Apple's released QuickTime 3.0 for MacOS 7.0 and later and Windows 95 or NT. It requires a 68020 or later Mac with 8MB of RAM or a PowerMac or 486DX or later with 16 MB of RAM. MPEG-1, 3D, and various effects do not work on 680x0 Macs. DirectX 3.0 or later and the latest DirectDraw and DirectSound drivers are recommended on Windows.
QuickTime 3.0 supports many more file and compression formats, adds various MIDI instruments and effects, and supports streaming audio and video over the Internet. QuickTime 3.0 Pro is an optional $29.95 upgrade that adds various editing, saving, and copying capabilities as well as simple playback.
The W3C has also elevated Cascading Style Sheets Level 2 to proposed recommendation status.
The latest revision of XML linking working draft is now split into three pieces, linking mechanisms, addressing mechanisms, and design principles.
The first working draft of Namespaces in XML has also just been made available. This proposal is on a fast track to proposed recommendation status unless major problems are uncovered.
A preview edition of www.xml.com from Seybold and O'Reilly features a very useful annotated version of the XML specification.
Macromedia's posted the first public beta of FireWorks for the Mac and Windows. Fireworks is a general-purpose web graphics tool.
You may have better luck downloading Cosmo Player 2.1 for the Mac if you try SGI's ftp site. The file on the web site may be corrupt.
SGI's released the first alpha of Cosmo Player 2.1 for the Macintosh. This release is quite buggy and really only for Mac users desperate for VRML.
Borland's released the 1.0.1 update of JBuilder (standard and professional editions). This is a performance and bug fix release.
DropMain 1.1 is a postcard-ware drag and drop wrapper for Java programs under Apple's Macintosh Runtime for Java (MRJ). It's designed to run Java programs that expect to read arguments from the command line. Since the Mac doesn't have a command line, arguments are taken from the names or contents of files dropped onto the program.
This is the more minor of the two suits Sun has outstanding against Microsoft. The more major one, involving Microsoft's right to use and modify the Java source code and API, is still up in the air.
Separately, Sun has decided that they don't like HP cloning embedded Java after all; and they're beginning to grumble about a possible lawsuit. The specific argument Sun is pushing is that HP is allowed to create a full implementation of Java, but not a subset of Java such as EmbeddedJava. In other words, Sun, and only Sun, is allowed to create subsets of the language.
In my opinion, Sun doesn't have grounds for such a suit unless whatever as yet unrevealed license agreements exist between Sun and HP specifically prohibit HP from doing this. However, whatever the legal realities are, this is one more piece of evidence that Java is not open in any real sense; that it is a proprietary product controlled and owned by Sun Microsystems; and that Sun will sue anyone who does something with Java that competes with them.
O'Reilly & Associates has launched a new Java site at java.oreilly.com that features daily dispatches from JavaOne, and interviews with various of their authors.
Sun's also released a new Java Heap Analysis Tool based on JDK 1.2b3 -Xhprof files that can inspect objects in a running Java program.
Also on display is the first alpha implementation of the Java 3D API for Solaris and Windows. This requires JDK 1.2 beta 3. For Solaris, it requires a 24-bit frame buffer and Solaris 2.5 or later.
The second beta of the Java Cryptography Extension 1.2 is now available and requires JDK 1.2. It is currently available only to residents of the U.S. and Canada and anyone else who can convince Sun's web server that they're in the U.S. or Canada. (Blame Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and George Bush for this brain damage.) This release now supports message authentication code (MAC) extends the implementation of Diffie-Hellman in to support key agreement between an unlimited number of parties.
The first preview release of JavaServer Pages (JSP) for the Java Web Server running on Solaris or Windows 95/NT is now available to registered members of the Java Developer Connection. JSP seems to be a fancy version of server-side includes.
Finally, the official release of JavaMail 1.0 is now available. This is a standard extension to Java 1.1.4 and higher that supports client side IMAP and SMTP. It is also currently available to U.S. and Canada residents and anyone else who can convince Sun's web server that they're in the U.S. or Canada though this restriction is likely to be lifted soon. (Blame Sun's lawyers for this brain damage.)
Apple has posted a developer release of QuickTime for Java, a Java API and interface to the native QuickTime multimedia engine on the Mac and Windows.
Be is shipping the $99.95 BeOS release 3 for Pentium PCs and some PowerMacs.
IBM's alphaworks has released the first version of TSpaces. I don't feel as though I quite understand what TSpaces does or how it does yet, but it does sound interesting and worthy of further investigation. According to IBM, TSpaces is
a set of network communication buffers called tuple spaces and a set of APIs (and classes that implement the API) for accessing those buffers. TSpaces allows heterogeneous, Java-enabled devices to exchange data with little programming effort. The package includes server software that implements the buffers and client software for accessing the buffers.
TSpaces provides group communication services, database services, URL-based file transfer services, and event notification services. With its small footprint, it is ideal for bringing network services to small and embedded systems; for example, it brings the power of the network to palm devices, making them full-fledged network computers capable of controlling printers and other networked devices.
For the client, being connected to TSpaces is like having the perfect assistant: TSpaces acts as a reminder service, carries out any tasks that you assign to it, reports incoming messages and delivers outgoing messages, and notifies you of any events in which you're interested. By adding additional client applications, TSpaces can be used as a universal print service, email service, pager service, remote control service, and so on.
Sun's released the JavaBeans Activation Framework (JAF), a standard extension to Java 1.1. 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. JAF is allegedly a cross-platform JAR file, but in keeping with Sun's lip-service only approach to cross-platform issues this release has only been tested on JDK 1.1.4 for Sparc Solaris and Windows 95/NT.
Sun's also posted a release candidate of InfoBus 1.1. InfoBus defines an architecture for JavaBeans to exchange structured data such as arrays, tables, and database rows.
Sun has received civil investigative demands from the U.S. Justice Department and some of the states investigating Microsoft's business practices.
JForge 2.0b12 is a GUI builder that uses Java Foundation Classes. This release has too many changes and bug fixes to list. A few old features are broken in this release so save a copy of the previous version before installing.
The W3C has released version 5.1j of Libwww, a general-purpose implementation of HTTP 1.1 with persistent connections, pipelining, smart output buffering, and persistent caching. Libwww is written in C for Unix ansd Windows.
IBM's alphaworks has released a new version of their High Performance Compiler for Java, a Java to native executable compiler for AIX, OS/2, and Windows 95/NT, that moves the Java run-time services and core Java classes into DLLs, thus producing much smaller executables.
ORO's NetComponents 1.3.5 handles non-standard server replies better. It also has new ProtocolCommandEvent and ProtocolCommandListener classes for monitoring or logging server commands and replies.
Steve Lawson's Jipe 0.86.2 is another free Java IDE.
Netscape also announced the free Netscape Client Customization Kit (CCK) to allow ISPs, OEMs, and others to create and redistribute customized versions of Communicator and Navigator. It should be available online soon.
Metrowerks has released beta 7 of version 1.2 of its Code Warrior Java compiler for both Mac and Windows.
Bill Laforge has posted a web page devoted to his XML based serialization scheme Coins, now available separately from axtp.
Microsoft's released the first public beta of version 3.0 of its
Java Software Development Kit for Windows. The two new keywords in this VM
delegate, both of which are used
as method modifiers like
In the future, these
keywords will allow Microsoft's new Windows Foundation Classes (WFC), a Windows
dependent competitor of JFC and JavaBeans, to support a delegation event model
without using adapter classes as JavaBeans must.
Two more new keywords will appear in Visual J++ 6.0 in a few weeks to enable conditional compilation.
Microsoft is dropping further development on AFC in favor of WFC.
Bottom line: Java programmers writing cross-platform software can and will ignore WFC and the new keywords. C++ programmers writing Windows programs will finally be able to start using Java for real work.
Apple and Microsoft have announced plans to "converge" their VMs for the Macintosh. Apple's buggy Macintosh Runtime for Java will incorporate various Microsoft technology like the Microsoft debugging interface and security zones. Apple's JDirect native API interface will grow closer to Microsoft's J/Direct.
These are all minor changes. The main impact is that development of Microsoft's own Java VM will cease. Since Sun stopped developing for the Mac over a year ago, and most independent VM vendors including Netscape have also halted their VM efforts, there will be essentially one source for Mac VMs, Apple. That worries me.
While Mac users long ago became accustomed to single-source software, Apple's proven inability to ship a reliable VM in a timely fashion doesn't leave one with a lot of hope for the Mac platform as a reasonable place to do Java development. And with Apple abandoning one technology after another as the months go by, one really has to wonder how long it will be before Java on the Mac follows OpenDoc and the Newton into oblivion.
The perhaps over-broad patents Open Market was recently granted for secure Internet transactions are now available from IBM's patent server. The Open Market patent numbers are 5724424, 5715314, and 5708780.
Live Software has released of first beta (2.1b2) of its free JRun servlet engine for Apache. This beta supports the JDK 1.2 Servlet API, persistent session tracking capability, and servlet pooling.
Microstar Software Ltd. has released version 1.1 of its free Java-based XML 1.0 parser, AElfred. A SAX driver is included. AElfred is designed for use with aplets so it 1.0.2 compatible and allegedly small and fast. (I haven't personally tested those claims myself.)
Clemens Lahme has released version 4.10 of JavaNCSS, a Java lines of code counter. This release fixes some minor GUI problems.
Version 0.30 of IBM's Java compiler Jikes fixes various bugs.
Jade is an implementation of the DSSSL style language. Version 1.1 adds experimental support for XSL and XML
An unofficial version of Swing 1.0 repackaged for the Mac is available from ftp://lucapc.ing.unitn.it/swingall&doc.sit. Use at your own risk.
The San Jose Mercury is reporting that the next version of Microsoft's Java SDK will add two new keywords to the language. Does anyone know what they are?
API2Mac 1.2b1 will make javadocs usable on the Mac by renaming the html files and adjusting the html links to work around the 32 character maximum filename length of the MacOS.
CSFactory has released JDiff 2.0d1. JDiff is a free GUI diff application written in Java 1.1. Version 2.0 uses an improved diff algorithm and supports directory comparisons and user-configurable options for fonts and colors.
Transcripts of the recent Senate hearing at which Gates, McNealy, Barksdale, et al testified are now online.
Sun has also released a reference Implementation for version 2.0 of the Java Card API. This allows programmers to write, test, and debug smart card applets on a normal PC or workstation.
Sun's also released version 1.0.1 of the PersonalJava specification.
I've made some minor updates to the notes for Week 5-Applets of my Introduction to Java Programming course.
JSci 0.762 is now available. This update removes the native methods.