Java News from Thursday, April 29, 2004

The new music video features convinced me to upgrade my iTunes to 4.5 yesterday. They even got me to sign up for an account on the iTunes music store. Then I went looking for videos, and to my amazement, they all seem to be free! Apple seems willing to give (or at least stream) me the video, but wants to sell me the song. As a child of the MTV generation, this seems somehow backwards to me. If I can play the video for free, why should I buy the song? On the other hand, I would love to be able to buy my favorite videos for $0.99 and burn them to a DVD in iMovie. This is something Gnutella does not do well, at least not yet. On the other hand I've yet to figure out why Apple expects me to pay $0.99 for songs that can be downloaded for free from many other places. Perhaps Steve Jobs took too many engineering classes and too few classes in economics.

IBM has released version 1.20 of Jikes, their open source Java compiler written in C. Version 1.20 implements some of Java 1.5, adds new diagnostics including the detection of overflow in integer constant expressions, and has fixed assorted bugs. Jikes is published under the IBM Public License.

Lorenzo Bettini has released GNU Source-highlight 1.9, a GPL'd tool for reading Java, C/C++, Prolog, Perl, PHP3, Flex, ChangeLog, JavaScript, LUA, CAML, SML, 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. Version 1.9 adds a --no-doc option that overrides the --doc option even if it is implied. Various bugs were fixed as well.

Brian Westphal has released version 3.0.1 of his Java Parser/Parser Generator. It builds parsers from straight EBNF notation files. It's published under the GPL. This release fixes a few bugs.

Mark Stephens has released JPedal 2.16, a pure Java library for extracting content from PDF files and rasterizing them. Text fragments are extracted as XML elements with font and location information. Images are extracted in both their raw formats and their clipped and scaled formats as TIFF, PNG, or JPEG files. Version 2.16 adds a PDF viewer written in Java and published under the GPL. The rest of the library is published under the LGPL.

Michael B. Allen's posted jCIFS 0.8.3, 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 Version 0.8.3 fixes a few bugs. jCIFS is published under the LGPL.

Wolfgang Ullrich has released Yet Another Freeware PDF-Composer 1.1, a free (GPL) pure Java program that can combine picture files and other PDF documents to make a new PDF document.

R. Rawson-Tetley has posted SwingWT 0.82, an open source, "100% pure Java library which very closely resembles the interface of Swing. The difference is that instead of using the Swing library, it drives native peer widgets for your platform from SWT" (the Eclipse GUI toolkit). With this library, Java/Swing applications can be compiled natively under Linux using gcj. It also allows Swing apps to use native widgets. Version 0.82 adds a native Linux build script for GCJ, double-buffered graphics contexts, a new JTaskTrayItem component, a JSpinner component, InputMap support, and many bug fixes. SwingWT is dual licensed under the Common Public License and the LGPL.