Java News from Wednesday, March 24, 2004

My evaluation copy of the "Java" Desktop System showed up in the mail yesterday so I popped it into my computer. Result: Completely non-functional. On a scale of 1 to 10, it gets a 0. The system could not boot past the license agreement, which was presented in an illegible font, and offered no way to agree to it, even if I could read it (which could be done only with great effort). And this is on a system that normally runs Red Hat Linux, so it's not exactly unsupported hardware. Sun clearly has a long way to go before they're ready to compete with Red Hat and Mandrake, even further if they want to compete with Microsoft.

Etienne Gagnon has released version 1.1.1 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." Version 1.1.1 is based on GNU Classpath 0.08, supports more architectures, fills in many holes JNI, reflection, and other areas, and fixes some bugs. SableVM is published under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

Sun has released "early draft specifications" of four Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) related Java Specification Requests (JSRs). These are

I think previously the early draft specification would have been a community review draft, but now it's open to the general public. These update the existing 1.0 versions of those specs to support Java 1.4. Comments are due by April 23.