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From Farata Systems blog Ten years ago I've been doing PowerBuilder and my mentality was different: first, I was the best friend of business users, and second I did not really worry about what's under the hood. I could do stuff quickly, or using the modern jargon, I was an agile programmer without even knowing this (on the same note, lots of people were creating Ajax applications five years ago without knowing this, but it's off topic). I'd ask the business user Joe, "How do you usually do your business, what would you like to have on this screen, what step do you do after this step?" Most likely Joe did not really know, but I'd still give him a wide American smile: "No problem, I'll come back tomorrow and will show you something". Mary, yes you, "What's the most important word in my last sentence?" No, Mary, not "I'll come back", but TOMORROW. Not next week, not ... (more)

Adobe AIR Is Cool and Not So Cool

Adobe AIR 1.5 Is Cool Because 1. AIR allows you to perform all I/O operation with the file system on the user’s desktop. 2. AIR allows you to sign applications and version application. 3. AIR offers an updater to ensure proper upgrades of the applications on the user’s desktop 4. AIR comes with a local database SQLite to keep the data (in clear or encrypted mode) right on the user’s computer 5. AIR applications can monitor and report the status of the network connection 6. You can start and run AIR application even when there is not network connection available 7. AIR has better than Flex support of HTML – creating a custom Web Browser is easy Adobe AIR 1.5 Is Not Cool Because 1. AIR can’t make calls to user’s native operation system. 2. AIR can’t launch non-AIR applications on the desktop (except the default browser). 3. AIR can’t instantiate a DLL. 4. AIR can’t call an A... (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)

Flash Platform Services for Distribution

Today, Adobe made a very interesting announcement - Adobe Flash Platform Services for Distribution is available to the public.  To put it simple, it’s a new way of distributing, promoting, and measuring the usage of your applications on the Web. Let’s say you’ve developed a Flash RIA (i.e. a game, a movie promo, a stock-market widget) - now you’ll be able to make it available to other people in a viral fashion over the major social networks. You’ll get an API that will let you add the “Share” button similar to the way you can share the video on Youtube. But this button will allow for cross-network distribution and the user will be presented with a choice of social networks to distribute it to. Developers get a new API to add this Share functionality to their applications. Adobe will also offer sharing these applications between the mobile devices that support Flash... (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)

Yakov Fain's Java Blog: "The Cost of Attending the JavaOne Conference"

The Cost to attend the JavaOne Conference I did some math to calculate the minimum damage that attending JavaOne may cause to  your valet. In my calculations I was assuming registration fee of $2500 (waived for speakers). I did not take into account early bird discounts or any other coupons that could bring the fees down to $1500). I did not include local transportation, parking food and drink expenses, which for some people may substantially increase the cost of attendance. So let’s see… 1. For a   speaker (non-consultant) living in the Bay area:   $0 2. For a   speaker (consultant between the projects) living in the Bay area:   $0 3. For a   speaker (consultant on the project) living in the Bay area:   $3000 - $5000 of lost earnings. 4. For a   regular attendee  (non-consultant) living in the Bay area:   $2500 5. For a   regular attendee  (consultant betw... (more)

Yakov Fain's Java Blog: "Drugs, Porno and Rich Internet Applications"

Drugs, Porno and Rich Internet Applications I’m working on a book on development of  rich internet applications with Flex and Java. Since the first print run will have a limited number of copies, people want to make sure that they will receive the  book this year, so they started placing orders in advance. Guess what, the very first book order came from a country infamous for its drug trade, guerilla wars and kidnapping. Even though I’m sure this reader will be using the book for developing one of these boring enterprise applications, it made me thinking of the software used in drug smuggling business . Drug Lords  are smuggling drugs all over the world. They have no way of knowing what kind of a laptop a local drug dealer will use while ordering the next shipment of heroin, hence their internet applications should work on each and every platform. Drug bar... (more)

Yakov Fain's Java Blog: "Yakov on Joel"

Yakov on Joel Let’s do some math. Everyone knows the 80/20 rule: on any project 80% of the work is done by 20% of  the best developers, and the rest 20 is done by remaining 80. Let’s extrapolate these numbers on the entire software development world, and then apply the same 80/20 rule again to the group of 20% best developers. This will produce a much smaller  number of  software gurus. Now apply the 80/20 rule again to narrow down this group even further, and you’ll get  a really small group of software wizards who know how to do things, do not mind sharing their knowledge with others, and know how share  in a non-geeky way. In my opinion Joel Spolsky belongs to this tiny group. My current client is located right  by the Barnes and Noble store, and I visit it almost every day during the lunch time. Last week I picked from the very bottom shelf the... (more)

What Questions Should You Ask During Java Job Interview?

Yakov Fain's Java Blog (SYS-CON Media) - Typically, at the end of job interview the interviewer asks you, "Do you have any questions for me?".  This is a very tricky situation - you may kill the deal by asking the wrong questions. I prefer asking something very neutral, like "How many people work on the project", or "What would be my role if you'd hire me". The job interview is not the right place for showing your attitude. Bruce Eckel has published a blog where he lists a number of questions you may ask your perspective employer during a job interview. Even though Bruce tries to be careful in asking questions, you can still feel that he's  a senior guy who will eventually ask for some special arrangements like working from home or having flexible hours. My only advice to you is this - be careful during the interview.  Get the offer first, and only after that ask yo... (more)

How Long is Your Job Post?

Fifteen years ago, when a New York company needed a programmer, it would publish an ad in the classified section of Sunday edition of New York Times. The paper would charge by column/inch. The ads were short and up to the point. Only big guys like IBM, Microsoft or Oracle could afford to purchase an eights or a quarter of a page. The smaller placement agencies were placing heavily abbreviated ads to squeeze in 15 words position description and the contact info. These days, the life is different - we live in the paperless Internet world, and job boards place ads that are hundreds words. Below you'll see an ad placed by one IT agency - they are looking for a mid-level Java developer that I picked from Dice search board. It's more that 550 words. Who needs to read all this bullshit? Doesn't "Mid-level Java developer" says it all? OK, you need to be more specific, add an... (more)

The Future of the Web: I Disagree

Tim Bray, a Distinguished Engineer and Director of Web Technologies at Sun Microsystems has been interviewed by InfoQ about the future of the Web. With all my respect to Sun’s engineers, I have to disagree with some of the statements Mr. Bray made. He said, "Anything that discards the Back button is a step backward". I strongly disagree that people who are used to the page-based Web apps can’t/won't learn how to live without it. But even if it is the case, you can create RIA that support Back button - just decide what application view (no page) to show when the user hits the Back button. Here’s one more of Mr. Bray’s statements, "The whole universe runs on polling and it scales beautifully". I don’t think so. To support server-side push an application has to keep an open socket connection that doesn’t take almost any resources most of the time. For a server, it's easier... (more)