Ted Neward and the Java Collections API

Plus, developerWorks's John Swanson is concerned about insufficient data use

Chat with Java™ authority Ted Neward about the latest entry in his developerWorks® series Five things you didn't know about ...— Part 2 examines the Java Collections API. Plus, highlights from this week's developerWorks.

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Scott Laningham (scottla@us.ibm.com), Podcast Editor, IBM developerWorks

Scott LaninghamScott Laningham, host of developerWorks podcasts, was previously editor of developerWorks newsletters. Prior to IBM, he was an award-winning reporter and director for news programming featured on Public Radio International, a freelance writer for the American Communications Foundation and CBS Radio, and a songwriter/musician.



07 May 2010

developerWorks: This is a developerWorks podcast, I'm Scott Laningham.

(Editor: To discover what new resources are available this week in developerWorks and My developerWorks, jump to the end of this interview.)

Don't get decked by the Deque

Listen to this podcast.

For all-things-Ted:

Pronounced like "deck" of cards and short for "double-ended queue," the java.util.Deque interface is a subtype of the java.util.Queue interface and it represents a queue where you can insert and remove elements from both ends of the queue.

Joining me now on his cell phone while in Germany is Java consultant, mentor, popular speaker, and teacher, Ted Neward. He's the author of the developerWorks Java technologies-owned series, Five things you didn't know about ...: This week he has Part 2 of an entry on the Java Collections API [Part 1].

Ted, welcome back to the podcast.

Neward: Thank you. How are you doing?

developerWorks: I'm doing great. So Ted, this week Part 2 of some writing on the Java Collections API that you've done, tell us some of the things that you find that developers will not commonly know on that topic.

Neward: Well a lot of it has to do with just, you know, I guess there's two ways to look at it. Number one, there's obviously a lot of collection classes, there's a lot of surface area to the Collection API. And for example, a lot of the developers didn't know that the queue in the Deque interfaces were introduced as part of Java 5, and then Deque was introduced as part of Java 6.

And so, right there you have a place where people just aren't aware of what's going on, as well as the various implementations. So for example, one of the commenters on this series just commented that, I think it was yesterday or the day before, that the linked hash map implementation actually makes for a very, very effective least-recently-used cache.

Which is true, and one of the hardest parts about this series in some cases is trying to figure out, what are, you know, the five least-known things, because again, everyone seems to have a different opinion about what's obvious and what's not. And in my mind, that was one of those [things] that was more obvious than others; but obviously the commenters disagreed.

[But there's] that, you know, the different implementations and knowing what they do and so forth. But then there's also, you know, in some cases the way in which you approach collections, making things enterable and using them as if it were a collection even though it's really not.

And that's more of a conceptual thing that the people don't necessarily grasp right away. And quite frankly, the conceptual stuff is sometimes harder to break up into smaller nuggets. So these at least, the discussion is really on some of the implementations and some of the methods, and a little bit less on some of the conceptual stuff like I've written in other times, or given other talks on.

developerWorks: Now you're in Germany for how long? Are you there for a conference right now?

Neward: I am here, yes, for a conference. I'm here for the JAX conference, which is Germany's most popular Java conference, if I'm not mistaken. They've got about 1,100 [or] 1,200 people in attendance right now.

JAX, I guess, used to stand for Java and XML, but now it just basically stands for just all things Java and Java related.

And there's some discussion around Agile and OSGI, and of course a lot of things related to Java. Java 7 is one of the hot topics being discussed, and so on and so on and so on. But they've also got some other stuff.

For example, I'm giving two sessions on completely non-Java related topics. I'm talking about iPhone development and Objective-C, as well as giving one on ECMAScript, the language. So it's not, you know, it's not a steady diet of Java because, as the good book says, man cannot live on bread or Java alone.

developerWorks: Well anyway, we have been talking with, among other things, Java guru, Ted Neward. Ted, always good to have a moment with you man. Thanks for making the time.

Neward: Hey, no worries. Take care.

developerWorks: Find Ted's article on the developerWorks home page this week, or after that, and as well as now in the developerWorks Java zone at IBM.com/developerworks/java.

developerWorks is IBM's premier technical resource for software developers with tools, code, and education on IBM products and open standards technology. I'm Scott Laningham, talk to you next time.

What's new in the developerWorks community?

We have dW newsletter editor John Swanson on the line with a thought on themes this week. John?

Swanson: Hey Scott, how's it going?

developerWorks: It's going good. What's hot this week, what are you thinking about?

Swanson: Well the developerWorks newsletter this week is talking about data, specifically how to make the most out of your data. A lot of enterprises have data sitting around in various places, and maybe it's not getting used to the way it ought to. So we're looking at integrated data management this week, we're focusing on a newly updated article that shows readers how to manage data across its lifecycle.

developerWorks: Okay.

Swanson: Getting into more specifics, we're talking about Infosphere Data Architect, which is part of the Optim™ family of products [article: How to integrate IBM InfoSphere Data Architect and Rational Team Concert]; it used to be known as Rational® Data Architect. And this is a data modeling tool that integrates IBM information management and Rational solutions to help users squeeze the most out of their data.

And this is also sort of leading up to a Virtual Tech Briefing which is coming up next week, Best Practices in Data Modeling Using Infosphere Data Architect. So, it's all data, data, data this week.

developerWorks: Well, it's all about data isn't it? It's about making use, as you said, making smarter use of that data and not drowning in it.

Swanson: Yes. Very few organizations, from what I understand, are really using it as best as they can, and this is a good way to sort of get moving in the right direction with that.

developerWorks: Thank you, John. Always good to get your update. Appreciate it.

Swanson: Thank you sir.

developerWorks: Also new on developerWorks this week:

Find it all on ibm.com/developerworks.

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