Catching Up on Jon Udell Writings

When Byte becomes a pay subscription I loose access to the writings of one of my favourite tech writer: Jon Udell. Recently I found out he become a columnist in InfoWorld. I’m catching up on his writings. His writing is really good. Any software developer will have great inspiration reading Jon’s writings.

Java worse than Visual Basic

Before anyone flame me I will say that I have migrated my main development platform from Visual Basic to Java. In many ways Java is much more powerful than Visual Basic. However there is one aspect of Java that is worse than Visual Basic. What? There are only small number of components available in Java. This really puzzle and annoys me. In Visual Basic there are enormous number of ActiveX that you can use to enhance the looks and capability of your application. However in Java the number of components available is very small. They exists, however it seems the number of vendor and components is not as many as in Visual Basic world. Why this happens? Please share your thoughts on this issues.

Is Jakarta Apache going to be bigger than Sun?

In order to be able to compile Tomcat from
Jakarta project
I have to download many Jakarta Commons libraries.
This day I try to compile XML-RPC from

Apache Web Service project
. Therefore I have to
download more libraries from Jakarta Commons

Finally I am interested in study more about this
libraries from Jakarta Commons. It seems this
libraries realy make many programming task become
easier. The design from some of this libraries is very good
and much more easy to use than library from J2SE.

If more people using libraries from Jakarta Commons
then we can say less people used J2SE libaries.
This reduced Sun influence on the future direction of
Java. Is Jakarta Apache going to be bigger than Sun?
Anything is possible

Who knows maybe in year 2005 people at Jakarta Apache
will have dispute with Sun then they will make their
own JVM and SDK. If this happens then Java future will
become more secure.

Viva Java: The island I live and the programming
language I use. Indonesian Government should
make Java as its national programming language.

Velocity and Tapestry

While I’m rewriting my personal application (Bible Reader Software) I want to use Tapestry. Tapestry according to my personal opinion is one of the best web application framework. But in the end I did not use Tapestry and back to using servlet, Velocity and POJO

Why? Because if I use Tapestry then it is very difficult or take a very long time for me to implement the features I want.

There are features that I want that are difficult to implement using Tapestry. These features can be implemented using Tapestry but difficult because I am a newbie in using Tapestry.

These features are:

1. Table layout that descending then horizontal

2. URL that can be easily traced by search engine, robot and web downloader.

My research shows me that two features above can only be implemented by writing component and engine inherited from Tapestry component and engine. So these features need deep knowledge of how Tapestry works. Because I am a newbie in using Tapestry this will take a long learning time. Finally I decided to write my application using only servlet, Velocity and POJO only. First and second feature implemented by me in only 2 days.

This experience shows that familiar tools that we know deeply can give a much more productive result that an unfamiliar tools, no matter how good that tools. Of course if these two
features implemented using Tapestry then these features become components that can be reused at other application. My own method although gives fast result but need the traditional technique of copy-paste-modify to be reused.