Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Best of 2008: A Software Development-Oriented Collection

The "Best of 2008" articles and blog postings are coming out every day now. With tomorrow being the final day of 2008, it seems like a good time to begin collecting some of these "Best of 2008" articles and blog entries here. Because more relevant articles or blog entries with "Best of 2008" are sure to come out today and tomorrow and possibly even early in 2009, I plan to update this posting at least a few times with new entries. Please feel free to add any that I have missed via feedback comment (must have a Google account).

I have already cited two of the "Best of" postings in my previous blog posting 2008: Year of the Java Persistence API because both Oracle Technology Network and JavaLobby featured an article focusing on the Java Persistence API (JPA) in their top ten. For completeness, I will include those the links to those two collections here again.

It is also worth pointing out that five of these lists are associated with five DZone zones: JavaLobby, EclipseZone, Architect Zone, Web Builder Zone, .NET Zone. For those of us who use NetBeans and feel somewhat left out in the just-mentioned list, there is also a NetBeans Zone and their is an article about the single (not top ten) most popular article on NetBeanZone in 2008.

JavaLobby's Top Ten Articles of 2008
Link: http://java.dzone.com/articles/javalobbys-top-10-articles-200
Summary: Articles cover topics such as Java Persistence API, Hibernate, Java tools and the effect of open source on tools, migration from Tomcat to GlassFish, and several more.

Best Article on NetBeans Zone in 2008
Link: http://netbeans.dzone.com/news/best-article-netbeans-zone-200
Summary: The most popular NetBeans Zone article of 2008 is From Pain to Gain: Swing and the Netbeans Platform in the Real World.

EclipseZone's Top 10 Articles of 2008
Link: http://netbeans.dzone.com/news/from-pain-gain-swing-and-netbe
Summary: These articles are obviously all Eclipse-focused and cover topics such as EclipseLink (another JPA-related article makes a top ten list!), Spring Framework and Spring IDE, release of Eclipse 3.4 (Ganymede), Mylyn, and several other topics.

Best of 2008: The Most Popular Tech Articles and How-Tos Published by OTN This Year
Link: http://blogs.oracle.com/otn/2008/12/best_of_2008_the_most_popular.html
Summary: This list includes several articles on specific Oracle product topics such as Oracle Database 11g, but also includes several articles that cover general topics that relate to Oracle and non-Oracle products. These latter topics include my article on Basic Java Persistence API Best Practices, Linux commands, using SQL with Linux and Ruby, and .NET.

[Architect Zone] The 2008 Top Ten - Looking Ahead to 2009
Link: http://architects.dzone.com/news/the-2008-top-ten-looking-ahead
Summary: Common themes and topics for the top ten Architect Zone articles included REST (REST != HTTP in addition to four other articles on web services.

A Year in Retrospect - Web Builder Zone's Top Ten for 2008
Link: http://css.dzone.com/news/a-year-in-retrospect-web-build
Summary: Topics in this top ten included jQuery, more on (Eclipse) Ganymede, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and PHP.

.NET Zone's Top 10 Articles of 2008
Link: http://dotnet.dzone.com/articles/net-zones-top-10-articles-2008
Summary: These articles are related to .NET, of course, but include specific focus on topics such as ASP.NET (multiple), jQuery again, LINQ, C#, and Visual Studio.

The 10 Most Popular Sanity Check Columns of 2008
Link: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/hiner/?p=902&tag=nl.e101
Summary: This list is in many ways more varied than those covered previously and covers topics such as Five Things that Suck about Working in IT, Ten Trends that Will Transform IT Over the Next Five Years, and Seven Hot Acronyms IT Pros are Talking About.

[Linux Magazine] Top Ten Software Development Articles of 2008
Link: http://www.linux-mag.com/id/7190
Summary: There's a lot of Linux coverage in the Linux Magazine top ten articles, of course, but other topics covered in relation to Linux include command-line literacy, new features of PostgreSQL 8.3, OpenSolaris, several articles on Ubuntu, and more.

Significant Software Development Developments of 2008
Link: http://marxsoftware.blogspot.com/2008/12/significant-software-development.html
Summary: My blog post of the top ten software development happenings from my perspective in 2008.

Pushing Pixels: The Best of 2008
Link: http://www.pushing-pixels.org/?p=1024
Summary: Kirill Grouchnikov outlines his top ten blog postings in terms of reader hits as well as his own personal top ten. Many of these posts are heavily focused on building user interfaces with Java including the well-read entry Sun Setting Down on the Core Swing (which has interesting feedback in addition to the interest post itself).

[InformationWorld] Top 10 Open Source Stories of 2008
Link: http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/open_source/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=212300206
Summary: Includes several stories related to big-name open source products and their vendors/sponsors such as Google Chrome and Google Android as well as articles on legally related topics such as SCO court decision and the enforcement of copyrights on open source software.

Top 10 Web Platforms of 2008
Link: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/top_10_web_platforms_of_2008.php
Summary: Adobe AIR comes in at #3 on this list that also includes iPhone SDK, Twitter API, Facebook Platform, and . The Top 100 Products of 2008 list includes this list as well as other top ten for 2008 lists at this site.

Not Your Typical Top Ten of 2008 Post
Link: http://haacked.com/archive/2008/12/30/not-your-typical-top-ten-of-2008-post.aspx
Summary: Phil Haack's listing of his own blog's most popular blog posts as well as his favorite blog posts by other bloggers. Some of the favorite topics highlighted here include CSS, jQuery, and the importance of routines.

Top on Agile Software Development (.com) in 2008
Link: http://agilesoftwaredevelopment.com/blog/artem/top-agile-software-development-com-2008
Summary: Features blog postings such as Can Unit Testing be a Waste?, A Story About the Definition of Done, and Seven Tips for Improving the Daily Standup Meeting.

My (Dustin's) Top Ten Blog Postings of 2008
I had thought about posting this as a separate blog posting, but decided to simply include it here with this collection of "Top Ten" blogs and articles. According to Google Analytics, here are the ten most popular blog postings from my blog for 2008 (only blog postings published with a 2008 date included in this list):

1. From JConsole to VisualVM (28 August 2008)
2. Flex 3 Versus Flex 2 (26 April 2008)
3. Flex Charts with Google Charts and Eastwood Charts (25 August 2008)
4. NetBeans 6.1: A JavaScript IDE (20 March 2008)
5. Barebones BlazeDS HTTP Service Example (9 May 2008)
6. Apache Commons ToStringBuilder (1 November 2008)
7. Flex and OpenLaszlo in NetBeans 6.1 Beta (17 April 2008)
8. Comparing Unix/Linux, PowerShell, and DOS Commands (22 March 2008)
9. Simple Remote JMX with GlassFish (19 May 2008)
10. The Java SE 6 Deque (6 October 2008)

There are multiple observations and conclusions that can be made from what appears in the top ten and from the other 174 postings I published in 2008 that did not make the list, but I'll focus on two here. An observation that I found to be interesting is that two 2007 blog postings (albeit posted late in the year) would have been in the top ten for 2008 hits had I allowed them to be counted: Placing Flex Error/Fault Information on the Clipboard (29 November 2007; would have been #5) and ASDoc: Javadoc for ActionScript (11 December 2007; would have been #8). The other obvious observation is that my most popular blog entries tended to be those with focus on details related to using Flex and to using general Java.


There are some take-aways from these top ten lists. Topics that were in multiple top ten lists included the Java Persistence API, Eclipse 3.4, Java tools (see also JavaWorld article Year in Review: The Java Tools Roundup), Linux, and open source in general.

While 2008 may have been the Year of the Rat, the International Year of the Potato, International Year of Languages, International Year of Sanitation, International Year of Planet Earth, International Year of Human Rights Learning, Year of the Frog, International Year of the Reef, and so forth, we in the software development community might also see it as the Year of the Java Persistence API, Year of Linux on the Desktop, and Year of several other obviously popular software development topics in 2008.

"Best of" and "Top Ten" Collections Added Since Original Post

UPDATE (31 December 2008):
* [CodeClimber/.NET] Best of 2008: 5 Most Popular Posts
* Top 75 Best Design Resources of 2008
* 2008 Most Popular Design Posts, Tutorials and Resources

UPDATE (1 January 2009):
* JavaWorld has added their top ten articles of 2008 based on page views. The top ten are displayed in the screen snapshot shown next and include two articles with heavy JPA focus. The top ten articles also include topics that were largely new to me in 2008 such as OSGi and COMET.

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