Java News from Thursday, March 3, 2005

I've posted the second alpha release of XOM 1.1, my free-as-in-speech (LGPL) dual streaming/tree-based API for processing XML with Java. Version 1.1 maintains backwards compatibility with XOM 1.0 while adding a number of important new features including XPath support. Alpha 2 speeds up XPath queries by roughly a factor of 10. It also fixes assorted small bugs, and adds an XPathTypeException class that distinguishes syntactic errors from the case where an XPath expression returns something other than a node-set.

Beta 10 of Groovy, a JVM hosted scripting language that combines the speed of GW-Basic with the clarity of Perl, has been posted. This beta fixes assorted bugs and introduces an "Early Access Preview of the new parser developed as part of the JSR effort." Apparently Groovy has now split into two versions, a so-called "classic " version and the new one being developed in the Java Community Process (JCP).

Frederic Lavigne posted version 1.2.11 of his Skin Look And Feel for Java. SkinLF allows Java developers to use Skins (GTK and KDE themes) in their Swing applications. This release supports theming text component borders and JDK 1.4 frame decoration. It also provides theme converters to port themes written for other skin engines to SkinLF themepacks. This release adds support for the indeterminate progress bars introduced in Java 1.4. Java 2 is required.

Jim Menard has posted version 0.9 of DataVision, an open source "database reporting tool similar to Crystal Reports". DataVision is written in Java and supports multiple databases including PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Oracle. This release can set a default format and border for the entire report and runs formulas using the Bean Scripting Framework. DataVision is published under an Apache license.

IBM's alphaWorks has updated their Enterprise Media Beans, a "rich media framework based on the JSR086 standard proposal for J2EE-compliant applications; media is treated as just another data type. EMB enables applications to integrate rich media data, such as audio, video, or image, into applications based on Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) Entity BeansTM within the J2EE application development model. It allows the embedding of rich media assets into business logic without the worry about client type, server media protocols, media format, or streaming technology. It is a standardized, component-based application model for rich media integration throughout the enterprise -- back-end and infrastructure." The update "contains the Open-Source Reference Implementation and Technology Compatibility Kit code that reflects final changes to the JSR 086 specification." According to the site, Windows 2000 is required. I suspect it may work on XP, and they just forgot to update the platform requirements, but I'm a Mac and Linux user these days so I can't easily check.