Thursday, November 16, 2006

Java is now under GPL

That was really some amazing news. Yesterday was like a dream thinking of how bold Sun had been. Later I was thinking of what this really means for the language.

The obvious things are better community interaction with things like bug fixes and ports(palm anyone??).

Java SE will soon be bundled in almost all Linux operating systems. I think Gnome was using some Mono based applications. Now they could actually have the Java VM distributed. A whole new range of Java based desktop apps will be released. Its important to note that version 7 has been released now and version 6 will also be released later. That means that all free implementations of Java will use version 5+ Api's and so the fancy features like Generics, Enums and foreach etc. Java 6 also has a whole range of desktop specific enhancements so the "feel" of Java apps should also improve.

I am not sure if it is possible to deploy the Java ME VM without paying Sun any license fees. I want Sun to make money of Java, but if they can deploy Java to most phones/devices that would be great. Could this be the next platform after all.. almost making Java appear as an Operating System?

Of late Java lost a bit of steam. The language is mature and there are a large number of libraries to help in most tasks but age is also showing. Dynamic languages like php and ruby(with rails) provide features for faster webapp development. Even C# has some really cool features. This announcement will provide some extra steroids. In the future it will be interesting to see how "dynamic" Java can get.

To conclude.. Sun just made a lot of hackers really happy. This will definitely have some positive effects for the company and the language.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

High on Emacs!

For the past three weeks I have been playing around with Emacs. Right from learning how to do simple editing to finally getting the Java Development Environment for Emacs (JDEE) setup on my machine, its been a whirlwind tour of this awesome editor!

I used to be a big "vi" fan, but the sheer amount of work that Emacs allows you to accomplish is simply superb! I'm looking at a phase of experimentation, to see if Emacs will be productive for me on a daily basis. For now, the answer seems yes!

Check out:-

GNU Emacs

Emacs Tutorial

Learning GNU Emacs


Happy editing!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Re: Free the Platform!!

Looks like someone else had the same itch

Yet another link to the presentation above here. Get more info on the Linux phone here and here. You can get some more information on the State of Linux phones

THERE HAVE BEEN a lot of phones claiming to be 'Linux phones' and those that do run a Linux kernel, but they all miss the point of Linux: to be open. FIC is about to change that in a big way with a truly open phone, the OpenMoko.

Some of these phones are already in the market from Motorola and others. Companies like WindRiver and MontaVista also make Linux based stacks but I am not sure how open they are and whether it is possible to change/upgrade everything.

Within a few years more and more companies will release mobile frontends to their webapps. Just as Gmail recently did. As of now Symbian, Windows CE and Palm and the main OS'es for smart phones. Who then will win the battle for the dominant platform? Java has an enviable position right now as it has already been deployed in many phones already. If Sun opensources Java under GPL then there will be even more widescale adoption in the open source stacks. Nokia Series 60 also allow programming in C++ and Python now so thats another race.