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Ted Leung on the air: Open Source, Java, Python, and ...
Wed, 22 Jan 2003
SeaJUG 1/21/2003
Last night I went to the monthly Seattle Java User's Group (SeaJUG). Our two speakers this month were Steve Loughran, author (along with Erik Hatcher) of Java Development with Ant and Rebecca Wirfs-Brock.

Steve is one of the Axis developers, and his talk was about web services interoperability -- actually he later confessed that he was trying to scare us about all the corner cases that create interop problems, but that basic stuff works. Some problem areas were things like Java's lack of unsigned types, which make it hard to interop with web services or clients written in languages that have unsigned types (C/C++/C#), people's expectation that they can send Java collection classes, or java.io.File's.

One of the more interesting comments that he made was that the DOC/LIT style of using SOAP is the future. I've been hearing this statement made more and more. This has been my thinking for some time now, so it's good to heat that other people think that this is true.

As an aside, does anyone out there in blogland have a recommendation for a good web services stack written in Python?

I was pretty interested to hear what Rebecca Wirfs-Brock had to say. Designing Object-Oriented Software was one of the first O-0 books that I read as a grad student back in the late 80's, and I've always appreciated the CRC method as a lightweight yet effective mechanism for design. Rebecca has a new book out, which looks like it elaborates on these topics. It's hard to say, because she didn't talk about the book directly. Instead, she talked about "Skills for Agile Designers" . Part of her talk was about Agile methods -- she's not in the fundamentalist Agile camp. The next section her talk covered "Tools for Seeing" -- ways of looking at a system to bring the key design criteria into focus. She talked about stereotypes of object roles as a way to bring out the issues that will need to be dealt with. This is intended to be a generative sort of approach -- if an object is acting as a coordinator, then the design is likely to solve the following problems, etc. She also mentioned how this perspective helped to appreciate Peter Coad's use of color in UML diagrams. Someone in the group pointed out Streamlined Object Modeling as a good resource for this kind of philosphy. Another interesting topic was the use of JavaDocs as a way to yank stuff back up and map it back to CRC cards (if you were using them). The idea is to have a custom doclet that pulls just the descriptions for class and method comments and renders them all into a big page(s). This can then be used to try to trace stuff back to the CRC cards to make sure everything was covered and nothing was gold plated. The final section was called "Tools for Shaping Solutions", and included a discussion of Problem Frames by Michael Jackson.

I really enjoyed her talk but found it to be more focused on object design/modelling and less about finding balance in the application of Agile methods. Wilhelm pointed out that her audience is probably normally people for whom object modelling = RUP, and so in comparison a lot of the techniques that she covered were Agile in comparison. Since this was a 3 hour talk compressed into 1 hour, there were probably lots of things that got left out. All in all an evening of quality presentations, and of course, some good beer and conversation afterwards.

[17:52] | [computers/programming/java] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
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I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
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