Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

J2SE 1.4.2 and the J2SE roadmap

[via Matt]: A Roadmap for the Java2 Platform, Standard Edition. Some good information there.

Also, the J2SE v1.4.2 has been released. I've been using the beta for the past couple of months, and it's quite good (I do have some issues with the installation system though... we'll see if they've been addressed), particularly the WinXP L&F (clevercactus looks exactly like a native WinXP app with it). Oddly enough, the download page includes as a first set of options the JDK plus the Netbeans IDE, which might be interesting to developers (well... theoretically at least) but will be confusing for users. Bad choice of ordering I think. Anyway. Great to see the release happening on time!

Categories: soft.dev
Posted by diego on June 27, 2003 at 8:13 PM

cracking the code

I was thinking about WASTE and I went to the nullsoft homepage to see what else was new. They had ripped everything out and let something that looked strangely like a code (here is a screenshot, for posterity). I looked at it for a couple of minutes, and it was a code indeed. Not hard to crack (program ended up being quite short), and there's a message inside. Very cool. The things that we find entertaining...

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on June 27, 2003 at 8:06 PM

echo and RSS

Sam responds to Dave's comments on Echo in this entry. The discussion has been quite civilized up to this point (although there were some close calls in the last few days) and it's clear where everyone stands. With Echo endorsed at this point by most of the developers in the space (with the caveat that Dave's endorsement is tentative), I think it's clear that it will be widely adopted, which is great.

Jon Udell gives a good summary of the Echo/RSS situation in his Conversation with Mr. Safe. He sticks pretty much to the line that it is a political problem, which I think is only partly true. If people can't agree to move forward a spec technically, it is indeed political, but mostly those involved claim technical reasons for that. So it's a muddle. While Jon makes a good point about the simplicity of RSS, he doesn't go further in noting that, differently than other formats, RSS is mostly used for "impermanent" things--not for archives (at least not publicly). So a migration won't be like, say, changing Ethernet for Token Ring or whatever. This is key, since it changes the cost of evolving the standard in non-compatible form. Additionally, in the RSS world "non-compatible" already has no meaning, since almost all tools have to support both RSS 0.91/2.0 and RSS 1.0 (RDF), they are already prepared to deal with another similar, yet incompatible, format. This affects the timeframe required to support the standard across the board, which will be measured in months, not years.

The other important element is that Echo will also provide, first a properly specified system (which doesn't exist today) and, two, a common weblog API based on that standard specification, which is extremely important for future evolution of distributed tools based on the evolving read/write web.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on June 27, 2003 at 4:16 PM

unmetered internet access in Ireland? Not really

Yeah, right.

Karlin mentioned this a couple of days ago, and today the BBC is running with it as well. Note the Jupiter numbers on the article: 1% of Irish homes have broadband. That has to be on par with various group of fish that live in deep trenches of the Atlantic ocean. Or maybe they can get broadband from submarines...

This is a PR stunt, plain and simple. UTV's "unmetered" access is actually limited to 30 hours a month (for the cheapest option, the other one is 180 hours). So they are only changing the "meter" from bandwidth to time. The result of the equation remains the same: X Gigabytes for Y Euro. How is that different from Eircom giving you DSL but limiting transfer to 4gig a month? It's not. Unmetered access usually means unlimited transfer in a month for a flat fee. This is a flat fee, but not unlimited. So the typical result of unlimited (bringing down the cost of transfers to a numer low enough so that internet use becomes pervasive) doesn't happen here. The point of unlimited access is precisely that you leave the machine connected all day and the internet becomes woven into the fabric of life. UTV's offer, just like any other offer for access today in Ireland, only lets you only knit the Internet to one of your coats. Shame on the operators, and shame on the government that doesn't fix it.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on June 27, 2003 at 12:25 PM

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