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James Collings

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since Sep 21, 2006
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Recent posts by James Collings

chris webster wrote:@James Collings: excellent rant! You just described pretty much every job I've had in 25 years as a contractor or permanent employee. Sadly this thread is 5 years old, so I fear your insights may be wasted in this case!

Thanks. I worked for an Engineering firm that wasn't a software organization once. They understood Engineering though and as a consequence the place was pure heaven by comparison.
6 years ago

Bear Bibeault wrote:Again, just guessing -- but Java could be used to provide initial dynamic pages views, but in modern systems it is most likely that the "sub applications" you are seeing are JavaScript powered. Again, just a guess as there's not much else to do.

OK that would mean that we are seeing a proliferation of app specific web plug-in tech. IMHO that is a good thing as I hated portlet tech... or at least I hated LifeRay specifically. Have high hopes that Jigsaw / OSGI will help. I mean in theory, you could develop such a tech if used a module system.
6 years ago

Bear Bibeault wrote:Without specific examples it's hard to speculate, but what leads you to believe that these are Java-based applications?

JSP style naming conventions mostly.
6 years ago
I frequently have this problem because contracting just plain bytes. Management doesn't understand coding or engineering processes unless it is a software or engineering company. Organizations that do, rarely hire contractors and the bar is quite high for these.
Nobody writes Unit tests for these because management won't pay for what it doesn't understand the value of. Your computer will be Flintstonian which is to say a stone box with a bird in it and he's frankly no Einstein either. At first glance, doing development the right way seems exorbitantly expensive to them and that is as deep as management's interest goes. In response to this specific problem you will find:

1. Analysts? That's you. Programmer/Analyst is your job title. Because they don't want to hire Analysts, you get to do two jobs badly instead of one job well. Because there is no Analyst, your feature requests will be wildly disorganized and poorly thought through.
2. There's virtually no documentation. What documentation there is has been poorly maintained.
3. Because nobody is doing documentation, everything has to be done in a meeting. You'll often find yourself in such a meeting when it has nothing to do with you or your work, JUST IN CASE a question comes up. <sarcasm>It's not like you should be working or anything.</sarcasm>
4. Assuming you are not the only person on the project, someone will be able help you set up the Dev environment but if you ARE the only one on the project, what you should do is start working on your resume.
5. Tests? Ch'ya, right. Forget it. There will be few if any unit tests and NO SoapUI tests.
6. Statistically 90% of projects that fail do so because of mismanagement. It's not hard to guess that the grand majority of these are contracts.
7. All of this is 100x worse if you have to work with an offshore. Since there's no documentation and everything has to be done in a meeting you will be up all night and then sleep deprived and stupid in the morning. Now try to code something. Management will treat any mistakes made as if they were your fault.

6 years ago
Cross-posted on StackOverflow which will likely get me a -1 which nearly anything short of "How do I do this to a String" will get you on StackExchange these days. :-/

This is a general architectural / approach question which likely only someone who writes Java would know the answer to. Consequently, I am unsure if it belongs here on StackOverflow or if it belongs somewhere else in the StackExchange family of sites. Please advise.

Lately I've seen several Java based websites / applications which use a plug-in technology such that the site itself has sub-applications. As a developer, I find this fascinating and would like to give it a whirl. Problem is that these don't seem to be portlet apps and I think I would have recognized portlets, having worked on those before. Implementations I'm interested in include Rally and several of Atlassian's offerings. This style is what I am interested in. Please do not post closed source information. I'm really just looking for research points on latest-greatest tech since it's been so hard to sort through the all the noise coming back from Google. Sometimes with Google you need to get the right incantation and "Abracadabra" doesn't seem to be cutting it.
6 years ago
Have a HTML project coming up and this is something I'm not really up on, so I thought I would ask. Especially considering how costly Dreamweaver is, what are some alternatives?
On the one hand, I don't mind shucking out a few bucks but on the other I don't want to break the bank which, of course, is pretty much standard no matter where you go. ...or perhaps I'm wrong and Dreamweaver does enough that it is worth it's price? Don't know. I've never used anything but a colorized text editor.
For my Java IDE I like IntelliJ so I would probably prefer something more advanced.

Thoughts? Opinions?

Jim C.
I'm researching this so that I can respond better in interviews. I've been searching around for a clear and concise answer.

So far, and by all means correct me if I am wrong or lacking in detail:

1. Filters are part of the Servlet API, Interceptors are Struts 2. (Seems obvious though)
2. The Interceptor stack fires on requests in a configured package while filters only apply to their mapped URLs.
3. Interceptors can be configured to execute or not depending on specific target action methods via excludeMethods and includeMethods while Filters lack this feature.
4. Filters are an implementation of the Intercepting Filter pattern while Interceptors are of the Interceptor pattern.

Does this seem like an accurate and complete answer? Should I add anything?
8 years ago
I would love to hear about some cloud implementations of JVM's if there are any out there. I love the idea of cloud computing but I still hate the idea of platform specific, and this means cloud specific also, code.

Jim C.
8 years ago

Wouter Oet wrote:If your posting on Wiki's then why would you like to have Java EE hosting. Just get "normal" website hosting and install a wiki. You could also set up an account on something like

Just out of curiosity why MySQL and not e.g. postgresql.

A working example of one's work cannot be established on a Wiki. The objective is two-fold. I want to have a place where I can have a working JEE project and another where I can store notes on how specific tasks can be accomplished so that if or when I move on to another contract, I will still be able to access those notes.

I've never used a blog before. Perhaps I should give it a look see.
9 years ago
I was thinking of MySQL for a back-end.
9 years ago
So it seems to me that one of the best ways to get an employer's attention is to point them to websites that you have developed as examples of your work. Also, I keep finding myself in a position where I could use some info regarding something I did in the past at a different organization. Problem is Corporate Wikis. I keep leaving non-proprietary information locked away in a Wiki I no longer have access to after I change contracts.

1st Question: Where can I get JEE (perhaps GlassFish?) hosting at a reasonable price and on a scalable platform in case something I write becomes popular?

I figure I might be able to get Wiki services from one of the for-pay wiki joints and that will solve the Wiki problem but having my own personal Wiki on a personal machine is also an option.

Anyway: Your thoughts? Places to avoid? Places that are great? Other ideas?
9 years ago

Srikanth Nutigattu wrote:I think the JCA/JCE (Java Cryptographic Extension) deals with the issue.


Actually, I've been all up and down this and can't find a way that is compatible with 90% of enterprise mail clients. In other words Outlook / Exchange. Kinda pointless if you don't support what most people use.
10 years ago

Srikanth Nutigattu wrote:If I understood correctly, You want to encrypt emails using a public key in Java, isn't it?

Right. Assume server can get user's public keys from some sort of back-end. In theory, then, all I need is to generate a server side key pair, provide the user with access to the server public key and then encrypt using the server private key and user public key. Send and then the user decrypts with provided server public key and their mown private key.

I'm finding that not many do this. In fact, the most commonly used library seems to be BouncyCastle rather than Java security.
10 years ago
Anybody know how to extract a user's public key from an attached signature? Attached file name is: smime.p7s

Reason I need this:

We want to send our user's encrypted emails that they can decrypt.
10 years ago