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I attended the JavaOne show this week, after a 4 year gap. What a difference - who knew Java could be so boring? On the other hand, this is what it feels like to go to a show for a technology that has lost half of its market share in the last 4 years (at least when measured by O'Reilly book sales - not a particularly reliable source but better than no source at all). If you don't like that source, check out Andi Gutman's recent post that Java is losing the battle for the modern web. Let me be clear here - at WaveMaker, we have hitched our wagon to Java and hope very much that JavaOne is showing us the ghost of Java present, not the ghost of Java to come. Trade shows in general have been eviscerated by the flood of technical information on the web. But even in the new "I'm only here for the Tchotchkes" world of conference attendees, this was a surprisingly desultory ... (more)

That Checkbox Needs a Label

As a user of many web applications, I often find myself noticing little things that slow me down. One such thing is the use of checkboxes in web forms. It’s not the problem of checkboxes itself, it’s the face that checkboxes require the user to really focus their attention to a fairly small box on the page and perform a click inside. If you’re filling out a form really quickly, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll take advantage of you your tab key to get through each field quickly. Sometimes there are select boxes, which require the user to make selections with their mouse. Checkboxes drive me crazy because it requires more time to position the cursor and move on. So, when I see a form like this, I don’t see it being very quick to interact with. While I’m not in love with the date selection interface here, my bigger pain has been the checkbox in the form. Why? Bec... (more)

Putting Tumblr to work for you

I’ve been using Tumblr off and on since early April. I tend to neglect it because I’ve found the interface a bit clumsy. The recent redesign hasn’t improved on the things that I consider obstacles in getting things quickly added to my tumblr. Since the concept behind the tumblr is to quickly share things with people, the interface doesn’t facilitate this workflow as quickly as I think it could. In any event, I tend to not login to my dashboard very often (few times a week?), which means that I don’t post as often as I’d like. A few months ago, I finally started to use the Feeds feature in tumblr, which will automatically add things to your tumblr from an RSS feed. Uploaded with Skitch! The first feed that I started to use was my Flickr account. Flickr to Tumblr This solution for this was to tag photos that I want Tumblr to automatically with ‘to:tumblr’. Uploaded wit... (more)

Web 2.0 Development With Aptana Studio

Aptana Studio is an IDE for creating web 2.0 applications. It can be downloaded and run as an application or run in the Eclipse IDE. The IDE can be purchased as a professional edition or downloaded in an open source community edition. The open source community edition boasts over 1,300,000 downloads with a combined total including the professional version of more than 2,200,000 downloads to date. This application is designed and optimized for web development languages such as JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, and PHP, with other plugins available including Adobe AIR and iPhone development. ... (more)

Apple Puts One More Nail Into the CD Coffin

Apple will release an application next month that will provide users with interactive albums, which will include lyrics, behind-the-scenes images, and exclusive artwork. According to Music Week, Apple will make the app available to users in tandem with the release of Snow Patrol’s upcoming album, A Hundred Million Suns. The app will add the extra features to more iTunes albums over time, but because it will be made available through the company’s App Store, it will only provide the extra content on the iPhone and iPod touch. Apple’s decision to offer such an app is ironic, to say the least. The company has consistently said that it doesn’t want third-party developers tapping into iTunes music, resulting in apps like Tap Tap Revenge being prohibited from accessing your iTunes library during gameplay. Evidently, it wanted to reserve that functionality for itself. Or ... (more)

I’m going to VMworld 2008 in Las Vegas, Are You?

I have neglected this site over the past few months, and I’m sorry. But I just haven’t been driven to research and publish the quality of material which I like for this site. I have been busy with other projects, and decided that the best way to get motivated to start writing again is to goto VMworld and really try and sink myself back into virtualization. I will be arriving in Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon and have to depart early thursday morning. Since this is my first time at an event of this size, I’m looking for some suggestions, thoughts, advice that you the seasoned show goer would like to share, either with me personally or publicly. So please leave a comment, letting me know what I need to know to be ready for VMworld. One question I’m posing to you, should I bring a laptop? I’m not expecting public terminals to be available, but at the same time I don’t r... (more)

I need a server strategy

First accept as given -- my server must be, at least for now, a Windows machine. Most of the server-side software I depend on is written in either Frontier or the OPML Editor, which are not reliably running, as a server, on any other OS, as far as I'm concerned. I know some people use the Mac versions as servers, but I don't have the time or patience to carefully redeploy everything one step at a time looking for incompatibilities. I am basically happy with the service provider I use, they're certainly not the cheapest, but they're reliable. But last year they got acquired. And they keep sending me emails saying they're running specials, and the prices keep going down, and that only means one thing to me -- I should be worried. If I were to look at my vulnerabilities, from an online perspective, my guess this is the weakest point. If they were to fail, I'd have a big pr... (more)

Testing Wireless Systems

Wireless devices provide users with freedom, convenience, and flexibility. But as their dependency on wireless devices grows, users are becoming increasingly concerned about the quality and performance of wireless networks. Today's service providers are aware of these concerns and are making big changes to ensure their wireless networks live up to customer expectations. This includes changing their approach to quality assurance (QA) testing. Service providers now recognize that they must test both the device and the network to maximize performance and interoperability. Service providers also have realized something else: How they approach wireless system testing can profoundly impact the quality of their wireless solutions. Wireless Means Greater Complexity Wireless devices and the networks in which they coexist are exceedingly complex. Service providers must keep p... (more)

$99 netbooks

Watch out iPhone, here come the netbooks. For some people, even today's relatively bulky netbook computers are replacements for iPhones. That's what happened for me. The day I got my Eee PC 901 in July was when I more or less stopped using my iPhone as a computer. But a netbook with Skype and a service plan is a lot like a cell phone, but unlike Apple's offering, it runs an OS with a wealth of software and developer know-how that is wide open. There's no gatekeeper who gets to say who can and can't put whatever software they want on a netbook. And watch out Google, it beats Android too -- again so many more people know how to program Windows, it runs everything. For that reason I'm not running out to buy an Android phone, but I already own two netbooks. Another bet I'd make -- the netbooks are going to shrink to phone size. You can see the space being made in the Asus pro... (more)

New Beta Version Of In The Works - We’ve Got Screenshots

Further proving that security through (very, very light) obscurity isn’t a good means of keeping things secret, a new beta version of Yahoo’s Mobile Front Page (generally known as just has been found hiding just one character away from the beta announced to the public back in January. Where as the public beta can be found at, our tipster dug up the new version by instead navigating to Unfortunately, it seems we weren’t supposed to see this just yet; within a half-hour of us reaching out to Yahoo! for comment, the page had become password protected - but not before we snagged a couple screenshots. The screenshots you’ll see below are what you’d see on an iPhone - on most other handsets, the new beta will look more like the current standard mobile front page: white backgrounds, light image use, etc. The visual changes ... (more)

Re: [Summary] Should Subject Matter Experts Determine XMLData

Costello, Roger L. wrote: > Hi Folks, > > Thank you very much for your excellent comments. > > Below is a summary of what I've learned. What would you add to this > list? What would you change? This is definitely heading in a better direction. > 1. It is important to get inputs from a diverse set of people when > creating a Data Specification and when evaluating an implementation > (e.g. XML Schema). Different people have different perspectives on the > information. Never assume that any one person has the whole picture. > Get inputs from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), technology experts > (TEs), users of applications that will use the data, and business > people. You should also be prepared for interruptions and exceptions during and after the data design process. > 2. Be careful of loose, ambiguous terminology. The Data Specification > must provide clear, unambigu... (more)