News and New Product Briefs (12/18/98)

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By embedding the Java business logic in the Informix database, developers should be able to deploy Java applications in the database. The Dynamic Server Java module also will support DataBlade modules, as well as embed the JVM in audio/video, XML, graphics, text, and HTML pages.

Java/Perl Lingo available as open source

O'Reilly and Associates announce that the Java/Perl Lingo (JPL, developed by Perl developer Larry Wall in 1997), software that lets programmers use both Java and Perl in the same environment, is freely available as open source software.

In JPL, Java takes care of data sharing and communication across various platforms, and Perl handles sys admin tasks and Web site interactivity. With JPL, programmers can implement Java methods with Perl, and Perl code can access Java through JNI.

JPL includes a translator and build system. Its source code is available in the latest Perl development release, version 5.005_54.

According to O'Reilly software product director Gina Blaber, by releasing it as open source, "JPL will benefit from the attention of the broader development community."

http://www.perl.com/

Insignia signs up embedded-device OEMs to test JENE

Insignia Solutions announced a beta program to let developers test its implementation of Java for embedded systems, JENE.

Insignia signed up embedded-device developers of networking equipment, PDAs, mass-storage systems, color printers, scanners, copiers, and fax machines to test JENE and the Embedded Virtual Machine (EVM).

According to Insignia CEO and president Richard Noling, "We know there is a huge interest among developers for an implementation of Java that is suitable for embedded applications, and our beta testers are proving just how far this technology can reach." He added, "The beta testers we've initially signed include Fortune 500 electronics companies that represent an extremely wide range of applications for embedded devices."

Java evangelist Miko Matsumura resigns to go with Java start-up

Sun Java evangelist Miko Matsumura is resigning to start work with Java start-up company known as BizTone.com. BizTone.com (until recently known as Madura, http://www.madura.net/) is an Internet applications developer with products and services that are designed to facilitate the implementation of ERP solutions. According to the company site, it is backed by Nomura/JAFCO Investments.

"For three-and-a-half years," Matsumura noted, "I've had the privilege to serve as the Java evangelist for Sun Microsystems. This role has taught me what it means to run fast and "run everywhere." The early Java team showed me what kind of incredible creative energy, talent, intelligence, persistence, humor, and insight it takes to bring a great new technology into the world. I'm grateful for that time."

"I'm leaving my post having evangelized to an estimated 100,000 people," he added.

His largest "sermons" are covered at www.miko.com/sermons.html

His travels as Java evangelist are listed at www.miko.com/where.html

Sun offers changes in Java licensing model

Sun announced changes to its Java licensing model, designed to offer more flexible terms for using Java source code. The company also announced an initiative that would make it easier to join in creating new functions in Java.

According to Sun, the Community Source License is intended to provide easier access to source code, increased and more rapid innovation, and faster commercialization of products based on the source technology. Sun's Java Software president Alan Baratz said, "Our goal has always been to foster industry participation in the usage and development of the Java technology, while preserving a unified platform. The new model achieves that balance while opening participation to anyone and enabling collaboration among the participants. This guarantees far more rapid innovation than ever before possible."

Under the Community Source License, Sun will

  • continue to provide source code for non-commercial purposes and provide the Java Runtime Environment binary to software programmers and developers for incorporation into products free of charge

  • allow commercial developers to use and modify the source code for commercial software product development without charge

  • allow innovation to the source code without requiring that innovation be returned to Sun

  • allow commercial entities to modify and share compatible source code with other commercial concerns without charge and without Sun mediation

  • allow licensees to package for resale Java class libraries with VMs from other licensees

"We are sharing our source code with companies and individuals committed to compatible implementations of the Java platform," Baratz added.

Fees will continue to be charged for companies that create derivative products for production use within their companies or for commercial distribution, as well as for service companies that use the source code for commercial support or consulting. Baratz said that under this licensing scheme, "We don't make money unless you make money."

For more information (you must register for this site): http://developer.java.sun.com/.

Java 2 developers raise flag on restrictions; Sun reassures

Reaction from the Slashdot information-exchange site's participants highlighted a concern that the Java 2 (JDK 1.2) Binary Code License Agreement prohibits licensees from disclosing any comparison test or benchmark results without the approval of Sun.

One Slashdot participant put it this way. "If they've improved the performance, why restrict the benchmark tests? Seems like they would want to tout their accomplishments."

Sun's Java product line manager Rick Schultz attempted to reassure developers. He said that although the company used standard license-agreement language, Sun has no intention of enforcing that rule. "We'd like to make an exception for Java because it's unique in Sun's product line, so we plan to continue to allow people to publish their findings." Schultz added that Sun should have removed that restriction but had missed it. He promises the clause will come out.

The agreement states that the licensee "may not publish or provide the results of any benchmark or comparison tests run on software to any third party without the prior written consent of Sun."

Group at O'Reilly responds to new Java license model

Several authors and editors at O'Reilly and Associates responded to Sun's recent announcement to change its licensing model for Java.

Tim O'Reilly, O'Reilly president and CEO:

One of the most powerful things about open source is that it pulls itself into niches. Someone has a very specific problem to solve, which doesn't seem to matter to anyone else but eventually goes on to become very important. For a new technology like Java, letting the user community extend it to meet specialized needs expands the boundaries at which innovation can occur.

Java is one of the key technologies for the future of computing, with its support for networked, smart devices. Moving toward open source, Java will bring us that future much faster, and with more interesting surprises.

Robert Eckstein, author of Java Swing: This is a tremendous opportunity for Java. The Community Source License bestows Java with the more appealing aspects of the open source model, significantly widening the braintrust that can further develop Sun Microsystems' Java platform. This agreement also helps to ensure that Java flourishes in a homogeneous environment that both commercial and non-commercial entities can reap benefits from.

Stig Hackvan, author of Open Source Licensing: Although the Sun Community Source License (SCSL) is clearly an important step toward a more cooperative relationship with users of Sun technology, it is also clearly not an open-source license. One important feature of the Open Source Definition is that users of open-source software are free to change it in any way deemed necessary. Sun's license is directed at maintaining control of the Java technology standard, however, and so the SCSL compels licensees to keep in step with Sun's standard, both now and in the future.

Mike Loukides, editor of O'Reilly's Java series: I have long believed that Java was the most important new software technology on the scene, and that it offered a new paradigm for building widely distributed computing systems. It is also clear that the open source community has development skills and energy that are unsurpassed by anything in the commercial world. Bringing the two together has immense consequences. It means that open source applications developed under Java can immediately run on Windows and commercial Unix systems, in addition to Linux, without a lengthy porting effort. Java benefits because it can tap the energy and expertise of open source developers -- a talent pool that can't be matched.

Java servlets programming book fresh off the press

O'Reilly announced Java Servlet Programming, a book by JavaWorld author Jason Hunter that provides all the knowledge needed to write effective servlets, including more than 100 examples that can be incorporated into new servlets.

"Java servlets have been quick to gain acceptance," said Hunter, "because, unlike many new technologies that must first explain the problem they were created to solve, servlets are a clear solution to a well-recognized and widespread need: generating dynamic web content." He continued, "Java servlets offer a fast, powerful, portable replacement for CGI scripts."

The book covers the Java Servlet API standard extension.

Java Servlet Programming, Jason Hunter with William Crawford, 1st Ed., November 1998, 528 pp., ISBN 1-56592-391-X, 2.95.

To order Jason's book online, go to http://www.servlets.com/book/buy.html

Greenbrier and Russel offer advanced Java programming course

The training company Greenbrier and Russel announced it will offer the new Advanced Java Programming, a four-day course that covers such advanced topics as advanced core technologies, thread programming, network programming, JavaBeans, JFC/Swing, and JDBC.

According to training and software GM Tom Flynn, "The advanced Java course provides our customers with extremely in-depth Java training."

http://www.gr.com/

Two IBM products get EJB support

IBM announced that the advanced edition of WebSphere 2.0 (software server that offers up Web services over networks) and VisualAge (its application-development suite) will support Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) server-side technology.

IBM also announced the availability of WebSphere Application Server Standard Edition 2.0, which includes the new IBM HTTP Server, based on the Apache Web server.

This version of VisualAge, due by the end of the year, also includes wizards and tools designed to make it easier to write and test EJB components.

WebSphere: http://www.software.ibm.com/webservers/appserv/

VisualAge for Java: http://www.software.ibm.com/ad/vajava/

Announcement: http://www.software.ibm.com/webservers/p981207.html

Painted Word delivers OLAP server Mocha Beans

Painted Word has released Mocha Beans 1.01, a set of Web-based, OLAP-aware Java-development components designed to build analytic applications for the Hyperion Essbase OLAP Server from Hyperion Solutions. Also, the full Mocha Beans API is available.

Mocha Beans, designed as building blocks for rapid assembly of reporting and analysis solutions, can be used with any Java IDE. The visual bean set includes a template builder, a grid, a list box, an outline tree, and Essbase-specific components. The template builder delivers a common interface to Essbase, used by developers to mouse-click custom data views.

Mocha Beans can be manipulated through an IDE's property, method, and event-handling tools.

Other features include:

  • an OLAP data-wizard bean that establishes communication between the application program and OLAP sources

  • a visual grid that displays data in a tabular format, including column headers and custom sorting

  • a non-visual bean that allows the initial retrieval from an OLAP Control to be customized through a template wizard

  • a grid operation button that allows operations common to the OLAP grid paradigm to be performed

  • the Member Combo, which provides a drop-down list of members that can be retrieved dynamically at runtime from a connected OLAP Control

  • a visual bean that provides a tree-based depiction of an Essbase dimension

  • an Essbase login dialog box that allows the application to connect to and log into an Essbase server and select an application and database pair

  • a Linked Reporting Object browser that allows the user to view objects linked to a grid cell, add new linked objects, and more

http://www.paintedword.com/html/mb_info.html

Warp 10 offers up Java-based Digital Toolkit 1.0

Warp 10 Technologies announced the Digital Toolkit 1.0 (TDT), a Web-enabled, three-tiered system that can be customized to manage digital assets, develop Web-based asset-management systems, or integrate the functions of a digital multimedia resource into host applications.

TDT offers brand managers and developers the ability to build an application that easily manages control, storage, and repurposing of digital assets. It is a set of Java classes and C/C++ programs that can be used to build either a multitiered C/S or standalone system. It also includes an embedded object database, Web templates, a text search engine, and a sample application of an image repository and Java-upload module.

TDT's three-tiered architecture consists of

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