May 2000 Java News

Wednesday, May 31, 2000

Data Representations has released version 1.2 of Simplicity for Java, a pure Java IDE and GUI Builder. The basic version is $149 payware. The professional version that adds assorted database features is $849.

Tuesday, May 30, 2000

Frederic Lavigne posted version 0.2.3 of his Skin Look And Feel for Java (Warning: annoying pop-up windows at this link). SkinLF allows Java developers to use Skins (GTK and KDE themes) in their Swing applications. Version 0.2.3 adds skins to regular, non-Swing frames. Java 2 is required.

Monday, May 29, 2000

Sun's posted an FCS (Final Candidate System? First Customer Ship?) version of the PersonalJava Runtime Environment for Microsoft Windows CE 2.11.

Sun's also released the production version of the JDK 1.2.2_05 for Solaris in nine languages:

Saturday, May 27, 2000

Slava Pestov's posted the fourth beta of JEdit 2.5 with a few minor new features and assorted bug fixes.

Friday, May 26, 2000

Sun's posted a draft of the proposed changes for version 1.2 of the JavaMail API. This release offers some minor API enhancements to improve the usability and performance of the JavaMail API.

IBM's alphaWorks has posted a new version of their SOAP for Java to support services implemented in scripting languages, a new service manager client and 1-dimensional arrays.

Thursday, May 25, 2000

IBM's alphaWorks has released JLog, a LoggingToolkit for Java. This is a class library you call from your Java programs to provide provides message logging and tracing functionality. JLog includes loggers, handlers, filters, and formatters. In other words, it does a lot more than System.err.println().

AlphaWorks has also updated several products including:

IONA Technologies has submitted Java Specification Request 70, IIOP Protocol Adapter for JMX, to the Java Community Process. From the JSR:

The CORBA adapter for JMX is part of the second phase of the Java Management Extensions (JMX) umbrella initiative.

CORBA is a technology that enables platform and language independent distributed communication. CORBA uses IIOP as its communication protocol

Java Management Extensions (JMX) is a set of specifications defining the management of Java and through Java. The JMX Instrumentation is the optional package to the J2SE platform, that defines how Java-based or Java-enabled resources should be made manageable. The JMX Agent specification is the optional package to the J2SE platform that defines how JMX resources instrumented in compliance with JMX Instrumentation, can be seen and used by Java-based management systems and applications.

We propose to specify an IIOP based adapter for the JMX Specification to allow CORBA clients access JMX agents.

This specification will allow non-Java environments to access JMX information using IIOP. The most obvious benefit is that management console vendors with non-Java consoles can access JMX agents by using CORBA. Future CORBA management specifications will also be able to interoperate with JMX based management systems.

Review closes May 31.

Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Sun's released the Java 2 SDK, Enterprise Edition 1.2.1 for X86 Linux. Essentially, this is the JDK 1.2 plus servlets, Java Server Pages, and assorted other extra packages. It is nice to see Sun supporting Linux.

BlueJ 1.0.3, a free Java IDE designed especially for teaching, has been released. Version 1.0.3 is a bug-fix release. BlueJ should run on any Java 2 compliant system (e.g. Solaris and Windows).

Tuesday, May 23, 2000

Slava Pestov's posted the third beta of JEdit 2.5 with a few minor new features and assorted bug fixes.

Saturday, May 20, 2000

Sun's posted an early access version of the JDBC RowSet 1.0 on the Java Developer Connection (registration required). RowSet provides a "disconnected, serializable, scrollable container for tabular data. A RowSet object can be thought of as a disconnected set of rows that are being cached outside of a data source. An important intended use of the RowSet is as a container for tabular data that can be passed between different components of a distributed application, such as Enterprise JavaBeansTM components. Data contained in a RowSet may be updated and then resynchronized with the underlying tabular data source."

Hyperion Solutions Corporation has submitted JSR 69, the Java OLAP Interface (JOLAP), to the Java Community Process. OLAP stands for OnLine Analytical Processing. Comments are due by June 2, 2000.

Friday, May 19, 2000

M.J. Hale has updated his JSci class library for scientific computing. This release improves performance in the matrix classes and generalizes some of the abstract algebra components through new interfaces. There's also a new Supernumber class to encapsulate Grassmann algebra elements (whatever they are) and a new multi-dimensional line regression method in the LinearMath class.

Wolfgang Hoschek of CERN has released version 1.0.1 of Colt, a collection of open source class libraries for high performance scientific and technical computing in Java. This release fixes a couple of bugs and makes a few performance improvements. Hoschek says this version breaks the 200Mflop barrier and now shows "the 100% pure Java matrix-matrix and matrix-vector multiply running only about 2.5 times slower than the algorithms from the Intel Math Kernel Library. The latter is essentially beautifully hand crafted assembler code taking full advantage of the PentiumIII specific architecture and instruction set."

The Cryptix Development Team has released version 3.1.2 of the open source Cryptix, a cleanroom implementation of Sun's Java Cryptography Extensions (JCE) version 1.1. Cryptix 3 runs on both JDK 1.1 and JDK 1.2. This release fixes assorted bugs.

Thursday, May 18, 2000

Sun's posted a new Java Specification Request for the J2ME Platform Specification. This is the next major revision of the Java 2 Micro Edition. J2ME is a stripped down version of Java intended for smart cards, cell phones, and other memory, display and CPU challenged devices. This revision proposes to add "Building Blocks" that define APIs derived from the standard Java 2 APIs, but aren't normally part of J2ME. Profiles of different small devices will be based on different building blocks. Comments are due by May 24, 2000.

Sun's released version 1.2 of the Java 3D API and implementation for Windows and Sparc Solaris. Java 1.2 or later is required. New features include:

Wednesday, May 17, 2000

Corel and Borland/Inprise have cancelled their planned merger because of Corel's plummeting stock price.

The Apache Jakarta Project has adopted Jonathan Locke's RegEXP package, which is now called Apache Jakarta Regexp 1.0. It includes source code, JavaDoc API documentation, a test suite, and as well as a simple Applet for visual debugging.

Tuesday, May 16, 2000

At Apple's World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) yesterday, Steve Jobs announced that MacOS X has slipped by another six months and won't ship until 2001. (Has anybody been adding up the months through all the name changes and schedule slips? What are we now? Three or four years behind schedule?) On the other hand, he did announce that MacOS X will support Java 2 (possibly JDK 1.3 though the port isn't finished yet) including HotSpot. More importantly, the beta he released included it so apparently Sun and Apple have resolved their differences over the licensing agreement. Hopefully, Sun didn't screw Apple as badly as they did on the previous agreement. (Up till now, Apple got a much worse deal than Microsoft. Among other problems, Apple was not allowed to change the internal workings of even the sun classes to fix bugs or to make them work on a Mac. They were forced to make contortious hacks in the VM and native libraries to fix Sun's mistakes. How this helped Sun is anyone's guess.)

Just to reiterate: Java 2 will only be supported only on MacOS X which only runs on G3 and later Macs. Apple will never provide Java 2 on MacOS 9.x and earlier, or on any pre-G3 hardware. By way of contrast, the JDK 1.3 runs just fine, albeit slowly, on a five year-old 486 running Windows 95.

Microsoft will provide Internet Explorer 5 for MacOS X. Java support will probably come from Apple. Metrowerks will release CodeWarrior for Mac OS X later this year. A beta is available now to registered CodeWarrior 5 users. JBuilder will probably also be available since it's more or less pure Java these days. A JBuilder demo was shown using Apple's new Aqua look and feel. it would be nice to have some real competition in the IDE market. WebObjects has been cut to the much more reasonable $699 instead of its previous $50,000.

IBM's alphaWorks has posted a new version of the Task Guide Viewer with some minor user interface enhancements. The Task Guide Viewer is "an XML-based tool for creating wizards."

Sunday, May 14, 2000

Wolfgang Hoschek of CERN has released Colt 1.0.0, a collection of open source class libraries for high performance scientific and technical computing in Java. Features include efficient and usable data structures and algorithms for off-line and on-line data analysis, linear algebra, multi-dimensional arrays, statistics, histogramming, Monte Carlo simulation, random number generation, complex numbers, parallel and concurrent programming, and more.

Saturday, May 13, 2000

Romain Guy's released version 2.8 of his Jext programmer's editor. Version 2.8 adds the Dawn scripting language, a new file finder in the open dialog, a new ASP mode, slit views, new syntax modes for Bat, BeanShell, PHP3, Props, Python, Unix Shell and POVray scenes files. Jext is written in pure Java and released under the GPL.

IBM's alphaWorks has posted an early access release of the JDK 1.3.0 for OS/390.

AlphaWorks has also posted a bug fix release of Bridge2Java, a program for creating proxy objects that let Java programs treat Windows ActiveX controls as Java objects.

Friday, May 12, 2000

Sun's posted the first early access release of the "JavaTM 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition Client Access Services (J2EETM CAS) COM Bridge 1.0" on the Java Developer Connection (registration required). Despite the excessively long name that reminds me of nothing quite so much as a Monty Python sketch, this really isn't that big a deal. It's just a small set of Windows COM objects to be used by native Windows applications that access Enterprise JavaBeans components deployed on a Java application server.

Thursday, May 11, 2000

Slava Pestov has released the second beta of JEdit 2.5, an open source programmer's editor written in Java. This version lets you edit more than one buffer at once in a split view and find files from within the open and save dialogs. It also fixes a lot of bugs.

Sun's posted version 1.2.1 of the Java 2 SDK, Enterprise Edition for Solaris and NT. This is essentially the JDK plus Entrerprise JavaBeans, XML, Java Server Pages, and Servlets. This is primarily a bug fix release.

Sun's also released version 4.0.3 of the JavaPureCheck certification package.

Wednesday, May 10, 2000

Sun's released version 1.3 of the Java Plug-in for Windows. This release supports Java 1.3 applets in Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.

Sun's released version 1.2.1 of the Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI) to fix a few bugs.

Tuesday, May 9, 2000

There's lots of virtual machine news from Sun today. First off, Sun has officially released version 1.3 of the JDK for Windows (aka JavaTM 2 platform, Standard Edition). This release adds a lot of API from Java 1.2, and doesn't deprecate too much. New APIs not present in Java 1.2 include: the Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI) and the Java Sound API. Many existing APIs have been enhanced as well with assorted minor changes and performance improvements. Solaris and Linux versions should be available shortly.

Sun's also released version 2.0 of the Java HotSpot Server VM for Windows which allegedly improves performance by 30% over version 1.0.1. This VM supports JDK 1.2.2 and 1.3. Solaris and Linux versions won't be released for at least several months.

Finally, Sun's posted a minor udated to the JDK 1.2.2 for Windows to fix a dozen or so bugs.

Saturday, May 6, 2000

Netscape's released version 4.73 of Navigator/Communicator for the usual list of platforms to fix a couple of nasty security holes. This release doesn't add any significant Java functionality.

Friday, May 5, 2000

Two very interesting new products from IBM's alphaWorks today:

The first is PAT, a Performance Analysis Tool. Despite the name this is really a Scheme-like functional language and interpreter. It was originally designed for interactive testing of Java code and data analysis. However, since the language is Turing-complete, it can be used for many other tasks including: interactive testing of code written in Java, reading/writing Java objects from/to XML files, and launching applications remotely.

The second is ABLE, The Agent Building and Learning Environment, a Java toolkit for developing software agents and agent applications.

Thursday, May 4, 2000

Slava Pestov has released the first beta of JEdit 2.5, an open source programmer's editor written in Java. Version 2.5 has several new features including a multithreaded I/O system, pluggable 'virtual filesystems' which can support transparent loading and saving of non-local files, user input in macros, and a background mode.

Wednesday, May 3, 2000

Sun's upgraded the Java API for XML Parsing (JAXP) reference implementation to version 1.0.1. This is a bug fix release to help with its use in applets and non-English locales.

Konqueror is, among several other things, a new web browser for Linux/KDE that supports Java.

IBM's alphaWorks has released the first beta of a JDK 1.3 port to Linux.

AlphaWorks has also posted a new version of their PKCS11 API for Java. PKCS11 is an RSA defined system for devices that hold cryptographic information and perform cryptographic functions. This release adds support for Linux, Solaris and AIX.

Tuesday, May 2, 2000

Sun's posted a draft of version 2.0 of the Java Community Process in PDF format. The big change in this version is that Sun is no longer the final arbiter over JCP decisions. Their role has been replaced by an Executive Committee consisting of 16 Java Community Process Members and a non-voting chairperson from Sun. Specifications are approved or rejected by simple majority vote of the Executive Committee. The chair breaks ties. Sun is guaranteed one permanent voting seat on the committee. Each of the other seats is to be filled by a different JCP member company.

Of the fifteen non-Sun seats on the Executive Committee, ten are filled by companies Sun nominates. Five are nominated by everybody else. Thus Sun still controls the process, unless they guess wrong about which companies are likely support them. If Sun's nominees don't vote in a reliable block, then there's at least some chance of stopping the really stupid or self-aggrandizing standards, Sun occasionally submits to the JCP. Big companies like IBM will have at least a small chance to overrule Sun on what should or should not be included in Java, provided they can convince other companies to go along. However, free software and non-commercial developers are still locked out of the process, and Sun is clearly still the 800 pound gorilla in this process.

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

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Copyright 2000 Elliotte Rusty Harold
Last Modified May 14, 2000