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Throw Me A Rope

Posted by editor on December 14, 2007 at 7:33 AM PST

What's the next format to open up to Java?

Following yesterday's announcement of the PDF Renderer project, a natural question occurred to me: what other formats do you want to use in your Java applications? I adapted this for today's poll question, with some concern about how the question might be nitpicked.

What, after all, does it mean to "work with" a file format? The PDF renderer, for example, not only opens the file -- anyone can open a file and start blindly reading bytes with a FileInputStream -- but parses the data, builds up a model of that data, and renders it to a Java2D Graphics2D. On the other hand, it doesn't offer the ability to edit the contents of a PDF file or save to the PDF format.

So let's focus on the idea of opening popular formats and working with their contents. What would be useful to your app? Opening office or ODF docs? Media formats? Compressed archives like RARs and TARs? SVGs? We'll kick around this idea in the new Poll, which asks "Which file formats would you most like to open in Java?" Cast your vote on the front page, then check out current tallies and discussion on the results page.

It'll be particularly interesting to see if people want to open these various formats in client-side or server-side applications. Do you want to open Word documents because you're writing a user-facing office suite in Java, or because you have a web application and you're converting the .doc-formatted data into something viewable in a browser? Or hey, maybe it's about mobile access...

Speaking of discussion we being today's Weblogs with Joshua Marinacci's
The big secret revealed! A PDF viewing library! Of course, the secret was revealed yesterday, but Josh's blog has kicked off one of the longer discussions we've seen on a blog recently, with readers talking about the new project, other Java PDF renderers, and the point of supporting PDF. As Josh points out, "you should care because PDF is one of the formats that makes the web go 'round. Soon to be an ISO spec, PDF is the standard way of exchanging non-interactive documents on the web. Everything from tax forms to clip art can be stored in PDFs."

Elsewhere, Arun Gupta summarizes a set of presentations he recently gave in India in his blog
GlassFish @ Bangalore, Chennai and Pune - Metro, jMaki & JRuby.
"I presented on GlassFish and other related technologies (Metro, jMaki and JRuby) in Bangalore, Chennai and Pune last week. The slides used during the preso are here. And here is the list of questions (along with answers) for you."

Rama Pulavarthi offers a JAX-WS tutorial in
Extend your Web Service applications with the new efficient Handlers in JAX-WS RI.
"Handlers provide a nice pluggable way to extend the Web Service Applications. But, standard handlers have some limitations. Since SOAPHandlers are DOM based, they can be performance overhead to your application. We introduced a new Handler called MessageHandler in JAX-WS RI, that fits in to the existing handler framework and provides efficient ways to access/process messages. Read on to know more..."

In Java Today,
Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart offers an update for early GlassFish adopters in the announcement New GFv3 Builds Available. "The last time we updated the GlassFish v3 Technology Preview build was
June 12.
That's a looong time ago!
Part of the wait was for redoing the build system and automating it,
part was waiting for some resources to be freed.
All of that will start paying off now that GFv2UR1 will go out, but,
in the meantime, we have done a one-off build. Get the new release from
Downloads Index
or directly from the
Build Page.
Useful information at the wiki, starting at the
Quickstart Guide."

Neal Gafter's latest blog about the ongoing closures debate compares closure proposal styles in What flavor of closures? "I just attended Josh Bloch's preentation at JavaPolis, where he asks the community whether they want Java to support function types, or if they'd prefer that people write these things the way they do today. His examples are carefully selected from the most twisted of the test suite. Compiler test suites are a good place to find the most twisted but unrealistic uses of any given language feature. I thought it would be interesting to look at the question in the context of a real API."

Want to be one of the first to work with JavaFX Script? A guide to the language is already available, and Robert Eckstein has a review in the SDN article Book Review: JavaFX Script: Dynamic Java Scripting for Rich Internet/Client-Side Applications. "Speeding ahead of the curve with one of the first JavaFX Script books is Apress's new JavaFX Script: Dynamic Java Scripting for Rich Internet/Client-Side Applications. It's obvious from the onset that author James L. Weaver is passionate about JavaFX technology. Not only is he the owner of the Learn JavaFX blog, he is also an active user on the Open JFX compiler group. In short, the book is an inexpensive way to come up to speed on JavaFX Script technology, and with five chapters and approximately 200 pages of material, it's a quick and easy read for those who are already familiar with graphical user interface (GUI) programming in the Java platform."

In today's Forums,
Stephen Connolly wonders about
JPA, equals and hashCode
I'm sure this is a regular question, but I was hoping that some consensus has been formed. What is the best practice for equals() and hashCode() methods for @Entity classes?

davidbrowne has a question about the new Scene Graph project's
Spline Interpolation.
"Is the Interpolator that is returned from Interpolators.getSplineInstance() supposed to be compatible with the SMIL standard? This would be important to know for any conversion to or from SVG. From my tests, it seems to be more or less compatible with the Timing Framework's behavior, but not the SMIL standard. Maybe I am missing something."

Hinkmond Wong considers the practicality or impracticality of
Swing on phoneME.
"However, Swing for Java ME (phoneME) or what we call JSR 209 (Advanced Graphics User Interface, AGUI) has not been open sourced yet because of 3rd party encumbrances. AWT on the other hand is open sourced in the phoneME project as what is known as the CDC/Personal Profile. So, if you wrote an AWT Frame based app, you could help port CDC/Personal Profile to the N800 and run it without problem."

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What's the next format to open up to Java?