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Watson - come here -

Posted by daniel on October 1, 2004 at 8:48 AM PDT

I want to see you (open sourced on

In this case, I'm referring to the Java version of Karelia
software's Watson application. Watson was originally designed to
supplement Apple's Sherlock application (get it - Sherlock and
Watson) and there was a big fuss when Apple's third generation of
Sherlock looked remarkably like Watson. And yet, people liked
Watson enough that they continued to pay for it even though the
Apple alternative was bundled as part of the Mac. By the way, the
actual quote in the title of this blog was "Mr. Watson - come here
- I want to see you." Alexander Graham Bell's words to a different

Back in June, Kathy Brown posted a blog entry on the early
progress with href="">
Project Alameda. At JavaOne and across the street at Apple's WWDC
the reaction was mixed. People were happy for Dan Woods that he had
sold Watson to Sun but worried that the application would
disappear. Dan end-of-lifed Watson but was confident that the
replacement would be available before Watson began to break down. The
application pulls information from web pages. As the structure of
these pages changes, updates to the plug-ins that read them are
required. Contractually, Dan is not allowed to maintain Watson so that
these plug-ins continue to work.

Watson has been one of my valuable, use-it-everyday applications
and I was looking forward to seeing what Sun would do with it. After
all, here was an opportunity to show the world that you could build
first class attractive user interfaces with Swing. Alameda could have
shown how we can use web services in a consumer application without
being aware of the plumbing behind it. Alameda could have even been
JXTA enabled so that the community could have pushed out plugins
without the need for a centralized server.

But, as Dan blogged last week, "it looks like Sun doesn't seem to
be focussing on getting the port of Watson released any time soon." He
adds that part of his disappointment in not having Alameda released is
that he was really pleased with href=""> how
Alameda was turning out. Meanwhile in August, Kathy Brown blogged
about an "an href="">
email from one of the folks that works on He got an
inquiry about open-sourcing Alameda and was asking about the idea. The
powers to be are pondering that one, and I don't have much insight
into their decision-making, but it is an interesting idea."

The inquiry that was passed on to her came from me. At the time my
suggestion was that Sun consider open sourcing Alameda. Whether they
did or didn't, I wanted us to start a project on for Alameda
plugins. A month later Kathy blogged "I know that some people have
been asking about Alameda. Truth is I don't know much about it's
status, as I have been reorged away and taken on new work. If I hear
anything that I will pass it along."

So that's why I write "Watson - come here - I need you." If
Alameda is being abandoned, I would love to see it open sourced on to see if the community can and will finish it. Thoughts?

In today's href="">Weblogs Jonathan Bruce
writes on href="">
JSR 114 and J2SE 5.0 Released saying " I've talked about JDBC
RowSet Implementations and their general availability in in our
Java Community Process release in addition to our Java Web
Services Pack 1.4 Co-Bundle. With J2SE 5.0 now as a GA, production
ready realease, our already broad user base can now enjoy JDBC
RowSet Implementations as part of the core Java platform."

There is no rest for the weary. With Tiger out the door, Mark
Reinhold says " Tiger is done! This seems an appropriate time to look
forward, and in particular at some changes that we're making to the
J2SE release model." Check the details in href="">
Tigers and Mustangs and Dolphins, Oh My!

James Gosling checks in with some thoughts on href=""> How I run Tiger
"There have been a few questions on various blogs/forums asking how I
run Tiger (J2SE 5.0), given that I use Mac OS X rather than a
PC. Well.... I have a linux box and I use the X support on OS X. My
linux box is out on the open internet and generally accessible via SSH

Also in Java Today
ONJava's excerpts from "Enterprise JavaBeans, 4th Edition"
concludes with href="">Developing
Your First EJBs, Part 2. In this second installment, Bill Burke,
Richard Monson-Haefel, and Sacha Labourey introduce a session bean to
manage the entity bean presented in part 1, and a client application
to excercise the session bean's business logic.

Michael Champion looks at the web services specs disputes between
those crafting the WS-* family and those who advocate using HTTP and
XML together in href="">
Bicycles, Trucks, and web services specs. He advises that " If
people in the REST camp want to actually change minds rather than
exchange virtual pats on the back in their echo chamber, they'll have
to explain how to do the hard things RESTfully, not belabor the
pointlessness of doing easy things with WS-*."

In Projects and
, J2SE for Linux, Solaris, and Windows is 24
hours old. Adrian Sutton writes href="">give Apple
time "to port the JVM and add in all the extra little details
they provide" (e.g. a L&F), QA, and then release.

The NetBeans
community announces that Beta 2 of their IDE v
4.0 is available for download
and features more than 900 bug fixes
since the Beta 1 release.

Guess we should all learn emacs. Iin today's

, JohnM writes "A corollary to Greenspun's
Tenth Rule is that all "modern" IDEs eventually implement
stuff (usually poorly) that's been in Emacs
for ages."

In the href="">
Open Source: Not just hobbyists thread JWenting writes "As
economic incentive to write software goes down because of large
availability of free software, so does the incentive to learn to write
software. In the end there will be noone left with the know-how to
create and maintain the software needed."

Tobega corrects an earlier quote on href="">security
saying "You got the sense of it right, if not the wording Secrecy
can't rely on the algorithm being secret."

In today's
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I want to see you (open sourced on