Archive for June, 2005

GlassFish Oops

I actually went and read through the GlassFish project
web pages
(well, just the main page, since parts like the FAQ
inexplicably require a login and acceptance of the JRL — haha) and I
see I was mistaken. It turns out this is their application server,
not the JDK. So, ignore that earlier entry where I wrote a lot of
irrelevant nonsense.

Instead, contemplate the pointlessness of this partial move when
you can already use jboss or jonas.

I’m sure someone will write to explain how I’ve got it all wrong
again. It didn’t start that kind of day, but evolved that way.


I read that Sun
tries another approach to sharing Java
today. They apparently are
starting something called “GlassFish” which is somehow a window into
their development process.

Actually from the article it is hard to tell whether this is a new
effort or just the same old one with a new label. But, like many
others, I don’t care any more. I think, at long last, we’re reaching
the point of exhaustion — we’re all tired of seeing Sun’s orbit
slowly decay toward free software without ever actually reaching it.
Also, I find I’m experiencing a kind of brand confusion, with the many
different licenses and approaches that I’ve heard about. It is hard
to keep them straight, and pointless to try.

I don’t know why Sun does these goofy things… they aren’t going
to open their implementation, which is fine. Nobody is really fooled
by their attempts to get folks to help them without getting real
rights in return. The free community and Sun simply have different
desires on this point. Why try to be other than what you really are?

As for IBM: time to step up to the Harmony plate. For instance,
we think you can help us finish Classpath :-). Petitioning Sun for
(our kind of) openness is a proven waste of effort.


This weekend I looked into Regain a little. This is a
desktop search tool written in java that uses Lucene.

Unfortunately at the moment it is pretty raw. It uses Swing, and
one of its dependencies uses awful reflection hacks to get at
Sun-specific classes — I think to make it possible to have an icon
show up in the Gnome notification area. Needless to say, at least the
GUI isn’t working with gcj yet.

I think the way forward is to reuse the indexer from regain but
write a new GUI using java-gnome. This looks surprisingly

Other interesting projects in this space are: Lius (additional
Lucene indexers), LucQE (query
extender), and Searchy (search
results aggregator).

Better Tools

I read Dave
Jones’ comments about better tools

Not that it helps kernel hackers, but in Java land there are a
variety of useful tools; they really are hugely better than the
corresponding C or C++ tools. Eclipse compiles while you type and has
all kinds of nice features based on the fact that it fully understands
your program — refactoring, smart completion, smart browsing. Tools
like FindBugs or CheckStyle are handy for
analyzing your code in various extensible ways. Even the java
compilers seem to have better warning control.

The Eclipse CDT guys are developing C and C++ parsers that build
an AST of your program which other parts of the CDT can then use,
essentially replicating the java approach. It would be interesting to
extend the CDT with a kernel hacker’s plugin to perform various static
checks that Dave mentions, though I suspect most kernel hackers would
react with horror at this idea.

There’s also GCC-XML for C++
users. Some goofy politics seem to prevent integration of this into
GCC, which is a shame. In my opinion, one of the primary goals of
front-end writers should be to enable reuse for other tools; this is
one reason I wrote the bulk of gcjx as a library.