Day: June 13, 2003

  • JSR-223 Rant

    Don’t get me started on JSR-223.  I had a nice big fat rant ready last night about it when I lost power.  Lambda the Ultimate picked it up today.

    My summary: Sun ignored an excellent existing scripting framework for Java (Jython) and opted to reinvent the wheel with Zend using PHP.  And they’re going to ensure that this new scripting framework will be web-only.  Erik Hatcher doesn’t seem too happy about that.  I’m not too happy about the whole thing.

    Embracing scripting is part of their strategy to infiltrate the “Corporate” market and to raise their developer base from 3 million to 10 million.

  • Microsoft Discontinues Development of IE for Mac


    Microsoft on Friday officially dropped development of Internet Explorer for Macintosh. The company’s Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) will release an update for the OS X version of the browser on Monday that will have security and performance enhancements, but no new features. Microsoft said it would continue to support Internet Explorer 5 for the Mac for the foreseeable future, but development of the browser has been discontinued. Any future updates to the browser will only contain maintenance or security fixes, no new features.

  • Bad DNS

    Russ is offline because of Network Solutions.  DNS issues will be resolved soon, but until then you can find him here.

  • BlueJ: Good or Bad?

    Robert Stephenson at

    In a session Thursday afternoon, Michael Kölling and John Rosenberg demonstrated BlueJ, a Java IDE they had developed over the last seven years for teaching O-O programming.

    BlueJ’s guiding philosophy is to make it possible to teach object-oriented concepts first, before students even begin to write code. It does so by representing the objects in a UML-like graphical format, and showing their instances as boxes on a tray at the bottom of the screen. Clicking on an instance brings up a list of its methods, which may be executed directly. The result is so stunning that, once you see it demonstrated, you wonder how we could ever have taught programming any other way.

    A friend of mine took a Java programming class at a mostly liberal arts school a few semesters ago.  I can assure you that his experience with BlueJ was less than positive.  I tried to help him out a few times, but unfortunately I don’t think his teacher had a grasp on object oriented programming or Java.  His teacher took the ‘follow this list of instructions’ way of teaching, which requires you to do work without actually learning what is going on.  Those instructions unfortunately made no sense.

    I don’t want to harshly judge BlueJ, I’m sure that it is quite a good program.  The problem in my friend’s case is a teacher without a clue.  I’m sure that when coupled with a good teacher, this program can make learning Java and OOP easy.  BlueJ lowers the barriers for learning Java but it also has the ability to create ignorant and confused developers.  This is not good.

  • YAR: Yet Another Roundup

    After spending most of yesterday offline (against my will mind you), here’s a quick roundup of notable links: