My newest book, Sams Teach Yourself Java in 24 Hours, Fifth Edition, recently hit bookstores. The book is a for-absolute-beginners guide to programming Java, and this section from chapter one's Q&A section shows how much license I get from the publisher to have fun with the series: Q. Do you only answer questions about Java? A. Not at all. Ask me anything. Q. Okay, why is Prince mad at the Foo Fighters? A. Prince is unhappy that the Foo Fighters performed a cover of his song "Darling Nikki" and released it as a ... read more

I began a new book this week on Java programming for beginners. I haven't been doing much computer book writing for a couple years, so I no longer had an installed copy of Microsoft Word 97, the version of the software my publisher uses to draft manuscripts. Word 2007 can save files in 97 format, but it doesn't support the publisher's custom styles, so I decided to install Word 97 on Vista. Huge mistake. Word 97 appeared to install properly, but when I installed some other Microsoft software afterward, it removed ... read more

CNET moved a bunch of its blogs to a different domain this weekend, including Beyond Binary, Coop's Corner, Geek Gestalt, One More Thing, Outside the Lines and The Social. I mention this because the change hosed Meme13, which treated all six as if they were newly discovered sites. One of my ground rules for developing Meme13 is that I won't hand-edit the site to make it smarter. I need the application to recognize when existing sites in its database have moved. Meme13 monitors sites using a Java application I ... read more

The RSS Advisory Board site now includes all of the articles, weblog entries, and comments from the group's old Manila site, dating back to the group's founding in 2004. I never got a copy of the old site's root file from Harvard, so I collected the content using an obscure but cool feature of Manila: All site content is saved in the discussion board as individual messages, each of which can be downloaded as an OPML file. For example, open this weblog entry from Craig Burton's Manila blog in OPML format. I wrote a ... read more

I'm working on the next edition of Sams Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days, an 800-page monster that will cover Java 6 so thoroughly that all the other Java authors will stop writing their books and pursue retraining for a non-technical profession. (Computer book authors should talk smack like rappers. One of these days I'm going to start an East Coast/West Coast feud with Seattle's Glenn "PC-Diddy" Fleischman.) Ten years ago, the original edition of Java in 21 Days made a big deal out of Java applets, web-based ... read more

I heard from one of the organizers of the Spring Experience, an enterprise Java conference organized by NoFluffJustStuff that I criticized for assembling a 38-speaker roster than doesn't include a single female. He never responded to my request to run his e-mail in full, but this quote sums it up: We sought out a qualified speaker who was female. She is on your list. Unfortunately, she is in very high demand (as one would probably expect!) and in the end could not commit due to a scheduling conflict. Even with the ... read more

I've reached an agreement with Dave Winer regarding the Share Your OPML web application. I destroyed his original code and user data along with everything that was built from it and gave up my claim to a one-third stake in feeds.scripting.com. He gave up the claim that he's owed $5,000. I originally hoped one of us would buy the other out and launch the application, but we found a much stronger basis for agreement in a mutual desire to stop working together as quickly as possible. If Share Your OPML was a Java ... read more