Skip to main content

Uptight? Everything's Alright.

Posted by editor on August 16, 2006 at 5:35 AM PDT

The treachery of code names

alt="Old Mustang Logo"/>
This is not a Mustang

All you art school graduates who read the daily blog (yeah, both of you) and readers of Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics (hi, Josh) surely understand the reference to Magritte's The Treachery of Images. For everyone else, let me explain: Magritte's painting shows a photorealistic painting of a pipe, and under it, the phrase Ceci n'est pas une pipe, French for "This is not a pipe." The point is that it is not a pipe... it is an image of a pipe.

Accordingly, what you see above is not a "mustang" (specifically, a wild horse of the American West). It is a stylized drawing meant to evoke the idea of a mustang. More to the point for our purposes, "Mustang" is not the JDK6. It is a name for that release of the JDK.

Well, it was.

As Ray Gans explains in his blog, Mustang and Dolphin... we'll miss you, one of the side-effects of the move to open-source Java is the retiring of the previous code names "Mustang" and "Dolphin": "Yes, we must retire some old friends. Management says it's time to drop these code names and develop a new project naming system around our open source model. Better now than after Dolphin gets firmly entrenched -- and as for Mustang, well it's almost done anyway."

If you try to go to the mustang or dolphin projects, you'll find they already redirect to and, respectively.

Good idea, bad idea... does it matter? Some products do quite well with code names instead of version numbers -- recent and upcoming versions of Debian are more commonly (and more easily) thought of by their code names woody, sarge, and etch, than by versions 3.0, 3.1, and 4.0, respectively. And Apple's code names for the releases of Mac OS X -- Leopard, Tiger, and Panther -- are more commonly used than version numbers, even though the code names of the earlier versions (10.0 [Cheetah] and 10.1 [Puma]) were treated more like trade secrets. And what rolls off the tongue more easily: "Java EE 5 Open Source Reference Implementation", or GlassFish?

But this is all the treachery of names. It's not "Mustang', and it's not "JDK 6" either. Those are just linguistic pointers. What it is, is a really long run of bytes that does something specific when executed in a specific environment. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Also in Java Today,
Artima's Bill Venners summarizes a conversation on distributed systems with Tangosol CEO Cameron Purdy in his blog entry Cameron Purdy on Dealing with Failure, saying "in his weblog, Cameron Purdy suggests that when a distributed system is designed as a multi-cellular organism rather than a collection of individual cells, an application need not deal with the potential for other servers to fail, but rather with its own potential for failure."

As announced on Deepak Gothe's blog entry Open Source Portlet Container on, "the Enterprise-class Portlet Container (i.e., Sun's implementation of JSR 168 spec) that is part of the Sun Java System Portal Server 7 has been open sourced.
The open-source code artifacts of the Portlet Container from the Sun Portal's internal repository has been svn checked-in to" This new Enterprise-class Portlet Container Open Source Project features support for parallel render requests, a proprietary event scheme for inter-portlet communication, and integratability with identity management systems, behavior tracking and logging systems, and user profile systems.

Having seemingly not gotten the memo about the JDK 7 name change, Ed Burns makes The case for EL in Dolphin in today's Weblogs. "It is my hope, and the hope of several others, that the Java EE Unified EL will be moved into the core JDK in the Dolphin timeframe."

In a tutorial blog, Masoud Kalali shows you how to
Develop a web application with NetBeans, Seam and GlassFish:
"In this entry you will see how easily you can develop application based on Seam and jsf with netbeans. indeed i show you steps you need to follow to develop registration application with seam and netbeans."

Is the End of Tiered-Based Computing in Sight? John Reynolds thinks it might be.
"Perhaps the most widely adopted component of software architecture is the N-Tier architecture... the separation of concerns based on stacked tiers of functionality. Is the emergence of Grids and Service-Oriented Architecture going to change the way most software architects approach their designs?"

With Sun's announcements this week about its approach and time table for open-sourcing its JDK implementation, it has kicked off a new Jive forum for discussing the process, which we feature in today's Forums. tmarble kicks things off in
Welcome to the Open Source JDK Forum!:
"We are pleased today to announce the primary website for discussing plans for open sourcing the JDK at As a first step to soliciting community feedback we are opening this forum and look forward to your feedback on such topics as: - The choice of license - The governance model - Operations issues: the bug tracking software (BTS), the version control software (VCS), etc. - The Java brand - Compatibility."

The discussions are already off and running, and chris_gray asks
What about the specs, TCK, etc.?:
"For me it should be a BSD- or MIT-style license; that's always best for a Reference Implementation (thinks TCP/IP or JPEG). But for me the code is not the real issue; it's the specs. Particularly in areas such as embedded and real-time we are confronted with specifications we we are free to download and read for purposes of 'evaluation', but not if we intend to implement them. Will this policy continue even after the RI of (say) JavaME CDC/FP is open source? And will the licensing terms for the TCK still involve royalties on every copy of the implementationn tested?"

In today's
News Headlines

Registered users can submit news items for the href=""> News Page using our
news submission
. All submissions go through an editorial review before being
posted to the site. You can also subscribe to the href=""> News RSS

Current and upcoming Java

Registered users can submit event listings for the href=""> Events Page using our href="">events submission form.
All submissions go through an editorial review before being posted to the

Archives and Subscriptions: This blog is delivered weekdays as
the Java
Today RSS feed
. Also, once this page is no longer featured as the
front page of it will be
archived along with other past issues in the href=""> Archive.

The treachery of code names