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Looking at the Sun

Posted by editor on August 10, 2006 at 6:27 AM PDT

Policy points for a hot Thursday

Maybe it's that massive incandescent ball of gas 90 million miles away (150 million km)... you know, the one that's making it so hot in the Northern Hemisphere lately... but I guess I have a little bit of Sun on the brain today. Either that, or there's a remarkable coincidence of the prominent items that were available to feature in the various sections of the front page.

Let's start with the Feature Article,
the latest in our collection of not-so-stupid questions. This installment,
(Not So) Stupid Questions 12: What's in a Name, asks "Can I use the 'Java' name in an open-source project?"

As I write up this daily blog, there's already been a response from user peterbecker, who writes:

As far as I understand, using the word "Java" in your product name is forbidden. IANAL, but that's how I read this document, esp. the part about re-logoing.

If Peter's right, that's pretty interesting considering the various products that use some variant of "Java Edition", such as Berkeley DB, Java Edition and Oracle Application Server 10g, Java Edition, etc., along with products that tack on a "for Java", like the GNU Compiler for the Java Programming Language (GCJ), or QuickTime for Java.

Gas up the lawyers, Marge, we're goin' fishin'!

Next, over in Java Today,
Sun's Tim Bray offers his take on the new Terms of Use: "Sometimes we make progress. Way last year, I got email from Norbert Lindenberg, grousing about the Terms of Use on; they were full of scary language about how you and your employer had to indemnify Sun and 'its business partners' against anything bad that might happen with any connection to anything you did, and about how you were signing up for the similarly-scary terms of use. So I went poking around and asked the people why they sounded unfriendly, and they said, 'Hmm, let's talk to the lawyers', who said, more or less, 'If there are good business reasons to relax this a little, well OK then.'"

Robert Stephenson points out former Sun CEO Scott McNealy's interest in education and the Global Education and Learning Community in his blog Scott McNealy discusses the GELC: "McNealy, who recently stepped down after 22 years as Sun's CEO, developed an intense interest in improving education as he watched his own children go through school. He has been the driving force behind Sun's support and promotion of the GELC, and is expected to formally assume the role of GELC CEO sometime soon."

Matt Stephens updates the progress of the hardware-accelerated OpenGL Java2D pipeline in Mustang/ATI Graphics Freeze-Fest: "Mustang (the groovy codename for the upcoming Java 6) is looking more and more promising on the desktop. Sun has wisely opened up its development process - at least, to the extent that we can suffer the blog rollings of the increasingly excited programmers who are, as we speak, busily wrapping up Mustang ready for its fall 2006 release..."

James Gosling checks in with his first blog in a long while, as part of today's Weblogs. He's taking a look at the process of starting up a project, and notes Sun's analogy of overambitious projects as being like Boiling oceans.
"For the last couple of months I've been involved with stuff at work that didn't make good blog material. I've done a lot of helping out on project reviews and kibbitzing on planning. At this point in the process, where we've got a pretty clear picture of the shape and direction of things, I'm pretty happy with how it's all turned out. A tough process, but an important one to go through."

David Herron reflects on Guido Van Rossum's recent comments about python and its community, and teases out some lessons in his blog Open source project beginnings:
"It's the community aspect that's most appealing about open source projects. An open source project is often secondarily about the technology, and often mostly about the community that's built to handle the technology. I think it comes from the origins of the Python project and how it began. And it's interesting to contrast that sort of beginning with how Java SE is going to move into being open source."

Sergey Malenkov continues on the topic of
How to encode Type-Safe Enums:
"This is a sequel of my first article about Enums encoding. As you may know, Type-Safe Enums were proposed by Joshua Bloch in Effective Java, but they are not supported by XMLEncoder. This article describes how to encode them into XML properly."

In today's Forums,
kohsuke points out an intriguing "gotcha" in
Re: XML Schema parsing failure:
"This is a very famous "feature" in the JAXP RI (or Xerces.) If your schema contains or and if it fails to resolve -- whether because of network issue, proxy not set up, or some typo in the referenced document -- it simply ignores that error, without telling you anything! But since the declarations that are supposed to be in those files are not defined, you'll end up getting errors like "can't find xml:lang". A bug has been filed against the JAXP RI, so I hope we'll be able to fix it soon. I filed a similar bug against Xerces, but they refused to fix the bug, AFAIK. In the mean time, the workaround is to use the "-nv" option in XJC, which bypasses the JAXP RI completely."

Meanwhile, Patrick Wright points out a database gotcha of interest to databinding desktop developers in
Re: DataBuffer's TableCommand fails with PostgreSQL schemas?
"There are real differences in what databases allow, in particular what characters are allowed in column and table names. Some allow spaces (if quoted), some do not, etc. I've never made a list and haven't worked with them all myself. I'd say we have a decent base class and make it easy to extend and override if the DB is picky about some little iggly-piggly syntax issue. This problem came up before, one of the TODOs is to create a test suite we can run against a number of databases to find these sorts of problems."

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Policy points for a hot Thursday