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The Ideal Crash

Posted by editor on January 31, 2008 at 8:11 AM PST

Waiting for a new laptop

So I'm sitting here and watching the FedEx shipment tracking page, awaiting a new laptop. The 12" PowerBook that I had with me just last week at Mobile & Embedded Developer Days has died an undignified death. No tears from me: it was due to be replaced this year anyways, suffering from hideously bad wifi reception (I am never buying another metal-encased laptop Mac; plastic just makes more sense), and was powered by a long-in-the-tooth PowerPC G4 CPU that ground to a halt when displaying Flash-based web pages (granted, that's also an indictment of how bad the Flash VM is on PowerPC Macs). Earlier this week, it developed a hard drive rattle, lost the ability to boot, and just after I managed to get some of my wife's files copied over with FireWire, it finally flaked enough that the drive couldn't even be reformatted. I'll eventually spend a weekend afternoon replacing the drive and sending it to a family member, but for now, I do need a travel and "upstairs" computer. And let's face it, we're geeks: who among us doesn't like that new computer smell?

One thing to look forward to is having a dual-core 64-bit Intel CPU, meaning I'll be able to make use of both Apple's JDK 6 DP 8, which is currently 64-bit Intel only (and still not yet final-release quality... sigh), as well as being able to build and run Soy Latte, Landon Fuller's port of the BSD JDK 6 to Mac OS X. On the latter point, I hadn't checked Landon's page in a while, and noticed he's posted some rather ambitious goals for the project:

  • Support for Java 6 Development on Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5
  • OpenJDK support for Java 7 on Mac OS X
  • On-time release of Java 7 for Mac OS X

Clearly the project is off to a fine start, and a lot of people will be happy if this project gets JDK 7 into Mac-based Java developers' hands at the same time Windows and Linux developers get theirs. But it's a good bet that integrating with the native GUI and sound APIs is going to be a challenge.

Oh, I guess I need to update my bio to say I've now owned ten and a half Macs over the years, and pick partition names consistent with my established scheme.

In Java Today,
another participant in Sun's $1 Million Open Source Community Innovation Awards Program, the GlassFish Awards Program has announced its program details, summarized in an Aquarium post. "Phase Two of the Community Innovation Awards Program is now live.
Check the
Official Announcement,
and our
Earlier Writeups.
Each community has its own set of rules all within an
Overall Program.
The GlassFish program
is described at the
GAP Home Page.
Key points include:
• Awards for Best Bug Reports and for Best Projects • Projects can be based on existing Projects in the GF community or not • Goal is to grow Community in Size, Quality, Innovation, etc. • Submission Start Date is Now, • Submission End Date is June 30th • Results Aug 15th • 175K$ in prizes."

Jim Shingler and Christopher Judd have released the first version of FallME version 0.5. FallME is a Java ME framework based on the popular Spring Framework but designed for mobile devices including those running MIDP. This framework provides an IoC container as well as a RecordStoreTemplate. You can download it and find more details at the project page.

JavaWorld has kicked off a series highlighting useful open-source projects with a look at the Java Desktop Community project Balloon Tips for Java. In Open source Java projects: Balloontip for Java, Jeff Friesen writes, "Bernhard Pauler's open source balloontip project introduces XP-like balloon tips to Swing GUIs. In this first article in the new "Open source Java projects" series, I'll show you how to obtain and install the balloontip software. I'll also walk you through balloontip's example application, explore the balloontip API, and explain where balloon tips are useful in Swing-based Java development."

In today's Weblogs, Tim Boudreau wonders What if we built Java code with...Java?
"My friend Jon had an interesting insight: Both Ant and Maven rely on lots of XML. XML is good for describing data and terrible for describing behavior. A build is mostly behavior. What if, instead of tormenting Ant into iterating on a bunch of subprojects of subprojects, if we just used an actual programming language to write build scripts. Like, oh, say...Java, for instance?"

NetBeans evangelist Gregg Sporar answers questions from Ruby developers in the course of spending
More Ruby Tuesdays.
"Actually, one of them was a Wednesday, but the point is the same: I enjoy talking to Rubyists and showing them the tools available in the NetBeans IDE."

Lucas Torri notes an important announcement from the Sun SPOT developers in
Sun SPOT more Open Source than ever.
"After releasing the Squawk VM as Open Source, Sun announced yesterday that has open sourced the SPOT libraries as well, under GPLv2. SPOTs are small, Java-based, wireless devices developed at Sun Labs. This libraries include the code responsible for wireless communication, sensors control and security at the devices. The news was published in the forum and can be seen the the project website."

Disappointment about the sidelining of Java 3D turned into a wide-ranging debeate, and in today's Forums, linuxhippy suggests that the critics are overlooking Java's obvious strengths. In , he writes:
"this thread was about Java3d and has been hijacked to just another sun-does-everything-wrong thread, so the discussion was not really objective anyway. I hear these complaints now over a decade and guess what - Java is still here and healthier than ever before. I've heard that VB will kill Java, that .NET will kill java, that AJAX will kill java and whatever. Factis that there is more Java code written today than anytime before."

Bill Foote explains the business and legal realities of Blu-Ray Disc and the way forward for interested developers, in
Re: [BD-J-DEV] New and Curious.
"Obviously, Sun isn't dominant in BD-J the way Microsoft is with iHD -- we operate more as a member of a community, and in less of a "your first sample's free, kid" mode. So don't expect everything to come directly from Sun. That said, enabling this community is important to us. Definitely get a copy of the cookbook and go to to explore the resources that are out there. I think that the open-source project is shaping up nicely as a resource, too."

kpr777 posts details of a fund for Darkstar and Wonderland development in
Re: Media Grid Announcement.
"Here are the guidelines for the Sun Immersion Grant Program with Mediagrid. [...] Sun Microsystems, Inc. in collaboration with Mediagrid Immersive Education initiative announce forces an initial development fund of $25,000 for technology grants to to advance the development and deployment of Project Wonderland and Project Darkstar open source platforms for Immersive Education."

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Waiting for a new laptop