Monthly Archives: September 2001

Source for HotSheet

The source code for HotSheet has been downloaded exactly 300 times. Some of those were doubtless the same people downloading different revisions but nevertheless we can safely say that 200+ people have probably wanted the source at one time or another.
Is anybody doing anything with it? I have to wonder because nobody ever contacts me about it. I know that technically they don’t have to, they could go ahead and incorporate it into a commercial program and not give me the time of day. But I’d love to know if somebody, anywhere found some use for the RSS library portion of it or is trying to rip some other part of it out or learn something from it.

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Enterprise Premiere

The premiere of Enterprise kicked ass. If you ignore the original Star Trek for the moment then they’ve tried to bring out four different series so far, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. With ST:TNG we had to suffer through two bad years before they got their characters figured out and started to make good shows. DS9 was really quite good early on but it never caught on with the public the way it should have. Voyager, ohh boy, what a train wreck that was. But Enterprise managed to have a premiere that was better than ST:TNG was three or four years in. If they can sustain this and make it still better, they will have a real hit on their hands. Even my wife, who does not like Star Trek, thought it was good.

Sprint Sponsoring Java Contest

Sprint is sponsoring a Java programming contest because the next generation phones they are rolling out next year feature J2ME. Obviously I think that is an excellent development, unfortunately the contest itself suffers from horrible execution. For example, your entry becomes their property whether you win anything or not. And you have to attend their developers conference in order to even submit your entry?!? No, I think it best to give this contest a skip but lets just admire Sprint for their wise choice of the best technology for embedding in their future phones.
There is a new release of my favorite file sharing program LimeWire Version 1.7 adds useful new features but the most important change is that it is now open source! Yippee! I hope somebody adds mousewheel scrolling using JMousewheel and allows installation via JNLP so I can be automatically upgraded when there is a new version.

The Mono Project

The Mono project is an attempt to create an open source, portable version of Microsoft’s .NET framework. They announced a version 0.7 release that has some early work on the just-in-time compiler (JIT) as well as various other improvements. I’m not necessarily recommending this for use for anything, heck, I think .NET is a huge rabbit hole that a lot of programmers are going to break a leg in. But I find all of this interesting and you don’t applaud for a dancing bear because he dances well

Tomcat 4/AMD For Next Machine/Mozilla 0.9.4

Apache’s Jakarta project has released Tomcat 4! It features all the latest Sun specification versions for JSP and Servlets and has twice your recommended daily allowance of buzzwords. Doubtless we will see a release of JBoss that incorporates it momentarily.
I’ve been thinking that my next machine (unlikely to come until late next year) might be the first to have a non-Intel processor in it. I’ve got an AMD in my machine at work and it has very nice performance. Then I saw this article from Tom’s hardware on how processors behave in response to a failed heat sink. 600+ degrees F. Damn, that’s warm.
So I’m not discarding my idea of getting an AMD by any means but if I do get one I’m going to pay a hell of a lot more attention to the heat sink I buy for it than I have ever paid before.
I know it’s redundant to even say that a program is getting better and better and bugs are getting killed with each new release but I wanted to briefly sing the praise of Mozilla 0.9.4. Even though the difference in the 0.9.X point releases would seem small, you can really see that it just keeps getting more and more stable and works better and better. I use it for about 95% of my browsing now, and in fact, I get annoyed when I hit sites like Bank of America that refuse to let me use it.

New HotSheet Release

There’s a new release of HotSheet out. It should auto-download and install whenever you next run it but I did encounter an error on one machine where I had to try running it a couple of times before it downloaded. I have no idea why.
The new release displays its progress on the status bar at the bottom as it pulls news channels. Unless people come up with bugs, this will be considered the next official version and a source release will be done soon.

Jsh/eLance/TV Premieres

Obviously, we have all listened to every opinion on Earth at this point. We have heard hundreds from people on TV and the radio, your spouse, your children, everybody has an opinion about what happened. Here is mine. It doesn’t concern the people killed and hurt or terrorists or anything else like that, it’s about moving forward. This is day one, right here, right now, today…
Start over with a renewed energy and fight to be a better you than you have ever been you before. Make everybody you know stand up and say, “Wow! You seem improved somehow.” Lose weight, build something, give blood, return your library books on time, it doesn’t matter… Just improve yourself and make your life and those around you better. That’s my opinion about how to react to this.
Now back to your regularly scheduled program:
Jsh is a Java shell that runs multiple Java applications from the same Java Virtual Machine. Jsh is capable of running conventional Java applications and JNLP launched ones as well. Version 1.0 release candidate 2 came out today.
This precisely sums up my experiences with eLance. It is an utter waste of time as it stands now, I’m just glad I only wasted time learning that earlier and I didn’t have to pay for a membership. I don’t know that I agree with the author’s suggestion that people posting projects put up a $200 deposit but clearly there would have to be some drastic changes to make the site appeal to me.
TV premieres I actually care about:

  • Junkyard Wars – September 12th
  • Enterprise (New Star Trek series) – September 26th
  • Smallville (Let’s hope it’s not Superboy meets Party Of Five) – October 16th
  • The Tick (Very funny comic book comes to prime time) – November 1st
  • X-Files – November 4th
  • Justice League (Animated series from the people who did the incredible Batman and Superman series of the last few years) – November 17th
  • Futurama – December 9th


A few weeks back I was trying to decide which open source project to tackle after I got HotSheet through its next release. The candidates I had decided on were a game and a service that would let you store your bookmarks and use them from anywhere. I decided on the former and maybe it was good that I did. I ran across a project just recently called Bookie that seems to have much the same focus as what I wanted to do. Let’s hope it goes far.

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)

The W3C has made Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) an official recommendation. Now we can expect Microsoft to implement it in IE two to three years from now and do so very very badly, just as IE 6.0 can’t even handle XML and XSL 1.0 specs long long after they were released. Hopefully Mozilla will do much better.
In the meantime, Adobe has released a beta of the next version of their plugin for handling SVG in IE. If you aren’t boycotting Adobe, as many people are for their DMCA actions, you can get it here.
Screwed up companies like Microsoft and Adobe aside, there are lots and lots of uses for XML vector graphics in applications. You can use SVG to lay out reports, generate images programmatically for websites, as a replacement for Flash, use it as a lingua franca file format to replace .CDR and .AI files, or you could even use it as the foundation of a graphics system like NeXT did with Postscript.