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From "Noel J. Bergman" <n...@devtech.com>
Subject RE: WORA Considered Evil ;-)
Date Fri, 27 Jun 2003 21:05:40 GMT
> I don't see Java as "glue" because it portrays integration with
> non-Java as anathema.

It favors portability, which means that the abstractions have to be
portable.  No reason why you can't have glue classes using JNI to call
things, but I would expect whatever is part of a standard distribution to be
portable.  You mentioned zlib and bzip2, amongst others.

> I just discovered that somebody wrote a bzip2 implementation
> in Java rather than use an existing codebase.

javax.util.zip.Inflater and javax.util.zip.Deflater are native code (zlib,
IIRC).  I don't see why the same approach couldn't have been done with
bzip2; the library code is portable.  Perhaps they wanted to reduce the
support burden of having to provide binaries for each platform.  I wonder if
they benchmarked the performance difference.

With respect to DBM: http://aurora.rg.iupui.edu/~schadow/dbm-java/.

> even simple things like querying the system for the name
> of a user

  String user = System.getProperty("user.name");

> and the groups the user belongs to.

  public class grouptest {
      static public void main(String[] args) {
          System.out.println("User " + System.getProperty("user.name") +
                             " belongs to " +

  $ /usr/local/java/bin/java -cp . "-Duser.groups=`groups`" grouptest
  $ sudo -u <user> /usr/local/java/bin/java -cp . "-Duser.groups=`groups`"

Dynamic queries and updates could be exposed through a JNDI service
provider, which is how I believe that it should be exposed (an alternative
would be to just run the *nix commands via Runtime.exec).  People just don't
give JNDI the weight that it should have.  Most think of it as an alien
concept used to connect to corporate directories.  I'm doing a presentation
on JNDI in November discussing this subject.

I'm not saying that Java is perfect; just pointing out that there are
solutions, and that the "WORA" emphasis on portability promotes different
ways of approaching a solution.

	--- Noel

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