News and New Product Briefs (August 20, 1999)

Eslit starts custom Java GUI design service

Eslit Creations announced that it has started a custom Java GUI design service to help users add dynamic, interactive features to their Web sites.

All Eslit-generated Java GUI designs are cross-platform. The company, which also sports a collection of more than 80 commercial Java applets and banners, specializes in design for electronic storefronts, WYSIWYG editing tools, automated customization, mix-and-match product parts, and search engines.

Eslit's Java applets and banners are highly configurable, so users can specify such applet parameters as text, images, colors, and sounds. The applets are designed to employ such complex special effects as fade, dissolve, ripple, scroll, spin, wave, wipe, and zoom.

The Eslit collection also has a few 3D applets, including such shapes as tetrahedrons, octahedrons, icosahedrons, pyramids, cones, and spheres.

The applets are optimized for fast download time.

Eslit Creations:

Java GUI examples:

3D applets:

JavaLobby incorporates

JavaLobby founder Rick Ross announced that the 40,000-member organization has incorporated as a nonprofit corporation.

Ross said, "It is critical for JavaLobby to grow beyond its ad hoc status and confirm its role as the leading voice for the concerns of the Java developer community. Our grass-roots origins will always be part of our group identity, but a more organized JavaLobby will be better able to serve the membership."

JavaLobby has members in more than 120 countries.

JavaLobby announces job program, benefits package

The newly incorporated JavaLobby nonprofit announced JavaLobby Jobs, a program that lets corporations advertise Java-related employment needs on the JavaLobby network.

Job openings are posted on the JavaLobby Web site and announced to members through e-mail. Companies who hire members pay JavaLobby a small commission after the hire is completed. JavaLobby intends for the program to pay its administrative costs so that JavaLobby membership can remain free.

Members who participate in the JL Jobs program will be considered Supporting Members, and will receive member benefits, but participation is not necessary to receive benefits. Benefits include:

  • Alamo, Avis, Hertz, and National rental cars at a discount, as well as free enrollment in the preferred rental program for each company
  • Twenty-five percent off the direct purchase price of Sybase's PowerJ
  • Free access to such professional journals as G2 News publications' The Online Reporter and ClieNT Server News

JavaLobby is also looking into deals with other hardware and software vendors, and with more traditional benefits providers.

JavaLobby Jobs:

Member benefits:

JP Morgenthal says: "Down and give me ten!"

The JP Morgenthal e-business consulting services company, in collaboration with Bluestone Software and Object Design, announced that it will host an XML and Java Boot Camp training and education seminar on September 13 and 14, 1999 at Washington, DC's Metro Center Marriott.

This two-day seminar's goal is to train developers to use XML and Java to build applications for e-commerce and enterprise application integration (EAI).

According to Morgenthal, "The course will focus on real-world solutions and strategies. We're packing more into two days than most seminars hold in a week." The course will focus on Java Reflection, JDBC, JMS, JNDI, and RMI, as well as Bluestone's Visual-XML toolkit (which builds dynamic XML applications) and Object Design's eXcelon, a dynamically extensible XML e-business data server.

Inductees will get source code for all course examples and working demos of Visual-XML and eXcelon.

alphaWorks debuts CommonRules business rules library

IBM alphaWorks announced CommonRules, a Java library designed to extend the functionality of third-party rules-based and programming systems.

CommonRules offers a common translation language for various rules representations in different applications, including import/export formats such as XML, text, and Java objects. It translates the representations via a common format known as the Business Rules Interchange Format (BRIF).

It employs Diplomat, a utility that prioritizes conflict handling, so that rules interchange more naturally. Diplomat includes a simple specification UI for rules, as well as its own rule execution/inference engine.

CommonRules runs on all Java platforms.

Java Access Bridge for Windows

The Java Developers Connection announced the early-access version of the Java Access Bridge, which makes it possible for Microsoft Windows-based assistive technology to access and interact with the Java Accessibility API.

The Access Bridge is a class, in which part of the class code is supplied by a dynamically linked library (DLL) on the Windows system. The assistive technology running on the host platform communicates with the Windows-native DLL portion of the bridge class.

The native code of the bridge class communicates through the JVM with the Java Accessibility utility support and the Java Accessibility API on the individual user interface objects of the Java-based application.

The Java Accessibility API is implemented in Java Foundation Classes Swing user-interface components.

Java Shared Data Toolkit 2.0, EA 1 is here

Another piece of early access technology from the Java Developers Connection includes the Java Shared Data Toolkit 2.0, Early Access Release 1 (JSDT), a development library that lets developers easily add collaboration features to Java applications and applets.

You can use the JSDT software to build network-centric applications, such as shared whiteboards or chat environments. It can also be used for remote presentations, shared simulations, and data distribution for workgroups. The toolkit leverages other Java-based multimedia technologies by allowing them to be integrated into sessions generated and managed by JDST.

The toolkit features:

  • Full compliance with the 100% pure Java certification standards
  • Such sample programs as a chat environment, a shared whiteboard, a networked game, a stock quote viewer, and a sound server
  • Multithreaded code
  • A small footprint

It runs on Solaris or Windows NT.

Early access version of Java Secure Socket Extension 1.0

The Java Developers Connection announced the early access release of the Java Secure Socket Extension 1.0 (JSSE), a Java package that enables secure Internet communications.

JSSE implements Java versions of SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocols. It includes functions for data encryption, server authentication, message integrity, and optional client authentication. JSSE offers a secure pathway for data between a client and a server running any application protocol -- HTTP, telnet, NNTP, or FTP -- over TCP/IP.

This early access release is a noncommercial reference implementation designed to demonstrate the JSSE APIs.

The JSSE is under export restrictions and can't be released outside the US and Canada.

JSSE abstracts the underlying security algorithms and handshaking mechanisms, thus minimizing the risk of creating dangerous but subtle security vulnerabilities. It offers SSL 3 and TSL 1.0 support for Java 2 platforms. Other features include:

  • Basic utilities for key and certificate management, including the securely encrypted storage of private keys and Certificate Authority (CA) support
  • SSLSocket and SSLServerSocket classes, which can be instantiated to create secure channels
  • Cipher Suite negotiation, which performs SSL handshakes to initiate or verify secure communications
  • HTTPS support
  • RSA cryptography algorithms, including:
    • RSA public key (authentication and key agreement)
    • RC4 (bulk encryption)
    • DES (bulk encryption)
    • Triple DES (bulk encryption)
    • Diffie-Hellman public key (key agreement)
    • DSA public key (authentication)
  • Multiple available key lengths, including:
    • 2,048 bits (for RSA and DSA)
    • 1,024 bits (for DH)
    • 192 bits (with 112 effective for 3DES)
    • 128 bits (for RC4)
    • 64 bits (with 56 effective for DES)
  • Server session management, to manage sessions' caches

JSSE 1.0 requires Java 2 SDK 1.2 or Java 2 Runtime Environment 1.2 installed.

JDC offers intro to the JavaBeans API course

The Java Developers Connection and the MageLang Institute's Jerry Smith and John Zukowski are offering a short course, complete with exercises, to introduce users to the JavaBeans API.

The course aims to teach users how to employ JavaBeans technology to create platform-independent, reusable Java components. It covers the beans architecture, event model, introspection, design and implementation, and use of the BDK BeanBox application.

The course requires that users have a general familiarity with Java.

As a bonus, Tim Rohaly of the MageLang Institute will hold live, online office hours on Thursday August 26 at 11 a.m. PST.

Grab Junior, the tiny, free Java Web server

Alexandre Naressi announced Junior, a simple, intuitive, small-footprint Java-based Web server that you can run on any computer that supports Java.

Junior is a 55KB multithreaded Web server that can be used to securely publish Web pages, images, videos, sounds, and compressed files over the Internet. It sports an intuitive interface, so there's no manual or files to edit or recompile. It lets users monitor site traffic in realtime with a single-click integrated counter and visit monitor -- no CGI needed.

Junior also provides password security to private parts of the site.

It is free for noncommercial use and can be licensed for commercial use.

NextBus debuts WebRun remote class loader

NextBus announced WebRun, a simple Web-based class loader designed to load classes for remotely distributed applications without a Web browser.

WebRun is a single class file, a Java application starter, that can remotely load JARs and class files for applets up to full Java applications from URLs. The code is written so as to require only a single class file other than Java to work on a system.

The WebRun class is a combination front end and Java class loader that enables running of Java applications loaded from a Web server, including Web pages that require basic authentication support.

The front end runs as the main Java class, using any Java 1.1 or later runtime environment (such as RT, JRE, or JDK). WebRun does not require AWT interactions. If users don't ask for the authorization requester or for status window display, WebRun will run without AWT interactions.

ClassPacker 1.1a released

Cristiano Sadun announced the release of ClassPacker 1.1a, a program that lets users automatically craft a JAR file that contains the class files necessary to resolve, link, and instantiate a specific Java class, with no extra or missing files.

When ClassPacker is given a Java class, it tailors a JAR containing all and only the classes needed to resolve and execute it. In this release, ClassPacker-generated JAR files don't contain any manifest files.

Modifications and enhancements to version 1.1a include:

  • -o is now used to optionally specify target file name
  • Added command line options -so and -fnr
  • Added usage list of Class.forName()
  • A bug fix that keeps javax classes from being stripped when -ijx is specified

ClassPacker requires JDK 1.2 and the JRE. It hasn't been tested with 1.0 and 1.1 classes, but is expected to work with them.

Find and install Net applets with JavaBee 0.99

ObjectBox announced JavaBee 0.99, a beta utility that lets users locate, install, and run applets from the Internet or intranets without using a Web browser.

JavaBee lets users applet-surf by typing in a few keywords. It then goes out over a network and pulls in applets, tests them, installs them, then lets users run them. It employs three levels of built-in security -- low, medium, and high -- to determine an individual applet's access rights. High security is the default and is similar to normal browsers in that very few things are allowed. Medium security settings means printer access is allowed. The low security setting offers complete disk and printer access.

JavaBee caches images and Java bytecodes, and will check for newer versions of applets. It offers a manager utility for changing parameters and applet properties.

Features of this version:

  • Support for Sun JRE 1.1.6 (and newer)
  • Support for Microsoft JVM (installed with Internet Explorer 4 or 5)
  • Configurable caching (cache bytecodes, images, and sound)
  • Proxy firewall support
  • Edit applet properties
  • Built-in search facility (by entering keyword or http/file URL)
  • A configurable menu
  • Sound support
  • Added support for browser connection
  • Added dropdown list in search panel for search expressions
  • Bug fixes for the security manager and a memory leak problem
  • InstallShield has been added as the default install tool

JavaBee 0.99 is free.

alphaWorks releases Wapsody Java WAP protocol

IBM alphaWorks announced the Wapsody WAP simulation environment, a Java implementation of the WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) specification and the WAP application environment.

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