18 years ago the industry was questioning the longevity of Java … and it’s still going strong

In the April 2002 edition of the Java Developer Journal (which at that time was a major monthly publication in the Java world), the magazine editor wrote a column titled “There may be trouble ahead”, questioning how long Java had left. Funny thing is, this really does seem to be a perpetual question that gets asked every few years, and yet here we are 18 years later after this article was written, and Java has been going strong for 25 years.

This year Oracle in their role as stewards for the language (after Oracle bought Sun Microsystems in 2010), celebrated Java’s 25th year with a #MovedByJava social media campaign, looking back and encouraging others to share their stories and experiences from using Java over the past 25 years.

Java Developer Journal April 2002 – page 5
Java Developer Journal April 2002 – page 98

This column really has some dire predictions for the time, notably this prediction:

… 5 years? Wow.

Admittedly, the threat at that time that Microsoft’s .NET and the C# language in particular was going to take over the world was real, although Java still lived on to dominate severside processing for many years.

It sounds like at this time, Mono, the open source framework the article refers to was still in development, but even now that’s come and been around for a number of years this threat really came to nothing:

Even as Microsoft themselves have developed their own cross platform runtime for .NET apps on Windows, MacOS and Linux (.NET Core) clearly cashing in on the interest in Mono and Java’s own cross platform support with JVMs for every platform, again… this threat has still come to not much.

At the time this article was written in 2002 Java J2SE 1.4 was just released, and 18 years later we’re getting new major releases every 6 months and Java 15 was just released in September 2020, there’s clearly life in a 25 year old language yet.

Organizational policy and culture can either enable or hinder desired outcomes

Let’s say you make a bold statement like “we need to encourage more innovation!” – that’s an inspirational goal and encourages your people to look for more effective solutions to problems, great! Let’s also say this organization has an established culture that can be described as “we must succeed at all costs, failure is not an option”. Ok, in some circumstances that would also make sense.

The trouble is, this already established culture does not support innovation at all, in fact it prevents any attempt to try something new that may or may not be a possible improvement. In order to innovate you have to accept that not every idea will be successful, that’s what innovation is all about. You pursue different ideas, some seemingly wild and improbable, but at some point out of experimentation you find ideas that are better, more effective, more efficient, than previous solutions. Not all ideas result in successful outcomes, in fact most will completely fail.

Sometimes it’s not enough to decide that you need to change your desired outcomes, you need to change your culture and policies that enable or support the outcomes you’re looking for. In fact, changing your culture so that it encourages the outcomes you’re looking for will often result in the desired outcome occurring by itself organically.

More FS2020 Scenery issues: New York (part 2)

Continuing from part 1, here’s more examples of fascinating glitches in the photogrammetry rendered scenery around New York and surrounding area.

Flying West from Floyd Bennet Field, here’s an unusual road traffic pattern at Gerritsen Inlet Bridge, Brooklyn, complete with some find of stone spire:

Continuing West to Coney Island, it looks like it’s been decimated by a hurricane. I love that the Ferris Wheel is rendered as a solid disk (to the right of the window opening):

Apparently it’s been so long that Coney Island has been closed under COVID-19 lockdown that the coaster has become overgrown with trees:

As a comparison with FSX, Coney Island has a modeled scenery object for the ferris wheel and the wooden coaster, but the rest of the amusement park is covered with autogen trees:

Back to FS 2020, the Steeplechase Pier is partially underwater, but odd that the end of the pier is actually rendered as a solid object:

Coney Island rail yard is also overgrown with trees:

Continuing towards the south edge of New Jersey port area, there’s some melty dock scenery, and docked ships are spouting some trees:

The Bayonne Bridge is looking a bit solid:

This whole dock area is full of some of my favorite scenery glitches in FS 2020 so far (I had a few screenshots in my earlier post), solid cranes – there’s plenty here:

Flying towards Newark Airport, Port Newark has plenty of cranes that are all rendered in the same solid style:

There’s also plenty of ships fully loaded with trees, and other pointy things:

The railyard along side the airport also has trains full of trees:

This area around New York is full of interesting scenery glitches, I’ll continue with another post shortly.

Bulk converting image file formats with MacOS Preview

The Preview app on MacOS has a ton of useful features, from annotating images to converting file formats. Recently I had a bunch on .png screenshots that I needed to convert to jpegs. While I was aware you can Export an image file in Preview and save it in any other supported format, I was looking for a quicker way to bulk convert a large number of files.

Turns out, as explained in this article, if you select a group of images in Finder and double-click one of them to open them all in one go, you can select all the images from their thumbnails on the left:

… then from File click ‘Export Selected’. From the dialog chosoe where to write the converted files, and press Options button to change the file format. Done!