February 1998 Java News

Saturday, February 28, 1998
XLogo is an XML application for programming Logo Turtle Graphics. The XLogo program is a valid XML document. The XLogo runtime is a set of Java classes that processes the XLogo program.

Friday, February 27, 1998
Sun's posted the first public draft of the Java Speech API for public comment. This is a specification only. No code or class libraries are included.

Version 3.0 of Kawa, Tek-Tools $49 Windows shareware IDE for Java, is now available. Kawa 3.0 supports Java 1.2 and adds a debugger.

IBM's released a new beta of their JDK 1.1.4 port to OS/400.

Gerald Brose has released version 0.8e of JacORB, a GPL'd Java Object Request Broker. This release exterminates a host of bugs.

Microsoft's released version 4.0a of Internet Explorer for the Macintosh.

Thursday, February 26, 1998
Version 1.1 of the Java Foundation Classes (Swing 1.0) has been released for Wintel and Unix. A Mac version is promised soon. (The previous version was 0.7.)

The W3C has elevated MathML, an XML-based notation for writing math on the web, to proposed recommendation status.

IBM's released a new beta of the JDK 1.1.4 for AIX.

Marimba's $995 Castanet 2.1 will support diff-like updates to more effectively utilize Internet bandwidth. A public beta is available now.

Wednesday, February 25, 1998
The first alpha release of Mnemonic, a new free, modular browser for Linux and potentially other Unixes is now available.

Microsoft has released the finished version of Internet Explorer 4.0 for Solaris.

John Wilson has posted an interesting trick for determining when it is safe to reuse an object rather than constructing a new one.

Tuesday, February 24, 1998
Apple has posted early access release 2 of its Mac OS Runtime for Java (MRJ) SDK version 2.0.1. For the first time standard JDK tools like javac, javah, javadoc, javakey, rmic, and jar are included as well as Apple's own JBindery, MRJToolkit, JDirect, and JManager.

Netscape has launched mozilla.org "to provide open and common software for network client applications, by coordinating, building, and guiding the public sharing of the Netscape Communicator source code."

I've updated the notes for Week 4, More Objects, of my Introduction to Java course.

Monday, February 23, 1998
Sun's posted the February 1998 version of Beans Development Kit (BDK). This release fixes various bugs, and adds a few minor features. It requires JDK 1.1.4 or later.

Sun's released beta 0.6 of the Java Speech API

IBM's alphaworks has released version 0.97 of its Bamba for Java streaming audio and video client.

Sunday, February 22, 1998
Live Software has posted the Online Edition of ServletWizard 1.0. This is a Java 1.1 applet that walks you through the steps of creating the framework for a Java servlet and generates source code for the servlet. You'll need a Java 1.1 capable web browser or applet viewer to use it.

Gary McGath's Zip Server is a Macintosh Java application that allows you to read files from a zip archive through your web browser using a local web server. The server treats the zip file as an HTTP server volume. This is useful for dealing with long file names like those in most Javadoc documentation that would otherwise be truncated on the Mac. Source code is included.

Saturday, February 21, 1998
Version 1.3 of ORO's free NetComponents package adds support for various BSD Unix "r" utilities including rexec, rcmd, rshell, and rlogin.

Jad 1.5.2 is a Java decompiler written in C++ for Windows and Unix. This version fixes various bugs.

Version 1.0b7 of the Sumatra Project's Toba, a Java-to-C translator, is now available. This release fixes various bugs, reorganized the code, drops Windows support, adds threads support on all platforms, and provides just-in-time compilation for Linux/Intel.

RSA has released version 1.1 of their pricey payware cryptography toolkit, JSafe. features various speed enhancements. The JSafe software development kit costs $290. Integrating JSafe with a shipping product is more expensive with prices starting at $15,000.

Friday, February 20, 1998
Sun's posted the first documentation for the Java Communications API on the Java Developer Connection (registration required). This API will be used to write applications that require accessing a serial or parallel port. This includes talking to modems and smart cards. Applications include voice mail, fax, terminal emulation, printing, and the like.

JForge 2.0b9 is a GUI builder that uses Java Foundation Classes. JForge is written in Java and should run on any platform that supports the JFC. This release fixes assorted bugs.

Version 17.64 of Clemens Lahme's Jacob, an Emacs based class browser, features an interface to JavaNCSS, a Java lines of code counter. Furthermore, the user can now invoke other tools from the menu given a wrapper class for the tool.

The standard edition of SuperCede 2.0 which compiles Java code to native X86 Windows code is now freely available from the SuperCede web site Supercede features a form-centric environment, database support, and JavaBeans. The professional edition, $995 payware, adds ActiveX and C++ support as well as additional database functionality.

Version 0.28 of IBM's Java compiler Jikes fixes various bugs.

Live Software has released of first beta (2.1b2) of its free JRun servlet engine for Microsoft IIS using Microsoft's SDK for Java 2.01. This beta supports the JDK 1.2 Servlet API, persistent session tracking capability, and servlet pooling.

A third party has ported HotJava to the Macintosh. As usual, the problems encountered indicate that promises of write-once-run-anywhere are still not met.

Version 1.2.2 of Henrik Bengtsson's printf() replacement for Java fixes some incompatibilities with Java 1.0.2.

Thursday, February 19, 1998
Sun's posted screen shots of Metal, the new platform independent default look and feel for Swing.

The second beta of version 1.1 of the JavaServer Toolkit is now available to registered members of the Java Developer Connection. This package is for programmers writing server applications. This release adds support for internationalization, servlet JavaBeans, multiprocess administration, and requires a Java 1.1 enabled web browser.

I fixed the books page so that it now correctly reports multiple authors.

Wednesday, February 18, 1998
Intermetrics has released version 2.7 of AppletMagic, its ADA-to-Java-byte-code compiler, for Sparc Solaris and Windows 95/NT. This is primarily a bug fix release. This beta release expires April 30, 1998.

Tuesday, February 17, 1998
IBM's released a new beta of the JDK 1.1.4 for AIX. It requires AIX 4.1.5 or later.

Notes from the Valley
I'm back from my sojourn in Silicon Valley/San Francisco where SD98 attendees got to hear me pontificate about Java Network Programming. For those who couldn't attend, the raw PowerPoint slides from Part 1, URLs and Part 2, Sockets are now online. I'll convert them to HTML in the next week or two. In the meantime I'll be catching up on back email and announcements for the next couple of days.

I didn't have a lot of time to spend at the conference so I missed most of the talks, and even the speaker's party which I'd really wanted to attend. (Note to show organizers: put everything on the web up to and including party invites. Do not assume disorganized techies can find or even remember that small piece of snail mail you sent them two months ago.) The show floor was mildly interesting but not spectacularly amusing. No products really stood out, though Intel's VTune did attract large crowds.

The most interesting parts of the trip were outside the conference. I had excellent meals at Rosa Pistolla's in Nob Hill (braised yellow tail with roasted brussels sprouts) and Mr. Mom's Cafe in Peta Luma (fabulous hamburgers and omelettes). I visited numerous friends and colleagues including the gang at Digital Think where I finally found the adjustable height tables I've been seeking for years. I also visited various techie attractions including Fry's Electronics, the U.C. Berkeley physics department, and the Winchester Mansion. (After several years of my wife dragging me around old plantation houses and mansions wherever we went, I finally dragged her to one.)

There were several parties during the show, but my personal favorite was the one Beth and I threw down in Redwood City Saturday night that featured the music of Mimi Dye on viola and world famous whistler Jason Serinus (the voice of Woodstock in the Peanuts cartoons). In a field full of amateurs, Jason's a true virtuoso. Matt Grachinette's Mardi Gras party Friday night gets the award for best food. I'm not sure I got to all of it, but what I did sample included seafood gumbo, red beans and rice, beef curry, coconut shrimp, crawfish etouffe, and various vegan dishes.

I really enjoyed the Bay Area, overall. However the housing prices were positively scary, so I don't see moving there anytime soon. Hard as it is to believe, housing costs were worse than New York's. In New York City housing prices drop sharply as soon as you leave the lower of half Manhattan, but in the Bay Area I saw no such alternatives. Everything within an hour drive of Market Street seemed to be in the $200,000 dollar minimum bid region, and that's the low end of the market! Friends reported buyers peeking in their windows in Berkeley and making unsolicited bids, and this in a not particularly nice neighborhood.

I'm back in Brooklyn now, and I've got a weeks worth of email to catch up on. If you sent a tip or a comment over the last week, I'll probably get back to you in the next day or two. There'll be a lot more news over the next couple of days as I wade through the several hundred emails that were sent in my absence, so you may want to check back often. Enjoy.

Monday, February 16, 1998
Baltimore Technologies has released version 3.0 of its payware Java cryptography library, J/CRYPTO. The primary new feature in this release is the handling of X.509 digital certificates. This product is definitely on the expensive side at 250 Irish pounds per developer, plus 30 pound per user runtime fees with a minimum advance royalty of 5,000 pounds.

Sunday, February 15, 1998
Object Plant 1.4.6, a $25.00 shareware program for object-oriented analysis and design, is now available. This version fixes a number of bugs and speeds up some operations.

Saturday, February 14, 1998
JForge 2.0 beta is a GUI builder that uses Java Foundation Classes. JForge is written in Java and should run on any platform that supports the JFC.

Friday, February 13, 1998
Sun's posted documentation for the Secure Socket Layer extension for Java in the Java Developer Connection.

Thursday, February 12, 1998
I've posted the raw PowerPoint slides from my SD98 West talks on URLs and Sockets. I'll convert them to HTML in the next week or two.

ORO's NetComponents 1.2.6 fixes a small bug in SimpleSMTPHeader.addHeaderField().

Zelix Klassmaster 1.0.2 fixes an obscure bug. Klassmaster is a Java byte code viewer, editor, obfuscator, and unobfuscator.

Wednesday, February 12, 1998
Live Software has released of first beta (2.1b2) of its free JRun servlet engine for Netscape 3.x Servers on Solaris. This beta supports the JDK 1.2 Servlet API, persistent session tracking capability, and servlet pooling.

Arnona Internet Software Inc. has posted a public beta of CadViewer, a Java applet for viewing AutoCad (.dwf) drawings.

Tuesday, February 11, 1998
Borland's posted an update for JBuilder 1.0.

IBM's alphaworks project has written yet another validating XML parser in Java. There are at least half a dozen of these things floating around the net now. Would anyone care to do something really useful and write an XML browser in Java for a change?

Monday, February 10, 1998
The InterNIC has revised its domain name dispute policy.

IBM's released the AS/400 Developer Kit for Java that provides a Java 1.1.4 Virtual Machine running under the AS/400 machine interface.

Version 0.5.1 of the GEF Graph Editing Framework is now available. This is primarily a bug fix release.

New Atlanta's released version 1.1b1 of their ServletExec for Mac OS and Windows. ServletExec provides Java servlet support to Microsoft Internet Information Server, Netscape FastTrack and Enterprise servers, WebSTAR 2.0-3.0, Quid Pro Quo 2.0/2.1, AppleShare IP 5.0.2, and WebTen 1.1.1. This version implements the full Java Servlet API as defined by JDK 1.2. New features include user session tracking, dynamic page compilation, presentation templates, a file upload servlet, and support for compressed zip and jar archives.

NetForge 0.2.8 is an $80 shareware Web server written entirely in Java 1.1.3 that features a small server kernel extended by responder objects. This release fixes various bugs and adds some configuration options.

Sunday, February 8, 1998
Sun's released the final version of the Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI) 1.1. JNDI provides a unified interface to multiple naming and directory services.

ORO, Inc. has released NetComponents 1.2.5 which adds some performance improvements in FTP uploads, a change in DefaultFTPFileLister to support the listing of special files such as Unix block devices, a change in the behavior of enterLocalPassiveMode() in FTPClient, and better support for non-compliant FTP servers as well.

Saturday, February 7, 1998
The first alpha of a Java 1.1 compatible version of the BISS AWT (0.88) is now available. BISS AWT is a framework for building graphical applications which instead of following the "OS-native" look-and-feel like Sun's AWT implements its own look-and-feel across all platforms. It can also be used to build a stand-alone AWT that requires only minimal native library support. There's no native library support in this alpha yet, though.

Version 1.4 of Peter Hearty's freeware Java database InstantDB fixes a number of bugs and adds database triggers for the first time.

Friday, February 6, 1998
Sun's released version 1.1.2 of the HotJava bean for rendering HTML.

Thursday, February 5, 1998
Sun's released version 1.0 of the Java Shared Data Toolkit to registered members of the Java Developer Connection.

IBM's released an update of their JDK 1.1.1 port for OS/390 that includes a faster JIT and various performance improvements.

Sun's looking for fifty private beta testers for Java Blend, a database application development tool.

The W3C has released version 2.0a1a of Jigsaw, their reference and research web server written in Java. I couldn't find any indication of what's the difference between this version and 2.0a1 released a few days ago, it's probably just a fix for a particularly nasty bug.

The third public beta of version 4.0 of Ernest Friedman-Hill's Jess, the Java Expert System Shell, is now available.

Netscape's trying to answer some frequently asked questions about their source code release of Communicator. Most notably "Currently, there are no plans to release source code for a Java version of Communicator."

CSFactory has JDiff 1.0, a free visual diff tool for text files. It should run on any platform that supports Java 1.1.

Jad 1.5 is now available. Jad is a Java decompiler written in natve code for Windows 95/NT and Linux. This release adds support for inner and anonymous classes.

Wednesday, February 4, 1998
Version 0.27 of IBM's Java compiler Jikes now supports Java 1.1.

Tuesday, February 3, 1998
Apple has posted a Mac format version of Sun's Java Foundation Classes ("Swing") Early Access 0.7 software. This release has been tweaked slightly to run better on the Mac. JFC 0.7 requires version Mac OS Runtime for Java 2.0 (MRJ).

However this file appears to be infected with the nVir virus so use extreme caution if you download it. Presumably Apple will fix this soon, and post a clean copy. The original file, which may not be infected, can be retrieved from ftp://ftp.ZeroG.com/pub/. And if you don't already have it, you should pick up John Norstad's Disinfectant 3.7.1.

Sun's posted version 0.33 of the JavaHelp 1.0 Draft Specification. JavaHelp allows developers to incorporate online help in components, applications, operating systems, and devices. It will be a standard extension to Java 1.2.

Monday, February 2, 1998
Sun's released the second beta of the Java Activation Framework (JAF) for JavaBeans. (This is not the same thing as the Java Activator.) JAF lets JavaBeans programmers dynamically determine the type of an arbitrary piece of data, encapsulate access to it, discover the operations available on it, and instantiate JavaBeans components to perform those operations. For example, if a browser loaded a Quicktime movie, JAF should find a bean that can play the movie. This is the first release to implement draft specification 0.5 of December 9.

The W3C has released the first alpha of version 2.0 of Jigsaw, their reference and research web server written in Java.

Marc Meurrens has written a useful page of resources related to Java byte code; assembly, disassembly, decompilation, obfuscation, and the like.

A new mailing list has formed for developers interested in Sun's 100% Pure Java Program. Anything directly related to writing 100% Pure Java is acceptable; using Sun's purity testing tools; tips, techniques, and workarounds for writing 100% pure code; general questions relating to the program, etc. This is not a list for general Java questions. To subscribe send email to purejava-request@java.blackdown.org with the word subscribe in the subject.

Sunday, February 1, 1998
Version 1.2 of Henrik Bengtsson's printf() replacement for Java supports Java 1.0.2.

Apple's released the final version of the Mac OS Runtime for Java (MRJ) SDK 2.0. This includes JBindery for running Java applications and converting them to stand-alone, double-clickable Macintosh applications; MRJToolkit, a library that allows programmers to add Mac-specific functionality to Java applications such as responding to Open and Quit Apple events, locating special system folders, or setting document types; JDirect, an API for calling the Mac toolbox from Java application; and JManager-an API that allows you to embed Java in traditional Mac applications.

javac, javadoc, javah and jar. Surprisingly, the SDK does not include the javac compiler or various other standard tools like javadoc, javah, and jar.

You can also read the news from January or March if you like.

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Copyright 1998 Elliotte Rusty Harold
Last Modified March 1, 1998