September 1999 Java News

Thursday, September 30, 1999

Since I last checked in on the Java Community Process acouple of weeks ago, there've been several newly recommended and approved Java Specification Requests (JSRs). In the approved category you'll find:

Newly proposed JSRs include:

Wednesday, September 29, 1999

The XML Bible is featured on Amazon's computer book page which has driven it to #58 in their rankings. This is a personal record for me (My previous record was #102 for Java I/O.) I'd really like to break the top 50 for the first time, so if you've been thinking about buying an XML book in the near future, I'd really appreciate it if you bought The XML Bible from amazon today so we can push it into the top 50! Amazon's selling it for 40% off, and they normally don't maintain that high a discount on my books for more than a week, so it pays to act quickly.

Inprise has posted a pre-release version of the JBuilder Just-In-Time compiler (JIT) for Linux X86. The Blackdown JDK 1.2-pre-v2 is required. You'll have to fill out a whole bunch of annoying forms and give up a lot of personal information to get it. (Or you could just go straight to the ftp site.)

Tuesday, September 28, 1999

Sun's posted the first beta of JDK 1.3, Enterprise Edition for Solaris Sparc and Windows on the Java Developer Connection (registration required). The Enterprise edition adds Java Server Pages, The Java Servlet API, and Enterprise JavaBeans to the standard JDK 1.3 API.

Neil Taylor has released version 1.1 of Jake, a visual front end to the javac compiler, esp[ecially useful on non-command-line systems like the Mac. This release adds a javap interface among other features.

Gerhard Paulus has posted version 0.9.4 of his open source storedObjects object database written in Java. This version focuses on distributed and parallel systems.

Monday, September 27, 1999

IBM's alphaWorks has updated three of their Java tools:

Saturday, September 25, 1999

The SC22 plenary of ISO (the folks responsible for programming language standardization) have officially extended the study period of the Java˙ Study Group (JSG) until the 2000 ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22 Plenary. Honestly, though, this seems increasingly futile since Sun is pretty much ignoring standards bodies these days.

Mark Hale's released version 0.851 of his JSci class library. This release uses JDK 1.1.8 and has a few bug fixes.

Gerhard Paulus has posted version 0.9.2 of his open source storedObjects object database written in Java. This version adds recursive cascading deletes and complements the declarative referential integrity built into storedObjects.

Friday, September 24, 1999

Sun's released the Java Platform Debugger Architecture (JPDA) for integrating source level debuggers with the JDK 1.3 and other implementations of Java 2. This includes the Java Debug Interface, Java Debug Wire Protocol, and the Java Virtual Machine Debug Interface as well as sample debuggers.

Sun's also released version 1.1.3 of the Java Plug-In. This release upgrades the the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to version 1.1.8, and supports Swing 1.1.1. (Browser plug-ins for Java 1.2.2 and 1.3 are also available.)

Sun's also posted a patch for Java Web Server 1.1.3 with assorted bug fixes.

Sun's posted the first beta of the Java Access Bridge 1.0 for Windows on the Java Developer Connection (registration required). Access Bridge lets Windows based Assistive Technology interact with the Java Accessibility API.

Also on the Java Developer Connection Sun's posted version C of the experimental MIF doclet for generating Javadoc API documentation in Framemaker MIF format.

PC Week is reporting that Sun has killed Java WorkShop which never attracted a significant number of users. In the process, Sun is reneging on early promises to release Java Workshop source code under the Sun Community Source License. The Java WorkShop 3.0.5 binary is still available though. (Sun killed the related Java Studio tool back in March.)

Thursday, September 23, 1999

IBM's alphaWorks has updated their Install Toolkit for Java to version 1.53 with a new license agreement and support for Digital Unix as well as assorted bug fixes.

AlphaWorks has also updated the Jikes Java compiler with a few bug fixes.

Finally, AlphaWorks has made the Remote AWT for Java compatible with Java 2.

Tuesday, September 21, 1999

Apple has posted the second early access release of Macintosh Runtime for Java (MRJ) 2.2 and the accompanying Software Development Kit. This release supports JDK 1.1.8. StuffIt 5.0 or later is required to unstuff it.

IBM has released a Linux port of the JDK 1.1.8 with assorted bug fixes.

Monday, September 20, 1999

I'm at the JAOO 99 conference in Arhus, Denmark right now where I'll be talking about XML. If I can't easily access my email and web sites from there, things may be a little slow here until I return on Thursday.

Sunday, September 19, 1999

Sun's posted the first early access release of the Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS) on the Java Developer Connection (registration required). JAAS is a Java package for authenticating users and enforcing access controls. It implements the Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM) framework. Version 1.3 of the JDK is required.

Saturday, September 18, 1999

Gerhard Paulus has released version 0.9.1 of his GPL'd storedObjects object database for Java. This version focuses on replication and security features.

Friday, September 17, 1999

Greg Guerin has posted a new version of his free Gadget-Kit for X-10 device-control using the CP290 computer interface. Source code is included.

Thursday, September 16, 1999

The Unicode Consortium has published the final Unicode Character Database for Unicode 3.0 has been published. This release adds more than 10,000 characters to Unicode 2.0. The printed book will not be available until January. Presumably a future release of Java will update the java.lang.Character class to support the new characters. This shouldn't affect anybody's existing code though.

Wednesday, September 15, 1999

IBM's alphaWorks has released VideoZoom, a framework for progressively retrieving video sequences over the Internet at multiple spatial (e.g. 400 pixels by 300 pixels) and temporal (e.g. 15 frames per second) resolutions in order to " greatly speed-up delivery of video over the Internet". A Netscape plugin for Windows and an encoder are included.

AlphaWorks has also updated the Remote AWT for Java to be compatible with Java 2. The Remote AWT for Java is an X-Window like server-client networked GUI so that programs running on one host can be displayed on a different host.

I've updated the Bush Files. Most importantly, both the XML and tab delimited versions now properly distinguish first from last name as well as city from state so it's possible to easily sort and search on these fields. This version also fixes a number of niggling problems in the structure of the data where the value of one field (e.g. amount contributed) shifted into a different field (e.g. date).

Tuesday, September 14, 1999

Since I last checked in on the Java Community Process in August, there've been several newly recommended and approved Java Specification Requests (JSRs). In the approved category you'll find:

Newly proposed JSRs include:

The various JAIN JSRs all seem to involve low level network management in the context of different variations of the public switched telephone network and similar networks and won't be of interest to most people.

Saturday, September 11, 1999

This has absolutely nothing to do with Java, but it may be one of the most important things I've ever posted here. Friday Governor George W. Bush of Texas posted complete records of his campaign contributions on his web site. However, he posted them in PDF format so they couldn't be imported into a database or a spreadsheet, and consequently reporters and voters couldn't find out just how much of his money was coming from whom. Or at least that's what he thought. :-)

I am pleased to announce, that after a few hours of intense hacking I have succeeded in extracting the crucial information from the PDF files and have posted them online in tab delimited format for anybody who wants them. Accountants, start your spread sheets!

IBM's alphaWorks has updated their IRC Client for Java to version 1.40. This release implements the DCC RESUME/ACCEPT protocol for DCC SEND and adds a slide feature in the auto file player as well as better moderation control.

William Raduchel, of Sun will be replacing Marc Andreesen as Chief Technology Officer at AOL. Andreesen will remain an adviser to AOL, but will spend most of his time focusing on Silicon Valley startups.

Friday, September 10, 1999

Quick question: My APS DAT drive has just died for about the seventh time since I bought it a little over two years ago. Since it's now out of warranty, I'm in the market for a replacement. I need a DDS-3 DAT drive, SCSI, for a Mac. I could run the drive off my NT box instead, but only if I can find NT backup server software that will back up Mac clients and Linux clients. (My Linux box won't be up and running for another month or so, so that's not an immediate option on the server side, though I'd also be interested in hearing about backup server software for Linux that can handle Windows and Mac clients.)

I need to figure out what to buy and who to buy it from in the very short term. My APS products have been absolute disasters lately, and the warranty service has been poor so I'm definitely not buying from them again. I'm also hesitant to buy from LaCie which now owns APS, and which doesn't have a particularly good record of supporting its products under new releases of the OS. The best deal I've found is a ProDirect drive based on a Sony mechanism for $835. However, they only promise 90 days of warranty service. After that, you're supposed to go through Sony. When I called the Sony number to verify that they would support this drive, I got dumped into voice mail, and after navigating my way through ended up with a busy signal. That doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

I'd appreciate hearing any suggestions you have for a vendor that makes reliable products and stands behind them. Right now I only need a DAT drive, but in the near future I'll probably be purchasing CD Recorders, hard drives, SCSI cards, and assorted other products. Right now it has to be a DAT, and I'd prefer DDS-3. However I can consider DDS-2 and DDS-4 as well. Travan, DLT, AIT, Jaz, and so forth are not options.

Lotus has officially killed its eSuite set of Java productivity applets that included a word processor and a spreadsheet. They still plan to release eSuite Workplace 2.0 as scheduled by the end of October and support existing customers for another couple of years, but all development and marketing will cease.

Thursday, September 9, 1999

Sun's posted the first beta of version 1.3 of the Java Accessibility Utilities on the Java Developer Connection (registration required). This release adds AccessibleTable, AccessibleIcon, and AccessibleRelationSet interfaces as well as fixing assorted bugs.

IBM's alphaWorks has released an update to the Jikes Java compiler with assorted bug fixes.

The Blackdown Project has posted a new pre-release of the JDK 1.2 for Linux with fixes for some of the problems that plagued the native threads implementation.

Apple's released QuickTime 4.0.3 for Mac and Windows, which includes QuickTime for Java 3.0.1 and other improvements.

Wednesday, September 8, 1999

Bull Software's JOnAS 1.4 has been released. JOnAS is a free Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) server that supports EJB 1.0 and parts of EJB 1.1. Bull's claims to the contrary, the license is not an open source license, though it comes close. There are problems with prohibitions against exporting it to certain countries as well as using the software in certain industries. Flashline has posted an application server comparison matrix that compares several available EJB application servers including JOnAS.

Tuesday, September 7, 1999

The latest Volano VM benchmark report is out. The winner was TowerJ for Linux, closely followed by the IBM JDK 1.1.8 for Windows. Bottom of the pack were the Blackdown JDK 1.1.7 for Linux and the JDK 1.1.8 for FreeBSD.

Monday, September 6, 1999

Microsoft's posted build 2439 of their Virtual Machine for Internet Explorer 4.0.1 on Windows. This release addresses a security hole.

Sunday, September 5, 1999

We note with sadness the passing of W. Richard Stevens, author of several important books for Unix programmers including UNIX Network Programming (2 volumes in its most recent incarnation) TCP/IP Illustrated (3 volumes). A third volume of Unix Network Programming was planned to cover applications. This was supposed to be an expansion of Chapter 9-18 of the first edition. I do not know how far along it was, or if it is now likely to be finished. His family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Richard's name to Habitat for Humanity, 2950 E. 22nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85713. A memorial service will be held in Tucson, Arizona at St. Phillip's in the Hills Episcopal Church on Tuesday, September 7th at noon. Colorful clothing is requested.

Friday, September 3, 1999

Adobe's posted a beta of Acrobat Reader for Java. Java 1.1.8 or later is required.

Gerhard Paulus has posted version 0.9 of his open source storedObjects object database written in Java. This release adds set-related operations (union, intersection, difference) and several other new features.

Thursday, September 2, 1999

The Mozilla project has gotten Java support into the nightly builds of Mozilla for Mac and Windows but not Unix. It feels funny to see the Mac running ahead of Unix in Java support for once. This uses the locally installed VM so you can use MRJ or JRE 1.3 or whatever you have. This should go a long way toward helping people upgrade their Java more quickly, at least on Windows. All this should be available in milestone ten in a few weeks.

Wednesday, September 1, 1999

IBM alphaWorks has fixed a few bugs in their Math Library for Java. This is a native library written in C that should work on any platform that supports IEEE 754 arithmetic.

Sun's released the first early access version of Java Blend 2.0, a database integration tool for Java' that supports Oracle 8 and 7.3 on Solaris or Windows NT Server.

You can also read the news from January, February, March, April, May, June, July and August if you like.

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Copyright 1999 Elliotte Rusty Harold
Last Modified October 21, 1999