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First of all, to add a little more credibility to what I’m about to write, let me just say that I’m running Princeton Java Users Group (JUG) for years and have a pretty good idea of how organization of the meetings and sponsorship work in such gatherings. Java community is huge, well established and has a loyal following of leaders and enthusiasts that are willing to spend some of their evenings meeting with their peers and attending presentations by either well known or by no so famous yet presenters. As a leader of this JUG I often receive emails asking to promote among our members a commercial training event. I do it on one condition: our JUG members have to get some additional benefits from such a vendor, for example, discounted price, free speakers coming over to our JUG, free software licenses…something. During the last several years, I spent a substantial po... (more)

Google OS - A Cynical View

If you didn’t hear that Google has announced that in 2010 consumers will have a chance to enjoy new Chrome-based OS, stop reading and do you homework first. Done? Now we can move on, and let’s do it by the rules – positive things first, then some bile followed by a happy end. I really like Google. They produce easy to use applications that work great. I use their search engine about a hundred times a day. Their applications make sense. Nine months ago they released a Web browser called Chrome, and I liked it. Back than I suggested that in a year Chrome will bite off a decent chunk of the Web browser's market. (see I was wrong. They’ve bitten a really small piece of the browser’s pie. For lots of companies 3% of any market would be like money from home, but for Google it’s a failure. Now they sa... (more)

Opinion: What if IBM Buys Sun For Real?

When Wall Street Journal writes, they have their reasons. A couple of days ago they wrote that IBM wants to buy Sun Microsystems for $6.5B. To me, this is sad news. I like Sun and don’t want them to die. Neither do I want to see thousands of Sun’s employees being laid off.  But if IBM will really purchase Sun such consequences are unavoidable. But if laid off people will be re-hired by other employers, some Sun’s software will die. I mean will cease to exist. IBM is a huge firm. It makes hardware, software and has an extensive consulting arm. While IBM has been always supporting Java and its derivatives like IDE and J2EE servers, they were always behind. Just look at the delays in implementing latest Java specs in WebSphere. RAD IDE is not as good as Eclipse either. So what software will die first? IMO, Glassfish won’t survive.  For years, Sun has been pushing this serve... (more)

The End of Three-Teared Architectures

Dan directed my attention to an interesting article recently, “Are 3-tier web architecture models too rigid?” in which the author postulates  that “maybe it is time to finally break out of  the old 3-tier web architecture box and retire the concept…” In addition to a great mention of F5 and an “application delivery tier” in web architecture models (the concept of which deserves its very own blog post), the author inadvertently, I think, brings to the fore one of the reasons SOA might have failed to dominate the world: service inequality. Most web service managers and architects I talk to describe their architecture as a "3-tier" model, meaning they have a web server tier, and appserver tier, and a database tier.  However most such architectures in fact turn out to be much more complicated with ESB components and other connectors, access control services, mulitple la... (more)

Klee Associates, Inc. Launches New Blog on

Klee Associates, a SAP training and education provider, has announced the launch of a new blog dedicated to SAP training and education. The new blog, titled SAP Training: Taming the Beast, will serve as an ideal setting for SAP users to obtain free information and education on SAP's ERP software packages. The blog will offer frequent discussions on all aspects of SAP training and education, SAP best practices, SAP certification, SAP configuration, SAP how to instructions, SAP integration, and SAP implementations. Jocelyn Hayes, Klee Associates' resident SAP expert, will provide educational discussion and information on SAP software and provide visitors with excerpts from ERPtips' SAP training manuals. Accompanying her as a fellow blog author is Andy Klee, founder of Klee Associates, who will offer interviews with SAP training experts, his views on ERP training, and... (more)

i-Technology Opinion: Students

JDJ Editorial Board member Yakov Fain writes: One of my resolutions this year is to start teaching part-time Java-related classes in some college. That's why I started browsing the computer science course lists that are being offered this year. While graduate-level programs offer many interesting courses, the situation is different in the undergrad world. Some schools keep teaching how to multiply matrices in Ada or work with algebraic expressions in Prolog. Half of the courses are preparing professionals who will be operating on another planet. Information systems programs look a little more down to earth. Meanwhile, many college graduates are having a hard time finding their first jobs because many entry-level programmers jobs are being outsourced overseas, and it'll stay this way as long as it makes financial sense for businesses. Unfortunately, student loans ha... (more)

Small Business Solutions

Several years ago I was thinking about buying a small gas station in my local town. I went to my friend Gregory Z., a successful businessman in this field, and asked him, "How do I start a gasoline business?" He gave me simple but wise advice: "You know nothing about gas, but know a lot about computers. Keep doing what you're doing. Just be a little better than others". I'm trying to follow his advice but I keep thinking how would I apply my software skills had I bought such a business. So here I am again asking for your help, advice, and experience: let's automate my virtual gas station. The Setup I've borrowed the money from a bank and now I have: A four-car gas station A small convenience store (coffee, cigarettes, milk, newspapers) A repair shop that changes oil, brake pads, and tires Six employees: one American, two from India, one from Russia, and two from Paki... (more)

Hangover Thoughts About the Web and AJAX

Yesterday, we celebrated the birthday of my employee Alex in a fancy Russian restaurant. If you haven't tried it, go there - once. The party started late, and I've never seen such a variety of food on the table at the same time (they call this setup "bratskaya mogila," which means "mass grave"). After five shots of straight vodka, we enjoyed a Broadway-type show, and then more drinks and food. Anyway, this morning the last thing I wanted to do was drive to my gas station. Last time I selected a Java Web application framework ( and for a second, I regretted that I hadn't implement a Web application. If I had, I could have opened a Web browser and checked on the business without leaving home. At the moment, I was pretty sure there were only two types of users that could appreciate Web applications: Sober people who want to buy... (more)

Microsoft Is Not Dead, It Just Has A Flu

From Yakov Fain's Blog One of my favorite bloggers, Paul Graham, has published an essay called “Microsoft Is Dead.” He starts, “A few days ago I suddenly realized Microsoft was dead”, and then explains why he thinks so. Obviously, Microsoft circa 2007 is not the same as 10-15 years ago. It’s weaker now, but it’s far from being dead.  I’m not a Microsoft developer, but during the last twenty years I use their products daily – Windows OS, MS Word, MS Excel, PowerPoint, and Visio.  Last month, I’ve attended a very interesting technology summit for a small non-Microsoft crowd at Redmond, WA. I’ve posted a number of more or less technical blogs with my notes from this event, but this time I’d like to explain my vision of this software giant as a respond to Paul’s blog. About fifteen years ago, Microso... (more)

In Defense of Joel Spolsky

Joel Spolsky doesn't need my help in defending himself. But since he's my favorite blogger and a person I highly respect, I feel obligated to speak up. Mr. Curt Monash has written an article implying that Joel overestimates his importance while not achieving that much since he was able to grow his company to "only" 25 people. Mr Monash wrote this article based on the wrong assumption that the number of employees is an indicator of the success of the founders of the company. Joel's company has about 25 employees, which is the border number when the company remains agile, manageable and doesn't require an overhead in the form of mid-tier management. Besides, every founder of a company has his/her goals and priorities that may include (surprise, surprise!) having some spare time for a personal life too. I have no doubt that if Joel ever decided to open a consulting arm a... (more)

Looking Back at 2008 or How We Were Surviving

“Have you heard about the crisis?” “What crisis?” From a recent conversation with my colleague. Well, of course we’ve heard about the crisis. I’m one of three partners who run a software boutique, and in early September, I did realized that something was very wrong with the economy.  Back then, we’ve deposited a check from one of our customers, a very large enterprise. A week later, we’ve got the message from the bank - the check bounced.  That company went belly up. This was an iron clad proof that this is not just a temporary recession.  A friend of mine runs another business – he makes crowns and bridges. He makes fake teeth. He often complains about bounced checks from doctor offices, but our case was different – this was not a doctor’s office. There is a popular definition: “Recession is when your friend got laid off. Depression is when it happened to you”.  To ... (more)