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From Christopher Schultz <ch...@christopherschultz.net>
Subject Re: [OT] Hammers and nails (was Re: A question about log-rotationon "catalina.out")
Date Sun, 01 Nov 2009 22:15:01 GMT
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André,

On 10/31/2009 4:59 AM, André Warnier wrote:
> I know, someone is going to say that one shouldn't
> mess around in a nuclear power plant if one hasn't read the manual.

Oddly enough, Sun's Java source (that is, the source code to the .java
files that they give out with their JDK distros) used to include the
following warning. It looks like it's been moved into their general
license which you can read in full here:
http://www.java.com/en/download/license.jsp

Under the "Restrictions" section:
"
You acknowledge that Licensed Software is not designed or intended for
use in the design, construction, operation or maintenance of any nuclear
facility.
"

> But look right here : we have Christopher who is evidently a competent
> Java programmer (if I judge by the fact that more than 50% of the code
> he posts is totally cryptic to me), and he did not know there even
> existed such a class in the basic java.io hierarchy.

To be fair, this is a Java 1.6 class, and I'm perpetually stuck in the
dark ages as evidenced by my somewhat recent upgrade from a 1.4 JVM and
a 4.1.x Tomcat to a mere 1.5 JVM and Tomcat 5.5. With a little luck,
we'll move up to TC 6 in development for our next cycle and then go to
production with it, too. Maybe we'll get crazy and go for Java 1.6 too.

At any rate, this is why I sometimes take some time to peruse the
Javadoc for the standard library, even when I have nothing in particular
to look for. Looking through everything in java.util is a good thing to
do for basic classes for most of your ADTs that you had to self-code in
programming classes you may have taken. Hash table? No problem. Hash
table that spits out keys in predictable order? No problem. The list
goes on.

> I mean that once you learn the basic of the language, apart from "Hello
> World" (and one could even argue about that), you are not very advanced,
> since just about everything you need to do requires the import of about
> 5 class hierarchies, and that finding these classes and understanding
> their quirks turns out to be 90% of any serious undertaking.

The same can really be said about just about any programming language.
Although I "know" C++, I wouldn't ever take a job doing it because I
suck at it. On the other hand, I've been told by friends who routinely
hire C++ programmers that they'd rather have me hacking their C++ than a
lot of their folks because at least my stuff will work properly even if
it's not done "properly" in C++ -- that is, in the purest, C++y way that
can be done.

> More seriously, maybe it is just the lack of some overall,
> comprehensive, searchable archive which is the biggest problem.

Yeah, Sun hasn't really jumped-into this whole community thing very
well. IMO they see their "community" as a source of JSR interference and
not much else :(

> When I need something in Perl, I usually need 2 and only 2 searches : in
> the index of the Perl programming Manual (the Camel book), and in the
> CPAN archive.

Really, GIYF here. Or, just ask any of your friends who are Java wonks.
Most Java folks either know a "package that'll do that" or knows someone
who knows. It's not a great system, but it often works.

- -chris
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