Java News from Monday, March 1, 2004

Sun has posted the first public review draft of Java Specification Request 204, Unicode Supplementary Character Support, in the Java Community Process. This spec defines how Java can handle Unicode characters that no longer fit into a single char. Basically it suggests using surrogate pairs (two chars equals one character) for character from outside the Basic Multilingual Plane (the first 65,536 Unicode code points). This isn't pleasant, as anybody who's had to do XML processing in Java already knows, but it does work. In addition, some additional methods have been added to String, StringBuffer, and related classes that use ints to represent code points. It's probably the best that can be done without breaking backwards compatibility. Comments are due by March 27.

David Koelle has released JFugue, a library for programming playing note-basedd music in Java through MIDI. The API is simple enough, but it's hindered by a no-commercial use license.

Marco Schmidt has released ImageInfo 1.5, a Java class that examines InputStream and RandomAccessFile objects to determine whether the stream/file is in one of the supported image file formats and if so read the image's height, width, and color depth. ImageInfo is in the public domain.

Version 0.7 of jTDS has been released. jTDS is a 100% pure Java (Type 4) open source JDBC 2.0 driver for the Microsoft SQL Server series (6.5, 7.x and 2000). It's originally based on the work of the FreeTDS project. Besides fixing bugs, Version 0.7 adds scrollable and updateable ResultSets, batch updates, BLOB/CLOB support, and JDBC escape handling. jTDS is published under a BSD license.

Websina has released BugZero 3.5, a $999 payware Web-based bug tracking system that supports multiple projects, group-based access, automatic bug assignment, file attachment, email notification, and metric reports. Bug Zero is written in Java and can run on top of various backend databases including MySQL. 3.5 improves handling of database connection timeouts and makes a few more pieces configurable.