Java News from Sunday, March 28, 2004

Speakeasy lied. I still don't have a DSL router, and won't until at least tomorrow morning. I really wish there were somewhere one could go to buy reliable Internet service, but all the providers seem interested in is a race to the bottom. Low quality at high cost is the rule of the day. Allegedly I'm paying SpeakEasy for business class service, but they sure aren't providing it. This is only one of several multi-day outages I've experienced since I signed up with them a few years ago, following bankruptcies and other complete failures at other providers including Northpoint and Panix. :-(

On an unrelated note, I'm going nuts trying to locate a song that's running through my head. The lyric fragment I remember is "We were only twenty-one," and I could swear it's an ABBA song, but I could be wrong about that. I can't find it in my collection of ABBA MP3s, and Google isn't helping. I'm almost certain the lyric is sung by a female voice. If anyone recognizes this, please drop me a line. Update: Never mind. I found it. It wasn't ABBA. It was Ace of Base, and the song is "C'est La Vie (Always 21)". No comments on my musical tastes or lack thereof, please.

The Eclipse Project has posted the eighth milestone beta of Eclipse 3.0, an open source integrated development environment (IDE) for Java. It also doubles as a base platform for your own applications, an alternative to the AWT and Swing, and a powerful floor wax and dessert topping. My personal favorite new features in M8 are:

Features I don't like include the elimination of Rebuild All and Rebuild Project (which I didn't find at all confusing) in favor of a Clean... command (which seems very inobvious to me). Incredibly brain damaged is the feature that checks the workspace for breakpoints before launching in run mode, and asks you if you'd rather debug if it finds any. I don't know about you, but I always have breakpoiints in my code, and this feature just means I have to click through an additional dialog box before continuing. There's a preference to turn this off, but the feature shoudln't be there in the first place. If I want to debug, I'll select Debug. If I want to run I'll select Run. What is so confusing about that? This has nothing to do with whether I've set breakpoints.

There'a also a port to 64-bit Linux GTK port for AMD64, which is not yet production quality.

The release notes say "Standard coding conventions recommend using FIXME and XXX in a comment to mark places in Java code that need to be fixed. By default, these are now configured as task tags (along with TODO), as found on the Java > Task Tags preference page." First I've heard of that. I've always used "????" to indicate things I need to fix, though I have seen lots of FIXMEs in other projects' code. Is this an actual de jure convention that's been written down somewhere like the convention of using capitalized class names and uncapitalized member names? Or is it just a de facto convention?

The Eclipse Project has also released Eclipse 2.1.3, a bug fix release.

Christian Grothoff has released version 3.0 of JAMIT, the Java Access Modifier Inference Tool. Jamit can read Java .class files and determine which fields and methods can be changed from public to protected, private, or package protected, and so forth. Version 3.0 works with code that uses native methods and reflection. JAMIT is published under the GPL.