Archives: February 2007

Microsoft documents in Iowa court case document Microsoft’s original plans to kill Java

This was discussed in the Gossip section on JavaPosse’s podcast number 103, but unfortunately it looks like the website for the links they referred to has been taken down and/or password protected.

The guys in the podcast quoted from the documents that were publicly avaialable on the site, which gave an insight into Microsoft’s original goals to build a competitor to Java (J++?) that would beat Java at it’s own game by ignoring the cross-platform benefits and leveraging native platform support on Windows. J++ never caught on but may have been one stepping stone towards the development of .NET, which again borrows Java concepts (the Common Language Runtime = the Java Virtual Machine), but yet again, still has not made significant impact in the IT industry.

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PS3 to launch in Europe minus hardware backward compatibility for PS2

The PS3 units sold in Japan and the US since November ’06 until present have reportedly included the PS2’s chipset to provide near 100% backward compatibility (a few rendering issues needed firmware updates but were fixed). When the PS3 launches in Europe in March, according to news articles this week, the PS3 will not include the PS2’s hardware but will instead emulate the PS2 in software. This is a smart move for Sony as a first step in reducing manufacturing costs, but of course people are worried that this means backwards compatibility will have less that 100% support compared with the original Japan and US consoles.

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The future of Java: deprecate or remove features?

Ted Neward recently interviewed Bill Venners, president of Artima, on the subject of the future of the Java language. One of the main discussion points was whether language features should be deprecated, or completely removed in future releases. This has become a hotly debated topic recently, especially since the JDK download is continuing to grow with every new release.

Check out the discussion summary here.

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Sony shrinking Cell processor to 65nm, and planning on ending in house fabrication

Sony have started production of a 65nm Cell processor which is cheaper to produce than the current 90nm processor included in the current PS3 consoles, and also produces less heat. Sony have not yet stated whether the new PS3’s to go on sale in Europe in March will be based on the 90nm Cell or the 65nm version.

Sony are also planning on ending in-house production of the chip in order to save costs, since the chip is already being produced by third party companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and United Microelectronics.

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Rumors true – Fleury quits RedHat/JBoss

It was rumored in January that Fleury, who has been out on paternity leave, was about to leave JBoss (now part of Red Hat). It was confirmed on Friday that Fleury has left RedHat and will not be returning.

It will be interesting to see where Fleury goes next and what his next project will be. Fleury arguably created and mastered the ‘Professional Open Source’ business model, not only creating a viable open soure Java EE application server to challenge the major players in the marketplace (IBM, BEA, Oracle), but introducing a sales approach to capitalize on the rising interest of open source software. Fleury sold JBoss to RedHat for $350 million in June 2006.

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“Fear and Loathing in TypeLand” – OnJava.com

Robert Cooper has an interesting blog post on the onJava.com site, titled “Fear and Loathing in TypeLand”, in which he touches on the pros and cons of static typing in Java in comparison to dynamic typing in languages like Ruby and Groovy, with references to another blog post on the evang.eli.st site, titled “Java People Must be Stupid”

The interesing point here is it’s obvious (or at least should be) to most developers that one size does not fit all. Every language has it’s strongpoints and weaknesses. Some languages aim to be general problem solving languages, while others are geared to solving problems in a specific domain, or use a specialized approach to solve those problems. To argue that feature A is better than feature B in some cases is a non-argument if feature A allows you to solve a given problem style easier or more effectively. On the other hand, if a language has a feature that may offer a lot of flexibility but at the same time could be misused, then it will be a lot easier to shoot yourself in the foot than if it didn’t have that feature…

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