October 1998 Java News

Saturday, October 31 ,1998
Sun's released HotJava 1.1.5. This is mostly a maintenance release with assorted bug fixes. The primary new feature is support for Hebrew and Arabic. JDK 1.1.6 is required.

Sun's also posted version 2.0 of the JDBC database access API.

Sun's also released version 1.0 of the Java Embedded Server, a small footprint network server for real-time deployment and installation of applications to remote embedded devices.

Friday, October 30, 1998
Apple has posted the first beta (following two early access releases) of Macintosh Runtime for Java 2.1. The Web page hasn't been updated yet, but it's on the ftp site.

Netscape's released version 3.0.5 of the Netscape Directory SDK for Java version 3.0 of the Netscape Directory SDK for C. Both products allow you to write programs that talk to LDAP servers.

IBM's alphaWorks has released version 1.5 of Skij, a Scheme interpreter written in Java. This version fixes assorted bugs and lets you launch Java applets from inside Skij.

AlphaWorks has also released new Java beans for managing files, filtering images, and scrolling large images.

Thursday, October 29, 1998
I've added about a dozen new lists to the list of Java mailing lists.

Wednesday, October 28, 1998
Sun Microsystems is going to rename Solaris 2.7 to Solaris 7. Not one to take pointless version renumbering lying down, Microsoft intends to trump Sun by two orders of magnitude. It will rename NT 5.0 Windows 2000. Most interestingly, since the "NT" moniker is apparently being dropped, this doesn't leave Microsoft much room to grow in the consumer space with Windows 98. Maybe the next iteration of that can be "Windows 00". Now there's a real Year2000 problem.

Sun has posted the second draft of the Java Card 2.1 Application Programming Interface (API) specification.

Sun's also posted version 1.0 of the Java Speech API. This is only a specification. Implementations rely on third party vendors like alphaWorks.

Tuesday, October 27, 1998
Sun's posted release candidate one of the JDK 1.2 for Windows and Solaris on the Java Developer Connection.

IBM's released HotMedia, a Java-based toolkit for streaming media (audio, video, and animations). HotMedia is free for individual Web sites but will be licensed the technology to ISVs like Macromedia who want to build it into their products. to incorporate it into their products.

Monday, October 26, 1998
The latest version of the JSci class library for scientific computing speeds up the the wavelet subpackage and eigenvalue/vector methods and renames JSci.physics.Constants to JSci.physics.PhysicalConstants

Markus Kuhn has expanded his public domain, ISO 10646-1/Unicode version of the old "fixed" font that comes with the X11 Windows System to around around 2500 characters, including all European characters of the commonly used 8-bit character sets plus a good selection of mathematical, phonetic alphabet, and other symbols.

Bill LaForge has released version 3.0 of Coins, his XML based scheme for serializing Java objects. This version is supposed to be easier to use, and is no longer free for developers.

Sunday, October 25, 1998
Sun has licensed the Java Development Kit 1.2 and Java Compatibility Kit 1.2 to the Linux porting team. Allegedely, most 1.2 features are already working on Linux.

Friday, October 23, 1998
Sun's posted a release candidate of the Java Development Kit 1.1.7A on the Java Developer's Connection. This fixes a few bugs in clipboard copying, choicebox scrollbars, and euro support. The main purpose of this release is to make sure that the letter at the end of the version name doesn't cause too many problems.

Sun's also posted an early access version of a JavaMail POP3 provider on the Java Developer Connection.

Dan Brumleve's uncovered another, minor security hole in Netscape. This one can crash Unix versions of Navigator from 3.x to 4.5.

I've noted several new errata in Java Network Programming and have added them to the corrections pages.

Thursday, October 22, 1998
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.

Wednesday, October 21, 1998

IBM's alphaWorks has been busy. New and updated products include:

Tuesday, October 20, 1998
cover of the JavaBeans Japanese translation JavaBeans: Developing Component Software in Java is now available in Japanese.

I've made substantial updates to Week 4, More Objects, of my Introduction to Java course. The examples of inheritance are now much more realistic.

Larry Wall, the creator of many popular free software programs including perl, rn, and patch, has won the first Free Software Foundation Award for the Advancement of Free Software. Congratulations Larry!

The W3C has released version 1.3b of the experimental Amaya web browser/editor for Windows and Linux. This release supports most of HTML 4.0. Amaya's most notable feature is limited support for MathML.

Monday, October 19, 1998
I note with regret the passing of Jon Postel at age 55 Friday. Postel, founder of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority and one of the key movers behind the still evolving restructuring of the domain name system. Postel was a true Internet pioneer. In a time when the Internet is filled with corporations trying make Internet standards a convenient club with which to bash their competitors, Postel was one of the last considering what was good for the many rather than what was profitable for the few. The Internet is poorer for losing him.

Sun has released version 0.92 of Java Server Pages for Unix and Windows. This release makes a few minor changes to the API.

Saturday, October 17, 1998
Netscape has posted the release version of Communicator 4.5 on its ftp site for Mac, Unix, and Windows. A stand-alone version of Navigator 4.5 does not yet appear to be available.

Sun's posted JavaWallet early access release 2b for Solaris on the Java Developer's Connection. This fixes a few bugs, mostly related to installation.

Markus Kuhn has created a public domain, ISO 10646-1/Unicode version of the old "fixed" font that comes with the X11 Windows System that covers around 1900 characters, including all European characters of the commonly used 8-bit character sets plus a good selection of mathematical, phonetic alphabet, and other symbols.

Friday, October 16, 1998
I've made some minor updates to the notes for Week 5, Applets, of my Introduction to Java Programming course (mostly fixing naming conventions) and major revisions to the notes for Week 3, Introduction to Objects. Week 3 now uses a much cleaner example that is fully capable of demonstrating all the important features of object oriented programming in Java (encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, constraints, constructors, exceptions, etc.) without requiring the contortions the old Website example put me through. Soon I hope to have Week 4, Inheritance and Polymorphism, updated to use the new example as well.

Thursday, October 15, 1998
Version 1.1 of IBM's alphaworks' Jinsight profiler for Windows 95 and NT runs faster and does a better job of finding and fixing memory leaks.

Version 0.3.9 of alphaworks' Jikes Java compiler features assorted bug fixes, including single-class-import declarations for classes in the unnamed package (e.g. import MyClass;)

Wednesday, October 14, 1998
The latest version of the JSci class library for scientific computing inlines all the matrix and vector methods.

Tuesday, October 13, 1998
Inprise has released Borland JBuilder 2.0.1 (Client/Server, Professional, and Standard versions). This release supports JDK 1.2beta4, allows redistribution of the Inprise JIT, updates the documentation and examples, and fixes assorted bugs. To thank their loyal customers for putting up with the bugs in JBuilder 2.0, Inprise is charging them $9.95 for the update which is not available online and can be ordered in the U.S. by calling (800) 457-9527. I have a funny feeling these won't be loyal customers much longer.

IBM's alphaWorks has released two new products. First off is TFTP Server for Java, a pure Java Implementation of the Trivial File Transfer Protocol server. (Is anybody still using this? I thought TFTP fell out of favor years ago.) On NT, it will run as a service.

Second are the ArchiveAccessor JavaBeans, a suite of invisible beans for working with jar and zip archives.

Monday, October 12, 1998
Sun's released version 1.0.2 of the Java Media Framework for Windows and Solaris. Version 1.0.2 fixes assorted bugs, especially in audio and MPEG playback and custom data sources. This release also adds support for JDK 1.2 Beta 4 and mproves QuickTime parsing.

Sunday, October 11, 1998
Apache 1.3.3 is now available with assorted bug fixes. It's recommended that all users upgrade.

Saturday, October 10, 1998
Sun's posted a draft of version 2.1 of the Java Servlet API for public comment.

Juan Carlos Garcia Cuartango has uncovered a new security hole in Internet Explorer 4.0 and later that allows web sites to use DHTML and JavaScript to upload an arbitrary file on the user's hard drive to the server without user permission. The bug does not appear to affect Netscape. All IE users should definitely turn off JavaScript until this is fixed.

Friday, October 9, 1998
The U.S. Department of Justice has added James Gosling to its witness list in the antitrust case acainst Microsoft, presumably to discuss Java.

Thursday, October 8, 1998
Sun's released the second beta implementation of version 1.1 of the Java 3D API for Solaris and Windows to registered members of the Java Developer Connection. JDK 1.2b4 is required. OpenGL 1.1.1 is also required on Solaris, Open GL 1.1 or DirectX 5.0 on Windows.

Transvirtual's released the second beta of their version of the Kaffe Open Source virtual machine.

I'll be at Internet World in New York tomorrow, Friday October 9. Anyone who wants to get together or who has a Java or XML product to look at should drop me an email.

Wednesday, October 7, 1998
Dan Brumleve has uncovered several new security holes in Netscape's JavaScript implementation. These holes can expose the contents of your cache, your file system, and your cookies file. Furthermore, they operate in all versions of Netscape 4.0.x including 4.0.7 that was supposed to fix them. These holes are even worse than the previously discovered holes. You definitely need to turn JavaScript off until they're fixed.

IBM's Alphaworks has released version 1.4 of the Skij Scheme interpreter . Skij can be thought of as a scripting language for Java. An applet version is now available. Also added are improved handling of error messages and some additional functions for getting information about Java methods.

Alphaworks has also released version 1.2.3 of their IRC Client for Java with various bug fixes.

My elharo@shock.njit.edu email address is working again, and I don't seem to have lost any mail. Nonetheless elharo@shock.njit.edu may stop working permanently in the next few weeks, so I'm trying to wean correspondents off of that address and onto either elharo@macfaq.com or elharo@metalab.unc.edu instead.

Tuesday, October 6, 1998
The second beta of the Java Cryptography Extension 1.2 is available to registered members of the Java Developer Connection. This is a bug fix release with no API changes. The documentation has also been cleaned up quite a bit. JDK 1.2beta4 is required. As usual, only people in the U.S. and Canada are allowed access.

Monday, October 5, 1998
JavaSoft has posted a call for papers for JavaOne 1999. Deadline for proposals is October 30.

Sunday, October 4, 1998
Netscape has released Communicator 4.0.7 for Mac, Unix, and Windows. I haven't tested it yet, but I suspect this is a bug fix release to repair the JavaScript security hole Dan Brumleve uncovered.

Saturday, October 3, 1998
Sun has posted two betas of the Java Foundation Classes 1.1 with Swing 1.1 on the Java Developer Connection. Beta 2 features assorted bug fixes. Beta 3 has all those bug fixes plus it uses the javax.swing package instead of the com.sun.java.swing pacakge. javax.swing will be used in the final release of Java 1.2.

Sun's also posted beta 3 of the JFC Accessibility Utilities and beta 1 (after a couple of early access releases) of the MacOS Look and Feel. Both require Swing 1.1beta3. The MacOS Look and Feel only runs on a Mac.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has released version 2.0b3 of Jigsaw, their reference web server written in Java. As well as fixing numerous bugs, this release supports page compilation, serves files straight out of zip archives, indexes servlets, and adds a ProxyDispatcher rules editor.

The W3C has elevated Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 to official recommendation status.

Friday, October 2, 1998
Japhar 0.06 is an open source Java VM that supports Netscape's Open Java Interface and can be built as a Mozilla plug-in.

Sun's released the $3500 Java Embedded Server, a.k.a Project Nanoserver. Near as I can tell this is software that runs on top of a RealTime OS like Chorus, Inferno, or Windows CE.

Thursday, October 1, 1998
IBM is making an entry level version of the Visual Age for Java IDE for Windows NT and OS/2 freely available from their web site. This version supports a maximum of 500 classes, though it's not clear whether that's in one project or every project you write and whether library classes are included in that limit. You'll need 64 MB of RAM and a lot of disk space to install this puppy. The download is over 60 megabytes so a fast net connection is a must.

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

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Copyright 1998 Elliotte Rusty Harold
Last Modified October 31, 1998