Welcome to Cafe Au Lait

What Is Cafe Au Lait?

What is Cafe Au Lait? There are several meanings.
  1. A form of coffee served in New Orleans, generally cut with chicory and large quantities of milk. Goes well with beignets.
  2. A web site devoted to Java at http://metalab.unc.edu/javafaq/
  3. This newsletter
It's the third definition that concerns us now. This is the first of an occasional series of newsletters in which I intend to ramble on about various topics related to Java, the Internet, programming, genealogy, mathematics and whatever else crosses my mind. There's no particular periodicity to these missives. They arrive when I feel like sending them. This list is low-volume, one-way. There should be no more than one message a week (at most!) from this list. It is moderated and I am the only one who can post to it.

I haven't settled on a definite format for these newsletters yet, but each one will probably include some brief comments, recent news about Java, perhaps some reader responses, and one major article about something that interests me. The main form of distribution will be the Cafe Au Lait mailing list, but they'll also be available here at the Cafe Au Lait web site.

Back Issues

June 24, 1997
In this issue I talk about the projects that have kept me busy since the last issue of this newsletter, way back in November, and explain why mirroring web sites is a fundamentally bad idea.

November 7, 1996
In this issue we see the results of the TAK benchmarks on several platforms, find a non-recursive equivalent for the RAM config algorithm, and investigate the difference between independent contractors and employees to see how you can avoid trouble with the IRS.

October 17, 1996
An introduction to recursion in Java. Examples include factorial functions, RAM configurations, and the Tak benchmark. Plus letters to the editor, corrections to the Java Developer's Resource, and news from the world of Java.

September 23, 1996
We kick off the newsletter with an article explaining why Java and C++ are different. There have probably been hundreds of articles explaining how Java and C++ are similar and how they're different at a very low level. This article attempts to show why Java and C++ are different. It relies heavily on one of the more fascinating books I've read lately, The Design and Evolution of C++, by Bjarne Stroustrup. If you're one of the many who's under the illusion that C++ and Java are very similar, this book should really open your eyes. Java and C++ are both object oriented languages with a passing similarity to C, but that's where the resemblance ends. This book tells you why C++ is the way it is. It demonstrates conclusively that the experiences and decisions that influenced C++ are vastly different from those that influenced Java.

Who am I?

My name is Elliotte Rusty Harold. In so-called real life I'm a writer, currently residing in the East Village of New York City, with my wife, Beth Anderson, and our cat, Possum. In previous lives I've worked in web publishing, solar astronomy, and applied mathematics.

Currently I've got several books about Java in varying stages of development. The Java Developer's Resource is an introduction to Java for programmers. It's just been published by Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference and should be in stores now. (ISBN: 0-1357-0789-7) I'll write more about the others as they're released.

I also maintain several websites including Cafe Au Lait at http://metalab.unc.edu/javafaq/ and The Well Connected Mac at http://www.macfaq.com/. Lately I've had a number of interesting ideas that I wanted to write about, but that did not fit well into either a book or a website. Hence this mailing list.

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Copyright 1996, 1997 Elliotte Rusty Harold
Last Modified December 19, 2002