Five Java articles you should share with your team

Want to tweak your team's Java skills? Check out our roundup of five Java articles, including one on the Ant build tool.

Read any good Java articles lately? As a manager, when you come across a great article, you probably make a mental note to share it with your team. Unfortunately, those articles are often forgotten in the midst of the latest crisis. To make the task easier for you, we’ve handpicked the best Java articles to appear on in the last few months and collected them all for you here. Check out our selections.

Internationalization with Java
One of the unique challenges involved in building large-scale distributed systems comes when groups of users are located in different time zones, or even separate countries. To cope with such localization problems effectively, a Java developer needs more than a passing knowledge of Java's date utility classes. In "Master these advanced Java date concepts,” Katherine Wright introduces the tools you'll need to support internationalization and localization in your applications and provides copious code samples. (If you’re rusty on dates in Java, then you should check out another Wright article, ”Calculate, customize, and parse dates with Java Date and Calendar classes,” before diving into the more advanced techniques.)

Swing Action management with Reflection
One of the strengths you’ll find in both Java's AWT and Swing GUI toolkits lies in the flexible, abstract way they handle events. But this flexibility comes at the expense of simplicity, with the result that Java developers may find themselves writing large amounts of code to handle comparatively simple tasks, such as creating menu or toolbar commands. One of our Java tips of the week, "Done with mirrors: Use Reflection to catch generic actions," introduces an elegant technique for handling events with minimal code by dynamically generating function names via Java's Reflection API.

Getting to know application logging
Even the most rigorously tested of applications will still have bugs, and even the most technically savvy of users may be unable to adequately explain the circumstances surrounding an error. When you're trying to dissect a failure, nothing matches the usefulness of the lowly text error log. "Add logging to your Java Applications" introduces the Log4j logging package and explains how to integrate it into your applications.

Schedule recurring events with the Timer class
A lot of programmers' work revolves around automating recurring tasks, especially in an IT environment. While it's not a perfect solution to every scheduling problem, Java's Timer class makes it easy to schedule future single or recurring events. "Schedule events with the Timer class" shows you how.

Flexible building with Ant
What's this? Java build tools? Sure, most any competent IDE can handle building a Java app, so why do you need a build tool? The Jakarta project's Java builder, known as Ant, brings to the table some nice features that most IDEs lack, especially for large-scale projects. Ant includes support for multiple platform builds, a script-like system for automating prebuild steps, and integrated JAR building. Get the lowdown on Ant with "Ant brings pure Java portability, flexibility to key build tool options."

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