October 2000 Java News

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Sun's posted two updated to their Java virtual machines to fix various bugs:

Gert Van Ham's released version 0.5 of JCE taglib, and open source library baded on the Java Cryptography Extension that adds strong encryption and message digests to Java Server Pages (JSP). Version 0.5 adds hybrid encryption to combine "different cryptographic functions such as block ciphers, signatures and X.509 certificates in one secure object."

Jim Menard's posted DataVision 0.5.1, an open source "database reporting tool similar to Crystal Reports". Version 0.5.1 enables you to "run a report and display the output without opening the GUI report design window first" and of course some bugs were fixed. DataVision is written in Java and supports multiple databases including PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Oracle.

Monday, October 21, 2002

JCraft's JSch 0.0.3 is a pure Java implementation of SSH2. Java 1.4 is required. JSch is licensed under the LGPL.

Julien Ponge has posted the second prerelease of version 3.1 of IzPack, an open source tool for building cross-platform installers in Java. This release adds a new, cleaner ResourceManager and fixxes some shortcuts. It's published under the GPL.

Hibernate 1.1.5 has been released. Hibernate is an "object/relational persistence and query service for Java. Hibernate lets you develop persistent objects following common Java idiom, including association, inheritance, polymorphism, composition and the Java collections framework. To support a rapid build procedure, Hibernate rejects the use of code generation or bytecode processing. Instead runtime reflection is used and SQL generation occurs at system startup time. Hibernate supports Oracle, DB2, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Sybase, SAP DB, HypersonicSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Progress, Mckoi SQL and Interbase." Hibernate is published under the LGPL. Version 1.1.5 improves the query language, supports JVM-level caching inside application servers, and fixes various bugs.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Jazzy 0.4 is is a spell checking library for Java Applications based on the aspell algoirthms. Jazzy is published under the LGPL.

Teodor Danciu's posted version 0.4.2 of  JasperReports, an open source Java library for generating reports from XML templates and customizable data sources (including JDBC). The output can be displayed on the screen, printed, or written to XML or PDF files. Version 0.4.2 adds count for non-numeric variables, some additional samples, and a few bug fixes.

Ron Breukelaar's posted version 0.4.1 of KutttPech, an open source MPEG-1 player written in Java that can run in an applet. Version 0.4.1 adds a fast scaling algorithm, an option for viewing in an external frame, a new volume control, better buffering implementation, and bug fixes.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

The Object Refinery has posted version 0.9.4 of JFreeChart, a charting library for Java published under the LGPL. This release includes new stacked area charts, a compass plot, linear and power regressions, improved tool tips, new extensions for servlet and Java Server Page developers, plus bug fixes and Javadoc improvements.

debugtools.com has released version 2.1.3 of JDebugTool, a standalone graphical Java debugger built on top of the Java Platform Debugger Architecture (JPDA). Version 2.1.3 improves popup dialog management. JDebugTool is $99 payware.

Friday, October 18, 2002

After a dismal quarter, Sun Microsystems has announced plans to layoff an additional 4400 employees, roughly 11% of its current workforce. This comes on top of a 3900 person layoff in the last year. Sun's net loss for the quarter that ended September 29 was $111 million on revenue of $2.75 billion.

Thursday, October 17, 2002
BlueJ logo

Version 1.2.2 of BlueJ has been released to support Java 1.4.1 BlueJ is a free integrated development environment (IDE) for Java aimed at education. David J. Barnes and Michael Kölling have also recently published, Objects First with Java A Practical Introduction using BlueJ, an introductory Java textbook based on BlueJ.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Nokia and Siemens have submitted Java Specification Request (JSR) 195, Information Module Profile to the Java Community Process (JCP). This proposes a Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) profile "targeting embedded networked devices that wish to support a Java runtime environment similar to the Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) version 1.0, but that do not provide the graphical display capabilities required by MIDP 1.0. The Information Module Profile (IMP) will be a strict subset of MIDP 1.0, where the APIs relating to GUI functionality (the LCDUI) are simply removed. Functionality not already present in MIDP 1.0 is not anticipated or desired." Example devices include modems, industrial meters, refrigerators, etc. Comments are due by October 28.

Sun's released the Java SASL Specification 1.1 in the JCP. "SASL defines a method for adding authentication support to connection-based protocols.  To use this specification, a protocol includes a command for identifying and authenticating a user to a server and for optionally negotiating protection of subsequent protocol interactions.  If its use is negotiated, a security layer is inserted between the protocol and the connection. The unique value provided by SASL is in its protocol independence. A handler for a particular authentication mechanism (CRAM MD5, Kerberos, GSSAPI, ...) can potentially be used to authenticate connections over any protocol. "

The Expert Group for JSR 116 has posted a second public review draft specification of the SIP Servlet API, a "high-level extension API for SIP servers. It enables SIP applications to be deployed and managed based on the servlet model." SIP, the Session Initiation Protocol, establishes and manages multimedia IP sessions. Comments are due by October 31.

Sun's released the Personal Profile Specification for J2ME. This describes "the J2ME environment for those devices with a need for a high degree of Internet connectivity and web fidelity."

IBM's posted the proposed final draft specification for JSR-13 Decimal Arithmetic Enhancement in the JCP. This adds floating point arithmetic to the BigDecimal class in order to enable decimal numbers to be used for financial and user-centric applications.

Sun's posted the maintenance review draft specification for JSR-921 Implementing Enterprise Web Services 1.1 in the Java Community Process. Comments are due by November 11.

Saturday, October 28, 2000

I leave today for the SDExpo East show in Washington D.C. I'll be talking more or less non-stop for the next week so updates may be a little slow during that time. Some of my sessions will be broadcast on Dr. Dobbs TechnetCast. The tentative schedule is

All times are EST. (Don't forget to set your clocks back tonight.) I don't yet know whether these are going to be broadcast live or only after the fact. I'll post more details as I find out.

Sun's posted the second beta of the Java Media Framework 2.1.1 on the Java Developer Connection (registration required).

Friday, October 27, 2000

Today, Friday, October 27, I'll be at Internet World in New York. At 12:15 I'll be at the O'Reilly Booth where I'll be giving a brief presentation on "What's New in Java Networking" and signing a few books. Stop by if you're at the show. Next week, I'll be at the Software Development Expo East in D.C. where I'll be talking more or less non-stop about XML with a few talks about Java thrown in for variety.

Sun's posted the proposed final draft of the JDBC API 3.0 Specification.

Thursday, October 26, 2000

Sun's posted proposed final drafts of the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition 1.3 Specification and the Enterprise JavaBeans 2.0 Specification.

Wednesday, October 25, 2000

Bare Bones Software has released version 6.0.1 of BBEdit, the primary text editor I use to produce this site. (Macintosh only). This is a minor update that improves link checker performance, lets you save FTP passwords without using the key chain, and fixes many bugs.

The Mozilla Project has released version 1.0b1 of the MRJ Plug-In. This Plug-In lets the Mac versions of Mozilla and the just-released Navigator 4.76 use Macintosh Runtime for Java (MRJ) to handle applets, thereby adding support for Java 1.1 and effectively replacing the rather dysfunctional Netscape VM.

Tuesday, October 24, 2000

The Apache Group has released Ant 1.2, a popular open source build tool for Java. The binary release does not contain the optional tasks. Compiled versions of those are distributed in a separate file: optional.jar.

Virtual Unlimited has BeeCrypt 1.0.2, an open source JCE 1.2-compatible cryptography service provider.

KDE 2.0 has been released. Among many other features, KDE2 includes XML-based GUI configurability and the KHTML HTML 4.0 renderer with support for Java, JavaScript, and CSS.

Monday, October 23, 2000

IBM's alphaWorks has released ARF, "a set of Java servlets that administer, execute and migrate user-submitted applications on networked computing devices, allowing them to roam from one computer to another at mouse click."

Friday, October 20, 2000

In what I think is a new twist on the library filtering debate, my old home town of Jefferson Parish Louisiana has passed a law making it a crime to view sexually explicit web sites from a library computer. If the librarians catch you doing so, they're supposed to call the sheriff who will arrest you. Punishment is a $500 fine or six months in jail. The Times Picayune has the story. In an interesting twist, the company that had been selected to provide filters for the local libraries has backed out as a result of liability concerns arising from the new law.

Jefferson Parish is mostly a suburb of New Orleans built on white flight from the city. This is the parish that sent David Duke to the state legislature; i.e. we're not talking about the most enlightened or libertine parish in the state. I grew up there, but I haven't really lived there for more than a decade. Still if anyone local wants to lead a campaign against this inanity, please let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

Sun's posted the second early access release of the JavaMail API 1.2 on the Java Developer Connection (registration required). This release fixes bugs in the new IMAP connection pool support.

Internet C++, currently in alpha, is C++ compiler and virtual machine based on gcc. It's an interesting idea, though the white paper makes it clear that the developers have little regard for the truth and an excessive taste for hyperbole. (To cite just one example, it is decidely not true that 99% of the computer applications world-wide are written in 32 bit C/C++).

Thursday, October 19, 2000

IBM's alphaWorks has posted a beta of TSpaces 2.1.2 to fix a few bugs. TSpaces is a "a set of network communication buffers called tuple spaces and a set of APIs (and classes that implement the API) for accessing those buffers. TSpaces allows heterogeneous, Java-enabled devices to exchange data with little programming effort. The package includes server software that implements the buffers and client software for accessing the buffers."

Sun Microsystems has announced quarterly earnings of $510 million or 30 cents a share for its most recent quarter, 4 cents per share ahead of 26 cents consensus estimate.

Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Sun's posted the Public Review Draft Specification for JSR-32 JAIN SIP API to the Java Community Process. The Javva APIs for Integrated Networks (JAIN) Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) specification defines a "standard portable interface to share information between SIP Clients and SIP Servers, providing call control elements enabling converged-network applications." If you don't work for a phone company, this is probably of no interest to you whatsoever. (I apologize. It was a slow news day.) Comments are due by November 28, 2000.

Tuesday, October 17, 2000

Python 2.0 has been released. New features include full XML support, augmented assignment (e.g. x += 1) and list comprehensions (e.g. [x**2 for x in range(10)]).

Sun's posted a "proposed final draft" of the Java 2 Enterprise Edition Connector Specification. This "specifies a standard architecture for integrating Java applications with existing enterprise information systems." Sun's also posted version 1.1 of Java Pet Store, a sample J2EE application for managing a pet store.

Monday, October 16, 2000

Slava Pestov's posted the ninth beta of JEdit 2.6, a programmer's editor written in Java and published under the GPL. This release fixes assorted bugs and adds some minor new features and UI enhancements.

Sunday, October 15, 2000

The Legion of the Bouncy Castle has written a cleanroom implementation of the a Java Cryptography Extension 1.2.1 , but without any of the annoying provider signing crapola. best of all, it's based in Australia, so it's outside the control of US export laws. The current version is 1.0 beta 4.

ARM Ltd.has announced plans for Jazelle, a native Java byte code instruction set that will be added to at least some of its namesake ARM microprocessors. This has been tried before by several companies including Sun, and most of these initiatives have died a quiet, unheralded death because doing so proved not all that useful or effective. But perhaps ARM has learned from everybody else's mistakes and knows something they didn't.

Saturday, October 14, 2000

Sun's posted the first beta (after a couple of early access releases) of Java Web Start 1.0. Java Web Start is designed to allow PCs to more or less automatically download and run Java applications from a server. It addresses a lot of deficiencies in the original applet security and sandbox model. For instance, Java Web Start applications do have limited but not complete access to the local hard drive and file system.

Sun's released the StarOffice source code under both the GPL and the Sun Industry Standards Source License (your choice). The libraries and component functionality of the OpenOffice.org source code are also available under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). This is a major plus for Linux, Star Office, and open source. Kudos to Sun for doing the right thing with this.

Friday, October 13, 2000

I love days when the Cafe au Lait and Cafe con Leche news are essentially the same. It makes my job a lot easier. First off, Sun's posted the first early access release of the Java API for XML Parsing (JAXP) 1.1 on the Java Developer Connection (Registration required). Mostly this updates JAXP to support SAX2 and DOM2.

Next Mozilla Milestone 18 has been released for Windows, MacOS, Linux, and VMS. (That's a new one!) The big new feature in this release is Java support for Linux using Sun's JRE 1.3 for Linux. Many bugs are cleaned up as well and probably a few new ones introduced. XML support is on a par with the last several releases; that is, no major new support like XSLT or XLinks. However there's now an optional extra package you can install with XSLT, SVG and MathML support. Initial reports are that MathML works, SVG doesn't, and XSLT works but only on odd-numbered days. This stuff still seems to be pretty crash-prone and bleeding edge, which is probably why it wasn't included in the default install.

Thursday, October 12, 2000

Sun's posted the first beta of the Java 2 Platform Micro Edition, Wireless Toolkit 1.0 on the Java Developer Connection (registration required). This is a set of tools that "provides Java developers with the emulation environment, documentation and examples needed to develop MIDP compliant applications." Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition and JDK 1.3 are required.

Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Sun's posted four new Java Specification requests (JSRs) in the Java Community Process:

JSR 88 J2EE Application Deployment
According to the JSR, "J2EE Product Providers currently implement their own proprietary deployment interface to their server because there is no standard deployment API. This makes it cumbersome for companies that host heterogeneous J2EE environments to deploy an application across multiple J2EE environments, because they must run the designated deploy tool for a given server. A standard deployment API will enable any J2EE application to be deployed by any deployment tool that uses the deployment APIs onto any J2EE compatible environment." The review for this JSR closes on October 23, 2000.

JSR 89 OSS Service Activation API
This proposes to provide "an API that allows telecom management applications to be developed and integrated with Java-enabled Service Activation systems. Special attention will be paid to the requirements of 3G wireless related services." The review for this JSR closes on October 23, 2000.

JSR 90 OSS Quality of Service API
This is for OSS "Service providers that offer services with a guaranteed quality require management systems that can retrieve, calculate and present QoS data". The review for this JSR closes on October 23, 2000.

JSR-000091 OSS Trouble Ticket API
"The OSS Trouble Ticket API will provide interfaces for creating, querying, updating, and deleting trouble tickets (trouble reports). A trouble ticket represents an ongoing activity connected with, and information about, a malfunction of a telecommunications system." The review for this JSR closes on October 23, 2000.

Apple's released QuickTime 5 Public Preview (i.e. beta) for the Mac. This version adds a new Player user interface (the last was roundly and rightly panned, though this one really doesn;t seem to be any better), Flash 4 integration, "Cubic VR" (whatever that is), MPEG-1, Shoutcast, and a new music synthesizer. MacOS 7.5.5 or later and a PowerMac are required. (It's nice to see that not everyone at Apple has completely abandoned earlier versions of the OS. If the QuickTime folks can support everything back to MacOS 7.5.5, one wonders why the MRJ team can't do it as well.) There've been a number of serious bug reports just in the first day of release, so you probably don't want to upgrade just yet.

Tuesday, October 10, 2000

The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has decided to begin publicizing vulnerabilities 45 days after they've notified the vendor, whether or not there's a patch available. This should go some distance towards getting vendors to fix the holes found in their systems. Until now, CERT would only announce a security problem once a fix was available. This gave some vendors an opportunity to prevent bad PR simply by not fixing the known hole, and led to the Catch-22 where the vendors like Sun that took security most seriously had far more published CERT reports than vendors like Microsoft that more or less ignored it. Consequently looking at the published list of CERT reports would give you exactly the wrong idea about which vendor you could trust to protect your security. This policy also meant CERT's become increasingly irrelevant in the last several years in the face of other sources of security information like Bugtraq that haven't been waiting for vendors to fix holes before announcing them. I still think 45 days is at least three times too long, but this change should make CERT more useful.

Monday, October 9, 2000

I've now had a chance to read over the first public review draft specification for JAXP 1.1, the Java API for XML parsing. Mostly it just incorporates other specs like SAX2, DOM2, and XML 1.0. However, it incorporates obsolete versions of all of these. The one thing it adds to the existing specs is a pluggability layer for finding and configuring a parser. However, this functionality is already available through XMLReaderFactory in SAX2, and will be added in DOM3 soon. I don't see any reason to add a separate way of doing this through JAXP. If you want to read the spec yourself, it's available as a PDF file only. Comments are due by November 6.

Slava Pestov's posted the eighth beta of JEdit 2.6, a programmer's editor written in Java and published under the GPL. This release fixes assorted bugs and adds some minor new features and UI enhancements.

Sunday, October 8, 2000

Sun's released the final version of the JDK 1.3.0 for Linux X86. Kernel 2.2.12 and glibc v 2.1.2 with a minimum of 32 megabytes RAM is required. This release has been tested on Red Hat Linux 6.1. Other distros will proabably work.

Saturday, October 7, 2000

Sun's posted three new public working drafts in the Java Community Process:

Christopher Clemens Lee has released version 9.24 of JavaNCSS, a GPL'd source measurement suite for Java. It can tell you how many "Non Commenting Source Statements" (NCSS) there are in your code as well as calculating the "Cyclomatic Complexity Number (McCabe metric)".

Friday, October 6, 2000

Version 3.0.2 of the ICEMail email client written in Java has been released with some minor changes and fixes.

Wednesday, October 4, 2000

Romain Guy has released version 2.9 of Jext, his open source programmer's editor written in Java. This release adds a dynamic GUI (plugins menu items and clip library are shown according to the syntax colorizing mode to which they are linked), several bug fixes, and three new plugins :

Jext is no longer Java 1.1 compatible.

Tuesday, October 3, 2000

The U.S. government has chosen Rijndael for its new Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) that will replace DES. a new encryption standard. Rijndael was invented by Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen. National Institute of Standards and Technology director Ray Kammer claims this is good for the next 30 years, barring major developments in quantum computing. I'm not quite so optimistic, and I wouldn't be surprised to see practical quantum computing well before 2030.

Monday, October 2, 2000

IBM's alphaWorks has released the WSDL Toolkit, a set of tools that allow developers to generate client and server code from a Web Services Description Language document. Such a document "describes the interface and deployment details of a Web service, that is, the interfaces and protocols supported by the service. Compliant server applications must support those interfaces, and client users can learn from the document how the service should be accessed." The WSDL toolkit includes a client-side stub (proxy) generator and a server-side skeleton generator. The generated code is deployed using Apache-SOAP.

Sunday, October 1, 2000

Mark Hale has posted a new version of his JSci scientific class library for Java. This release features:

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

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Copyright 2000 Elliotte Rusty Harold
Last Modified October 16, 2000