November 1998 Java News

Monday, November 30, 1998
Sun's posted version 1.0.3 of the Java Heap Analysis Tool (HAT) on the Java Developer Connection. HAT helps to identify memory leaks.

Tuesday, November 24, 1998

As you've probably heard by now America Online is buying Netscape Communications for about $4.3 billion in AOL stock. For the time being, IE is still AOL's default Web browser. Sun will take over Netscape's enterprise software and will work with AOL on some Java doohickey that sounds a lot like a network computer.

Monday, November 23, 1998
Version 1.1a of IBM's alphaWorks' Jinsight performance analyzer for Windows 95 and NT fixes a few bugs.

AlphaWorks has also released a BigDecimal package that is slightly more general than java.math.BigDecimal.

Finally, an updated version of the Install Toolkit for Java fixes assorted bugs.

Saturday, November 21, 1998

Sun's released the final version of the Java Communications API 2.0 reference implementation for Windows and Solaris. This software and API allows Java programs to communicate with serial and parallel port devices like modems and printers.

In response to the recent court order, Microsoft is officially dropping support for Java in Internet Explorer 4.0 on Macintosh and Unix. This isn't a big deal on the Mac, where it's easy for users to swap in Apple's own Macintosh Runtime for Java. I'm not sure whether using the JRE or JDK on Solaris from inside Internet Explorer is equally easy.

Friday, November 20, 1998

Sun's posted the JINI Software Kit (JSK) on the Java Developer Connection. Source and binary code is available under a new licensing model-- the Sun Community Source License. This does not appear to be a true open source license. For instance, commercial use is not included. JDK 1.2 beta 4 is required.

Sun's also posted several specifications for various parts of JINI, mostly in PDF format, including

Thursday, November 19, 1998
Marimba's released their Bongo GUI Builder under open source. The product is now called FreeBongo, and source code is now available. Bongo more or less dropped off the face off the Earth after a lot of initial hype. Putting it into open source may revive it. Thumbs up to Marimba.

The Open Group's posted the second release of their Linux-X86 port of the JDK 1.1.6. glibc 2.0.7-6 or later and the LinuxThreads library are required.

Sun's posted new reference releases of the JDK 1.2 on the Java Developer Connection.

Opera 3.5 for Windows 95 and NT adds Java support through Sun's Java plug-in. Assorted other new features like CSS have also been added. The upgrade is free for users of Opera 3.0.

Wednesday, November 18, 1998
U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte has issued a preliminary injunction in Sun's lawsuit against Microsoft barring Microsoft from selling products incorporating Java, including Windows 98, Visual J++, and IE 4, unless they are modified to pass Sun's compatibility tests. The ruling takes effect in 90 days, and does not require Microsoft to recall products already shipped. Assuming the ruling stands up under the inevitable appeal, Microsoft will most likely simply remove Java from Windows 98 and IE 4. I'm not sure what they'll do with Visual J++. The main issue seems to be Sun's Java Native Interface (JNI) and the Windows specific keywords Microsoft has added. If Microsoft's adds support for JNI and removes their new keywords, they should be in compliance and be allowed to ship Java again. They may also be able to get away with double bundling, i.e. shipping their own implementation and Sun's with Sun's being the default.

There's a new entry in my online journal about cross-cultural insults in New York politics that's sure to get me filtered by net censors everywhere in every language. If you're interested in New York politics or the crude art of insults, read Who's the Putzhead Now, Schmuck?

Tuesday, November 17, 1998
Apple's posted the third early access release of the the Macintosh Runtime for Java Software Development Kit (MRJ SDK). This release is more scriptable through AppleScript, and supports JDirect2 for Java access to the Mac Toolbox.

Tenon's released CodeBuilder 1.1, a $149 payware PowerMac hosted Java, C, C++, Objective-C, Ada, and Fortran development environment that can be used in conjunction with standard Macintosh editors and compilers to develop Macintosh, X, and NeXT/UNIX applications.

IBM's alphaworks has released version 4.0 of JAX, a Java application packaging tool that reduces the size of a Java application by removing code that isn't used by the application. This release allegedly makes still smaller archives. IBM claims 30%-50% reduction of executable size.

Monday, November 16, 1998
Mark Leisher has posted version 1.5 of the ClearyU BDF font. This is a 12 point, 100dpi, proportional Unicode font that includes 4120 Unicode characters. This covers most of Unicode except for the Han, Hangul, Tibetan, and Indic scripts. This version has numerous improvements in spacing, some minor glyph shape modifications (mostly fixing the Greek glyphs), and a few new glyphs.

Chris Kelly has released JConfig 1.2.3 with assorted bug fixes. JConfig is a a native class library for Win 95/98/NT, MacOS, and Unix that allows you to work with files, web browsers, processes, file types, and other system-level items in a much more advanced manner than that provided by the standard Java class libraries. For instance, JConfig allows you to list the mounted hard drives, obtain icons for files, launch URLs in the user's Web browser, find applications associated with a given file type or extension, and so forth.

Saturday, November 14, 1998
IBM's alphaworks has updated their IRC Client for Java. They've also released version 0.4.0 of their Jikes Java compiler with many bug fixes. They've also written some new internatinoal Java calendars and date formats for the Buddhist, Hebrew, Islamic, and Japanese calendars. Finally, Cafe con Leche lists a myriad of new alphaWorks tools for XML/Java integration.

Friday, November 13, 1998
Sun's posted the first beta of the Java Media Framework 1.1 on the Java Developer Connection. (Registration required) This release features a pure Java implementation as well as native code implementations for Solaris and Windows.

Thursday, November 12, 1998
Traffic on Cafe au Lait continues to grow. My latest figure show that the home page you're reading now gets about 15,000 hits on a week day, not accounting for multiple visits, proxy servers and the various mirror sites. Traffic is about half that or a little less on weekends. Overall, that's about 50% more than the last time I checked back in July. Cafe con Leche is only getting about 1000 to 1200 hits a day on its home page which is surprising because lately it's been generating more email than Cafe au Lait lately so I was expecting its traffic to be much higher. The entire web site (not just my small parts of it) is now attracting about 40,000,000 hits a month which places it solidly in the second tier of sites, behind only the Netscape's and Yahoos of the Web. It may well be the largest non-commercial site on the net.

Although Symantec has refused to officially confirm it and may yet change their minds, multiple reports establish that unofficially Visual Cafe for the Mac has been discontinued. Future development is likely to be Windows only.

Sun's released early access 2 of the Java Advanced Imaging API. An implementation for Windows and Solaris is avilable on the Java Developer's Connection. JDK 1.2rc1 is required.

Tuesday, November 10, 1998
I note with regret the recent passing of OROinc, purveyors of NetComponents, PerlTools, and assorted other useful free, closed source Java software libraries. These may be made available again at some point in the future. I don't know what happened to OROInc, but whatever it was I do hope it doesn't prove that giving a lot of free software back to the community (which ORO did) doesn't allow a viable business model.

The W3C has released version 5.2 of libwww, a C library for HTTPclients and servers on Unix and Windows.

Monday, November 9, 1998
Netscape has released Communicator 4.08 for the usual variants of the Mac, Unix, and Windows.

Saturday, November 7, 1998
IBM's alphaWorks has released version 2.0 of TSpaces, a set of network communication buffers called tuple spaces and an API for accessing those buffers.

I'm posting impressions of IE 5.0 beta pr2 on Cafe con Leche.

Friday, November 6, 1998

Greg Stein's written mod_dav, a GPL'd DAV module for Apache. (the thing the Halloween document said couldn't be done). Current version is 0.9.0. DAV stands for "Distributed Authoring and Versioning". It's a Microsoft technology ostensibly for publishing documents to Web servers, but also for attempting to use complexity to lock out competitors in the Web server space, especially open source competitors. GDBM and Expat are required.

Speaking of open source, a second Halloween document has leaked.

Thursday, November 5, 1998

Sun's posted a beta of JavaHelp 1.0 on the Java Developer Connection (registration required) with new support for internationalization and localization and embedding JComponents into HTML topics as well as assorted bug fixes and performance improvements. The JavaHelp 1.0 specification draft has been updated to version 0.70.

IBM's released the Ink Manager SDK 1.0, a free C++ and Java software development kit for programming handwriting recognition applications for devices based on IBM's Ink Manager software.

Wednesday, November 4, 1998

Microsoft has posted the first general beta of Internet Explorer 5.0 for Windows. You may have trouble getting through, though. As usual, the site is severely handicapped by Microsoft's reliance on Windows NT servers that simply cannot handle the load of an extremely high traffic site like

This beta is expected to support direct display of XML files with CSS style sheets. I'll check out the support myself, and report back on Cafe con Leche once I know more. For the first time, Java will not be bundled with the base configuration of the browser, but may be available as a separate download and in other, larger configurations.

Tuesday, November 3, 1998
Microsoft has confirmed that the Halloween Document is genuine. Open source really has them worried.

AlphaWorks has released a slew of new products including

Monday, November 2, 1998
Eric Raymond's posted The Halloween Document which he claims is an internal Microsoft memo about Microsoft's analysis of and response to open source software, particularly Linux, Apache, and Mozilla. I'm not convinced this is really a Microsoft document, but it is fascinating reading. Regardless of who actually wrote it, I think it pretty conclusively establishes that open source is a serious threat to Microsoft's continued dominance of the software industry.

I've posted some new errata for Java Secrets and Java Network Programming and added several more lists to the mailing list page. I'm exploring a possible bug in subscribing to the Java Media lists. If you've had any success or problems using my forms subscribe to any of the lists hosted by I'd appreciate hearing about it.

Sunday, November 1, 1998
New Atlanta has released ServletExec 2.0, a servlet engine that implements the Java Servlet APIJavaServer Pages for many popular web servers including Microsoft Internet Information Server, Netscape FastTrack and Enterprise servers, Apache, and WebStar.

You can also read the news from October, September, August, July, June or May if you like.

[ Cafe au Lait | Books | Trade Shows | Links | FAQ | Tutorial | User Groups ]

Copyright 1998 Elliotte Rusty Harold
Last Modified November 30, 1998