News and New Product Briefs (10/1/98)

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Progress has plans for Bastille to support the latest SQL, ODBC, and JDBC standards, as well as Java stored procedures and Java triggers, delivering high-performance access to all types of clients. Bastille and Skywalker should ship sometime before the end of 1998.

Both Progress 9 and WebSpeed 3 are served by Progress' Open AppServer application server engine. Open AppServer provides a Universal External Interface (UEI) between such 4GL application-logic clients as 4GL, Java, ActiveX, and HTML) with such data sources as Progress RDBMS, Oracle, ODBC, and DB2/400. Future releases will fully support CORBA services.

Ghost Machine VM for the PalmPilot

Sean McDirmid recently released Ghost Machine, a distributed Java virtual machine for the PalmPilot and other PDAs.

Ghost Machine is a 180KB client that installs on a PalmPilot. The client must then work in coordination with a Java 1.1 VM installed on a server.

The server is responsible for processing any new Pilot-targeted Java application, after which the server installs it on the Pilot.

Currently, Ghost Machine is in beta and it only supports JDK 1.0.2. Also, at press time, access to the site was denied (good ole Netscape 403).

Rumor: Leaders to define universal POS system

IBM's Daily Grounds reports that according to a recent Computergram article, "Retailers get Sun and Microsoft to agree on UPOS," retail industry leaders have pushed software backbone vendors Sun and Microsoft (as well as hardware vendors such as Siemens and Epson) to craft a universal point-of-sales system, or UPOS, that runs both in a Java and in a Windows environment.

The companies will define a UPOS specification that lets OPOS (the Windows POS spec) and JPOS (the Java POS spec) work equally well on each other's operating environments.


JavaPC's beta 5 version ready

The beta 5 version of Sun's JavaPC technology, that lets users convert DOS/Windows PCs into Java-enabled NCs, is available for Java Developer Connection members. (Registration is free.)

In this release, developers will find new features such as application caching and audio-card support (as long as they're SoundBlaster-compatible). The javax.comm APIs now support up to eight ports, and there has been improvements to the Application Launcher.

Motorola debuts Java set-top technology

At a recent IBC conference in Amsterdam, Motorola announced "BlackBird," its newest set-top box technology that will deliver a Java-compatible environment designed to facilitate the development of a range of consumer applications.

According to Sun's consumer/embedded division president, Mark Tolliver, "Blackbird, with full support for the PersonalJava platform, opens up a world of opportunities for Java software developers to create innovative applications to support the growing demand for integrated functionality."

Motorola and Sun expect that BlackBird-generated applications will run the gamut, from home theater and communications all the way to interactive games.

Update: More than 400 certified Java Pure

At press time, more than 400 products had received the 100% Pure Java certification.

To search for products in different categories, follow the direct links provided with the following categories. (Note: Product listings in individual categories are not current as of press time -- they represent only 183 products.)

Communications -- Networking (15)
Database -- Database Connectivity (16)
Data Warehousing -- Decision Support (11)
Development Tools (33)
Electronic Commerce (5)
Enterprise Business Software Solutions (9)
Finance (11)
Internet - Intranet Sites (5; including IDG's IDG.NET 1.0)
Manufacturing (2)
Network Administration Software (3)
Productivity - Groupware - Workflow (14)
System Software - Utilities (19)
Other (40)

For the exhaustive, up-to-date list, try the alphabetically arranged master list at

Java 3D API beta available

Sun announced that the beta version of the Java 3D API is available for free.

The Java 3D API development tool is a network-centric, scene-graph-based API designed to allow Java programmers to add three-dimensional content to applets and applications. It will also let developers add 3D content across multiple platforms.

The Java 3D API was first offered at last year's Siggraph 97.

Sun launches "My Sun" personalized Sun product/technology microsite

Sun announced "My Sun," a part of the company's Web site that allows registered (for free) users to filter the specific news and information they want about Sun products whenever they logon to the site.

"My Sun" offers users a range of data, including:

  • Of Interest -- Delivers the latest news and updates for topic areas users pick

  • Events -- A list of upcoming events tailored to individual needs

  • Recent Visits -- Tracks the last page a user visited, so users can pick up where they left off. All the pages a user visits are stored on a separate page; the ones that have been updated since the last visit are marked with an exclamation point

  • See Also -- Links that show up throughout the company's Web site, based on white papers, success stories, case studies, news clippings, and press releases that relate to both the section a reader is in and the reader's personal profile

The Of Interest and See Also links are generated on the fly, using Art Technology Group's Java-based Dynamo application that pulls data out of an Oracle database to custom publish pages.

My Sun: ATG's Dynamo:

DOJ/MS: Government pleads, keep MS depositions public

On September 22, 1998, the Justice Department and 20 U.S. attorneys general filed a motion in appeals court to request that the depositions of senior Microsoft executives remained public.

The path to this moment, so far:

  • Several news organizations requested access to depositions. Microsoft officials countered that this would cause a "media circus" that could expose trade secrets to the public.

  • Judge Jackson cited the Publicity in Taking Evidence Act in his August 11 ruling to keep depositions public in the pre-trial discovery phase.

  • Microsoft appealed the ruling, and the appeals court granted the motion. It also ordered October hearings on the matter (before the October 15 date for the trial), and decided that the deposition would be videotaped in case the hearings went against Microsoft's motion.

Reminder: SIGS Conference for Java almost here

Just a reminder that the SIGS Conference for Java Development (October 18 to 22, San Jose, CA) is almost here.

The conference will offer technical sessions, night-school sessions, and pre-and post-conference full-day tutorials, plus two days of vendor exhibitions. Some of the planned topics include:

  • Swing/JFC programming
  • Enterprise Java platform development
  • Deploying business applications with components
  • Java programming tips and tricks
  • RMI technology
  • The Java 2D API, sound API, printing API, 3D API (and VRML)
  • Testing and debugging Java applications
  • JDBC and data warehousing
  • Servlet-based application development
  • Java memory usage
  • ORBs, COM, CORBA, and XML
  • Security issues
  • Mobile agents
  • Threads
  • JavaBeans (including EJBs)

Help Sun develop a distribution model for Jini

Sun recently debuted the Jini Technology Licensing Model, along with a FAQ and a draft of the licensing document. And the company is asking for developers/programmers input in a questionnaire to stay on the right track for developing the Jini distribution model.

Sun has also appointed Ken Arnold (he created curses, helped build BSD, and co-authored The Java Programming Language with James Gosling) to be the first Jini technology moderator and development guide. Sun chose him to represent the non-Sun Jini users.

Licensing model: Questionnaire:

Kane Scarlett comes to JavaWorld from such magazines as Advanced Systems, Digital Video, NC World, Population Today, and National Geographic. He's not a platform fanatic -- he just likes systems that work (don't issue a beta as a final version), systems you don't have to upgrade every six months (upgrades should be new features, not bug fixes).
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