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Tiger RC

Posted by daniel on September 2, 2004 at 8:14 AM PDT

Mixed emotions about the latest release

I always have mixed feelings at this time in the J2SE release cycle. I love having a solid release candidate in hand that we can reliably use to play with the new features in the latest version of the JDK. The downside is that I have to work on my Windows box to do so. My current development environment of choice is IntelliJ on Mac OS X. The Apple announcement at JavaOne this year made it clear that we won't have Sun's Tiger until we have Apple's Tiger.

I am not trying to start a religious war here. If you like developing on Windows, Solaris, or Linux, then more power to you. If you prefer NetBeans, Eclipse, vi, or emacs, you will get no argument from me. Mac and IntelliJ make me the happiest. But I can't not play with the latest toys. In fact, most of us have had one version or other of J2SE 5.0 installed for months even though I think the click-through made me agree not to complain about the name too much in public.

The lag between the Windows and Mac Java releases is what got me into the world of online Java publications in the first place. I covered Java on the Mac for years for JavaWorld magazine and heard the yearly promises that next time the gap will be shorter. Chris Adamson showed a slide at last year's Mac OS X Con that summarized these gaps. This time the gap probably could be a good bit shorter but there are no announced plans to ship or support Sun's Tiger on Apple's Panther. Time to reinstall Virtual PC on my laptop.

Graham Hamilton announces Tiger Status: Release Candidate is out in today's Weblogs. In Tough and Trustworthy Tigers, Mark Reinhold adds that the QA team is very happy with the release and he summarizes the reasons why they believe this is the most reliable JDK they have ever shipped.

Alex Toussaint has observed that a lot of Java Developers have headed over to a company that is not traditionally known as a Java shop in Google - the next Java service platform?

John Mitchell asks " if you could, what one thing about Java would you 'fix'? This question is as inclusive as you want to make it. You want Java "open-sourced"? Or you'd like generics implemented "properly" instead of via type erasure? Or you want Sun to fix the insane version numbering scheme for Java? Share it here."

Also in Java Today
, Matthias Laux has spent a lot of time analyzing the various argument types that are used for running a Java application. In Processing command line arguments in Java: Case closed. In this article he introduces the Options class along with helper classes OptionData and OptionSet to help you process command line arguments without writing custom written but largely boilerplate code.

Developers need " a way to have their programs relay vital signs and other signs of life to them. Many developers tend to use log statements as a low-tech approach to debugging. Such an approach is often leveraged in production, when you might not have the luxury of using your IDE's debugger against your production code. Also, when things go wrong, you can trace the root of a problem using persisted logs." In Track Your Apps with the Open Source Logging Framework, Log4j, Kulvir Singh Bhogal presents an introduction to the Apache logging framework.

WebStart is part of the discussion in today's Forums. Jonathan Simon writes "I think WebStart is going in the right direction. I just think more of a generic cross platform thick/thin hosting environment is in the future -- and I think its going to rock when it shows up. "

Rythos advocates a web based approach. "When I did my first freelance project many years ago, the web based approach was the one I took. The reason I gave that client was all of the reasons given in this chapter. [..] I found it much easier to write this project open-sourced because we could explain to the client that they were paying for a) our setup, b) our support of the program, and c) the web and database server we ran the program off of."

In Projects and Communities, Tim Boudreau points to an ad that appears on a Google search page for Jini technology. In addition to the usual suspects, there is an ad that leads Tim to ask Have you hugged your Jini developer lately?

mCube is a digital music collection manager that uses a simple interface with basic features like folders scanning and synchronization, mass ID3 tagging, string formatting, and file renaming.

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