February 1999 Java News

Saturday, February 27, 1999

Live Software has relesaed version 2.3 of JRun, a servlet plug]in for a wide array of server platforms. This release supports version 2.1.1 of the Java Servlet API, version 0.92 of JavaServer Pages, Novell Netware 5 support, and Apache DSO.

Friday, February 26, 1999

Version 1.1 of the ABA JCE is now available. This is a clean room implementation of the Java Cryptography Extension (JCE) API as defined by Sun Microsystems, plus a provider of underlying crypto algorithms. Three versions of the library are available supporting compatible with JDK 1.02, JDK 1.1, and JDK 1.2. The complete source for each library is also included.

Using yet another strange version numbering scheme nobody can understand, Sun has posted "Technology Release 1" of Java Project X, their XML Parser for Java, on the Java Developer Connection (registration required). Java 1.1.6 or later is required. Source code is included.

IBM's alphaWorks has posted the first versien of an ExcelAccessor suite of Java beans for reading and and modifying the basic contents of a Microsoft Excel file.

The iCab browser for the Macintosh supports Java 1.1 via Macintosh Runtime for Java 2.1.

Thursday, February 25, 1999

Sun's posted a proposal for developing an XML Standard Extension Specification on the Java Developer Connection (registration required). Only one week has been allotted for comment. Personally I'm a little perturbed by this proposal since it more or less ignores a lot of ongoing, community based work on XML APIs like SAX and ModSAX. If Sun were serious about supporting XML, they'd contribute to those efforts instead of trying to do it all in-house. But of course if they participated in an open, democratic forum they couldn't control the outcome for their own benefit. This is yet another example of Sun using its control of Java to put its grubby, proprietary hands all over any technology it wants to own. Comments can be sent to jsr-comments@sun.com.

Sun's posted the first two chapters of the Java 3D tutorial.

A new Netscape Public License (Version 1.0M) tries to protect against lawsuits, fixes assorted inconsitencies in the license, and allows code to be released under multiple licenses. For example, JavaScript interpreter will be released under both the NPL and the GPL.

VRML is dead! Long live VRML! Tony Parisi of Platinum (which recently bought the Cosmo VRML browser from SGI and WorldView from InterVista) announced at VRML99 that the Cosmo Player VRML browser will be placed in the public domain and that the source code for Worlds and PageFX will be made community code (whatever that is). In related news Platinum is laying off lots of people, including several dozen developers who were working on VRML. I hope this isn't the start of a trend where for-profit companies try to get naive programmers to do their work for free. I hear more than enough of that business model in the writing half of my career.

Wednesday, February 24, 1999

The Blackdown Project has posted status information for their port of Java2 to Linux.

Tuesday, February 23, 1999
IBM's alphaWorks has released the first version of a VisualScheduler. VisualScheduler is a project management bean suite which enables you to visually schedule a set of tasks.

AlphaWorks has also released version 2.1 of the Bean Markup Language, one of many XML applications for describing Java beans. I hope they didn't stop using processing instructions in this release since that's an example in The XML Bible whose first draft is due at the end of this week and I'd rlather not have to rewrite any more chapters than I have to.

Monday, February 22, 1999

The Complete Developer Release of Sheets has been placed in the public domain. Sheets is a programming environment specialized for and written in Java. It supports "hypercode programming": not only can you edit, compile, etc. but you can also instantly find definitions and references to any of your classes, methods, and fields. It also provides semantically-based on-the-fly completion and usage information, support for cross-linked documentation, and so forth. Sheets was developed as part of the Gwydion Project at Carnegie Mellon University.

Saturday, February 20, 1999

Sun's made a number of its Java payware products free for use in research and teaching in educational institutions. These include:

JavaPC is also available for $100 media costs.

Friday, February 19, 1999
Assorted news from IBM's alphaWorks today

Thursday, February 18, 1999

Sun's posted release candidate 1 of JavaHelp on the Java Developer Connection (registration required) with assorted minor improvements.

Version 1.17 of IBM's alphaWorks TFTP server fixes assorted bugs and adds some minor features. It also may include the IBM VM that first appeared in sockperf a few days ago. An anonymous correspondent had this to say about it (apparently copied from a ReadMe file or some such):

The IBM enhanced JDK 1.1.7 for Windows 95/98/NT is a performance-enhanced version of the standard Sun reference port. It incorporates the latest JIT technology from the Tokyo Research Labs, plus a number of performance and defect fixes. It also incorporates the new Mixed Mode Interpreter (MMI) technology, which reduces the startup "costs" associated with using the JIT.

The IBM enhanced JDK 1.1.7 for Windows 95/98/NT is available only for IBM internal use. IBM products can incorporate it into their deliverables providing those products require their users to be able to compile Java source code. (An example of such a product is the San Francisco package.) The JDK must not be shipped stand-alone -- this would violate the licence agreement with Sun.

The IBM enhanced JDK 1.1.7 for Windows 95/98/NT has been certified compatible.

Wednesday, February 17, 1999

Sun's released the source code for the Java 2 SDK (JDK 1.2) under their community source license. I recommend you hold off on downloading this unless you really need it. I'm becoming a little concerned that the easy access to Java source code may ultimately hinder efforts to develop clean room, open source virtual machines and class libraries by polluting too many programmers with the orignal code.

I'd appreciate hints if annyone knows of stores in the New York City area selling old, surplus computer parts. I'm also interested in Web sites that sell the same. I'm not looking for full-used computers, but rather items like power supplies, hard drives, keyboards, Ethernet cards, and so forth, the cheaper the better. If you know of anything, please drop me a line. I've probably seen a dozen different stores like this in Silicon Valley, but I don't know of any local to me.

Monday, February 15, 1999

IBM's alphaWorks has released sockperf, a peer-to-peer socket benchmark for comparing and measuring Java socket performance.

John Wilson had the following to say about this:

This thing's a 10Mb download - 99% of this is the "IBM JDK 1.1.7 for 32 bit Windows". This seems to be a modified version of the Sun JDK 1.1.7 with an IBM JIT compiler (I'd guess that this is a version of their OS/2 JIT compiler).

This is the first time I've been aware that IBM had such a thing.

Any idea what's going on? Are IBM going to release a JRE version? Are we going to have Sun, IBM and Microsoft Win32 JVMs? If so, why? (though an alternative to the Symantec JIT would be a blessing).

I can't answer these questions. Anyone?

Sunday, February 14, 1999

Apple's posted the final version of Macintosh Runtime for Java 2.1 (MRJ). It's recommended that all Mac users upgrade. This is a runtime only, and does not include a compiler or other development tools. Those are available as part of the MRJ SDK.

Saturday, February 13, 1999

Mark Hale's released version 0.831 of his JSci class library with support for Java 1.1.7 and MathML.

Friday, February 12, 1999

Version 1.1.1 of JavaMail has been released. This is a bug fix release; no API changes have been made. The final version of the POP3 provider is also avaliable.

Thursday, February 11, 1999

Sun's posted beta 1 of the Symantec JIT for JDK 1.2.2 for Windows on the Java Developer Connection (registration required). It actually works with JDK 1.2, and will ship standard with JDK 1.2.2. (Apparently the 1.2.1 version number will be skipped.) This release fixes assorted bugs.

IBM's alphaWorks has released a new version of the Skij Scheme interpreter with a graphic object inspector, new javadoc documentation, and assorted performance improvements and bug fixes.

AlphaWorks has also released a new version of their International Calendars for Java with more languages, more Japanese eras, a demo applet, and assorted bug fixes.

Tuesday, February 9, 1999

Sun's posted version 1.2 of Infobus. This release adds a new interface for changing the dimensions of an ArrayAccess data item a new shape change event, and a simplified implementation of a change listener for data consumers.

Microsoft's also released a new version (Build 3165) of its own virtual machine for Windows 95, 98, NT and Internet Explorer 3.0.2 and later. This release fixes some Y2K bugs.

Tuesday, February 9, 1999

The JTC1 section of the ISO (the one that's responsible for Java and most other programming language standardization) has decided that the experimental PAS (Publicly Available >Specifications) process is working out and decided to make it a normal part of JTC1 operations. A revised PAS Management Guide (JTC1 N 5746) that specifies the details should be avilable soon.

As long time readers of Cafe au Lait know, I think PAS is a bad idea in general, and a particularly bad idea in the case of Java. However, I'll reserve judgement on this latest development (which does not directly affect the state of Java standardization) until I've seen the new documents.

Saturday, February 6, 1999

IBM's posted the source code for the Jikes parser generator.

Friday, February 5, 1999
IBM's alphaWorks has updated several products. New releases include

Thursday, February 4, 1999

Microsoft's been awarded a patent on style sheets. Details on Cafe con Leche.

Stephen Drye sent in some elucidation of Sun's latest version numbering scheme for PersonalJava:

I just figured this out the other day (I'm working on the JavaPhone API effort and it was driving me nuts as to why I couldn't find the PJava 3.0 spec).

PJava 3.0 _reference version_ is based on PJava Specification 1.1.1.

Yes, just when you thought they couldn't come up with a more confusing naming system than JDK 1.2/Java 2, they manage to pull this one. It'll only hold the lead, though, until they release the first Java 2 update (Java 2.1? Java 2 1.1?)

So, the latest spec is version 1.1.1, the latest release is 3.0. Both are still based on JDK 1.1, but with the addition of the RMI version needed by Jini.

The PJava home page now confirms this numbering "system".

No idea where PJava 2.0 went.

The Blackdown project for porting the JDK to Linux reports that the green (non-native) threads version of the JDK is now able to run (but not pass) the Java Compatibility Kit to completion without hanging on both x86 and PowerPC.

Version 0.6j of GJ is now available with assorted bug fixes. GJ (nee Pizza) is project to add generic types (templates) to Java.

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

Wednesday, February 3, 1999
I've updated the notes for Week 1, Introducing Java, and Week 2, Procedural Java, of my Intro to Java Programming course.

Bluestone Software's XwingML is an XML based markup language for specifying Java GUIs. XwingML is spamware.

Microsoft did the right thing and pulled the "straights only" vacation package contest yesterday within hours of it being noted on Cafe au Lait, on the WWWAC mailing list, and probably elsewhere. They're now offering a "United Airlines Ski Vacation to Park City Resort, Utah for two!" instead with no restrictions on who qualifies as a couple.

Tuesday, February 2, 1999
Bernie Elise posted the following tidbit about the latest shenanigans from Microsoft on the WWWAC mailing list:

A popular Microsoft-partnered Web site is offering visitors a chance at a free trip to the Caribbean courtesy of US Airways. But there's a catch: no gays need apply. The site, Online Vacation Mall , offers subscribers to its email list a chance to win a free seven-night stay at the Sandals resort in Jamaica and the Bahamas It's only when visitors scroll down to the fine print that they find out: "* Sandals Luxury Resorts policies require male/female couples only".

One of the few things I haven't heard Microsoft accused of lately is this sort of blatant, personal discrimination. My guess is that they don't know what their partners are up to. So if anyone from Microsoft is reading this, how about fixing this? perhaps before it becomes an even bigger P.R. disaster than it already is?

Sun says they've shipped version 3.0 of PersonalJava to licensees, but nothing is yet available to the general public. (The last version was 1.1.1. No word on why Sun skipped a version number. Probably just for marketing purposes.) This release adds the Truffle GUI toolkit and support for JINI.

US District Judge Lowell A. Reed Jr. has issued a preliminary injunction barring the federal government from enforcing the Child Online Pratection Act (CDA II).

Monday, February 1, 1999

Version 1.0 of Jack J. Woehr's FIJI ForthIsh Java Interpreter is now available. According to Woehr, "FIJI is a stack-based interpretive Java layer with Forth-like syntax. It is useful for interactively debugging Java objects compiled normally, or as a scripting language. FIJI is GPL'ed Free Software and comes with full source."

Version 1.1.a of IBM's alphaWorks' JInsight profiler adds additional tracing instrumentation for Windows JDK1.1.7B.

Also, here are a few alphaWorks products I missed when they were first released.

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

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

Copyright 1999 Elliotte Rusty Harold
Last Modified February 27, 1999