The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'java'
This week in lawsuits: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. claims that it owns Skype's brand name, or at least the first three letters of it, and threatens to block Skype from trading under that name in the EU; the EU has agreed with News Corp., though Switzerland and Turkey (neither of which are in the EU) have sided with Skype. Perhaps we'll see another Gmail/Googlemail-style situation, in which case Skype chooses some other, more awkward-looking, moniker to trade under in the EU?
Meanwhile, after having digested Sun, Oracle are wasting no time in drawing a line under its open-source-friendly days; not only have they killed OpenSolaris (an issue which could affect dozens of people worldwide) but now they're suing Google for using Java intellectual property in Android, demanding hefty damages and the destruction of all Java-based Google code, i.e., the annihilation of the Android platform. (Of course, they could let it slide for a few billion dollars.) Google contend that the lawsuit is baseless, while Java architect and Sun co-founder James Gosling weighs in:
Oracle finally filed a patent lawsuit against Google. Not a big surprise. During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle. Filing patent suits was never in Sun's genetic code. Alas...If Oracle are successful, they could stand to screw anyone who has ever used Java out of sizeable sums, whilst hastening Java's death as a platform of any credibility. (Unless this is thrown out of court with prejudice, I can see developers deserting Java hastily before Oracle's beady gaze descends upon them.)
Having recently acquired the Java language, Oracle are looking for a way to make it hip and exciting again and attract youthful, cutting-edge developers (they're the ones with the brightly dyed hair and facial piercings). However, that may be a big ask:
Java has evolved from a groundbreaking, revolutionary language platform to something closer to a modern-day version of Cobol. In just 15 years, it has moved beyond maturity into a silver-haired stage of staid dependability. Java offers stability, not agility; reliability, not innovation. It's the language of large, enterprise software projects, ones that link legacy systems and promise high availability.Other than being the corporate enterprise standard, Java is also a rather conservative language, a C++ with training wheels designed to equalise the playing field by slowing the virtuoso coder down to what his pointy-haired manager can understand, and not encouraging dangerous agility as, say, Python and Ruby do. It being owned by Oracle probably doesn't help either.
Sun have announced that Java will be available under the GNU General Public Licence. Presumably because Flash/Python/PHP/.NET were eating their lunch. It remains to be seen whether this will prolong Java's life, or results in some of the nicer bits (such as the class libraries) being salvaged and bolted onto more vibrant platforms.
Java applications recently downloaded to my new Nokia 3200:
- IM+: an ICQ/AIM/Jabber/MSN client for Java phones. It's rather cool to be able to send ICQ messages whilst at a tram stop; however, given that on my phone, there's no way of remaining logged in whilst making calls/sending SMSes/using other phone functions, it's probably not ready to replace SMS. (Though maybe it works better with the new Symbian futurephones or such.) I probably won't be buying it, at least not for my current phone.
- MobileLJ; a LiveJournal posting client for Java phones. Dies with a Java NullPointerException when I attempt to start it.
- EmailViewer: an IMAP mail client for small Java-enabled phones. Probably the most useful of the bunch; good for checking your mail whilst away from anything resembling an internet connection. Fetches email by IMAP, and sends outgoing email through the vendor's server. Drawbacks: the mailbox view doesn't support small fonts, and (more disagreeably), all outgoing mail from you appears in HTML-only form. Which I think is pretty stupid for text keyed in on a phone.
Some selections from a website selling Java games for mobile phones:
Boobi Sisters: Boobi sisters went to farm to get experience. Their mission is to gather the cattle in a pen.
Butter Head: Butter Head is mail carrier in the Magic Land. One day, while taking a nap he looses his mail.
Christmas Eggs: Help Santa to catch all eggs at his Lapland chicken farm. Don't let the eggs to fall down!
This is one of about half a dozen Santa Claus-themed games on the site. But "Christmas eggs"? "Lapland chicken farm"? WTF?
Mobile Dolly: The cloned Sheep Dolly is based on the previous Frog Game which was a famous arcade game during the 1980's. It is a mobile phone game recreated with a cute character of sheep for the sheep year.
Yeah, it looks like a Frogger clone. The question that immediately comes into mind, though, is: what would a cloned sheep be doing hopping on lilypads and logs across a river?
Mobile Ttarzan: Ttarzan and Jjani live in the nature and study plants. One day, Jjani goes out to collect some plants and then is kidnapped by a monkey.
An internal memo from Sun about what's wrong with Java:
- The support model seems flawed
- The JRE is very large.
- Extensions do not support modularity.
- It is not backward-compatible across minor releases.
Interestingly enough, the memo goes on to compare Java to Python, with Java coming out of it not looking very good.
Urbanoids is like a Java-based version of Paradroid, only open-source and set in a city. It's also written by former Commodore 64 game programmer Karn Hörnell (author of various Players games, including Fungus). Nice to know such people are still around and doing things. (via NtK)
Retro gaming action: the Java Arcade Emulator, with which you can play a selection of old arcade games using only a Java-enabled web browser (and a fast machine; it's perhaps a bit scary to think how many CPU cycles on a modern high-end PC it uses to emulate one Z80 CPU cycle in interpreted Java).
And then someone's written a Linux/X11 interpreter for SCUMM, the old LucasArts graphic adventure game system. I recall those games (Day of the Tentacle and such) looking pretty nifty
back in the days before live-animated 3D or whatever the kids are playing today.
(I'm showing my age, aren't I?)
(via Wil Wheaton and Slashdot, respectively)
Another possibly useful piece of software: JSynthLib, a GPLed synth patch librarian written in Java; believed to run under Windows, MacOS and Linux. It has support for a number of synths, though the Roland JP-8000 isn't one of them (yet). It also has an interesting-looking "cross-breeding" function.
Interesting software: Some hackers at the Queensland University of Technology have created jMusic, an open-source Java class library for music composition. Judging by the documentation, it looks very interesting if one is into algorithmic composition (though part of me wishes it was written in Python instead). The online documentation, including tutorials in various techniques, is in itself worth checking out.
Interesting hack of the day: WiredX, a pure Java X server, and its GPLed cousin WeirdX.
Entertaining page of witty one-line explanations of languages: (via RobotWisdom)
The Queen's English is essentially Modern Anglo-Saxon as passed on by generation after generation of stiff necked Norman nobles with their noses in the air.
English is what you get from Normans trying to pick up Saxon girls.
English is essentially an imprecise dialect of Java, without the object orientation.