Sep 032012

Will it be Intel inside or Java everywhere? his month, a recent story¬† highlights the most radical bid in years for a new computing platform: Sun Microsystems’ Java chip/Java language combination. This is not just an alternative to Intel/Microsoft computing, a la the PowerPC/Mac OS package. It’s a reinvention of the computer into a more universal, versatile, and interoperable device. The Java model could obliterate many of the distinctions between standard computers, embedded systems, and products still to come, such as intelligent cable boxes and cellular phones.

For years, we’ve lived with chips that will run almost anything and languages that will run on almost anything. Java chips will give us performance where we need it–running Java applications–while the Java environment will give us interoperability

Aug 242012

Get this. The President needs a portable printer only it can’t weigh anything. Zero pounds. I am pacing the floor in her office, trying to explain that they do not make such a printer but she doesn’t want to hear it. Instead she folds her arms and says, “I think you’re being unreasonable, honey.”

It’s OK for her to call me honey. We’re married.

“I’m being unreasonable?” I do the math again just in case she’s right. “You want a portable printer, but you don’t want to add weight to that laptop you lug around. Am I on the right track here?”

She throws her hands up in despair. “You’re not going to bring up the laptop thing again!”

The Classy Canon notejet!

I told

Aug 102012

What if you could go back to the days of Windows 1.0 and influence Bill Gates to build Windows just the way you wanted it? I can’t actually help you change the past, but I can give you the chance to influence the future. If you have the time to send me a short E-mail, you can join with me to help shape the direction of the Java platform.

This ombud’s for you. Here’s how it works. I’m going to act as your ombudsman. You tell me what Java needs to grow into a robust, dependable, cost-effective enterprise platform (my “starter set” is listed below). I will deliver your consensus opinions to Scott McNealy (Sun Microsystems’ CEO), Eric Schmidt (chief technology officer) and Alan Baratz

Aug 102012

Call it in-your-face EPS. The computer screen is strapped to a visor that hangs a postage stamp-sized monitor in front of one of your eyes. This visor, which resembles the goggles currently in vogue with virtual-reality pioneers, is connected to a computer attached to your belt. The computer is about half again as large as a Walkman-type portable radio and weighs about 3 pounds. The final element of the system is a microphone, also attached to the visor, that transmits verbal commands to the computer.

This bodyware is connected to a larger network of computers using a built- in wireless LAN (local area network) card. With this connection, the employee can access any information on the network while still moving freely about the factory floor. …

Jul 072012

Connected device applications are networked but operate in a more restricted environment, such as telecommunications equipment. The attractiveness of Java may relate to reuse, strength of language and processor independence as well as the ability to dynamically run new applications, but the applications themselves come from a closed universe. That is, the applications come only from the service provider or developer of the Java-based system and are qualified to run only on this device subject to certain constraints, such as size or perhaps even a language subset. In general, there is no requirement to run an arbitrary Java application; therefore, these applications can experience significant performance benefits by using compiled Java instead of a Java Virtual Machine. These devices start to resemble more traditional embedded

Jun 222012

This article provides an update on the Tcl scripting language and its associated toolkit, Tk. Scripting languages are designed to glue components together. They work with system programming languages such as C or Java, which are good languages for building components. Other popular scripting languages include Perl, Visual Basic, JavaScript, Python, and UNIX shells such as sh.

Scripting languages have existed for several decades, but their popularity has risen dramatically over the last 10 to 15 years. This is due in part to improvements in scripting technology but is mostly due to changes in the application mix. New application domains such as graphical user interfaces and enterprise applications have a strong gluing flavor that makes them ideally suited to scripting languages.

Tcl has two properties

Apr 012012

(If you’re a developer, you remember these classic articles about Java problems as well as I do. It’s worth looking back on this stuff, if only for nostalgia’s sake)

Oh so classic.

Java and Javascript continue to be thorns in the sides of Netscape Communications Corp. and Microsoft Corp., which are still plagued by potentially hazardous security loopholes in their respective Web clients.

While the overall impact of these bugs is minor, negative public perception is discouraging businesses and users from truly believing that the Internet is safe.

Last week, Netscape posted Communicator 4.03 to its Web site, fixing a JavaScript bug that would have enabled Web sites to snoop and snatch user information, such as passwords, during a visit.

Later this month, Microsoft