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Frank Thoughts
A Weblog by Frank Sommers
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3 pages [ 1 2 3 ]
September 29, 2006,  21 comments
In his speech to the 2006 MIT Emerging Technologies Conference, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos noted that about 70% of a project's time and effort is spent on tasks that, while important, do not differentiate a product or a business in any way from its competitors. Bezos suggested that such features, or "muck," may be outsourced to third parties.
September 15, 2006,  30 comments
Efforts to make non-Java languages perform well on the JVM accelerated in recent years. The benefits of turning the JVM into a highly-optimized, general-purpose execution environment are many, but so are the challenges.
September 1, 2006,  6 comments
As modern IDEs are becoming larger, IDE projects cope with entropy by creating versions of their tools aimed at specialized developer communities, for instance, around popular enterprise frameworks. What does the segmentation of the IDE market place along the lines of developer micro-communities say about the future of IDEs?
August 18, 2006,  26 comments
Two distinct approaches to Ajax application development emerged in recent years, each extending previous architecture models. As the two seem incompatible, you will need to make a choice.
May 26, 2006,  24 comments
In a recent blog post, Ron Jeffries extols the XP virtue of sustainable effort, including limiting a developer’s work day to eight hours. While a laudable objective, it is also unrealistic. Trusting the process and visions of success are more important for a sustainable project than shorter work hours.
May 11, 2006,  4 comments
The last decade witnessed the rise of the three-tier enterprise architecture. The experience learned and the need to process increasing amounts of data increasingly fast, are now leading some to rethink the wisdom of three-tier design. One alternative solution moves business logic and data management into a data grid.
May 2, 2006,  14 comments
Simon Phipps blogs about the marriage of Java applets and AJAX, suggesting that AJAX applications could benefit from having access to the rich Java APIs. But would the marriage of AJAX and Java applets turn out harmonious, or end in divorce?
April 24, 2006,  8 comments
In a recent blog post, John Clingan traces the patterns of application deployment from one application per server to a model where an app "runs somewhere on a grid," and to a dynamic infrastructure that includes the virtualization of app containers and applications as well, trends that hold important implications for developers.
May 16, 2005,  23 comments
Wherein I recount my experience of using a thin client over a DSL.
March 21, 2005,  6 comments
Choice leads to quality, but higher standards of quality reduce choice over time. That leads to the vanishing middle: software projects increasingly consolidate into a few large projects, on one hand, and a few small, niche projects, on the other. Smaller projects can turn to transparency of their development processes as a way to gain traction.
February 24, 2005,  46 comments
In most commercial projects, "code quality" doesn't matter because code is seldom the end-product of the development effort - it's the binary that we ultimately ship. Total product quality matters, and process and skill weigh more than code quality in determining overall product quality.
February 15, 2005,  21 comments
Testing code is different from testing a system. Code in real-world, production systems has to contend with an ever changing, often unpredictable environment that renders unit tests an unreliable predictor of system behavior. In the real world, system robustness matters, but writing more tests can produce diminishing returns.
January 27, 2005,  41 comments
Writing tests before writing code is a key tenet of extreme programming: Write your tests before you write your code. I find myself violating this XP rule very often. A bit of psychology suggests that test-first development may actually stifle creative flow.
April 27, 2004,  4 comments
With powerful personal computers and local area networks easily affordable even to the smallest businesses, many software companies are making big bets on providing small business software. But any soul braving that market would do well to carefully think through their business model: they might find something completely unexpected.
May 29, 2003,  Submit comment
Jini must be one of the most misunderstood technologies out there today. In these Weblogs, I'll try to post a couple of brief essays from my experience using Jini in an enterprise application. This first essay talks about recovering from network-induced exceptions.
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