Blair Wyman

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Top Stories by Blair Wyman

If you're familiar with the Java Native Interface (JNI), as this article presumes, you know that it's tailored primarily for C and C++ programmers. Compile-time support for JNI in these languages comes straight from the Sun specification, and is frankly a work of art. The architects of the JNI had a terrifying three-part task: to tame the hydra of platform-specific issues inherent in so-called "native" code, provide a way to use native code in Java, and to do so in as "portable" a fashion as possible. The ubiquity and standardization of C and C++ made them the natural choices for preferred native languages, and their affinity to Java is apparent to anyone who has programmed to the JNI. If you're familiar with IBM's e(logo)Server iSeries machine, you know it supports a wide range of programming languages, including: C (in several incarnations) C++ (quite recently) RP... (more)

Fear of the Dark

As I'm pathologically fond of pointing out - I'm a child of a bygone era. Oh, I'm not old enough to remember the time before Sputnik, light bulbs, or the coagulation of the planets from protostellar dust clouds, but I surely do remember GI Joe at 45 caliber, Ray Stevens at 45 RPM, and factory-rolled cigarettes at 45¢ a pack sold to anxious minors desperate to rebel (just like everyone else). It seems ironic to me that this column - gilding the edge of JDJ's ultramodern fabric - deals mostly with dusty memories of my vanished youth. On the other hand, I've heard that I should "wr... (more)


Back in high school, I worked as a roadie for my friends' rock and roll band. It was a great job, since I didn't need to make much money. Good thing, that. My take from our fabulous two-week, Christmas '74, "Wyoming Tour" was $9. The band covered tunes in the emergent heavy metal genre - Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk Railroad - and got regular gigs all over the Black Hills and Wyoming. I made literally dozens of dollars a week, when the band was busy, just helping with unloading, setup, and aloof swaggering. The swaggering came easy for me, because I also ran th... (more)

Confessions of a Procedural Programmer

Okay, I'll risk my career and admit it: I not only know how to draw a flowchart, I still find myself using them from time to time. I have one of those little green plastic flowcharting templates to help draw the symbols and arrowheads, but I don't use it much anymore. (I don't like to take it out of its climate-controlled vault; the chill might warp my precious slipstick.) I'll bet a few of you are smiling wistfully right now, secretly yearning for The Days of Boxes and Green Plastic: the expansive surfaces of glistening unblemished flowcharting paper, each patterned page awaitin... (more)

iostream of Consciousness

I've been weaving these threads of cubist pseudo-consciousness for over a year now, and the consequences of such promiscuous international celebrity are really starting to get out of hand. It seems as if I'm constantly handling "product placement" e-mails from big-shot marketing types, begging me to scrupulously avoid any mention of their products whatsoever. (They always add that "whatsoever" in there, as if I'd try to sneak something in on them. Well, you don't have to hit me over the head with an Uncle Bernie's Fine Cavalla mackerel!) I've been up to my scalp in Java code agai... (more)