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Java Help, Scaling PHP, and the jApps

by Daniel H. Steinberg
ONJava Newsletter for 10/17/2003


We have a new editor in the ONJava family. Chris Adamson has written articles for the site on QuickTime for Java and other media-related topics. You may also know him from his blogs here on the O'Reilly Network and on java.net. His latest ONJava blog asks, What if the iApps had been the jApps? In many ways, when you think of small devices connecting to a network and rich applications running on different platforms, Java seems like a natural choice. Chris explores what would have been different if iTunes, iPhoto, and friends had instead been Java apps.

Chris also edited two of the articles currently featured on ONJava. Jack Herrington's article, The PHP Scalability Myth, has already been slashdotted, mainly because of Jack's assertion that "The argument for PHP scalability is further simplified ... by the fact that both PHP and J2EE architecture (as well as others) are converging on the same design." Jack seems to echo Tim O'Reilly's JavaOne address when he writes, "Services such as Amazon, Yahoo, Google, and Slashdot have known about scripting languages for years and used them effectively in production. Yahoo even adopted PHP as its language of choice for development. Don't believe the hype in the white papers that says that PHP isn't for real applications or doesn't scale."

Before you click on the Austin King article on JavaHelp, check out the graphic for the article. I think our graphics department does a great job, but this one stands out for me. O.K., now click on the article Creating an Online Help System with JavaHelp and DocBook. You will need to install JavaHelp, Saxon, and DocBook-xsl to play along at home, but with this tool chain in place, you will be able to create solid documentation for your end users (along with search and indexing) fairly easily.

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Craig Castelaz provides our java.net feature this week. Configuration Blues encourages you to think early and often about how a user will configure and customize your application. He recommends using auto-detection for defaults as much as possible, and then looks at Properties, Preferences, and using Java Management Extensions. It's interesting to follow Craig's path through the different choices and understand his reasons for embracing his final selection.

Finally, this was almost a very sad week in the world of Java publications. JavaWorld was originally slated to cease publication last Friday. The good news is that they will be continuing -- at least for now. As editor of java.net, I write a daily blog that outlines the features of the day for the site. This morning's blog also was a bit of an homage to JavaWorld.

Till next week,

Daniel H Steinberg, editor
ONJava.com and java.net

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What If the iApps Had Been the jApps?

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