February 2003 Java News

Friday, February 28, 2003

JSpider 0.3 is an open source, extensible web spider engine written in Java. Functionality can be added through modules that identify dead links, test performance, create sitemaps, and so on.

Natural Logging for Java (LN2) is a mapping logger that bases itself on regular expressions rather than discrete categories. It supports various log levels. Natural Logging for Java is published under the artistic license.

Martian Software's JSAP 1.0.2 (Java Simple Argument Parser) syntactically validates command line arguments and converts those arguments into objects such as Integers, Floats, Dates, and URLs. Developers can add other types. JSAP is published under a BSD license.

Gert Van Ham's released version 0.9 of JCE taglib, an open source library based on the Java Cryptography Extension that adds strong encryption and message digests to Java Server Pages (JSP). Version 0.9 adds a form digest tag has been added that can prevent unauthorized URL/Form variable manipulation and an Ant build file.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Yuan Yi has released the Java Code Generator 1.0, an Eclipse plugin that automatically creates JavaBeans source code according to Model View Controller patterns, Java Server Pages, and templates. It supports Enterprise JavaBeans code.

Christian Grothoff has released version 2.0.1 of JAMIT, the Java Access Modifier Inference Tool. Jamit can read Java .class files and determine which fields and methods can be changed from public to protected, private, or package protected, and so forth. Version 2.0.1 speeds up the tool and fixes a few bugs. JAMIT is published under the GPL.

IBM's alphaWorks has released the Update Tool for Java Applications. This tool enables the end user to import "code update" files supplied by the developer from inside the application itself in order to upgrade to the current version. Licensing has not yet been established.

Sebastiano Vigna's released version 2.5.1 of fastUtil, a collection of type-specific Java maps and sets with a small memory footprint and faster access and insertion. The classes implement their standard counterpart interfaces such as java.util.Map and can be plugged into existing code. Version 2.5.1 is a bug-fix release. fastUtil is published under the GPL.

Julien Ponge has released IzPack 3.0.6, an open source tool for building cross-platform installers in Java. It's published under the GPL.

Jim Menard's posted version 0.7.2 of DataVision. DataVision is an open source "database reporting tool similar to Crystal Reports". Version 0.7.2 fixes a few bugs. DataVision is written in Java and supports multiple databases including PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Oracle.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

For the second time this week, I've ended up wasting an hour (spread out over a couple of days in five and ten minute chunks) because somebody I was sending files to insisted on using WinZip and didn't really know how to use it. Can somebody explain to me why Windows users persist in using this application? It is a horribly designed piece of software that demonstrates virtually no appreciation for user interface design. Certainly, they can't have done any user interface testing, or they would have noticed some basic things like, "Don't drop every file in the nicely hierarchical archive onto the user's desktop." Yes, I know where the checkbox is to turn off this insane behavior, but my correspondents didn't, and they were blaming me for cluttering up their desktops. Why isn't the default to preserve the hierarchy? Hell, why is there even an option to eliminate the hierarchy? What possible use is that?

For myself, I've mostly been using zip and unzip on my Linux box lately and StuffIt Expander on my Macs. The Windows boxes only get booted up on rare occasions, such as when I need to send somebody detailed instructions for unzipping a file. My life would be easier if Windows users would just stop using WinZip and instead migrate to saner products like StuffIt, where the developers know a little something about user interfaces. Not surprisingly, StuffIt started its life on the Mac, where users simply don't put up with bad user interfaces. Payware, shareware, freeware, or open source, if the user interface sucks in a Macintosh product, the product dies. Macintosh programmers either learn to write decent user interfaces, go out of business, or defect to Windows. Natural selection can be brutal. :-)

On the other hand, like a lot of Macintosh developers, Aladdin, the makers of StuffIt, seem to be more than a little business challenged. StuffIt Deluxe for Windows retails for $39.99. However, if you try to buy the cheaper $24.99 basic product, you get offered the deluxe product for $29.99. However, if you're a Macintosh user, then they'll gouge you for a full $79.99. Unless, of course, you're a .Mac member (or know the secret URL) in which case it's only $39.99. Except that when you try to check out, the price mysteriously jumps back up to $79.99. Way to make your customers feel good about you, Aladdin! There's nothing like making Mac users pay $50 more than Windows users for the same product to reward your loyal market!

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

The Zaval Creative Engineering Group has released version 3.3 of the Zaval Light-Weight Visual Components Library (LwVCL), an open source alternative to the AWT and Swing. This release can now run on PersonalJava. It's published under the GPL.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Teltier Technologies has posted the first public review draft of Java Specification Request 123, (JSR-123) Java Service Provider Presence and Availability Management Specification in the Java Community Process (JCP). According to the JSR, the "SPA Presence and Availability Management API will provide Java APIs to disseminate and manage presence information securely across heterogeneous networks and applications. The APIs allow user preferences and enterprise policies to control the dissemination of presence information to address privacy and security concerns. The API will be based on the PAMforum v1.0 specifications and its adoption in Parlay 3.0." Comments are due by April 24.

Bare Bones Software has released BBEdit 7.0.2. This is a free update for all 7.0 users. BBEdit is the Macintosh text/HTML/XML/programmer's editor I normally use to write this page. Besides bug fixes, the big new feature in this release is much better auto-detection of character encodings. BBEdit now makes heroic efforts to determine what character set a document is written in using Macintosh metadata, byte order marks, XML declarations, and HTML meta headers rather than just assuming by default that all files are written with the platform's default encoding. This feature has finally convinced me to upgrade from 6.0 on my main work machine. Mac OS 9.1 or later is required.

Netscape Communications has released version 7.02 of their namesake web browser. This version is based on Mozilla 1.0.2 and includes updated Java and Flash plug-ins for Windows. As earlier version did, it also supports XML, HTML, XHTML, CSS, XSLT, RDF, DOM, and assorted other cool acronyms.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

I'm attempting to make this page well-formmed (but invalid) XHTML in preparation for providing an RSS feed. Please let me know if you notice any breakage. Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to tell the Apache server side include engine that the file it's including is encoded in UTF-8. It seems to munge that fairly reliably.

The Apache Jakarta Commons Team has released Commons Net (formerly known as ORO NetComponents), a suite of internet protocols implemented in Java including Finger, Whois, TFTP, Telnet, POP3, FTP, NNTP, SMTP, Time and Echo. "The purpose of the library is to provide fundamental protocol access, not higher-level abstractions. Therefore, some of the design violates object-oriented design principles. Our philosophy is to make the global functionality of a protocal accesible (e.g., TFTP send file and receive file) when possible, but also provide access to the fundamental protocols where applicable so that the programmer may construct his own custom implementations (e.g, the TFTP packet classes and the TFTP packet send and receive methods are exposed)."

Slava Pestov's posted the 11th prerelease of version 4.1 of jEdit, an open source programmer's editor written in Java. This release fixes assorted bugs.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

The Apache Jakarta Project has posted the first beta of Ant 1.5.2, the popular open source build tool for Java. 1.5.2 is a bug fix version.

The Chaeron Corporation has released the Java GPS Access Library 1.0.2, a Java library (and sample programs) for interfacing with Global Positioning System devices. The license is GPL. This is a bug fix release.

The Apache Jakarta Taglibs Project has released the String Taglib 1.0.1. This enables Java Server Pages to perform various string operations including:

String Taglib 1.0.1 is published under the Apache license.

Friday, February 21, 2003

Sun's posted the public review draft specification for Java Specification Request (JSR) 172, J2ME Web Services Specification, in the Java Community Process (JCP). This basically describes subset of JAXP, JAX-RPC, and XML intended for talking to SOAP services from Java 2 Micro Edition devices. Like a lot of web services specs, it makes a lot of mistakes when it comes to XML. For instance, it confuses DTDs with document type declarations, and validation with DTD processing. It effectively defines a subset of XML that significantly hobbles XML parsing in the J2ME space. Comments are due by March 22.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Thanks to everyone who wrote in yesterday about the political notices on this site. For the first time, the "Keep up the good work, Pinhead!" comments outnumbered the "Stick to Java, Pinhead!" notes by a substantial margin, so either readers of this site are getting more interested in politics or the people who don't like them have stopped reading. Don't worry, the politics aren't going anywhere, at least until such time as they no longer seem necessary (i.e. never). One of my favorite comments was from Alx Dark who wrote, "when world events are significant enough that they make it hard for me to concentrate on my job (which is Java/XML programming), then I'm glad to see them discussed even on the web sites I visit for my profession." That's pretty much how I feel. I would really love to be able to think (and write) about nothing but Java and XML and maybe occasionally write an off-topic note about pop music or a Broadway show, but the real-world has this nasty habit of intruding on my thoughts.

Not sure when this happened exactly, but I noticed yesterday that sometime between the last time I mentioned JUnit (August) and now, Erich Gamma released version 3.8.1 of JUnit, the de facto standard library for unit testing in Java. From the .0.1 version number increment, I'm guessing this is a bug fix release. JUnit is published under the Common Public License. If you aren't using this, you should be.

Anders Møller has released the Java String Analyzer 1.0-1, a "tool for analyzing the flow of strings and string operations in Java programs. For each string expression, it computes a finite-state automaton that provides an upper approximation of the values that may appear at runtime." This is published under the GNU General Public License.

The Jakarta Apache Project has released version 1.2.8 of Log4j, a logging toolkit for Java. This release fixes bugs, especially involving compatibility with some versions of Xerces.

Etienne Gagnon has released version 1.0.6 of SableVM, a Java bytecode interpreter (that is, a virtual machine) written in portable C. "SableVM requires an ANSI/ISO C compiler (but preferably GCC) and a POSIX platform.  It requires a strong memory model (sequential consistency) on multiprocessor systems.  SableVM is currently known to run on the i*86 and alpha processors with GNU/Linux." This is now portable to the PowerPC. SableVM is published under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

The Apache Commons Group has released Commons BeanUtils 1.6.1. This provides some easier-to-use wrappers around Java's built-in Reflection and Introspection APIs. Version 1.6.1 fixes bugs.

Sebastiano Vigna's released version 2.5 of fastUtil, a collection of type-specific Java maps and sets with a small memory footprint and faster access and insertion. The classes implement their standard counterpart interfaces such as java.util.Map and can be plugged into existing code. fastUtil is published under the GPL.

Jim Menard's posted version 0.7.1 of DataVision. DataVision is an open source "database reporting tool similar to Crystal Reports". Version 0.7.1 decreases memory requirements and improves startup time. DataVision is written in Java and supports multiple databases including PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Oracle.

Greg Guerin's updated his open source MacBinary Toolkit for Java. MacBinary is a format used to squash a two fork Macintosh file into a single byte sequence. This release improves alias and symlink support, adds the capability to signal the Finder to update its folder display, and fixes bugs. There are some new sample programs too. The MacBinary Toolkit for Java is published under the Artistic License.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

About a week ago somebody wrote in with one of the periodic complaints about the political news and quotes on this site. I read it and then deleted it, so I'm afraid I can't quote it exactly, or credit the person who wrote it. It was more polite than most, and he did bring up one point that I had not heard before, and that has been turning around in my head for the last week. Instead of the usual, "Stick to Java, Pinhead!" complaint, this correspondent wanted me to continue to post about issues of encryption, privacy, and freedom, but leave off all the anti-war chatter.

At the time, I just thought, "Oh, another one who only wants me to post when I agree with him," and deleted it. But over the last week it's occurred to me that there was a deeper problem in that message, and maybe it's a meme that's affected a lot more people, especially on the libertarian right. This is not true of all libertarians by any means, many of whom do recognize that starting a war to steal another nation's oil is about as fundamental a violation of libertarian principles as can be imagined; but I am a little distressed by the number of normally sane commentators who seem to think war and freedom are orthogonal issues, or, worse yet, that war somehow increases freedom. The reality is the opposite. I'm even more distressed the number of tech-oriented news sites (SlashDot first and foremost) that have very deep coverage of issues of freedom and privacy but almost no coverage of the war and militarism. You can't understand one without understanding the other.

Issues of privacy and freedom cannot be separated from issues of war and peace. If it was not obvious before September 11, it's certainly obvious now. The attack on the U.S. on 9/11, the war in Afghanistan, the coming war in Iraq, all of these have done more damage to freedom and privacy in the U.S. than anything since the Red Scare of the 1950s (itself a product of the Cold War.) The Patriot Act, military tribunals for U.S. citizens and others, indefinite detention without trial or charge, judges' willful ignoring of Constitutional protections in the name of national security, the evisceration of the Freedom of Information Act, none of this would have or could have happened if we weren't at war. War and militarization are the enemies of freedom and privacy.

None of this is anything new. The Cold War saw the IRS, Congress and other branches of governments harassing suspected subversives and Communists. During World War II, renowned liberal F.D.R locked up U.S. citizens in concentration camps on the basis of national origin. After the U.S. entered World War I, Congress passed the Espionage Act that criminalized criticism of the war and the government. During the Civil War, the Great Emanciaptor suspended the right of habeas corpus. All wars have been accompanied by significant reductions in the freedom of U.S. citizens; and the U.S. is hardly unique here. Just look at the legislation passed in Britain in the last year and a half for more proof.

War is the enemy of freedom. Peace is a prerequisite for freedom. Peace and freedom go together, as surely as war and tyranny. If you want a free and open society, first work for peace. If you value freedom and privacy, you must pursue peace.

Sun's posted the second beta of the Java Access Bridge for Windows 1.0.3. This tool enables Windows based Assistive Technology to interact with the Java Accessibility API implemented in Swing. 1.0.3 is a bug fix release.

Netx 0.5 is an open-source Java Netork Launching Protocol (JNLP) client, "which means that it downloads code over the network, caches it, and runs it on the client computer. Sun's Java Network Launching Protocol (JNLP) uses an XML-based format for specifying what code to download and run from the network to run Java applications, applets, and installer programs." Version 0.5 runs applications and applets in a separate event queue, adds native code support and headless mode, internationalizes messages, and includes a pluggable download progress indicator. Netx is published under the LGPL.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Søren Bak has released Primitive Collections for Java 1.0, "a set of collection classes for primitive data types in Java. The goal is to provide an efficient alternative to the Java Collections Framework (JCF) when using primitive data types, such as int, boolean, or double." PCJ is published under the LGPL.

Monday, February 17, 2003

The Gnu Project has released version 0.05 of GNU Classpath, an incomplete free implementation of the core Java class libraries. This release supports free Java VMs including the Jikes RVM and Kissme. GNU Classpath is published under the LGPL.

Johann Nepomuk Loefflmann has released Jacksum 1.2.0, a free checksum utility written entirely in Java that supports Adler32, BSD sum, POSIX cksum, CRC-16, CRC-32, MD2, MD4, MD5, RIPEMD-128, RIPEMD-160, SHA-1, Unix System V sum, and Whirlpool algorithms. Jacksum is published under the GPL.

The Object Refinery has posted version 0.9.6 of the JFreeChart open source library. JFreeChart can produce pie charts, line charts, various kinds of bar charts, XY plots and scatter plots, time series, high/low/open/close charts, candle stick charts, and combination charts. Version 0.9.6 is a bug fix release.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

From the where-are-they-now department, original Java team members and Marimba founders Arthur van Hoff and Jonathan Payne have launched a new start-up named Strangeberry, which appears to be working on Zero Configuration Networking, a semi-competitor to Sun's JINI. They're looking to hire a LInux kernel engineer, a "Graphic designer with experience building interface for consumer digital media applications", and a "Developer with experience creating user interfaces. Must be comfortable with C/C++, Java, Windows and Unix."

OpenEJB 0.9.1 has been posted. This is an open source (BSD license) Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) Container System and EJB Server. It includes EJB Servers for both local and remote access. Version 0.9.1 adds support for ejb-ref elements in Tomcat.

Robert Oloffson has posted version 0.27 of Java Memory Profiler (JMP). JMP uses the Java Virtual machine Profiling Interface (JVMPI) interface to track objects and method times in a JVM . It uses a GTK+ interface to display statistics. The current instance count and the total amount of memory for each class is shown as is the total time spent in each method. This release implements various speed-ups. JMP is written in C for Linux. This is a bug fix release.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Slava Pestov's posted the tenth prerelease of version 4.1 of jEdit, an open source programmer's editor written in Java. This release adds API documentation generated with JavaDoc and fixes assorted bugs.

DynamicSoft has published the second public review draft for Java Specification Request 141 SDP API. SDP, the Session Description Protocol (SDP) is an IETF standard for describing multimedia sessions "describing multimedia sessions for the purposes of session announcement, session invitation, and other forms of multimedia session initiation." It's used on the MBone.

Friday, February 14, 2003

The Blackdown Project has released their version of the Java 2 Standard Edition for Linux 1.4.1-01. This includes a software devlopment kit, runtime environment, and Java plug-in for Linux on x86 and Sparc.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Michael B. Allen's posted jCIFS 0.7.3, an SMB client library written in pure Java. It supports Unicode, named pipes, batching, multiplexing I/O of threaded callers, encrypted authentication, full transactions, domain/workgroup/host/share/file enumeration, NetBIOS sockets and name services, the smb:// URL protocol handler, RAP calls, and more. The API is similar to java.io.File. This is a bug fix release. jCIFS is published under the LGPL.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

The Legion of the Bouncy Castle has released version 1.18 of the Bouncy Castle Java Cryptography API, an open source, clean-room implementation of the Java Cryptography Extension (JCE). It supports X.509 certificates, PKCS12, S/MIME, CMS, PKCS7, and lots of other juicy acronyms. It also includes its own light-weight crypto API that works in Java 1.0 and later, and does not depend on the JCE. Version 1.18 is mostly a bug fix release. Download it while it's still legal.

JFCUnit 1.0.4, a tool for building JUnit test cases for Java Swing-based applications, has been released. It can obtain references to windows opened by your program, locate particular components, and submit events to them. Version 1.0.4 is a bug-fix release. JFCUnit is published under the LGPL.

The Object Refinery has posted version 0.9.5 of the JFreeChart open source library based on Java2D. JFreeChart can produce pie charts, line charts, various kinds of bar charts, XY plots and scatter plots, time series, high/low/open/close charts, candle stick charts, and combination charts. Version 0.9.5 adds dual axis charts. JFreeChart is published under the LGPL.

JFreeChart has an interesting business model. The developer, David Glibert, writes:

I am able to offer a priority development service for JFreeChart. If there is a feature that you urgently require to have incorporated in JFreeChart, I can be hired for US$400 per day (plus VAT where applicable) through my company Simba Management Limited:

  • source code will be released to you under the terms of the GNU LGPL (the licence used for JFreeChart);
  • copyright in the source code will be retained by Simba Management Limited.
  • fixed price quotes can be given for short or very well specified projects.

If I had a little more free-time, I could use this for XOM or XIncluder. However, most of my time is spoken for over the next few months.

Phex is an open source Gnutella client written in Java that offers "an automatic search functionality to find new download candidates and uses swarming to resumes the downloads across different hosts."

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

It just keeps getting worse. First, the 2000 elections revealed that getting the most votes was not really connected to winning in U.S. elections, even when the voting machines accurately counted the votes, which, it turns out, they don't. Then after September 11, the courts decided we didn't really need habeas corpus or fair trials. Next Congress passed the Orwellian "Patriot" Act that began the process of dismantling all the reasons one might be a patriot in the United States.

And now the next piece of anti-democratic legislation being pushed by the unelected Bush regime has been revealed. The "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003", also known as Patriot II gives the government the power to arrest people and hold them in secret without trial, deport legal aliens, revoke the citizenship of people who join any organization the administration calls a terrorist, spy on citizens engaged in political protests and dissent, create a DNA database of "suspected terrorists", and more.

A few details will probably change by the time this gets to Congress, but somehow I just can't imagine that the supine cowards in the 108th Congress will suddenly discover enough spine to oppose it. In fact, they'll probably load it up with their favorite pet projects like they did to Patriot I. Forget Iraq. We need a regime change in the U.S.

Ralph Jocham's posted version 0.94 of JCSC (Java Coding Standard Checker), a configurable tool for checking Java source code for adherence to standard conding conventions such as naming conventions, code structure, class size, and line length. Jocham is looking for help writing plug-ins for various IDEs like JBuilder, Netbeans, and Eclipse. JCSC is published under the GPL.

Monday, February 10, 2003

JoeySoft has released Joey 1.0, a $39.99 payware J2EE application server for Java 2 Micoo Edition (J2ME). Joey runs on PDAs, laptops and mobile phones. I had heard cell phones were getting powerful, but this is ridiculous.

Sunday, February 9, 2003

Wumpus Consulting has posted the fifth beta of the eXtendible Java Rendering Toolkit 1.0, an open source Java renderer with a ray tracing backend. Objects can be fed into the renderer through Java or an XML-based scene description language. This is published under the MIT/X Consortium License

Version 3.2.2 of GCC, the GNU Compiler Collection, has been released. GCC contains frontends for C, C++, Objective C, Chill, Fortran, and Java as well as libraries for these languages. This is mainly a bug fix release for the C derived languages. For users of Java, Ada, or Fortran, there are no significant changes with respect to 3.2.

Saturday, February 8, 2003

InetAddressLocator 2.11 is a simple Java class that performs country/locale lookups based on IP address. This is cool, but there's code out there that can do much better, determining much more specific geographic information based on IP address. Doies anyone have Java code to do that?

Quick tip: if your Linux system won't let you start X-Windows, especially on a system where X previously loaded without complaint, check to see if your / partition is full. Mine had filled up with some old print jobs and overly large logs. This apparently prevented the font server from launching. Once I got rid of them and rebooted, I was able to start X without any problems. Googling on the error message ("Fatal Server Error: default font 'fixed' could not be found", ) produced a lot of suggestions, none of which had anything to do with my actual problem. Fortunately my system was set to boot to the command line. I'm not sure what would have happened if it had been set to boot into X-Windows by default. Probably would have had to start up in single-user mode or some such.

Garry Kasparov battled Deep Junior to a final draw yesterday after 28 moves. The top human is once again as good at chess as the top machine.

Friday, February 7, 2003

Michael Powers has MIDP-osx/">ported the Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) MIDP 1.0.3 to Darwin and OS X running under X11. This includes the emulator and the class preverifier. It is published under the Sun Community Source License.

Version 4.0.1 of ICEMail, an open source email client in pure Java, has been released.. ICEMail supports SMIME, vCard, and PGP and is based on the Java Mail API, Java Activation Framework (JAF), and JavaHelp. This release removes support for Java 1.1.

Thursday, February 6, 2003

Gnome 2.2 is out. New features include multihead support, subpixel antialiasing, better font handling, and an overall cleaner, more consistent UI. I have a strong policy against upgrading OS's in the middle of of a project, but maybe once I get my current book finished at the end of the month, I'll upgrade my main Linux desktop to this. Right now I'm struggling along with Mandrake 7.2 and Gnome 1.4, and it's painful compared to the RedHat 8/Gnome 2.0 system on my X86 laptop. Gnome 2.2 looks even crunchier.

Yesterday I verified something that had been hypothesized before: Mac OS X 10.2 can drive my SGI 1600 flat panel display using a multilink adapter. That means I can upgrade my Mac desktop to OS X 10.3. Unfortunately my Mac desktop is a relatively slow, old G3 that can't run OS X at any speed beyond glacial. I'd really need new hardware, which I could almost justify, except that the cheapest unit runs about $1500. I'm tempted to use the new PowerBook as my main machine, except it can't run the SCSI tape drive I use for backups.

In the PC World I have multiple, very fast, very cheap choices that can be custom configured exactly as I need. This summer I upgraded my desktop system simply because I was wondering through a computer show and discovered that I could buy a system five times faster than my five-year old Dell with the petty cash in my wallet. (Yes, I had just been to the ATM machine that morning.) Apple purchases I really have to think about.

Dell is following Apple by eliminating floppy drives from their computers. I have to say I think this is a mistake. The first peripheral I bought for my floppyless G3 Mac was a USB floppy drive. Although floppies are 15 year old technology, they're still useful, especially for users who don't have multiple network servers and tape drives to back up important files. Yes, I'd rather use a CD-RW, but the technology just isn't there yet. When I can really use a CD-RW just like I use a floppy, i.e. stick it in the drive and copy files to it, drag files to the trash, and otherwise perform truly random access without having to launch special programs, worry about burn speeds, creating disk images, and the like, then the CD will finally be ready to replace the floppy, not before.

The JBoss Project has released  JBoss 3.0.6, an open source Enterprise JavaBeans application server implemented in pure Java. This is a bug fix release, no new features. JBoss provides JBossServer, the basic EJB container and JMX infrastructure, JBossMQ for JMS messaging, JBossMail for mail, JBossTX for JTA/JTS transactions, JBossSX for JAAS based security, JBossCX for JCA connectivity, and JBossCMP for CMP persistence. It integrates with Tomcat Servlet/JSP container and Jetty Web server/servlet container, and enables you to mix and match these components through JMX by replacing any component you wish with a JMX-compliant implementation for the same APIs.

The Ping Software Group has released version 1.4.1 of the Kiwi Toolkit, an open source (LGPL), Swing-based GUI class library that includes a TreeTable component, a DateChooser, an MVC charting package, a plugin framework, an application resource manager, and more. There's some useful stuff here. The obvious flaw is that it doesn't adhere to standard Java package naming conventions. 1.4.1 is a bug fix release.

Michael B. Allen's posted jCIFS 0.7.2, an SMB client library written in pure Java. It supports Unicode, named pipes, batching, multiplexing I/O of threaded callers, encrypted authentication, full transactions, domain/workgroup/host/share/file enumeration, NetBIOS sockets and name services, the smb:// URL protocol handler, RAP calls, and more. The API is similar to java.io.File. Version 0.7.2 fixes a couple of nasty bugs. jCIFS is published under the LGPL.

Wednesday, February 5, 2003

Version 4.2.7 of Jetty , an open source HTTP server written in Java has been released. Jetty supports HTTP/1.1, the Java Servlet API 2.3, and Java Server Pages 1.2. elharo.com is down again today because of the difficulty of integrating Tomcat with Apache (mostly due to completely inadequate documentation of the process). Maybe I'll throw them both out and start over with Jetty.

Jon A. Maxwell has posted the first public release of Netx 0.41, an open source Java Network Launching Protocol (JNLP) client. JNLP enables applications to download code from the Internet, cache it, and run it in a secure sandbox environment. Netx is similar to Java Web Start.

JCraft, Inc has posted JSch 0.0.13, a pure Java implementation of SSH2 that supports port forwarding, X11 forwarding, file transfer, etc. JSch is released under the Gnu LGPL.

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Microsoft has released Service Pack 1a for Windows XP. This is the same as Service Pack 1, except it does not include Microsoft's Java virtual machine (JVM). This is for compliance with the recent order of U.S. District Judge Frederick Motz. Windows XP also did not include Microsoft's JVM, but service pack 1 had added it back in. However, late yesterday the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed that order, as well as the one requiring them to add Sun's virtual machine in the coming months.

Confused yet? Don't worry. The practical impact of all of this legal wrangling is negligible, no matter how it plays out in the end. And neither Sun nor Microsoft is in such dire finanical straits that the money they're wasting on lawyers will have a noticeable impact on their bottom line. On the other hand, I suspect they're making the partners at some law firms very happy.

Grzegorz Kowal has posted jzip.org 0.1.2, an open source archiving program with a Swing GUI written in Java. jzip.org is published under the GNU General Public License.

Nathan Fiedler's released version 2.13 of JSwat, a graphical, stand-alone Java debugger built on top of the Java Platform Debugger Architecture. Features include breakpoints, source code viewing, single-stepping, watching variables, viewing stack frames, and printing variables. Version 2.13 adds a few small interface improvements and bug fixes. JSwat is published under the GPL.

debugtools.com has released version 2.9 of JDebugTool, a standalone graphical Java debugger built on top of the Java Platform Debugger Architecture (JPDA). Version 2.9 adds support for Java 1.4 object instance watchpoints.. JDebugTool is $99 payware.

Monday, February 3, 2003

Sun's released version 1.3.1_07 of the Java™ 2 Platform, Standard Edition. This release fixes assorted bugs.

Derrick Oswald has released the J2EE Email Connector 1.0, a class library that enables programs running in a J2EE application server to send and receive e-mail. A sample application provides programatic responses to email messages such as stock quotes and weather reports.

P6Spy 1.0 has been released. This is an open source framework for applications that intercept and optionally modify database statements. P6Spy has two main pieces:

P6Spy includes installation instructions for JBoss, ATG, Orion, JOnAS, iPlanet, WebLogic, WebSphere, and Tomcat.

Sunday, February 2, 2003

Every so often the Internet still manages to show me something new. Recently, I've become enamored of Internet radio. I stopped listening to real radio years ago. Occasionally, I'll pick up some classic rock in a rental car; but since I don't own a car (living in New York and all) and outside of a car I'm just not bored enough to listen to the pablum pop, violin concertos written by dead white guys, and sports talk that occupy most of the public bandwidth. However, on the Internet I can pick up a few generally interesting stations like WWOZ in New Orleans.

More recently, I noticed that iTunes on my new PowerBook lists lots of radio stations with very different playlists from the typical, many originating from Europe. As a result I'm discovering a lot of new artists and bands that I've never heard of before, something that hasn't happened for over a decade (really since MTV stopped playing videos at any reasonable hour of the day). I'm also discovering that a lot of these aren't available in the U.S., and not just in music stores either. I can't pick them up on Gnutella.

I'm not sure why I find so little of this stuff on Gnutella, but my working hypothesis is that Gnutella is divided into cells of approximately 100,000 users apiece. Starting from the U.S., I'm mostly connecting to other U.S. users, which makes it really easy to find Paradise by the Dashboard Light, but not nearly as easy to find Meatloaf's new single that's only been released in Germany. German artists like Jeanette Biedermann and Rammstein (Please, no comments on my musical taste or lack thereof.) range from difficult to impossible to find. The same is true of a lot of European Trance music.

So here's the question: is there anyway to position myself in Europe or any other particular location in Gnutella? (I've also ocassionally found myself needing to connect to New Orleans users for a Benny Grunch & the Bunch fix. Ain't there no more.) Does anywhere have lists of peers to connect to organized by geography? Suggestions to elharo@ibiblio.org.

The server based sharing applications such as Napster and AudioGalaxy were much better for finding obscure and remote music, but they seem to be all defunct. I'm exploring Direct Connect right now, and it does seem to let you pick more geographically oriented hubs, but the variety of music available is relatively limited compared to Gnutella. Most people seem to be sharing megabytes of games. Note to hub owners: requirements that connecters share a gigabyte or more of data just seems to encourage people to share random files nobody wants. A requirement to share ten good MP3s would go a lot further toward producing a useful network.

Saturday, February 1, 2003

SSHTools.com has posted J2SSH 0.0.5, a Java implementation that "provides a fully featured SSH2 implementation specifically designed for cross platform development. Higher level components representing both the standard SSH client and SSH servers are provided which implement the protocol specification for user sessions and port forwarding." Supported features include public key and password authentication the SFTP protocol. J2SSH is published under the LGPL.

Lorenzo Bettini's released GNU Source-highlight 1.6.3, a GPL'd tool for reading Java, C/C++, Prolog, Perl, PHP3, Flex, ChangeLog, and Python code and translating them into syntax highlighted HTML and XHTML. Binaries are available for Unix, and it should compile on Windows with the appropriate libraries. 1.6.3 is a bug fix release.

Older news:

January January, 2003 January, 2002 January, 2001 January, 2000 January, 1999 January, 1998
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March March, 2003 March, 2002 March, 2001 March, 2000 March, 1999 March, 1998
April April, 2003 April, 2002 April, 2001 April, 2000 April, 1999 April, 1998
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August August, 2003 August, 2002 August, 2001 August, 2000 August, 1999 August, 1998
September September, 2003 September, 2002 September, 2001 September, 2000 September, 1999 September, 1998
October October, 2003 October, 2002 October, 2001 October, 2000 October, 1999 October, 1998
November November, 2003 November, 2002 November, 2001 November, 2000 November, 1999 November, 1998
December December, 2003 December, 2002 December, 2001 December, 2000 December, 1999 December, 1998

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Last Modified February 11, 2003