Thursday, December 20, 2007

Java 6 Preview Available for Leopard

The long awaited news of Java 6 on Leopard has finally been announced, albeit with little fan fare.

They have released the preview version of it, meaning a final version should be coming soon. While I find this great news for those of us who do Java development on the Mac, and I find it even more intrigued by the fact that it makes special use of 64bit architecture. However, its that last part that worries me a bit. Apparently you HAVE to have a Core 2 Duo to use Java 6. So that means myself and two of my business partners Mac laptops will not be able to run Java 6. Now generally developers like to stay on the cutting edge at all times. But really, the Core duos are ONLY a year and a half old? That is NOT that old to have to upgrade.

So I guess we shall have to see how desperate the Java developers who use the Mac are. There was a slight alternative right now as well. Someone has ported the unix JDK6 to the Mac with almost complete functionality. (the URL of the site escapes me right now but I will post it when I find it)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Web Sites Getting LESS Browser Compatible?

Even when i first started developing websites in college (95 - 96) one of the biggest items was to make the site compatible for multiple browsers. Heck i was even developing the sites to be compatible with text based browsers like lynx. As this progressed you would even see sites get soo crazy to have completely different websites based on IE or Netscape (back then) (this was of course over kill)

However, that started to change, especially with intranet sites. At that point, companies didnt care they could control everything and started to only develop sites in IE.

I am starting to see this scary trend continue. At a client one of my friends was at he was forced to put out a site that was IE only. (wth). This is just baffling to me. Especially the fact that this is a heavily interactive site where they are to generate sales from. And not only that but they were trying to target younger computer savy audiences. You know those most likely to use firefox, opera, or safari NOT IE. Even with Netflix, this trend is continuing. Sure you can get movies online, assuming you only use windows + IE. Why is this?

Are web sites getting soooo complicated you can't develop them for multiple browsers? .. No .. the fact is there are sooo many tools out there to support cross browser productivity that this is by far not a reason. Time schedule? Eh this maybe an issue, but i don't believe so either.

The answer ... as one friend put concerning the netflix site, "lazy developers". Or i would expand, lazy unskilled developers. The reason i discount the time, is that for the most part MANY of these issues (maybe not as much with netflix) but other sites is the fact that if you follow best practices you are not going to have loads of browser compatibility issues. People need to start to demand more from their websites and not settle on mediocre development!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Year of Dynamic Java?

Every year brings with it new technologies, this year is of course is no different. One of the biggest changes I have seen this year though, which did not really hit till the end of the year, is some of the dynamic languages in Java, specifically Groovy.

Groovy has come a long way and with the 1.5 release over the weekend it their are new meta-programming capabilities and better support for DSLs. All of this is supposed to help the Grails framework. And if you have used both you will really see the Ruby influences mixed with Java standards. (their are of course many additions since this is a 1.5 release (from 1.0)).

The real power of course I see is with Groovy's 100% support in Grails (of course) and even JBoss Seam. Besides Seam just being a good tool to bridge the gap between JSF and EJB3 it has quite a bit of support for ease when doing jBPM (JBoss' business process management system which can use drools as part of its decision making process).

I think this next year will be interesting to see if, now that the java dynamic languages have reached good maturity, will Groovy really start to grow in the Java community. The NoFluffJustStuff tour has even branched off with a G2 (groovy and grails) tour as well.

At any rate, whether you are a java, ruby, or python developer ... the exponential spread in popularity over the last 2 - 3 years of using languages dynamic languages with a good DSL is great for the community. Let's see what 2008 brings.