Java News from Monday, March 7, 2005

developerWorks has published my latest article, Test your tests with Jester . This article describes how to use Jester to verify test suite coverage and thereby find bugs you didn't know you had. I have a love-hate relationship with Jester. On the one hand, it's based on a brilliant, radical idea. The underlying approach (changing the code and seeing what doesn't break) almost always reveals interesting and useful information about your code base. At the same time, Jester is so incredibly difficult to configure and takes so long to run that I don't use it nearly as often as I should. I hope this article sets down enough information about just how to get Jester working that I don't have to continually rediscover this every time I use this tool. Next up will be an article on more traditional code coverage tools that perhaps don't have the same level of insight that Jester does, but are much easier to configure and faster to run.

Sun has begun posting the JavaDocs for Java 1.6/a.k.a. Java 6/Mustang on I'm glad to see this, though the "DRAFT" watermark is very annoying. Fortunately Chris Pederick's Web Developer Toolbar for Mozilla/Firefox lets me turn that off.

Milestone 0.7 of JDesktop Network Components (JDNC) has been released. This package aims to provide higher level Swing abstractions for data-aware grid controls and the like. (Damn, I just flashed back to Visual Basic.) New features in 0.7 include a DataSet API to bind to tabular data stores such as SQL databases and a Login & Authentication API. based on JAAS.