Visual Basic. We've got Java development products from a dozen companies, large and small, each with its own take on what is the right mix of visual assistance to the programmer. We've got hundreds of smaller ISVs creating JavaBeans that we can use. We've got companies developing hardware that runs a Java OS and companies developing VMs for an ever-increasing number of operating systems. The best way to describe this is to call it a "movement."

What we'll try to do over the course of my tenure here is to structure our information and content in such a way that it will help you make sense of the various issues and choices you have in the Java world. We'll be doing our JDJ Reader's Choice Awards shortly to select some of the best and brightest products and services available for Java.

One of my current focuses is on distributed architectures, which is a natural area to employ Java. We'll try to pass along informative articles on building such systems with Java and CORBA, and point out alternatives (see my series of articles in JDJ on Jaguar CTS, for example).

We'll also focus on general techniques for programming in Java, with articles that explain how to take on specific tasks that Java provides particularly elegant solutions for, or just plain interesting code. And we'll try to keep you abreast of the various developments in the industry so you can make informed decisions on whose tools to use.

If I've left out some of your favorite topics, if you just want to see something in particular or if you have a proposal for the magazine, you can contact me at [email protected] I do try to answer all e-mails, including any constructive criticisms you may have. I hope you'll enjoy reading JDJ as much as we enjoy publishing it; I'm glad to be on board.

About the Author
Sean Rhody is the editor-in-chief of Java Developer's Journal. He is also a senior consultant with Computer Sciences Corporation where he specializes in application architecture, particularly distributed systems.He can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]


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