Java News from Monday, March 22, 2004

I'm pleased to report that the U.S. military has dropped all charges against Captain James Yee, the soldier accused of various counts of espionage involving the prisoners at Guantanomo Bay. This was a vicious, bigoted, religiously motivated prosecution from the start. There was never any substance to any of the claims of espionage. There are still several Arabic-speaking and Muslim enlisted men and one non-Arab, non-Muslim officer being prosecuted on similarly trumped up charges though. Let's hope the Army has the good sense and common decency to drop those charges as well.


I'm back from Software Development 2004 West, where a good time was had by all. I also spent a couple of days in Sonoma County where I managed to add western bluebirds, western tanagers, scrub jays, and purple finches to my life list. I was particularly pleased to see the bluebird. I was particularly unpleased to see that starlings are following humanity into the increasingly developed wine country, as they almost always do. :-( The invasive starlings and house sparrows are largely repsonsible for the near elimination of bluebirds in North America over the last century. Bluebirds used to be very common. There's got to be something we can do to control these invasive species so the native ones don't get crowded out.

As usual, the coolest ideas at the conference were unexpected. Most practically, Matt Liotta introduced me to scp, and made me wonder why I'd stuck with ftp all these years. Habit I guess. Not only is scp much more secure than ftp. It is also much, much easier to use from a Unix command line. I'd also say that it's easier to use than a lot of the common GUI ftp clients including Fugu and gFTP. It's also more reliable when transferring large numbdrs of files. Highly recommended.

I also got some interesting ideas about data binding APIs during Dennis Sosnoski's talk about JAXB and JiBX. I think I see now how to design a data binding API that doesn't suffer from the numerous problems of the existing schema dependent, tightly coupled systems. More on that after I get XOM out the door. I'm currently hoping to post alpha 1 around the first of next month. Speaking of XOM, it got a very positive reception at the conference; and a few more groups are likely to start using it. I'll be catching up on news from the last week over the day as I wade through my e-mail backlog.

Gaudenz Alder has released version 3.2 of JGraph, an open source graph component for Swing that requires Java 1.4 or later. JGraph is accompanied by Graphpad, an open-source diagram editor for Swing that offers Automatic Layout, Printing, Zoom, and much more. It is available in English, German and French. New features in 3.2 include the ability to draw labels along edges, double precision coordinates, a map to the default graph model, and bug fixes.

Slava Pestov has uploaded the eleventh pre-release of jEdit 4.2, an open source programmer's editor written in Java with extensive plug-in support and my preferred text editor on Windows and Unix. New features in this release include the ability to customize the metal look and feel fonts in Java 1.5, the file system browser uses the locale's short date format, various new macros, and S# syntax highlighting.