March 2000 Java News

Thursday, March 30, 2000

I'm back from my trip to Silicon Valley for SDExpo 2000 and the O'Reilly Conference on Java. I've posted updated PowerPoint slides from my Java Network Programming tutorial at the O'Reilly conference (which is very similar to the network programming talks I gave at SD2000). I'll post updated slides for the rest of my talks as fast as I can. However, I'm leaving New York almost immediately for the Xephon XML in the Large Organization show in London, so it may have to wait until I get back from that late next week.

Sun's posted the final version of the Java Servlet API 2.2 specification in PostScript and PDF format. (Would somebody please tell Sun that in 2000, HTML is the preferred format for easily distributable docs?) According to Sun, the new version "builds upon the 2.1 specification adding support for Web Applications and Web Application Archives as well as clarifying many issues including Internationalization / Localization and Distributed Servlet Container Details."

Wednesday, March 29, 2000

Sun's posted the curriculum for JavaOne 2000.

Jens Alfke has posted the second release of Rich Chocolaty Goodness, a component library that extends Java's Abstract Window Toolkit (not Swing!) to provide access to much more of the Mac Human Interface. Currently implemented components include:

Monday, March 27, 2000

Microsoft's released Internet Explorer 5.0 for the Mac. This browser supports Java via Macintosh Runtime for Java 2.2. However, there appear to be some real issues (i.e. bugs) integrating IE5 with MRJ 2.2 up to and including applets that crash the system. I suggest you proceed cautiously until Apple and Microsoft can straighten this out. MacOS 7.6.1 or later, a PowerMac, OpenTransport 1.2, twelve megabytes of disk space and QuickTime 3 or later are required.

Friday, March 24, 2000

JMelody is a Java melody transcription toolbox that has a web-based user interface written in Java and can be connected to a digital music library. JMelody allows you to

JDK 1.3RC1 is required. JMelody has only been tested on Windows 98. I haven't downloaded this yet since I'm still travelling, but it sounds very interesting.

Frederic Lavigne has written the Skin Look And Feel for Java (version 0.2). SkinLF allows Java developers to use Skins (GTK and KDE themes) in their Swing applications.

Matthias Pfisterer's released version 0.1.91 of Tritonus, an implementation of the Java Sound API for Linux. This version adds:

Thursday, March 23, 2000

Jason Hunter's released the 19Mar2000 build of com.oreilly.servlet with many bug fixes.

Matthew Kuperus Heun has ported jEdit to the Mac. This version adds features primarily of interest to Mac developers.

Matthias Pfisterer's released version 0.1.90 of Tritonus, an implementation of the Java Sound API for Linux. This version adds:

M.J. Hale has updated his JSci class library for scientific computing. This release has new versions of the ComplexMatrix, ComplexSquareMatrix, IntegerMatrix and IntegerSquareMatrix, DoubleMatrix and Complex classes.

The first pre-release of JEdit 2.4 has been posted. Version 2.4 focuses on improved performance with some minor new features.

Apple's released the redistributable version of Macintosh Runtime for Java Software Development Kit (MRJ SDK) 2.2. Before bundling this SDK with your products, you have to sign an Apple licensing agreement.

Tuesday, March 21, 2000

I've posted the notes from yesterday's Processing XML with Java tutorial at SD2000 West. This talk covered SAX, DOM, and various other issues related to writing Java programs that read and write XML documents.

Sunday, March 19, 2000
I'll be speaking at 
the O'Reilly Java Conference

I'm going to be travelling a lot over the next few weeks. Today I fly to San Jose for SDExpo 2000 West. From there, I'll drive up the road to Santa Clara for the O'Reilly Enterprise Java Conference. Then I'll fly over the Atlantic to the Xephon XML in the Large Organization show in London. Consequently updates are likely to be a little sporadic here over the next few weeks. If you're sending in news, I'd really appreciate it if you could write up quick, no-fluff one-paragraph summaries in HTML including all relevant points and links. I'll have limited time and net access to distill press releases and web sites down to the bare facts. On the other hand, I will be posting new and updated collections of notes on various topics including a completely new and updated package about processing XML with Java using SAX and DOM. This will be the basis of the all-day tutorial I'm teaching Monday at SD2000 West.

I'll be speaking at the SD2000 West conference

On a related note, I'm going to have a weekend's worth of down time in the Bay Area next weekend between the SD and O'Reilly conferences. If anybody knows of anything interesting going on in the Bay Area that weekend, I'd love to hear about it. I was thinking it might be nice to go hiking or bird watching somewhere. Suggestions for locations that aren't too far off the beaten path are appreciated. Drop a line to me at if you have any ideas.

Saturday, March 18, 2000

Sun's released version 1.0.1 of the Java Secure Socket Extension (JSSE). JSSE allows networked Java program to communicate using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols. It supports data encryption, server authentication, message integrity, and optional client authentication. Version 1.0.1 is a bug fix release. There are no new features.

Friday, March 17, 2000

IBM's alphaWorks has released a new version of the Remote AWT for Java with improvements for Swing applications and support for JDK 1.3 and javax.sound.

Thursday, March 16, 2000

JRockit 1.0 is a new $1000 payware virtual machine for Windows NT that uses adaptive optimization like HotSpot. (A free beer version is available for academic and non-commercial use.) It's allegedly faster for server side programs than existing VMs, but I haven't seen any independent verification of that claim.

Net Computing's posted the first beta of the AnyJ 2.0 Java Integrated Development Environment. Version 2.0 adds a Swing GUI, Java Server Pages support, and assorted other new features. AnyJ is $198 payware.

Scott Ladd's released version 1.0 of Jisp, the Java Indexed Serialization Package, a $199 payware class library for associating B-Tree indexes with serialized objects.

Wednesday, March 15, 2000

Inprise/Borland has released JBuilder 3.5. It's written in pure Java and should run on any 1.2 capable platform including Windows, Solaris, and Linux. JBuilder 3 Foundation is free (as in free beer). The Professional edition is $799. The Enterprise edition is $2499. Current owners of any Borland Professional product can cross-grade to JBuilder 3.5 Enterprise for $2,199. Current owners of JBuilder 3 Enterprise product can upgrade to version 3.5 for $799. Current owners of all other Borland Client/Server or Enterprise products can purchase JBuilder 3.5 Enterprise for an ESP of $1,699.

Tuesday, March 14, 2000

Sun's announced plans to release the source code for Forte for Java Community Edition under the Mozilla Public License. However, in the past Sun has repeatedly reneged on promises to open source various products including Java Workshop. Consequently, this one falls under the vetagory of "I'll believe it when I see it." No source is actually available yet.

Monday, March 13, 2000

Apple's released a version of Macintosh Runtime for Java 2.2 with debug symbols compiled in.

Sun's posted the "community source" for the JDK 1.3 beta. Registration and freedom-limiting license agreement are required.

Sunday, March 12, 2000

Slava Pestov has released JEdit 2.3final, an open source programmer's editor written in pure Java. New features include:

Version 1.2.0.pre-1 of jPOS has been released. jPOS is an open source Java implementation of ISO standard 8583 for processing credit card transactions.

The Unicode Consortium has published Version 3.1 of Technical Report 6, A Standard Compression Scheme for Unicode (SCSU). This release adds a recommendation to use a signature sequence.

Saturday, March 11, 2000

OpenBase has released RADstudio 1.0, a $1495 payware "a rapid application development environment for building Java-enabled database applications" on Mac OS X and Windows NT. The client runtimes are allegedly 100% pure Java. The OpenBase SQL database is included.

Ben Spink's posted version 1.0b22 of CrushFTP, his $20 shareware FTP server written in Java. This release fixes a bug or two.

Friday, March 10, 2000

Bug #4319803 on the Java Developer Connection Bug Parade is a new request to Sun to keep the AWT alive and not abandon it in favor of Swing. If you prefer peer-based components, you may want to vote for this one.

Bruce Eckel's posted revision 8 of the second edition of Thinking in Java. This release updates Chapter 9, 10, and 12 and deletes the chapter on design patterns. This will eventually become a new book.

FatBrain is offering $16 off any purchase of $64 dollars or more. Use the discount code "sweet16". It's a good time to pick up the XML Bible, Java I/O, the Unicode 3.0 Standard, or any other computer books you've been wanting.

Thursday, March 9, 2000

Michael Kolling has released version 1.0.2 of the BlueJ Integrated Development Environment for education. This release adds support for JDK 1.3, fixes assorted bugs, adds several editor functions, and allows specification of a default source directory.

IBM's alphaWorks has posted a new release of the RAS Toolkit for Java that offers logging and tracing of Java programs. This release fixes a few bugs and adds some minor functionality.

Wednesday, March 8, 2000

Sun's released version 1.2 of the PersonalJava API Specification. PersonalJava is a stripped down version of Java for smart phones, PDAs, settop boxes and other small devices.

Sun's also released version 1.2 of the PersonalJava Compatibility Classes and version 3.1 of the PersonalJava Emulation Environment to support version 1.2 of the PersonalJava API. Together these allow you to develop and test PersonalJava programs in a standard JDK on a standard desktop computer. Changes in this version include using JDK 1.1.8 as the base version, and adding the JDK 1.2 permissions based security API.

IBM's alphaWorks has updated the FoCuS functional coverage tool with more documentation and some new features.

AlphaWorks has also released a new version of the Log Package for Java to fix a bug. The This package offers a simple mechanism to output log statements to a file, to an OutputStream or to a UNIX Syslog daemon.

Tuesday, March 7, 2000

IBM's alphaWorks has released version 4.4 of the WBI Development Kit for Java, a "programmable proxy for developing and running intermediary applications on the web." In other words it lets you stick filters in the middle of the HTTP stream. This release mostly fixes bugs.

Ben Spink's posted version 1.0b21 of CrushFTP, his $20 shareware FTP server written in Java.

Monday, March 6, 2000

Sun's posted a draft of the Java Language Specification 2nd edition in Acrobat PDF format for public review and comment. This long overdue revision includes all changes, clarifications and amendments made to the Java programming language since the publication of the first edition way back in 1996. The biggest additon are the inner classes introduced in Java 1.1. On the other hand, the only covers the Java programming language. The class library and tool specificationsfrom the first edition are no longer a part of this document. Review finishes April 5, 2000.

Oracle8i Lite is a Java enabled database designed from laptops, handheld computers, PDAs and smartphones. It runs on Palm OS, EPOC, and Windows CE. Registration is required.

Monday's almost always a slow news day, so I thought I'd take the opportunity mention something cool if completely unrelated to Java. Sony's Playstation 2 has hit store shelves in Japan. The Internet Gaming Network has details. The system is backwards compatible with Playstation 1 games, something new in the console market where previous consoles have tended to ignore the installed base. Games can now be produced on either CD or DVD, and the console will play DVD movies. ($199 for a DVD player or $299 for a Playstation that's also a DVD player. I know which one I'm buying.) It has Firewire, USB, and PCMCIA ports. There's no modem or web browser yet, but one is planned for the future. Unfortunately it won't be available in the U.S. for six months. :-(

In another tidbit completely unrelated to Java, I recently when back home to New Orleans for a few days with my digital camera. The Pelicans Come Back to Lousiana is the product of that trip.

Sunday, March 5, 2000

Java makes the funny pages in today's FoxTrot. (If you're reading this after Sunday, you may have to go back to the strip for February 20.)

Friday, March 3, 2000

IBM's alphaWorks has posted version 1.2.17 of the TaskGuide Viewer, an XML-based tool for creating wizards. This release introduces the SmartGuideInternalFrame, fixes some bugs and provides more example code.

AlphaWorks has also updated EADP for Visual Age for Java to be compatible with Visualage Release 3, fix some bugs, clarify the user manual clarifications, and repackage classes to isolate server side function.

Thursday, March 2, 2000

Milestone 14 of Mozilla has been released for the usual list of platforms. Crypto isn't included yet, and Java is completely broken. An applet with an align tag will even crash the browser, as will simply installing the Java Plug-In with JRE 1.2. On the plus side, XML support including namespaces, CSS1, and simple XLinks is essentially done. Still this isn't a beta or ready to serve as your day-to-day browser yet.

I've taken a closer look at the changes in the Java Cryptography Extension 1.2.1, and I'm not happy with what I found. There are some major policy shifts here that open the possibility of compromising security and privacy. This is not just a bug fix release, and I recommend you proceed with extreme caution. At the very least, before installing it you should archive a copy of the JCE 1.2.0 and perhaps have an open source implementation like Cryptix handy in case you need to replace the Sun software completely. I'll have more details after I've had a chance to talk with a few more people, and get some sanity checks on my suspicions.

Wednesday, March 1, 2000

Sun's posted a beta of version 1.2.1 of the Java Cryptography Extension on the Java Developer Connection (registration required). The big change is that digital signatures are now used to make the whole package exportable. All providers must be signed by a trusted entity. Cryptographic strength is configured via jurisdiction policy files. Two sets of jurisdiction policy files are provided, one for the U.S. export laws and the other for country specific (local) laws. I'm going to look into this further, and try to figure out exactly what the implications are for independent, trustworthy implementations. I hope this doesn't make it harder to provide, install or use strong cryptography.

Version 1.2.1 also adds support for key wrapping and key usage control.

Sun's posted the first public beta of the Forte for Java Community Edition 1.0 Java Integrated Development Environment for Windows, Linux and Solaris. (formerly NetBeans). Java 2 is required.

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

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Copyright 2000 Elliotte Rusty Harold
Last Modified March 16, 2000