Monthly Archives: May 2001

Java Web Start 1.0.1/Batik 1.0

There are just not enough hours in a day to do all the stuff I want to do. Anyway, to the updates:

  • Java Web Start 1.0.1 is out and it seems faster and has a variety of bug fixes and improvements. One thing to note however is that after installing it HotSheet would not run from the shortcuts it had placed on my desktop and main menu. I had to click on the link on the HotSheet project page and it downloaded, installed, and ran it just fine then. Perhaps installing it dumps the cache of existing applications you already have but it doesn’t get rid of shortcuts you may already have. Anyway, it works great now and starts up quicker too.
  • Want to do nifty vector type graphics from within a Java program but don’t feel like mastering Java 2D in order to do it? Well, one option would be to output a Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format file describing the graphics, like a complicated graph for example, and then using Batik 1.0 to render the SVG file. Apache comes through once again with excellent Java technology that you can put to real use in real programs. If you are keen to try it out, use your newly installed copy of Java Web Start and click on the demo link on the Batik website. You can do a one button install of a demonstration of the Batik engine from the page and try it out.

HotSheet Gets a Spot on SourceForge

I got approval over the weekend for a HotSheet project on SourceForge. I’ve started the moving in process but there’s still quite a bit to be done.
In the future, all development on the project will be done through SourceForge but a stable version of the program will always be available from the project page on this site.


I’ve done work in two areas toward release of the source for HotSheet:

  1. Started writing the developer documents.
  2. Finished a second demonstration application that uses the RSS libraries in HotSheet. The demonstration applications plus the developer docs should be enough for people to get started building new applications using the source.

Last night however I spent a couple of hours watching and fast-forwarding through about six hours of TechTV’s coverage of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). E3 is where lots of game stuff happens every year and this year is a bumper crop of news about what is happening in the console arena.
I watched about a half hour of the Microsoft press conference to unveil the Xbox. It has truly gorgeous graphics and it makes me salivate at the prospect of someday having something like a GeForce 3 (an nVidia graphics chip used in the Xbox) for my PC someday. You can buy one currently but all the boards based on the chipset are in the $500(US) range and that’s way too high for me. It’s just a matter of time before they come down to a level where I can afford one though.
But graphics alone do not make a console successful and the games that I saw demonstrated for the Xbox left me cold. There was another game in the Oddworld series and although it was pretty and smooth, it didn’t thrill me. The first person shooter Halo had numerous framerate stutters during their demonstration. Maybe all that will be ironed out by the release but they are under tremendous time pressure to make sure that title is ready for the Xbox launch date on November 8th.
Aside from announcing the launch date and showing off various titles that will be available on the shipdate Microsoft was also announcing their price point of $299(US). That’s not a big surprise as that’s exactly what a Playstation 2 costs with similar features. Nintendo’s GameCube will probably be under $200(US) and they will ship November 5th but because of its hardware will not be able to play DVDs as both the Xbox and Playstation 2 can.
For me the big surprise of the day was watching the Nintendo press conference and expecting very little going in but coming away impressed with the games I saw on the platform. Luigi’s Mansion actually looks like a lot of fun. Super Smash Brothers was fun on the Nintendo 64 and an updated version of it will likely be fun too. Perhaps I would have been equally impressed by what I saw from Microsoft if I had had the low expectations I had when I started watching Nintendo’s.
Last entry of the day: Adobe Acrobat for the Palm OS (beta)

Death of Douglas Adams

It’s been a few days without an update. That’s largely because I’ve been starting at my new job. Things are going well so far and I’m hoping to increase the frequency of updates back to normal level on Monday.
In sad news, Douglas Adams of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame has died. I actually got to see Mr. Adams in person about 15 years ago when he did a book signing for So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish at a bookstore near Rice. People lined up wearing their bathrobes (how original 🙂 and hundreds must have come for the signing. Mr. Adams was wearing a sweater that had the cover of So Long… knitted into it. He said a lady fan had made it for him and given it to him at another signing.

Added Books to Resources Page

Added the first seven of my “must-have” books to the resources page. I don’t have descriptions up yet for the books. Currently there is just a picture of the book and its title up but I’ll have descriptions shortly. Each of the books is a link to purchase the book on so don’t be shy about buying anything I’ve recommended 🙂

Articles About Freenet

Articles worth taking a look at:

The first two articles are information on how to write a Freenet client using the new XML-RPC client so your client can be language independent (most existing Freenet clients are Java based because the reference implementation is written in Java and the clients utilize the reference implemenation code). The last article is a nice overview of RSS, all its various versions, strengths, weaknesses, version compatabilities, most anything you might want to know.