Technologies I'm interested in: 2004 Edition

by William Grosso

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Last year, a bunch of the O'Reilly webloggers made predictions. That didn't work out so well (by my count, I scored a 2.5 out of 5. With a big miss at the number 1 and 2 slots). So this year, when Steve Mallet asked "what are you going to work on during the coming year," I thought "This is easier than predictions." So here's the technologies I'm planning on learning more about in the first 6 months of 2004:

  • Lucene and Nutch. Call me a slap-happy fool but I think that understanding search and indexing algorithms, knowing when they'll work and when they'll fail, and being able to use them effectively, is going to be more and more important. I've already used Lucene quite a bit; I want to play with Nutch to hone my intuition (plus, there's some very interesting scalability issues when you try to build a search engine).
  • XQuery. Jason Hunter gave a talk on XQuery at the Emerging Technology SIG and I thought "Oh shit. That's compelling." It just feels like a piece of infrastructure that's suddenly going to become ubiquitous.
  • MySQL. I've never actually looked deeply into MySQL (never installed it on m home box, never actually put the pedal to the medal and played with it). I'm playing catch-up here, but I really ought to know a lot more about MySQL than I do.
  • Java 1.5. I'm a Java guy. That means that downloading the 1.5 alpha and playing with it is important to me.

The omission here is web-services. I've used (and quite like) XML-RPC. And I understand SOAP, and have used Axis. But the vast amount of stuff that sits above SOAP is still mostly unknown to me, and I'm not really curious about it right now (it feels like a huge stack of cards waiting to tumble. When it comes to middleware as complex as the "web-services stack" is turning out to be, I start yearning for the good old days).

What about you? What new technologies are you going to learn about (and why)?


2004-01-23 03:50:16
AO is where I am but ....
I've been kicking around AO and AspectJ for a while now, but there's got to be gains to be made by looking at the other AO implementations such as Aspect Werkz and JBoss's integration facilities. There's been loads of discussions on the lists about these two but this year I'm going to get neck-deep in them so that I'll at least know what other people are talking about.

Other areas I'm already using a bit but would love to get deeper with are Cocoa development and hopefully my work with Oxford university on my thesis will provide a launchpad for that (I can always work something in).