Henry Roswell

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This article was originally published in print on December 3, 2003"Eclipse represents the worst of Java" Lately, there's been a lot of guff spouted about how Sun isn't joining Eclipse. While I understand the bitterness aimed at Sun somewhat, I think that this particular brand of talk is counterproductive and, dare I say it, wrong. The talk tends to center around the concept of NetBeans and Eclipse using common technology, and I think this is misguided, and here's why. I really dislike Netbeans. I think it blows goats from here to Sussex, and considering that I live in the middle of the US, that's a lot of goats. Given the choice between NetBeans and... Notepad, I usually spend a minute pondering whether I can keep remembering to check extensions on filenames before realizing that I can, and I end up with sucky ol' Notepad instead of bothering with NetBeans. That sai... (more)

One IDE to Rule Them All

At JavaOne, Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice president of Sun's Software Group, outlined his mission to increase the number of Java developers from 3 million to 10 million. The hope is to attract these extra seven million from the legions of Visual Basic (VB) developers. Visual Basic's strength comes from a tool experience that is inseparable from the language and, in order to capture their mind share, Java needs the killer IDE. Early Java programming books were often bundled with a copy of Visual Café, allowing readers to concentrate on learning the language syntax instead of ... (more)

"Javux," "Linva"...What else should the "Java Desktop System" maybe have been called?

Will Linux on the desktop be the universally accepted solution of tomorrow? Two LinuxWorld editors have recently argued either side of the issue, with James Turner saying - with a slew of specific reasons - that Linux is "nowhere near ready for the desktop" and Mark R. Hinkle stopping short of any claims of universal appeal but saying nonetheless that "Linux is a solution that can address the needs of a large portion of desktop users." The odd thing is this: neither editor mentions the Linux-based 'Java' Desktop System, so maybe Sun has made a basic branding error there? ... (more)

Software Development: Science or Art?

Many of the problems related to software development are at the individual level, with those who create bad code rather than with any specific technology issue. Therefore the goal of anyone staffing a project is to attract employees most likely to ensure success. The infamous 1968 study by Sackman, Erikson, and Grant, "Exploratory experimental studies comparing online and offline programming performance," concluded that productivity variation between good and bad developers was a factor of 10. The test was based on how quickly their subjects could write a program to solve a maze ... (more)

What Does "Java-based" Actually Mean Any More?

I use software tools to write code because as I enter my twilight years of technology they make my life easier. Right now I'm a big fan of Eclipse. I don't have anything against the other tools, it's just that I don't want to spend any money on something when a free product does it all for me. I'm not saying Eclipse is the best tool out there - it probably isn't, but it can't be a bad one because it seems to be coming in the top few places in most of the IDE polls that folks throw together. What I'm trying to work out is why the folks at Sun don't like Eclipse. Everyone knows th... (more)