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The Java Posse

9 replies on 1 page. Most recent reply: Mar 17, 2006 6:33 PM by Vincent O'Sullivan

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Bruce Eckel

Posts: 868
Nickname: beckel
Registered: Jun, 2003

The Java Posse (View in Weblogs)
Posted: Feb 9, 2006 1:12 PM
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Summary
On previous road trips, I've been able to fill my driving time by listening to ITConversations, but I ran out. So I started looking, via iTunes, for other podcasts that were IT based. There are plenty, and some are quite good.
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Others seem to have been done by people who never actually listened to the results before broadcasting them -- the sound quality can be quite bad in some cases. Fortunately, if you download enough of them, you can just bump forward to the next cast.

I'm not sure that iTunes is the greatest way to find the best of these (maybe someone else has suggestions for better resources), but I could get it to work.

The most useful shows for me are on topics that I don't follow very closely. For example, one show that I found very helpful is Security Now! with Steve Gibson (the guy who has been tinkering with the innards of computers for decades) and Leo Laporte (who, weirdly enough, I met at a small gathering where we were trying out a new game, and I had no clue he was going to become mr. popular podcast guy). Steve is full of authoritative advice on what to do and explanations of how things work; very valuable.

I also discovered the Java Posse, which is a great way to keep track of what's going on in the Java world and get perspectives. Well, perhaps "perspective" isn't the right word -- the general concensus among the group is that Java is the greatest thing, etc., but it does give you insights about things that you may not have been able to keep track of (if you get tired, for example, of trying to figure out endless JSR announcements, they try to summarize them for you). I also noticed that my pal Joe Nuxoll has resurfaced as a member of the Posse; he and Blake Stone were the geniuses behind making the original version of JBuilder work fast (despite the issues that Java had back then), so he knows the nuts and bolts of the language.

One interesting discussion was around Java gaming, which one might dismiss as impossible because of speed -- they talk about several high-twitch first-person-shooter games that apparently look great and feel like any other game of the genre. Sort of makes you think a little differently about the possibilities. Another discussion that stuck with me was the way that Java 6 will be able to detect whether an object is used outside of its scope, and if not the object will be placed on the stack for faster access and to reduce the load on the garbage collector. Pretty neat.

The nice thing about being able to listen to this kind of stuff while you're driving is that (at least for me) it tends to keep me more awake, but also it allows you to keep up in your field by using drive time. A number of topics came up while listening to these discussions, so I will make some short (subsequent) blog entries to see if readers have more thoughts on the subjects.


Benji York

Posts: 5
Nickname: benji
Registered: Aug, 2005

Re: The Java Posse Posted: Feb 9, 2006 2:30 PM
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I've recently gotten into the same habbit of listening to "tech talk" while driving. The funny thing is that the thing that started it was listening to your "Thinking in Code" interview CD.

BTW: you should do another one of those, perhaps delivered via the Internet.

James Watson

Posts: 2024
Nickname: watson
Registered: Sep, 2005

Re: The Java Posse Posted: Feb 9, 2006 2:53 PM
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> <p>One interesting discussion was around Java gaming,
> which one might dismiss as impossible because of speed --
> they talk about several high-twitch first-person-shooter
> games that apparently look great and feel like any other
> game of the genre. Sort of makes you think a little
> differently about the possibilities.

I was poking around on Wikipedia one day and discvered a game called "Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates" which is a game written entirely in Java. I think this is going to happen more as more computer users (world-wide) are using Linux.

> Another discussion
> that stuck with me was the way that Java 6 will be able to
> detect whether an object is used outside of its scope, and
> if not the object will be placed <i>on the stack</i> for
> faster access and to reduce the load on the garbage
> collector. Pretty neat.

It will also remove synchronization if Objects are never used outside the thread. There's a third level in the paper referenced in this document that I can't remember because I thought it was boring.

http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/java/library/j-jtp09275.html?ca=dgr-jw22JavaUrbanLegends

Bruce Eckel

Posts: 868
Nickname: beckel
Registered: Jun, 2003

Re: The Java Posse Posted: Feb 9, 2006 3:27 PM
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> I've recently gotten into the same habbit of listening to
> "tech talk" while driving. The funny thing is that the
> thing that started it was listening to your "Thinking in
> Code" interview CD.
>
> BTW: you should do another one of those, perhaps delivered
> via the Internet.

This is odd, since I never actually published that. Did you get a demo somehow?

Tero Saarni

Posts: 4
Nickname: tsaarni
Registered: Feb, 2006

Re: The Java Posse Posted: Feb 9, 2006 11:42 PM
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> This is odd, since I never actually published that. Did
> you get a demo somehow?

Oh, I have been waiting for that CD to come available and was pretty disappointed when it never did. Though I never noticed you "officially" cancel that either... What happened?

James Watson

Posts: 2024
Nickname: watson
Registered: Sep, 2005

Re: The Java Posse Posted: Feb 10, 2006 9:25 AM
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> This is odd, since I never actually published that. Did
> you get a demo somehow?

There must be bootleggers on the streets of New York selling software design spoken word cds.

"I got your Bruce Eckel right here! This is hot! You will not find this in stores!"

Joe Nuxoll

Posts: 1
Nickname: jnuxoll
Registered: Feb, 2006

Re: The Java Posse Posted: Feb 10, 2006 2:06 PM
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It is an honor to hear that you're listening, Bruce! We'll have to book you on the show to tell us all about your latest stuff... ;-)

Chris Chen

Posts: 3
Nickname: oistrakh
Registered: Feb, 2006

Re: The Java Posse Posted: Feb 14, 2006 1:34 AM
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>Another discussion that stuck with me was the way that Java 6 will be able to detect whether an object is used outside of its scope, and if not the object will be placed on the stack for faster access and to reduce the load on the garbage collector. Pretty neat.

I'm glad that they're finally talking about doing this, since as early as '99 I saw a presentation at OOPSLA where some researchers had shown performance improvements of 20%-30% when objects were allocated on the stack instead of the heap. Now if only they would provide a destructor to go along with that. ;-)

Brad Reynolds

Posts: 1
Nickname: breynolds
Registered: Mar, 2006

Re: The Java Posse Posted: Mar 17, 2006 4:23 PM
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In response to how others find podcasts I use http://www.odeo.com. I'll search and add individual shows or feeds to my inbox. Then in iTunes I just subscribe to my feed and it will pull down the podcasts. It does put all of the podcasts in one feed but it hasn't bothered me much. I normally just start listening until they're done, rarely in any particular order. Odeo is how I found the Java Posse.

Vincent O'Sullivan

Posts: 724
Nickname: vincent
Registered: Nov, 2002

Re: The Java Posse Posted: Mar 17, 2006 6:33 PM
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> I was poking around on Wikipedia one day and discvered a
> game called "Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates" which is a game
> written entirely in Java. I think this is going to happen
> more as more computer users (world-wide) are using Linux.

Given Java's platform independence, how does Linux usage factor into this?

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