Unfortunately the documentation is inadequate (and that's being kind). Consequently Frontier has an extremely steep learning curve (more like a cliff, really) for new users, even ones very experienced with scripting languages and web sites. To the extent that you're willing to restrict your web site to just what's been clearly documented in the tutorial, you'll be OK. However, as soon as you move off the beaten path, you almost immeditaely find yourself alone in a deep, dark place with no flashlight to light the way. Chances are pretty good Frontier can do anything you want it to do, but good luck figuring out how to make it do that. Matt Neuberg's upcoming book on Frontier 4 from O'Reilly may help somewhat when it's released.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has released the latest draft of its position paper on Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses. Amonf other things, this paper says that the U.S. government plans to drop its 30 percent surcharge on domain registration fees that was earmarked for the "preservation and enhancement of the intellectual infrastructure" of the Internet, effective April 1. The InterNIC is expected to follow suit by reducing domain registration fees to $70 for two years.
Several people have started suggesting quotes of the day. It is helpful, and I do appreciate it. However, if you send me a quote or other news item, please include a full citation for the quote and/or a URL. Unattributed or unverifiable quotes cannot be used.
Live Software has released the first beta of JRun 2.1, a free package that adds servlet support to many existing web servers. Version 2.1 supports the JDK 1.2 version of the Servlet API, persistent session tracking, and a single thread model. The beta is available only as a patch to JRun 2.0 and is recommended for experienced users only.
I've updated the notes for Week 2 of my Introduction to Java Programming class, Procedural Java.
Sun's released "technical preview 3" of InfoBus. InfoBus is a mechanism for cooperating Java beans to exchange structured data such as arrays, tables, and database row sets. The final release is promised in a few weeks.
Sun's released version 0.98 of the Extensible JavaBeans Runtime Containment and Services Protocol draft specification. This protocol allows beans contained in other beans to query the container bean for the services it provides, and to use those services.
ORO, Inc. has released version 1.2.4 of their NetComponents package. This release fixes a bug in a support class for TelnetClient affecting FTPClient. It also includes the a copy of the classes in a jar archive so that Mac developers can avoid the 32 character filename limit of the MacOS.
Yesterday I found my storage vendor was going bankrupt. Today I find out that my database vendor is in play. Apple is reabsorbing most of its Claris software subsidiary. Claris will be renamed FileMaker Inc. and keep Claris Home Page and the Filemaker Pro database, but all other products will be returned to Apple including including MacOS and ClarisWorks. Apple is looking for a buyer for the newly minted Filemaker Inc. Both the mailing list directory and the Java book collection here at Cafe au Lait are stored in Filemaker databases.
Mac friendly peripheral vendor APS Technologies has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It's probably another casualty of the continued implosion of the Mac market. This one hits close to home at Cafe au Lait since most of my data lives on APS hard drives and is backed up by APS tape drives. Can anyone recommend an alternate vendor that stands behind its products and understands both Macs and NT?
The aglets folks at IBM Japan have released the first public alpha (a3) of JMT (Java-based Moderator Templates). This is a framework for collaborative work by multiple agents.
JAD 1.4.2 is a free Java decompiler written in C++ for Wintel and Linux with a really cute, trademark infringing logo. The decompiler does not yet support inner or annoymous classes and doesn't do a great job of identifying superclasses or handling complicated loops and try-catch blocks yet either.
Cybotics is beta testing a servlet based, multilingual local (single website) search engine.
Chris Thompson's founded The Openscape Group. Right now he's making a list of people and resources who want to work on Netscape client code when it is released on March 31st.
A mailing list has been established to discuss porting the Netscape browser over to use the Gtk toolkit. To join, send "subscribe" in the body of a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bruce O'Neel's written a javac replacement for Macintosh Runtime for Java 2.0 that's more flexible in some ways.
IBM's released a new bug fix release of the JDK 1.1.4 for OS/2.
ZeroG has released version 1.0.1 of their payware, cross-platform Java program InstallAnywhere.
Netscape has announced that version 4.0 and later of Navigator and Communicator will be free for all users. (Communicator Pro will still cost $29.) More surprisingly Netscape is adopting an gnu-like attitude to software development, and will make Navigator/Communicator 5.0 source code freely available to third party developers. The developers, in turn, are expected only to provide Netscape (and presumably others) with the source code for their modified versions and products that use Netscape's code.
This probably won't be true GPL, but it's as close as I've ever seen a major software company come. This is incredibly gutsy move on Netscape's part, but one that should really help them grab market share and developer interest back from Microsoft and Internet Explorer. Apparently someone at Netscape has learned a thing or two from the pasting Apache's been giving their server products over the last couple of years.
Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 4.0 for Windows 3.1 and NT 3.51. This release supports Java 1.0.2.
Morten Hindsholm's posted JAMACS, some rough Elisp code containing several useful Java-related functions for Emacs.
Sean Russell's released jDB 3.40, a database written in Java.
IBM's alphaworks has released version 2.0 of their PilotBean, a Java interface to the US Robotics PalmPilot's memopad and datebook programs. The PilotBean is available only for Windows 95 andNT.
Matt Strausers's $35 shareware IDE Javide beta 0.1.1.5.2 is now integrated with Sun's jdb debugger.
Swing 1.0 is scheduled to be released in February. Here's what Sun has to say about it.
Apple's released MacOS 8.1. Among other improvements MacOS 8.1 includes Macintosh Runtime for Java 2.0, which supports Java 1.1.3. This is a runtime only. A beta MRJ SDK that includes the compiler and other tools is available separately. An update to MacOS 8.1 from MacOS 8.0 is freely available from various Apple web and ftp sites as well as download.com.
Live Software has updated version its free servlet stress tester ServletKiller. ServletKiller stress tests servlets by sending many repeated requests. A scrolling real-time display of request time is displayed as the program is running, with red bars indicating requests that are over 500 milliseconds.
Robert Marsanyi's JavaMidi package interfaces between Java and the host's native MIDI capabilities on the Mac and PC. It handles input and output and arbitrary-length system exclusive packets.
Scott Plante's written an ImageProducer that converts SGI RGB/RGBA images in a local file or on a web server into Java images. It's published in source format so this is a nice example of how to support additional image file formats in Java.
EOS's $299 payware FTP Java bean provides client-side FTP. It can upload, download, create and delete files and directories. An evaluation version is available. The full version includes source code.
Version 2.12 of the WingDis decompiler is now available. If you bought my book Java Secrets you can upgrade from the version included on the CD for $5.00 off.
Enliven 2.1 is a payware system that includes a Java applet that plays Macromedia Director files, no plug-in required.
Copernican Solutions has published several tools for working with SGML, XML, and DSSSL in Java including the DAE SDK for an application environment, the DAE Server SDK for a server environment, a DSSSL Developer's Toolkit, that provides Java APIs for DSSSL, and a JSPI SDK, an SGML processor written in Java.
JScheme is a Java/Scheme hybrid deloped at Brandeis University for teaching. It combines the core syntax of Scheme with the objects, methods, and lexical structure of Java. JScheme compiles to Java byte codes.
RmiJdbc is a GPL'd Type 3 JDBC Driver that uses Remote Method Invocation (RMI) to bridge between ODBC running on a Windows NT server and Java running on the client.
Version 1.1a1 of New Atlanta's ServletExec for Mac OS supports Apple's Mac OS Runtime for Java (MRJ) 2.0. It does not add any other new features to version 1.0. ServletExec provides Java servlet support for WebSTAR 2.0/2.1/3.0, Quid Pro Quo 2.0/2.1, AppleShare IP 5.0.2, and WebTen 1.1.1.
New Windows and Mac versions of JConfig are available and use the exact same API with nearly the same functionality. The major addition is the FileRegistry.getProcesses() method which returns a list of all the currently running processes. JConfig also allows programmers to find extended information on files, folders, volumes, and aliases: their icons, creation dates, version information, and more; enumerate the currently mounted disk drives; launch a browser with a URL or a file; identify, resolve, and create aliases; enumerate the user's monitors and get info about each monitor's settings and capabilities; create external processes and send them basic commands; convert between Windows file extensions and Mac creator/file type codes, find applications by name and file type; and access the Internet Config file mapping database.
From the the better late than never department, comes news that Sun has released a WebNFS client written in Java and a Java WebNFS Software Development Kit. WebNFS is one solution to the problem of how an applet can write files and save state on a server.
The final electronic version of Bruce Eckel's Thinking in Java has been posted. The printed book should be out from Prentice Hall in late February or early March. This version includes new sections on the Java 1.2 Swing GUI library, the new Java 1.2 collections library, new appendixes on using non-Java codeand on performance, and many corrections and rewrites.
Version 16.62 of Clemens Lahme's Jacob, an Emacs based class browser, features a new class wizard.
The first public beta of version 4.0 of Ernest Friedman-Hill's Jess, the Java Expert System Shell, is now available. Jess 4.0b1 is faster than previous versions, and includes several new features including a test conditional element and I/O routers.
U.S. Judge Thomas Jackson harshly rejected Microsoft's motion to have Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig removed as special master from the DOJ's antitrust suit. The strength and tone of the judge's ruling are somewhat surprising. I honestly expected it to go the other way given the incriminating email Microsoft had uncovered. This indicates that Microsoft is in big trouble with this judge and may very well lose the suit, regardless of its merits.
The second edition of Arnold and Gosling's The Java Programming Language is available. This edition covers Java 1.1.
Sun's announced a version of HotJava for PersonalJava. It's called Personal Web Access. It's only available to licensees though.
Sun is officially announcing three new low-end UltraSparc workstations today, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 base price, which will probably be available in March. This is probably good enough pricing to hold on to Sun's installed base, but with Pentium II's available for about $2,000, I doubt it will gain any ground for Sun.
In an effort to sell its payware tools, JavaSpec, JavaStar, and JavaScope, Sun's SunTest division is holding a series of free seminars (a.k.a sales demos) through February titled "Secrets of Successful Java Testing". The seminar is free but you must preregister at http://www.suntest.com/seminars/. The seminar will take place on various dates through February in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Portland, Raleigh, St. Louis, San Francisco, Teaneck, Bracknell, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, and Toronto.
Of course Microsoft's a big company, and some of its employees/software have better things to do than scan the entire IP address space. They've posted a partial XSL (style steets for XML) parser for x86 Windows 95 and NT. It's available in two versions. The first is a command line application that generates an HTML file from an XML file and an XSL stylesheet. The second is an ActiveX Control that displays the HTML rendered XML/XSL inside Internet Explorer.
Michaki Tatsubori's released version 0.2.2 of OpenJava. Through the OpenJava Meta Object Protocol (MOP) programmers can customize Java to implement new language mechanisms like closures or operator overloading. OpenJava is itself written in Java 1.1, so it runs on any platform that supports Java 1.1. However, OpenJava generates Java 1.0 source code.
Version 1.0.1 of the $35 Jzipper applet archiver and obfuscator tool fixes an occasional bug with obfuscation of string constants.
StarNine Technologies has released the first public beta of WebSTAR 3, a $500 payware Web server for the Mac that supports Java servlets and sapplets. (Sapplets are an unfortunately named WebStar specific plug-in written in Java.) Apple's Macintosh Runtime for Java 2.0 and a PoweurMac are required to use servlets and sapplets. You will need this serial number to install WebStar 3. Both the server and the serial number expire on January 30.
Sun's released version 0.7 of the Java Accessibility API. to registered members of the Java Developer Connection. This release divides the Accessible interface into multiple smaller, more targeted interfaces so programmers don't have to implement everything at once. This version of Java Accessibility requires the Java 1.1 compatible version of Swing 0.7.
I'm playing around with a new design for this page. Why don't you take a look and let me know what you think? Suggestions and comments are appreciated.
EOS consulting's opened a mailing list called Swing for discussion of the Java Foundation Classes (aka "Swing"). To subscribe send email to email@example.com from the account you want to subscribe.
JService 0.3 lets Java applications run as Windows NT services.
Idetix's Invoker 1.1 is a similar but more general utility for NT that allows any application that can be launched by the command line (not just Java apps) to run as an NT service.
Tim Bray has released version 1.0 of Lark, an XML syntax-checker written in Java, and version 0.8 of Larval, a validating XML processor based on Lark. Both are free. Source code is included.
Nathan Fiedler's Graph Theory and Illustration application demonstrates graph algorithms like BFS, DFS, MST, and shortest path. It draws each edge of the search one at a time to clearly illustrate the operation of the algorithm. It also includes some useful abstract data type implementations: Queue, DisjointSet, and Fibonacci Heap.
The DBGen interface is well-done, but the overall architecture leaves something to be desired. First of all, the tool only produces compiled byte code so you can't edit the source files. Secondly, the backend is a servlet so using the tool requires a connection to 2link's web server. There's no stand-alone version. Thirdly, and most significantly, it requires the programmer to enter definitions for each field rather than reading them straight out of the database. A better tool could create class definitions on the fly, and convert database rows to Java objects.
Version 1.3 of Peter Hearty's freeware Java database InstantDB fixes a number of bugs including indexes on binary columns.
GenieWorks has released SpotCheck 1.0.1, a $39 syntax coloring, source code editor for the Macintosh. Version 1.0.1 adds support for Metrowerks CodeWarrior from release 9 through the Pro 2 release.
When I was finishing up my last book, Java Secrets, John Osborn, one of my editors at IDG, asked me what I thought would make a solid book for IDG's new professional series. "Beans! Let me write about beans!" I practically shouted. It was obvious, even then, that JavaBeans were going to be hot, and that this is where Java was moving. It's four months later; I know a lot more now about JavaBeans than I did then, and I'm more convinced than ever that JavaBeans is going to be an essential part of the future of Java, and indeed of the broader software development world. This book is your introduction to the exciting and fast-growing world of JavaBeans. With this book you'll learn how to write your own unique beans that can be loaded into builder tools to quickly produce powerful and customized applications.
The JavaBeans Power Guide is 355 pages, $39.95, and includes a CD with the JDK and the BDK (Beans Development Kit) as well as an assortment of beans and builder tools. It's now in stock at Amazon, Computer Literacy, and better bookstores everywhere. I've posted the preface, examples, table of contents, and some other material here on Cafe au Lait. I'll add some more in the New Year. In the meantime, why don't you check out JavaBeans and let me know what you think?