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Alan Williamson

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Top Stories by Alan Williamson

This past month gave me a newfound respect for specification writers. I remember when James Davidson marshaled the early Servlet API and the lively discussions that ensued on the mailing lists, basically coordinating the entire operation (no JCP in those days, eh?!). The point is, at least there were discussions and, more important, a formalized document was produced at the end of the process. This past month I found myself dabbling in a number of technologies that sat outside the comfort of Javaland. For a project I'm involved with (Blog-City), I was tasked with building the XML-RPC interface for the widely used Blogger API. This XML-RPC API has a handful of methods for updating your blog site remotely, enabling you to view recent posts, upload and edit posts, and all the normal things you would expect. All seems pretty simple so far, but the problem is that the d... (more)

What Does it All Mean?

Wireless - what a stupid word. When all's said and done, what does it really mean? Is it just another word the computing industry has hijacked for its own ill-gotten gains? After some searching around I came up with a number of definitions for the infamous word: 1. To communicate (a message) or communicate with (someone) by radio telephone or telegraph 2. Without, or operating, transmitted, or the like without, wires; a wireless message I guess that sort of fits into where the word is being deployed. That makes me feel a lot better. But what does it really mean? What does it mean ... (more)

Profiling Netbeans within Amazon EC2

Alan Williamson's Blog It was only a matter of time before we started seeing real how-to's pop up on how we can start profiling our Java applications running deep within the cloud. When my long term friend and colleague, Kirk Pepperdine, started talking about taking his world class Java performance tuning skills out of the server room and into the clouds I was excited. He's just getting started, with this handy start-up for getting your live clouded Java applications directly profiled using Netbeans. The big elephant in the clouds, is of course the fact that the hardware to whic... (more)

A Talk with the Father of sendmail

LWM: It wouldn't be overstating the case to call you a living legend. How does it feel to be the creator of one of the most used pieces of software on the Internet? Eric Allman: I sure don't feel like a legend. I have to remind myself sometimes that I haven't taken the typical career path - it's always seemed very natural to me. Mostly I've worked on what seemed interesting at the time, and that's served me well. Of course, luck had a lot to do with it too. LWM: Many new technologies have emerged, but still one of the most used communication channels is good old trusted e-mail. Wha... (more)

Swing Is Swinging Java Out of the Desktop

Over the last few months I have made more than a passing reference to the fact that I personally feel that, in its present state, Java doesn't stand much chance on the desktop against the march of Microsoft's WinForm technology from the .NET Framework. A view, I have discovered, shared by many of you. Before I go on, let me clarify my position here so we are all on the same page. The frameworks currently available to the Java developer from the standard JDK, of course, are AWT and Swing. Naturally we are not talking about other client-side technologies, such as SWT, Thinlets, and... (more)