Java News from Monday, July 11, 2005

Sun and IBM have released the final version of Java Specification Request (JSR) 105, XML Digital Signature APIs. "The purpose of this JSR is to define a standard Java™ API for generating and validating XML signatures." A reference implementation is included with the Java Web Services Developer Pack 1.6. All that's available in the spec is JavaDoc for the javax.xml.crypto package. The lack of any real examples is disturbing. Designing APIs without attemtping to write sample code and tutorials generally leads to APIs that are too hard to use, too hard to understand, have significant gaps in coverage, and spend excessive effort on parts nobody needs. When working on XOM, I don't consider anything complete until there's sample code and documentation, beyond merely the API documentation. The library developer's view of an API is all too often too focused on a class's internals and not focused enough on what the library looks like to a client of the library. Writing tutorials and sample programs forces you to switch perspectives and results in cleaner, saner, simpler APIs.

Sun's posted the public draft review of JSR-244, Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition 5.0 to the Java Community Process (JCP). Comments are due by August 8.