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Not The Only One Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 30, 2007

Friends and relations join the OpenJDK effort

So what is OpenJDK? Increasingly, it's not just the effort behind the GPL Java 7, but a collection of related projects working around that GPL code base. A few months back, Red Hat started theIced Tea project to take the existing OpenJDK source and work through the encumbrances through the use of free software from GNU Classspath. So that's a project that has started with the OpenJDK source and gone its own way, though it certainly could contribute back to the main project in the future.

Now let's consider the other direction... projects based code-bases other than OpenJDKs that nevertheless want to combine under the OpenJDK umbrella. This is happening today, as some of the BSD Java porting projects formalize their relationship with OpenJDK.

A brief note yesterday from Mark Reinhold on the OpenJDKannounce list announces the approval of an OpenJDK Porters Group, as proposed by Dalibor Topic earlier in the month. The group's introduction says, "this group exists to bundle and aid such efforts under the OpenJDK umbrella, and integrate them in the OpenJDK community through porting projects." Projects that have expressed an interest in joining the OpenJDK effort are the BSD porting projects, led by Kurt Miller and Greg Lewis, as well as Landon Fuller's much-discussed Soy Latte port of the BSD Java to Mac OS X.

Oh, and if you missed it, yesterday's feature article was all about OpenJDK, specifically, how to build it from source. Even if you're not about to build it yourself, the story of how to do it is a fun read, and it's proof positive that the source is out there for you to work with.

Also in Java Today, the Early Draft Review ends this Saturday, December 1, for JSR-299, Web Beans. "The goal of this work is to enable EJB 3.0 components to be used as JSF managed beans, unifying the two component models and enabling a considerable simplification to the programming model for web-based applications in Java. In particular, this work will provide a programming model suitable for rapid development of simple data-driven applications without sacrificing the full power of the Java EE 5 platform."

TheServerSide points out an interesting blog by Zviki Cohen on Five ways for tracing Java execution. Faced with finding bugs in code he may have partial (or no) source to, he says "I usually find that it is faster to trace the code at runtime. Especially when it comes to non-trivial links between classes, like an interface with multiple implementations which may be picked at runtime. The smörgåsbord of design time tools is just insufficient. In this post, I will summarize the common methods (I know of) for tracing the runtime execution." The five techniques considered are breakpoints, debug messages, dynamic proxy, run-time profiler, and AOP.

Where's your Java career going? Do you want to get into new stuff, or do more with what you already know? The latest Poll asks "What would most help your career?" Cast your vote on the front page, then visit the results page for current tallies and discussion.



I Will Not Be Broken Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 29, 2007

The nitty-gritty on buildng the JDK

After a long hiatus, The Open Road, our series on the open-source development of the next version on Java, continues today with a very practical question: just how the heck do you build this thing?

The answer, for now anyways, is "with a lot of patience and effort." Author and Café au Lait founder Elliotte Rusty Harold took a whack at checking out and building the JDK from source on Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon, and found it to be an all-day process. He shares a remarkably detailed, yet fun-to-read, step-by-step narrative of this effort in our Feature Article, The Open Road: Building the JDK.

It is possible to build the JDK. It just takes a day or two the first time you do it, and familiarity with Unix and C libraries doesn't hurt. Hopefully it will take you less time than it took me.

By working through missing libraries, missing tools, underdocumented environment variables, and checkout hiccups, Elliotte may just save you a few hours should you try to build the JDK on your box. Of course, he also points out the options of grabbing a pre-built binary bundle, or the better-but-not-perfect option of building with NetBeans.

We'll also be putting updates about the status and progress of JDK project atop each entry of the series, and we hope that you'll be encouraged to check out the source or a pre-built binary and put it to the test on your own system. Future installments of the series will check out new APIs, language changes, and VM features in Java 7, and if there are topics you'd like to see addressed in this first-look series, please let us know.

In Java Today, JDJ's James L. Weaver has posted a brief introduction to Closures in Compiled JavaFX Script. "In a nutshell, JavaFX Script closures provide the ability to define a function within another function with the inner function having access to the local variables of the outer function. This feature is enabled by the fact that in compiled JavaFX Script, functions are first-class objects, which provides the ability to assign functions to variables and to pass functions as arguments to other functions."

Pushing GlassFish v2 (or Sun Java System Application Server 9.1) beyond what its GUI and command-line tools can support? The next level of enterprise-deployment tooling for GlassFish is described in a new SDN article, Provisioning Sun Java System Application Server With N1SPS. "Sun N1 Service Provisioning System (N1SPS), with its extensible plug-in architecture, has been designed for just such deployments. The N1SPS Plug-In for Sun Java System Application Server makes it easy to install, configure, and manage application server installations across your enterprise."

Artima summarizes a set of recent articles by Don Haderle and Michael Stonebraker on Column-Oriented Databases. "Current databases are mostly oriented around database rows, a design that originated with the constraints present at the time the first relational databases were implemented. [...] In a recent set of blog posts, Haderle and Stonebraker discuss the constraints of the original relational database implementations, and how changes in the cost of processing can usher in column-oriented databases more suitable to analyze rich data types."

In today's Weblogs. Bruce


Something To Talk About Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 28, 2007

Tomorrow's chat in Second Life

I got a brief note from the people about a virtual event to be held tomorrow in Second Life, so I finally got around to signing up for an account and downloading the software. And that's why this blog is late this morning -- it took a while to create my avatar (that's "Invalidname Schism" to you) and to make him properly reflect my weight and lack of hair. Oh sure, I could have gone for some wild fantasy look, but I'm just not that creative, at least not on company time.

Anyways, I teleported over to the Sun pavilion in SL and chatted with the Java quiz bot... all the questions are about EJB! Fortunately, you can just blurt out answers until you get the right one. Somewhere in the pavilion, I managed to pick up a JavaFX t-shirt, which gave me a good excuse to drop the chainmail I'd gotten from the tutorial area.

So, I'm set for the event, and here's the original listing: Sun's Dana Nourie is inviting Java developers to meet in the Sun Microsystems Developer Playground in Second Life tomorrow -- November 29 at 9-10 AM PDT -- to chat about how you can learn the Java platform.

Also in Java Today, the NetBeans QA team has announced the results of the NetBeans IDE 6.0 Community Acceptance Survey that ended November 25th. They write, "93% of respondents agree that NetBeans 6.0 Release Candidate is stable enough to move into FCS. A few respondents recommended that we fix some more issues, and our quality engineers are evaluating these."

TheServerSide has posted a novel article by Akshay Sharma on how to Design to Unit Test. "Thinking about unit testing during design, leads to a good design. Unit tests are not just pieces to catch 'bugs', they also drive the design. Unit tests enforce the contract of the classes and methods and thus making sure the design adheres to the contract of the system."



Have A Heart Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 27, 2007

Help the beginners figure out autoboxing

Sometimes the "Not-So-Stupid" question is a discussion-starter, with lots of ways the question can be answered. But other times, there really is something of a "correct" answer, and the existence of the question gets at the idea of why this answer isn't easier to find. 

Consider today's not-so-stupid question, presented as our Feature Article, (Not So) Stupid Questions 20: Primitives and Collections. It cites a Sun Java SE 5.0 page that says:

As any Java programmer knows, you can't put an int(or other primitive value) into a collection. Collections can only hold object references, so you have to box primitive values into the appropriate wrapper class (which is Integer in the case of int).

Yet, a simple 10-line program shows it's trivially easy to addints directly to an ArrayList. So what's the deal?

The seasoned developer knows that what's up isautoboxing, the automatic conversion by the compiler of integers to their primitive-wrapping object equivalents:ints become Integers, floats become Floats, etc. In fact, that's even the title of the documentation page that the above quote comes from. Problem is, the doc page kind of buries the idea of autoboxing in some too-clever code, and a discussion of performance considerations. It might have been better to take a paragraph and explicitly say something like "myArrayList.add(1) throws a compile-time exception before Java 5, and does what you expect it to in Java 5 and later."

And maybe that's something to talk about, that this is a feature that directly addresses problems developers have had with previous versions of Java, without considering what it looks like to the new developer who comes to the language without that experience, without presumptions or biases. Maybe it doesn't make sense to fresh eyes like it does to anyone who's done it the hard way. The conservative "no more language changes" crowd may see this as a problem, but then again, is autoboxing really unintuitive? Isn't the point to do what you would expectmyArrayList.add(1) to do?

Hmmm... maybe not a stupid question at all...

In today's Weblogs, David


Sneakin' Up On You Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 26, 2007

ME Developer Days approaching

OK, with a vacation week over in the US, it's time to start making plans for early 2008. One of the things I need to do for myself this week is to get registered for and arrange transportation to the Mobile & Embedded Developer Days conference. I'm looking forward to meeting with our many community members and hopefully recording some audio for a future podcast series. Plus, with the broad range of ME platforms -- from phones to game consoles and a lot of form-factors in between -- there should be a variety of interests and opportunities on display.

Considering it's now late November, and the conference is in January, there's not a lot of time to make plans either. That's why we've put the conference in this week's front-page Spotlight. After all, this is the last week to get the early bird registration price of $175, which goes up to $225 after November 30. Visit the conference's project page to check out the agenda, list of speakers, and planned sessions.

On a related note, our latest Java Mobility Podcast is a collection of Talks on upcoming Java Mobile and Embedded Developer Days. Podcast hosts Roger Brinkley and Terrence Barr are joined by members of the selection committee for January's Java Mobile and Embedded Developer Days. They talk about the different types of sessions that have been scheduled for this conference with C. Enrique Ortiz, CTO at EZee, Sean Sheedy, Java ME Consultant and Eric Arseneau, Sun Microsystems.

In Java Today, a recently-posted Java SE 6 Performance White Paper presents an overview of performance and scalability improvements in Java SE 6, with impressive benchmark results. "One of the principal design centers for Java Platform, Standard Edition 6 (Java SE 6) was to improve performance and scalability by targeting performance deficiencies highlighted by some of the most popular Java benchmarks currently available and also by working closely with the Java community to determine key areas where performance enhancements would have the most impact."

The Quaqua Look and Feel project for Mac OS X has released version 4.1. "The Quaqua Look and Feel is a user interface library for Java applications which wish to closely adhere to the Apple Human Interface Guidelines for Mac OS X," automatically switching between appropriate looks for the Tiger, Panther, and Jaguar versions of OS X, and providing Swing implementations of NSBrowser and NSSheet. "Version 4.1 includes a FileChooserUI which roughly simulates the native file dialogs in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Except for panel backgrounds and frame borders, Quaqua still uses the Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger design."

A new edition, issue 148, of the JavaTools Community Newsletter is out, with tool-related news from around the web, announcements of new community projects, a graduation from the Tools incubator (ReportNG), and a Tool Tip that lists the Top 10 Most Active Tools Community projects.

Today's Weblogsstart with Rex


Sitting in Limbo Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 22, 2007

Will your code outlive you?

First off, if you didn't check the page yesterday, perhaps because of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., then go back to the archive and read up on the early draft of JSR-294 (superpackages) and a Java-compatible runtime running on the iPhone.

Now, as for today. Talking with some former colleagues, I was surprised to find that stuff I'd written years ago was still running in production, largely unmodified. That seems kind of funny if you think of all the times you work on code bases that never even make production, or on projects that get released but fail in the marketplace. And if they succeed, the constant march of progress often demands they be redone at some point, perhaps because of changes in the runtime environment or because your work was a quick first-cut that was never expected to last, or whatever. Perhaps there's a unique combination of factors -- quality, usefulness, and efficiency, for example -- that work together in a virtuous circle to keep a given code base viable over the years.

Or, maybe you just wrote a mission-critical system with bizarre metaphors, circular reasoning, and an absolute absence of comments, preventing it from ever being maintained or replaced. Don't laugh -- more than a few people have used this as a job-protection strategy. They can't lay you off if nobody else can read your crazy code... right?

With such thoughts of quality and viability in mind, the Poll asks "how old is your oldest code that's still in production?" Cast your vote on the front page, then visit the results page for current tallies and discussion.

In today's Weblogs, Evan


Welcome Back Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 22, 2007

Yes, we're still around on a US holiday

It's Thanksgiving in the United States, but business as usual pretty much everywhere else, so on occasions like these, we still like to keep the editorial parts of the site updated as usual. It's not like we turn off Subversion and say "go watch parades and football", so why do the same with the front page?

Pity, though, that any Americans who don't take a moment to check the page today are going to miss some good stuff: GNU Classpath and a Java-workalike running on the iPhone, the first early draft of the superpackages JSR, and the always-interesting Simon Morris on resolution independence and scaling from wide-screen monitors to hand-held devices. I should probably put a pointer in tomorrow's blog saying "go back and read Thursday's!"

Lucky you that you're reading this via the browser or RSS client of your choice...

So let's dive in. In Java Today, Andreas Sterbenz points out a milestone for the superpackages JSR in Early Draft of JSR 294 Now Available: "The JCP Early Draft specification of JSR 294 is now available for downloadfrom the JSR page. In short, it consists of two chapters of the Java Language Specification that have been updated to cover Superpackages. There are change bars to highlight everything that has been touched. Then there are draft revisions for the Java Virtual Machine Specification. Finally, updates to the Java core reflection APIs. [...] BTW, we are also working on the implementation, chiefly Jonfor the javac changes. We will make the code available on the OpenJDK Modules project once it is ready."

In the SDN webcast jMaki: A Deep Dive With Greg Murray, Ed Ort interviews Sun Ajax architect Greg Murray about why jMaki is a great framework for quickly building Ajax-based web applications. This interview runs 21:46 and is available as an MPEG-4 video file or as an audio-only MP3.

Mark J. Wielaard has compiled wiki and forum announcements of a Java-compatible environment for the iPhone in Free your IPhone. "Want some free java on your IPhone? Robert Lougher posted some screenshots of JamVM and GNU Classpath running on it..." Installation requires a jailbreak of your iPod Touch or iPhone, and the wikihas full instructions for building from source or just installing pre-built binaries.

The latest Java Mobility Podcast is Java Mobility Podcast 28: Talks on upcoming Java Mobile and Embedded Developer Days , in which podcast hosts Roger Brinkley and Terrence Barr are joined by members of the selection committee for January's Java Mobile and Embedded Developer Days. They talk about the different types of sessions that have been scheduled for this conference with C. Enrique Ortiz, CTO at EZee, Sean Sheedy, Java ME Consultant and Eric Arseneau, Sun Microsystems.


Java 6 for Mac, but not from Apple?

Coming out of all the anger and disappointment of Apple shipping Leopard without Java 6 were several cries of "maybe the open source community should just take over." This was an option on a poll we did on the topic, and 11.6% of respondents preferred the open source community over Apple and Sun as their Java providers.

Well, with an Apple-developed Java 6 still nowhere in sight, this group may just get its wish. Landon Fuller has spent the past couple weeks working on porting BSD's Java 6 to Mac OS X, and announced late Monday that he was ready to offer a Developer Preview 1 Release.

I'm pleased to announce the first Developer Preview Release of the open-source port of Java 6 to Mac OS X. This release includes support for 32-bit and 64-bit Intel machines running Mac OS X Leopard (10.5). (Nearly) everything up to and including Swing (X11) is functional. Sound is not currently supported. While I've spent some time testing this release with my own projects, this preview release should be considered beta quality. The project is very much in need of additional community testing -- If you're hankering for Java 6, please give this a try!

I almost put an OpenJDK icon on this story when I posted it to the Mac Java Community yesterday, and then I realized that the various BSDs' Java almost certainly isn't OpenJDK-based. For one thing, OpenJDK is working on Java 7, and also preparing a GPL back-port to JDK 6 of their work, whereas BSD's covers J2SE 1.2 to Java SE 6. So, I do kind of wonder what license is in effect for this port. Landon points out that to get the sources, you have to agree to theJava Research License, whereas FreeBSD's Java Downloads say, somewhat cryptically, "the FreeBSD Foundation has a license with Sun Microsystems to distribute FreeBSD binaries for the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and Java Development Kit (JDK)", not addressing the issue of source or, for that matter, what's in the BSD-Sun license. Considering BSD's license was unilaterally revoked a few years back, I'd feel a little better knowing some of these answers before committing major projects to this lack-of-Java-6 workaround. And I bet someone's going to be able to follow up in the comments with the details I'm fishing for.

Still, legal concerns shouldn't diminish the technical achievement of getting the port substantially working in the course of a few evenings and weekends. A lot of Mac-based Java developers may potentially be unblocked by this, and assuming most are doing server-side development, the absence of native AWT support and sound is not that big a deal. And for those issues, it's likely some Cocoa and Core Audio developers may be able to lend a hand. Anyone care to whip up some suitable NSViewimplementations of

Also in Java Today, Neal Gafter has posted an update on his closures prototype for Java 7. "The Closures for Java prototype now allows a closure to access mutated local variables from an enclosing scope. You can download the prototype here. You can also download the sources for the rewritten parts of Doug Lea's fork-join library, ported to use function types. It is a good example of how APIs can be affected by these language changes. Personally, I find the API simplifications to be quite compelling." Neal is also working on smaller language changes, and describes the idea of "Extension Methods" in this blog as well.

The JavaFX Script Plugin for NetBeans IDE 6.0 is now open source. The source code is subject to the terms of the GNU General Public License Version 2 ("GPL") and the Common Development and Distribution License("CDDL") terms. The plugin includes features for the creation, modification, and execution of JavaFX Script applications. There are also future plans for additional features, such as debugging.

In today's Weblogs. Terrence


You're A Big Boy Now Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 20, 2007

Open-source and education

A spin-off of the Global Education and Learning Community is highlighted on the front page today, and we hope you'll have a chance to check it out. is building an Open Source Curriculum (OSC) of free educational materials for grades K-12. In our Feature Article,Chatting About Curriki, program manager Gary Thompson interviews Curriki executive director Dr. Barbara "Bobbi" Kurshan and chief technology officer Joshua Marks.

Our latest Java Mobility Podcast is Java Mobile Podcast 27: JTVOS (TV set top box) at Cineca Research. "Lorenzo Pallara is a researcher with Cineca, an Italian consortium of 31 universities, 2 Scientific Research agencies, and the Ministry of University and Research. The JTVOS project is a open sourced Java based end to end interactive TV broadcasting platform based on phoneME advanced."

In Java Today,Tor Norbye demonstrates writing and running unit tests using the NetBeans Ruby Support in a brief screencast on In it, he shows off how NetBeans offers a wizard for Ruby unit test creation, points out the handy key binding to hop between a class and its test, shows how the summary of test results is presented to the user, and points out conveniences that will make Ruby developers feel at home, such as the TextMate-like "Dark Pastels" color theme in NetBeans 6.

The EoD SQL projecthas just announced its 1.0 release. EoD SQL describes itself as "a lightweight object-relational bridge for Java. It's based on the EoD API (@Select, @Update) from Java 6 beta, which was dropped from the final release. EoD SQL is fast, memory efficient, and easy to use. Most importantly, EoD SQL is built to conform to the way you code, rather than force you into a new way of doing things."

Terrence Barr, technical evangelist for the Java Mobile & Embedded Community at Sun Microsystems, sat down with eWEEK Senior Editor Darryl K. Taft to discuss Sun's community efforts in the mobile and embedded space, in the interview Sun Shines on Mobile and Embedded Community. In it, he discusses the growth of the community, key projects, community stars, the evolution of Java ME and SE, and the upcoming Mobile and Embedded Developer Days conference.

In today's Weblogs, Jean-Francois


Give Us A Break Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 19, 2007

Short week for US members

One of the long-standing in-house rules that I observe for the editorial side of the site is something that Daniel Steinberg was doing as the original editor of the site, and that is that we don't shut down for U.S.-only holidays. One of them, Thanksgiving, is this coming Thursday, and despite that, you can still look forward to a regularly updated page that day, as well as Friday, the unofficial "Black Friday" shopping holiday. Of course, for the latter, I'll have to pre-load the page so we can get in the car and head to Fry's and Discover Mills at 7 in the morning.

But that's really neither here nor there. My point is that with a lot of people in the U.S. taking the whole week off -- I got an "I'm on vacation" auto-reply from Chet Haase this morning -- things may be a little slower than usual this week in terms of the usual activity of blogging, committing code, posting to forums, etc.

Of course, that leads me to wonder: how many people are going to come back from this break only to face a December crunch to deliver projects by the end of the year? In our industry, crunch times are more often forced by arbitrary deadlines or trade-shows, more so than calendar milestones like the end of the year. Yet I can remember a lot of late-year programming crunches that cut into end-of-the-year activities.

So how about you? Are you pushing to finish a project by the end of 2008, or will the next few weeks be pretty typical?

In Java Today, Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart has posted an Update on Project Woodstock: "Progress with Woodstock, in part in preparation for of NetBeans 6.0. First Dick announced the Release of Version 4.1, then Winston announced an updated Visual Web Woodstock Component Theme Builder and More Examples. Also see Dmitry's Architectural Details and Usage. Woodstock provides Enterprise-Quality JSF components. For more info check: Docs page,Browserand Container Support (including Tomcat), Roadmap andOnline Catalog. Download bundles are here; check theDeployment Page. We encourage your feedback at the USERS mailing list."

JBAN, Java Bluetooth Adhoc Networking, has just made source for version 2.0 available in CVS, now under the GPL license. "JBAN allow many devices to form a network dynamically, and the devices can be of any type if only they support Java and Bluetooth." They write in to add, "this version does routing in L2CAP layer and uses a single thread for multiple connections in sender and receiver, so it is much more efficient than version 1."

he latest edition, issue 147, of the JavaTools Community Newsletter is out with a short weekly issue, featuring tool-related news from around the web, new projects in the community, and a Tool Tip on editing JavaScript on NetBeans.



Busy Child Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 16, 2007

Who's cranking out their last-minute JavaOne session proposals?

I should probably keep this short, so as not to distract those of you trying to pull together JavaOne 2008 session proposals, given that the Call For Papers ends tonight. If you think you're speaking at next year's show, and you haven't sent in your proposal... well, you've basically got this afternoon and tonight to pull it together.

The topicsfor this year are a little changed from years past. Last year, we had:

  • Consumer Technologies
  • Desktop
  • Java SE
  • Java EE
  • Java ME
  • The Next-Generation Web
  • Open Source
  • Services and Integration
  • Tools and Languages

This year's list makes a few name changes -- "Services and Integration" becomes "SOA and Enterprise Integration", "Tools and Languages" becomes "Tools and Scripting Languages". "Cool Stuff" is back (it's not listed as a track in the JavaOne 2007 archive, but I'm sure it was there). There's also a completely new topic called "Rich Media and Content"; here's the description from the CFP site:

Demand continues to grow for secure, interactive content, applications, and services that run on a variety of clients. Consumers expect seamless user experiences, from desktop to mobile device to set-top box to Blu-ray Disc player. The write once, run anywhere portability of Java technology has helped make it the world's most widely deployed application platform; this ubiquity offers an unrivaled platform for the delivery of high-impact content across a wide range of devices.

So, if you want to score that Speaker's badge and all that goes with it -- well, not that much, but you do get access to a public-speaking coach, speakers-only ready rooms, and a lovely speaker's gift, to say nothing of getting your registration paid for in full -- then you should presumably be banging out a proposal or two before the clock strikes in the West. Good luck.

We top the Java Today section with a look at where the OpenJDK project is going. Now that a year has passed since OpenJDK was released under the GPL, Kaffe co-maintainer and OpenJDK Governance Boardmember Dalibor Topic looks forwards and back in his blog OpenJDK++. "Suffice to say that I think that the year behind OpenJDK has been a good one, and Sun has been pretty good at keeping their promises regarding both code, and everything around it." In the next year, he's looking forward to IcedTea and OpenJDK 6 getting certified as compatible, the end of encumbrances, membership structure changes in the JCK, the rise of ME/SE hybrids, and more.

One of the additions to the java.util.concurrent packages coming in Java 7 is a framework for fork-join style parallel decomposition. The fork-join abstraction provides a natural mechanism for decomposing many algorithms to effectively exploit hardware parallelism. In Stick A Fork In It, Brian Goetz shows how to exploit fine-grained parallelism using this new fork-join framework.

DTrace is a comprehensive and powerful tracing tool built into Solaris. With DTrace, developers and administrators can optimize applications for performance and troubleshoot the operating system. The NetBeans DTrace GUI plug-in runs DTrace scripts that can be installed in the NetBeans 5.5/5.5.1/6.0 IDEs and Sun Studio 12 IDE. Highlights of the plug-in include: * easy creation and addition of new scripts to the DTrace GUI, * runs D scripts packaged in the DTraceToolKit, * no knowledge of D language required to use DTrace

Today's Weblogssection begins with Kelly


Roll It Up Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 15, 2007

Putting the final touches on NetBeans 6

A lot of people I know have already switched to the NetBeans 6 betas, getting early access to the array of new features in this version, even though it's not, you know, done yet. On a number of occasions over the last few months, I've been following a discussion on a forum or IRC chat, and the solution has been "oh, that's way better with NetBeans 6, just switch to that." And I don't recall too many cases where users have been burned by bugs in the milestones and betas, even though these releases are buggy and incomplete by their very nature.

So for everyone who's already switched to NetBeans 6, the announcement of Release Candidate 1 is surely a must-have. Those who've kept up with the betas have probably already downloaded it, and are anxiously awaiting the final release in the coming weeks.

And if you're not using NetBeans, take a look at version 6's "what's new" list and see if there's something there that wouldn't make your life a little easier. I'd been IDE-free for years before giving NetBeans a fresh look while developing a Glossitope widget earlier this year, and even though I expected not to like the visual GUI builder, I was surprised by how practical it is for building highly-customized, attractive GUIs. Given that NetBeans 6 adds Beans Binding, Swing Application Framework, and integrated profiler support... oh yeah, I've already downloaded RC1. Even if you're not a GUI developer (and odds are you're not), there's much here to like.

It will be particularly interesting to see if NetBeans can make inroads into the Ruby community by filling the need for a comprehensive Ruby IDE. But that's speculation for another blog...

Also in Java Today, an interactive graphic on SDN's Mobile Service Architecture (MSA Overview) page offers an interactive graphic showing the JSRs that go into making up JSR-248, the Mobile Service Architecture umbrella specification. Clicking on any of the JSRs takes you to the SDN page with resources for that JSR. The block diagram shows how the various layers of the spec relate to one another, and how the JSRs are organized by function: security and commerce, graphics, communication, personal information, and application connectivity.

Steve Roy has posted version 1.1 of his MRJ Adapter for accessing Mac-specific Java functionality. "MRJ Adapter is partially a wrapper around some APIs provided by Apple and which are built into their various virtual machines. However, they have changed over time and some APIs were not always available, so MRJ Adapter provides a consistent API for the developer wanting to target the Mac. MRJ Adapter is an easier path for developers because it is easier to learn, leveraging concepts they already know, such as action listeners to handle menu items. It also shields the developer from the problems associated with compiling their code on other platforms when the APIs they need only exist on the Mac." MRJ Adapter is open-source and published under the Artistic License.

In today's WeblogsBruno


Blow Out Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 14, 2007

Individual candidates trail the pack in JCP election results

The 2007 JCP EC Elections are now complete, and PricewaterhouseCoopers has posted the results. For the SE/EE Executive Committee, Google Inc. and the Eclipse Foundation, Inc. are the winners. On the ME EC, Intel Corp. and Orange France SA were the top vote-getters.

Those are the headlines, but here are two things worth thinking about. In each election, 33.6% of the eligible membership of 929 cast votes. That means the choice about membership in the group that decides what goes into the next versions of ME, SE, and EE was made by just 312 people (full disclosure: including me).

The other thing you might take away from the results is that not only did companies and organizations win all the available seats, they completely dominated the voting. The few individuals running in each election were beaten in every case by all the companies and organizations, and no individual scored better than 12%. After the 2005 elections, then-Editor Daniel Steinberg noted the results left the ECs with approximately equal numbers of individuals and corporations. In the blog with last year's results, you'll note that the four seats up for grabs in 2006 went to three companies and one individual (Hani Suleiman, OpenSymphony co-creator and author of the seemingly-dormant Bile Blog). Dalibor Topic openly hopedfor different results this time, writing, "for a start, it wouldn't be a bad thing to see more individuals voted onto the ECs, rather than the same old mix of proprietary software vendors."

Is a more corporate JCP EC really what the Java community wants? Well, you can't argue with the results: the people have spoken.

In Java Today, Daniel MD writes in a Javalobby post that he's wanted to give JavaFX a try, and recently did so by catching up with the latest beta of NetBeans v6. In JavaFX NetBeans plugin: Quick Review, he discusses using NetBeans' integrated update center to download the JavaFX plugin and sample code. In the review, he discusses the advantages of working with JavaFX Script, and the necessarily limited nature of working with a very new plugin: "The JavaFX plugin, feels very incomplete. Feature wise, it does not provide much more than the JavaFX pad. No visual editors, no propriety editors, all these missing features make JavaFX plugin a bit of a letdown. However, early JavaFX adopters don't have many alternatives. "

In a post to the java-dev list, Apple has announcedJava for Mac OS X 10.4, Release 6 DP1, available at This release updates Mac OS X Tiger to versions 1.5.0_13 and 1.4.2_16. Among other things, it fixes an SWT/AWT issue.

Several of the latest Weblogs mark yesterday's first anniversary of the GPL'ing of Sun's Java implementations. David


Trip Like I Do Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 12, 2007

A tour of Swing geodata mashups

A few weeks back, Josh Marinacci introduced Swing Labs' map-viewing components, theJXMapViewer and its enhanced counterpart, theJXMapKit. They offer a convenient means of providing geographic visualization to your app, but that begs the question of just what you're viewing on the map other than basic geographic features.

Put simply, for a map to be itneresting, there has to be a "there" there.

So in a new Feature Article, Josh shows off techniques for obtaining data from external sources and combining them with your map data to crate GUI mashups of geodata. In Mapping Mashups with the JXMapViewer, one of the clever payoffs is a demo that takes a given search term, finds matching Wikipedia pages that include geographic coordinates, and presents those results on the map.

The mashup example in this article is pretty simple, but in an advanced version you could easily add thumbnails, summary text, and links to the real Wikipedia articles. This mashup merely touches on the possibilities unleashed when you combine mapping technology with other web services. Just take a look at the developer portals of Google and Yahoo to see what other people are doing with mashups.

In Java Today, the Kijaro project as "an area for those interested in adding new language features to Java to try out their ideas." Similar to the Kitchen Sink Language project, Kijaro has a copy of the javac 6 complier, customized to add new language features. The features currently being worked on are method literals, properties (and property literals), and abstract enums. Stephen Colebourne's weblog discussed Kijaro and its motivations further.

The Substance look-and-feel project has released version 4.1, highlighted by complete support for high DPI environments. "In addition to scaling the fonts and some insets, which was done in previous releases, this release provides automatic scaling for all relevant visual elements." Other new features include a font policy for Gnome, inner border painters, tabbed pane content borders, transition-aware animating icons, and more. Kirill Grouchnikov has an overview of the release in his blog.

As expected, the Open Handset Alliancereleased the Google-developed Android SDKMonday for OHA devices, also announcing a US$10 million developer contest. Artima has an overview and discussion in their article, Google Launches Open Handset Alliance, Releases Android SDK, saying "Android is a new operating system, application stack, and user interface infrastructure for mobile devices, and was developed by Google in conjunction with a consortium of handset manufacturers and mobile operators. A preview version of the Android SDK, along with a developer contest, were announced this week." Notably, while Android applications are written in Java, they're run by "Dalvik", a custom virtual machine "designed for embedded use which runs on top of a Linux kernel"

In today's Weblogs, Terrence


Keep Hope Alive Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 11, 2007

JavaFX raises Desktop Java spirits

Joshua Marinacci is seeing some real signs of improvement in the realm of Desktop Java, and considering that he had been a somewhat frustrated critic, that's a pretty significant sign. As Josh notes in "Why don't you ship Swing Apps", two years later:

I started my blog almost two years before I came to work for Sun and I've often be critical of client-side Java; but only because I love it and want to see improvements. Two of my blog entries come to mind, in particular. The first, Swing has failed. What can we do?, was written in late 2003 and a second, The Response to Why Don't you Ship Swing Apps, in mid 2005.

He notes that these blogs have significant readership (about ten times his average hit count) and kicked off a lot of discussion.

It has been over two years since I wrote that second post (and will hit 3 by the time of JavaOne), so I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on what were the problems I documented back then and what we've done to fix them. It's really quite extraordinary.Everything on my list has been addressed! Now, I'm not saying that I'm the reason they are all fixed, but it is nice to see that we were all thinking about the same things. Let's take a look at what we've done. (the following list is condensed from both blog entries).

Take a look at the blog, and you'll see that he goes over the long-held criticisms of Swing and shows that point-by-point, they've been or are being addressed. And why now? "While it may appear that all of this has happened in the last six months since the JavaFx announcements last May, that is not the case. This is really many different pieces in development for quite a while, some of them for years. (we've wanted to do the Java Kernel idea for a *long* time)."

In keeping with Josh's look at the desktop, the rest of today's featured Weblogs stay on the client side, starting with Tom


The Optimist Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 9, 2007

Java's brilliant future on the Linux desktop?

Following up on the newsearlier in the week that Red Hat has signed the Sun Contributor Agreement (SCA) and the OpenJDK Community TCK License Agreement, Tom Marble is thinking about Red Hat and OpenJDK and where this relationship is going:

It's important to realize that IcedTea is intended as a temporary project until the remaining closed bits of OpenJDK have been removed. The best explanation of comes from Andrew Haley (aph) when he introduced IcedTea.

With the old licensing issues set aside, Tom goes on to talk about the prospect of Java getting into the "tool chain" of GNU/Linux. This would mean providing Java on all architectures supported by the distro, tool support (e.g., debugger and profiler awareness and support of Java applications), and making OpenJDK a build dependency for Java library and application developers. Then, with Java a fixture in Linux distros, it could start pulling its weight as an essential part of the system:

  • GNU/Linux applications based on Java could have a substantial percentage of code which is architecture independent. This would reduce the number of packages and size of the distributor's archive (because a *.jar file should run anywhere -- you package it one time for all architectures). It would also reduce time to build a new OS release for each architecture.
  • OS developers could write administrative utilities (at least partially) in Java instead of C and thus benefit from a rich set of libraries while avoiding the pitfalls of pointer manipulation
  • The pluggable look and feel framework of Java could help GNU/Linux get beyond the widget/desktop differences (Gnome, KDE, Xcfe) so that Java applications always look well integrated.
  • Developing GUI administration tools for GNU/Linux could improve the "ease of use" barrier for a new class of GNU/Linux users.

Sounds good. But then again, haven't some of these WORA benefits always been part of Java's value proposition? Why are we still waiting for them to come true? Is it just that we haven't been able to assume that Java is part of the system? Getting into the tool chain will fix that. And by that point, we should be able to talk about what Java does, not what it could orshould do.

Also in Java Today, a new Javalobby project by Daniel Spiewak takes a look at the Java Desktop Community's Fuse project. Fuse "is the brainchild of notorious Swing expert, Romain Guy. Basically, he was working on the UI for the Aerith demo for JavaOne when he began to notice a certain gap in his toolset. He was facing the problem of tweaking the colors, gradients, dimensions, images and overall style of the application, making tiny changes over and over again."

As noted on Terrence Barr's blog, a new set of sessions has been announced for January's Mobile & Embedded Developer Days. New talks include Oleg Pliss on phoneME Feature VM Architecture, Design and Implementation, Lukas Hasik on Building slick applications with SVG and advanced graphics, Lorenzo Paralla on JTVOS (a free interactive set top box middleware), and more. Pre-announced Lightning Talk topics include SunSPOTs, Blu-Ray Java, and pervasive computing.

Picking up on this week's hottest topic, the latest Poll asks "what's your interest level in the Open Handset Alliance and Android?" Cast your vote on the front page, then visit the results page for current tallies and discussion.

Today's Weblogsstarts off with James Gosling's observations about Cell phones in Japan. "One of the things that's always interesting about visiting Japan is looking at all of their cell phones. I've seen some great things here on this visit."

In another deep-thought blog, David

Is Android too good to be true?

Maybe the one-week wait for an SDK is going to turn out to be too long? Having not announced much of substance this week, the Google-led Open Handset Alliance and its "Android" are attracting a fair amount of skepticism. Or outright contempt, in some quarters. Microsoft's Steve Ballmer saysit's a press release, not a product: "Well of course their efforts are just some words on paper right now, it's hard to do a very clear comparison [with Windows Mobile]."

To a point that's true; what I like to call "Adamson's First Law" says that "all software is vapor until it ships." OK, I cringe a little at agreeing with Steve Ballmer, but hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Daring Fireball points to Steven Frank's blog, Try Again, which is even harsher than putative competitor Ballmer:

What a travesty this Android announcement is. A 34-company committee that's going to oversee the development of a currently non-existent suite of open-source mobile applications to run on as-yet-unspecified hardware. I've never seen so much hot air, and honestly I'm kind of shocked that it came out of Google. A 34-company committee couldn't create a successful ham sandwich, much less a mobile application suite.

And the increasingly foul-mouthed Fake Steve Jobs has left me one or two paragraphs on the subject that I can cite without tripping most obscenity filters:

As for the consortium partners, of course right now they're all pretending to go along, because what the hell, they get their names into the press release as being associated with Google and who cares if anything ever comes of it? It's called releaseware. Do you really think all those other companies are really going to come out with any products? You really think they're just dying to help Google come into their market and scoop up all the money for itself?

Then again, Fake Steve asserts that Google's only building a consortium because it's goring someone else's ox, and wouldn't team up with outsiders on search, a silly assertion that Robert Coopersmacks down on his blog: "You know, John, there is an OpenSearch, which started with Amazon A9, and Google already supports it on all their search services. It is, in fact, a fundamental part of OpenSocial and GData in general. Thanks for playing."

Our own bloggers have been looking at all these tea leaves and trying to make sense of it all -- where does Java ME fit in, how does this relate to JavaFX, and haven't we heard this pitch before? We feature three of these analyses in today's Weblogs. We start with Terrence


A Temporary Fix Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 7, 2007

Making do without parts of java.lang.Math on ME

When I got the pitch for Lawrence Fulton and Daniel Williams' article on implementing Math.pow() in Java ME, I wasn't sure it was that big of a deal. I mean, for integers, don't you do exponents by just going into a for loop and multiplying? Well, yeah, you do. But Java ME now supports thedouble type, and your base and exponent might both be fractional. Or negative for that matter. And if you can't bank on having a corresponding CPU instruction, what do you do?

Maybe you guess. Or, more specifically, you work your way around approximations of the right answer until you get a good enough result.

In today's Feature Article, the authors look at techniques for Creating a Java ME Math.pow() Method, focusing on the example problem n = 82/3.

Without the availability of the initial exponent up front, other solutions to this problem (including Newton's method and the secant method) are not readily programmed. Although there are some workarounds for the bisection method, we (instead) focus on three methods not traditionally investigated. The first is a simple (yet sometimes inefficient) geometric decay algorithm, while the second method leverages the Math.sqrt() method and guarantees convergence to an approximate solution in no more than 11 iterations. The third and final method uses the Taylor series approximation for the logarithm followed by the Euler transformation on the Taylor series.

Speaking of ME, the latest Java Mobility Podcast is Tricastmedia Mail and TWUIK . In it, Dr. Brian Lee and Dr. Salmon Ahmad introduce their Tricast Mail and push technology for delivering user information to cell phones. It uses TWUIK which greatly improves usability with dazzling graphics, vibrant animation in an engaging rich-media user experience.

In Java Today, Mark Reinhold's latest blog has a timeline for Upcoming OpenJDK infrastructure projects. "The publication last week of our experimental Mercurial repositories heralds the list of many infrastructure projects that we hope to initiate, and in most cases complete, over the next year or so. Here's the entire list..." He starts with Q4's to-dos -- code-review publication, core community database, and public Mercurial forests -- and then previews 2008's key projects in detail.

The JSR for Java EE 6, JSR 316, was submitted to the JCP in July. So what will the the 316 Expert Group include in this version? In the Artima interview, Java EE 6: A Conversation with Bill Shannon and Roberto Chinnici, the spec leads for JSR 316 discuss the key design considerations for the upcoming version of the enterprise Java specification.

The Java Communications Community is congratulating the JDiameter project for their graduation and promotion out of the incubator. "JDiameter is an API and default implementation of the Diameter protocol (based on RFC 3588) written in Java. API can be used for commercial realizations of a stack and appendices such as NASREQ (RFC 4005), EAP-based authentication (RFC 4072), Credit-Control (RFC 4006), or even some of the 3GPP applications (Sh, Ro, Cx and ets.)."

Some blogs about conference visits don't do much more than offer some pictures of a couple speakers and attendees. Arun


You'll Come Around Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 6, 2007

So wait, is Google's phone alliance Java-based or not?

So yesterday, there was a press release from Esmertec in my mailbox, touting their participation in the Google-led Open Handset Alliance and the company's embedded JVM. So as I hit the news pages in the morning, I assumed that Java is a big part of this "Android" platform that the OSA is launching, and e-mailed Mobile & Embedded Community Leader Roger Brinkley, telling him he could send me anything Android-related for Tuesday's front page, or just put it on his own community page, and that I'd pick it up easily enough.

And then as I started reading some of the news writes on Android, I started noticing that Java wasn't prominent in the stories. In fact, it wasn't present. There's no mention of Java in the Ars Technica story, nor in the main write. In fact, the story with the most uses of the term "Java" is the analysis Will Google fracture or unify mobile Linux?, which pontificates on the fragmentation of Java ME on current mobile devices, and brings up's previous assertion that Sun intends to replace ME with SE on the device, something James Gosling hastried to clarify.

Granted, Jonathan Schwartz's blog makes an unambiguous declaration that Java will be part of the picture:

I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of others from Sun in offering my heartfelt congratulations to Google on the announcement of their new Java/Linux phone platform, Android. Congratulations!

I'd also like Sun to be the first platform software company to commit to a complete developer environment around the platform, as we throw Sun's NetBeans developer platform for mobile devices behind the effort. We've obviously done a ton of work to support developers on all Java based platforms, and were pleased to add Google's Android to the list.

But I didn't end up putting this on the front page, because I just couldn't source the Java angle well enough (no offense, Jonathan, but you did say ZFS would be on Leopard...). doesn't mention Java at all, while the New York Times reports that Andy Rubin, Google's director of mobile platforms, "said the software system that Google has designed is based on the Linux operating system and Sun Microsystems' Java language." But there aren't any details beyond that: ME vs. SE, CDC vs. CLDC, included APIs, etc. Presumably, that material should be on the developers page, but right now, that's a place holder that says to come back next Monday.

So, anyways, is this the biggest ME story in a while, or not? I'm not sure we know yet. And does this bit of vaporware steal any thunder from JavaFX Mobile? Should it? Will it?

There'll be much to talk about, once there are some real details and not just big marketing pronouncements. C'mon Goog, bring the code.

We start the Java Today section with a significant announcement for the OpenJDK community: Red Hat has signed both the Sun Contributor Agreement and the OpenJDK Community TCK License. As Mark Reinhold reports in his blog, Welcome, Red Hat, "The signing of these key documents by Red Hat will enable even closer collaboration between engineers at both Red Hat and Sun." He adds that the development may allow for IcedTea code to be be added to the main JDK, Red Hat engineers voted in as full members of the OpenJDK community, and "a fully-compatible, JCK-tested JDK 6 implementation in Fedora and then Red Hat Enterprise Linux."

Landon Fuller (of Darwin Ports and the Month of Apple Bugs) hasannounced some progress getting a Java 1.6 VM running on Mac OS X. "I've long wondered what it would take to get the FreeBSD Java Port running on OS X, so this weekend I spent a couple days getting Java 1.6 running on my x86 Leopard machine. Weekend is over, and I can report partial success -- hotspot compiles, the jre mostly bootstraps, and Hello World runs. Anything complex appears to trigger stack alignment issues (Apple's i386 API requires a 16-byte aligned stack)"

The first two episodes of the GlassFish Podcast are now up (part 1 and part 2 of a Metrointerview with Vivek Pandey). Each part is around 20 minutes. You can subscribe directly from iTunes or use the podcast feedwith any podcatcher

In today's Weblogs, John

...then stay away from the GlassFish forums, because they're hopping.

Every once in a while, there'll be so much forum discussion on a single topic, of such variety and such depth, that I'll make the forums section of the front page be entirely about that one topic. It's happened again, really getting a boost Friday from Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart's post on The Aquarium, ... And what do YOU want from GlassFish v3?. Saying that the team had started on detailed plans for the release, and posted a wiki page with the main themes for GlassFish v3 -- which include Next Generation Applications, Ease of Use, and Advanced Production Features as the highest-level -- Eduardo pointed GlassFish users to a mail thread asking for feature requests.

This mail thread gets mirrored to the GlassFish forum, and as I did the morning scan, I kept finding the subject line GlassFish V3 planning - What do *you* want in GlassFish V3?, with 32 message already posted under the topic. And a lot of the feedback is really good, which should lead to a very interesting v3 road map.

So please indulge me a single-themed Forums, section today, starting with granat's post to Re: GlassFish V3 planning - What do *you* want in GlassFish V3?"Here is my 2 cents to the features I'd like to see in GlassFish: - Better Web-front-end: Like a few others have said, I'd prefer to have the web-front-end do more to spare me the need to install apache beside it. The integration of the load balancer would then be much easier. I also would like to have an integrated reverse proxy to hide the complexity of my server instances behind an homogenous screen name. - Better provider help: Being able to create a plan jar for a given EAR or WAR (sometimes, we get it without bindings and extensions and don't have the right to change the artifacts) would be helpful. Change of the bindings in the admin console. Application versioning (also mentioned before) for a fallback scenario. - Different admin Roles: Also mentioned before. I'd like a "read only" user, a user that can only stop/start servers and one that can do everything but change the configurations (beside the admin of course)..."

whartung's Re: GlassFish V3 planning - What do *you* want in GlassFish V3?post says, "I think it would be nice if GF implemented classic web server facilities better so as to make GF an easier replacement for a web server. So that folks don't have to choose between, or use both, GF and Apache for most common applications. Notably things like url rewriting, simple proxy duties, CGI/FastCGI so that folks could easily add PHP and what not behind GF. All managed via the Console, of course. Some of this is possible today, but none of it is readily exposed by the console."

And in a followup to another feature request for ease of deployment, jesper_soderlund's Re: GlassFish V3 planning - What do *you* want in GlassFish V3?entry reads, "I couldn't agree more to the last point, it should be easy and user friendly to configure the modules for use or exclusion. We don't want to go down the JBoss route that everything is possible if you can find the right permutation of files and XML-elements to modify to "break-apart" stuff or configure the container. If that is the price of modularity, I'm not sure it's worth it."

The Java Todaysection begins with a major announcement from the OpenJDK project. In his blog, Ivan Tarasov declares that the OpenJDK Mercurial repositories are open. "Finally, we have the Mercurial repositories of JDK7out in the open. They are still EXPERIMENTAL (yeah, in capitals), which means that these repositories (and their clones) are going to become invalid (totally unrelated to the repositories which would be used) in a couple of weeks, but you can still try to set up your environment and development process (if any) using them. Again,please don't do any real work on the clones of these repositories, the changesets you'd have probably would be useless when these repositories become officially open."

With registration now open, the ME Developer Daysorganizers have announced their first few sessions. Along with an opening keynote by James Gosling, pre-selected talks include C. Enrique Ortiz talking about NFC in Mobile Commerce, Hartti Suomela on Java ME Security Domains and access to APIs, and Rick Hillegas on Tear-off Databases on Phones. Organizers have also announced a handful of Lightning Talks, and posted the agenda. US$175 Early Bird registration for the conference is available through November 30, after which the price goes up to US$225.

The latest edition, issue 145, of the JavaTools Community Newsletter is out, tool news from around the web, announcements of three graduations (HibernateQueryTool,SPTRWT, and HtmlMacro), new projects, an announcement regarding JT harness adding the classpath exception to its GPLv2 license, and a Tool Tip on generating new releases for your project using Maven.

This week's Spotlightis on the JavaOne 2008 Call for Papers. This year's conference intends to broaden the scope of topics: "2008 will be the most significant evolution of the 13 years of the Conference. We have expanded our topics to include areas that appeal to development - not just in Java technology - but in areas of compatibility and interoperability as well. We are digging into next-generation scripting languages, Web 2.0, ecommerce collaboration, business management topics and more. We are also reaching out to include technologies that play well with Java, exploring the rich development platform available to all. Take this opportunity to share with the developer community how you use technology that relies on Java, leverages the Java programming language, and extends the Java platform." The CFP is underway now and closes on Friday, November 16.

Today's Weblogsbegins with a post from David Herron on Freeing the Internet from the Web 'jail'. "I've recently been studying our plans for JavaFX -- and at the same time looking at the big picture of where the Internet is going. It's giving me some interesting ideas to ponder. The immediate idea I'm looking at is a customer scenario perspective on the quality of JavaFX as it's being developed."



We're In This Together Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 2, 2007

Is the primary audience for Java code actually other Java developers?



Hurt Blog

Posted by kfarnham Nov 1, 2007

Bloggers are still steamed about Java 6's absence from Leopard

Regardless of your opinion on the absence of Java 6 from Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5), it's hard not to be dismayed by the extent and rancor of the debate. Or, worse yet, the outright falsehoods. Yesterday, an editor from an unnamed magazine (let's just say it's printed on dead trees and starts with the word "Mac"), sent me a link to a blog entry from a site called "Create Digital Music". The blog, Rumor: Mac Java's Demise is Real, and Why That Could Be Good News for Multimedia, claims that "Apple has all but eliminated its Java development team, and future development may (finally) fall to Sun", based on a single tipster who claims to have spoken with a Sun engineer who says that the entire Apple Java team has been moved over to the iCal product, with one engineer left to keep 1.5 stable. The source's source also claims a single engineer was working on the 1.6 port and has left Apple.

It gets better. The blog goes on to claim this is good for multimedia, because it implies that a Sun takeover of Mac Java is imminent, and will usher in a new age of cross-platform multimedia, based on Java.

I usually don't forward rumors except to bash them, and today is no exception. This blog is so ridiculous on its face, that it should be held up as an example of the pathology of posting poorly-sourced nonsense on the web and drawing grandiose conclusions from it. Among other things:

  • This blog is based on third-hand information: the blogger's source says he/she talked to a Sun engineer who in turn has insight into the Apple Java team. Yeah, Apple employees are always so forthcoming with inside information, particularly details about staffing and future products.

  • Sun sources of Apple information don't have a very good track record lately. After all, Jonathan Schwartz asserted that ZFS would be the file system in Leopard, which turned out to not to be the case.

  • The blog claims that there is only one person left working on Java at Apple, but I've seen at least two @apple.comaddresses handling the feedback on the java-devlist, and one of my IM buddies says he can name four members of the team right now.

Besides swallowing the poorly sourced claims, the blog goes on to postulate a, shall we say, highly optimistic series of events in which Sun picks up responsibility for Java on the Mac, JavaFX strongly embraces multimedia (despite Java's poor history in this field), it all comes out on time and works great across all the major desktop platforms, etc. Saving cross-platform multimedia is a whole lot of pressure to put on a Mac Java 7 VM and a JavaFX multimedia infrastructure that doesn't even exist yet.

Oh well, people believe what they want to believe. And some people will have a lot of fun with this report, I'm sure.

If you thought this issue would die down soon, today's Weblogs will come as a surprise, as many of our own bloggers remain interested in the topic (actually, I haven't seen any end-users weigh in on the topic, but developers are still pretty ticked). Alexander

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