The Register Columnists

John K Waters

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
The Register breaking news

Social networks talk hidden architectures

Social networks are almost pervasive. Even if you're not actually on one, it's becoming impossible to avoid hearing of them and often it's the same networks that keep popping up, such as Facebook or MySpace. While they might be well known, though, the companies tend not to discuss the architectures that underpin their services. …
John K Waters, 30 Dec 2008
The Register breaking news

They used 'em, you reeled: the year's most overused phrases

Credit crunch and economic meltdown aside, if 2008 is remembered for anything in tech it will be for the domination of the phrase "cloud computing". The "cloud" was seized on by start-ups and tech giants rushing to catch the next wave or remain relevant. The "cloud" didn't own the entire mind-share market in 2008, though. Here …
John K Waters, 29 Dec 2008
The Register breaking news

Tips from the top: cracking Christmas and New-Year books

Looking for that last-minute stocking filler? Expecting a book token of some kind during the next few days? Or do you just want to hide behind something impenetrable as the relatives descend for the Christmas holidays? What luck! The Reg has asked a bunch of experts spanning Java, .NET, security and agile what they’d been …
John K Waters, 24 Dec 2008
The Register breaking news

Java Community Process shakes Soviet commissar tag

Qcon He once likened the Java Community Process (JCP) to a commissar in Soviet Russia, but newly elected JCP executive committee member Rod Johnson is now employing an if-you-can’t-beat-em-join-em strategy. "I think there are positive changes happening in the JCP," Johnson told attendees at last week’s Qcon San Francisco developer …
John K Waters, 27 Nov 2008
The Register breaking news

XML daddy eyes code riding storage metal

QCon 2009 Tim Bray, co-inventor of XML and Sun Microsystems’ Director of Web Technologies, found himself manning “the hangover slot” to give the morning keynote at day two of the Qcon developer conference in San Francisco on Thursday. “And dear god, I’m going to be talking to you about storage,” he said to his limp-but-game audience. “ …
John K Waters, 22 Nov 2008
The Register breaking news

Agilistas are to architects as Neo is to...

QCon 2009 Agile development practices may be growing in popularity among developers, but agilistas aren't getting much love from software architects. The irony? Without the architects, agile will never be fully accepted in the enterprise. That's according to ThoughtWorks chief technology officer Rebecca Parsons, opening this year's Qcon …
John K Waters, 20 Nov 2008
The Register breaking news

The highs and lows of former-Borland's Dumbledore

You'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the software tools business who has seen more changes in programming than David Intersimone. Not all of them welcome. Best known as "David I," he worked for more than two decades at Borland Software, the company regarded by many as having invented the integrated development environment ( …
John K Waters, 10 Jul 2008
Java

Time to overcome Java misconceptions

Myths and legends It doesn't really matter which version of the Java platform you use, does it? Well I know for sure that thread context switching is expensive. Isn't it? OK, but there's no doubt that 32-bit Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) are faster than 64-bit JVMs. Right? The truth is, most of the things we think we know about Java performance …
John K Waters, 22 May 2008
Web 2.0

Sun Java chief to developers: 'We're genetic freaks'

JavaOne Todd Fast, chief architect in Sun Microsystems' Java Enterprise tools group, took a big gulp of Web 2.0 Kool-Aid at JavaOne while telling professional developers they must embrace a broader definition of "application" if they are to take advantage of the current sea change in the way software is built and delivered. Fast told a …
John K Waters, 09 May 2008
Android logo

Android tunes into OSGi

EclipseCon The Eclipse Foundation's announcement of a runtime project got a lot of coverage, as the one-time tools-centric initiative moved deeper into runtime deployment and management. OSGi on mobile was one area that generated particular interest at EclipseCon. And not just any mobile: we're talking Google's Linux-based Android. …
John K Waters, 21 Mar 2008
Eclipse teaser (lrg)

Eclipse learns how to let go

EclipseCon The Eclipse Foundation looks destined to remain a mistress to Microsoft and Sun Microsystems - while the platform is married to IBM. The fifth annual EclipseCon this week saw a blockbuster project announcement and an almost shocking partnership. News that Sun selected the EclipseLink project as the reference implementation for …
Warning: roadworks

Extreme Programming in risky position, says co-creator

As the celebrated 2.0 incarnation of the web lures an increasing number of organizations into the cloud, enterprise IT managers are warming to the quick-and-dirty capabilities of PHP, JavaScript, Perl, Python, and Ruby for developing database-driven web apps. And a new generation of tools is elevating scripters to the status of …
John K Waters, 13 Mar 2008
Warning: roadworks

10 ways to improve your code

SD West 2008 Neil Ford's Software Development West presentation, 10 Ways to Improve Your Code, was aimed at Java programmers, but Ford's "advanced code hygiene" discussion had wisdom for coders of many stripes. Ford is a senior application architect and "meme wrangler" at ThoughtWorks, an IT consultant that specializes in development and …
John K Waters, 10 Mar 2008
Goggles

Stroustrup and Sutter: C++ to run and run

SD West 2008 For the second year in a row organizers at the Software Development Conference & Expo West felt the super sessions hosted by C++ legends Bjarne Stroustrup and Herb Sutter were worth some ink on the event agenda. "There was a time in the late 1990s and early 2000s when they simply stopped advertising C++ sessions at this …
John K Waters, 07 Mar 2008

Agile lands role in games and business software

The recent Game Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, California, is a surreal experience. You'll see cyberpunks rubbing elbows with marketing execs, artistes drinking lattes with engineers, Battlestar Galactica T-shirts stretched over round bellies beside leather pants slung over slim hips. It's colorful, it's noisy, …
John K Waters, 28 Feb 2008
Bill Gates teaser pic

Gates pumps up Office, slaps down Yahoo!

Office System Developer Conference A "brilliant, powerful - and let's face it, sexy and good looking - leader of men and women who just doesn't believe in paying more than seven dollars for a haircut". That's the way Brian Williams, respected news anchorman for America's NBC, described Bill Gates in a video spoof on the Microsoft chairman's pending semi- …
John K Waters, 12 Feb 2008
open source 75

HP gets an ology for FOSS

Hewlett-Packard isn't known for software governance, but after years of sifting and sorting through its own systems for non-compliant code, the hardware vendor wants to share its experience with developers and foster construction of tools for tracking free and open source software (FOSS) permeating corporate systems. To wit: HP …
John K Waters, 25 Jan 2008
Sun

Slow death planned for Sun's Java IDE biz

The release of the 6.0 version of the Sun Microsystems-sponsored, open-source NetBeans IDE last week sounded the death knell for two other Sun-spawned development tools: Java Studio Enterprise and Java Studio Creator. As reported, Sun plans to fold the functionality of the two IDEs into NetBeans and "encourage" users of those …
John K Waters, 20 Dec 2007
Volta logo

Microsoft wriggles on Volta concerns

As the mad scientists in Microsoft's Live Labs threw the switch on an experimental developer toolset this week the company was already getting flack for copying somebody else - Google. The technology preview of Volta, now available for tire kicking here, is designed to let developers build multitier web applications by applying …
John K Waters, 07 Dec 2007
Sun

Winners and losers in Sun's OpenDS spat

The brouhaha (here and here) surrounding Sun Microsystems and ex-employee Neil Wilson over governance of the OpenDS project - first reported in The Register - continued to bubble this week, not least among Reg Dev's readers. Many of you took the harsh, but arguably fair, point of view that Sun was in the right as work done …
John K Waters, 05 Dec 2007
Sun

Sun accused of hardball open source project tactics

Neil Wilson, a recently laid-off Sun Microsystems employee and a former owner of the OpenDS project, has accused his ex-boss of using strong-arm tactics to keep control of his project. In an open letter Wilson said he's finally gone public to "clear the air" having kept quit for fear of potential retaliation from Sun. …
John K Waters, 01 Dec 2007
Oracle

Oracle pitches process over programming

Globalization is inevitable, companies are increasingly lean (and green), Web 2.0 social software has created conflicting generational user expectations, and everyone is howling for applications that can reach customers in ways they never have before. That's Oracle's assessment of the trends that will shape the way we build and …
John K Waters, 23 Nov 2007

Ten tips on agile software development

Think you're organization is ready to transition to an agile software development process? Wondering how to make the move without breaking anything? Not sure how to make the transition stick? Joshua Kerievsky is the man to see. Kerievsky has spent the past decade helping development organizations to "become" agile. He's the …
John K Waters, 22 Nov 2007
Oracle

Oracle Fusion: resistance is futile

OpenWorld If there's a theme to the sprawling Oracle OpenWorld conference this week in San Francisco, it's get ready for the Fusion transition. It feels like a Borg cube is hovering nearby, or that girl with the bad hair in The Ring is about to crawl through your TV. In her session, 10 Things You Can Do Today to Prepare for Oracle Fusion …
John K Waters, 13 Nov 2007
heart

Oracle takes open source love to virtualization

OpenWorld Charles Phillips today reminded the army of delegates at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco that the company is much more than just a database vendor. Now it does virtualization too. The Oracle president pointed to a product family that includes a full middleware suite and a broad collection of business applications. Middleware …
John K Waters, 13 Nov 2007
Warning: roadworks

XP guru to developers: 'Shape up'

QCon Kent Beck, agile programming guru, author, and co-creator of Extreme Programming (XP) has ordered developers to pay attention to broad trends and to shape up socially. "Historically, we have been the wizards," Beck told the QCon Conference in San Francisco, California. "We could talk, act, and dress funny. We were excused for …
John K Waters, 08 Nov 2007
PHP

Calling the PHP cowboys in from the range

Now that PHP is taking that big step from popular webhead scripter to serious enterprise tech, PHP coders need to add a new word to their vocabularies: methodology. Of course, there’s no quicker way to send cowboy coders stampeding for the hills than to say that word. (“Process” would do it, too, and there would be screaming.) …
John K Waters, 15 Oct 2007
Microsoft .NET logo

The Misfit Geek and AJAX acceptability

If you had any doubts about just how far Ajax has come, you had only take a look at the speakers list for the recent AJAXWorld Conference in Santa Clara, California. Joining the faithful such as Sun Microsystems distinguished engineer and chief technology officer (CTO) Bob Brewin, was the executive responsible for setting …
John K Waters, 08 Oct 2007