Quotes in 1999

Monday, December 27, 1999

The programming staff will probably be game to do multiplatform development. They may even be the ones pushing for it. They see it as an intellectual challenge; multiplatform development is a tournament in which to compete and win. Just remember that programmers frequently don't give a hoot about deadlines--they're in it for the brain exercise.

--Alan Cooper
Read the rest in About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design, p. 120

Saturday, December 25, 1999

Like it or not, a free Java platform is coming. You can speed progress if you join in, but we can finish it on our own. So I suggest you start planning for a world in which you, the users of Java, maintain compatibility where you want it through your own free choice, rather than by asking Sun to impose it.

We're here, you're free, get used to it!

--Richard M Stallman
Read the rest in Richard Stallman's point of view on: "Java and GPL"

Tuesday, December 21, 1999

One commonsense way of stating the purpose of Unicode is to say that it is an attempt to make it possible to encode in a computer, with a single encoding, the text that people all over the world already write, or have written, on paper. In other words, Unicode doesn't *create* characters, it *finds* them and assigns numbers to them. Unicode does not create new characters for a literate society that hasn't felt the need to create them for themselves.
--Glen Perkins on the Unicode mailing list

Sunday, December 19, 1999

If you are intent upon building a better mouse trap (Linux) using open standards you will win the war. However, if you take a closed standard, give it away for free and claim that it is open while keeping your technology under lock and key and sue anybody who tries to improve it (as Sun did when Microsoft created a Java Virtual Machine that ran faster than Sun's own) you're going to end up failing.
--Prashant L. Rao
Read the rest in Linux and Java--a tale of two revolutions

Sunday, December 12, 1999

A Vector may be convenient and generalized, but it's almost always overkill, and you pay the price for it in speed and other ways. Just because something is convenient doesn't always mean it's a practical solution. Convenience can be costly.

I wonder how much of an average Java program's slowness can be attributed to overuse of overly general classes, such as Vector. A lot of speed (or memory) can go down the drain if the underlying structure is a poor fit to the problem, or is inefficient for a particular program's common actions. Generality can be costly, too.

--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Saturday, December 11, 1999

If you write an O(n^2) algorithm in C you'll get sluggish performance, but if you multiply that sluggishness by the the costs of interpretation, method dispatching, and garbage collection in Java, you'll get downright deathly slow performance.
--Ross Nelson on the mrj-dev mailing list

Friday, December 10, 1999

As the Linux community goes, I suspect they'll follow the most stable, most recent, and best-performing JDK, regardless of who produces it.
--Karl Asha
Read the rest in Sun apologizes to developers of Java on Linux

Thursday, December 9, 1999

Java is too entrenched to be killed, even by a company as arrogant as Sun. But if I were one of Sun's Java partners, I'd be reevaluating the relationship.
--Dan Gillmor
Read the rest in News, Views and a New Orleans Diary

Wednesday, December 8, 1999

I weighed the options and I've made a decision. I've decided we will not submit Java to ECMA.
--Pat Sueltz, Sun Microsystems
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - Enterprise Computing - Sun reverses plan for Java standard

Monday, December 6, 1999

We stand behind the innovations first surfaced in Visual J++ and want to see them continue. Unfortunately, there is a cloud of doubt over the industry's ability to innovate and advance Java long term. Until we receive and understand some rulings currently pending before the court hearing the Java lawsuit we cannot make announcements on future Visual J++ product strategy.
--Tony Goodhew, Visual Studio Product Manager

Sunday, December 5, 1999

The speedup in program load and execution times is significant, a breath of fresh air after years of empty assertions by Sun people that Java is already at least as fast as C++. It's still not there, but it's now at least within shouting distance, close enough that you might not care. If Java is even two or three times slower than C++, but you get all the productivity and robustness benefits, it's going to be reasonable for a large number of projects. Swing seems to work a lot better, too.
--Bruce Eckel
Read the rest in Moving target

Saturday, December 4, 1999

Jini is interesting, but so bleeding-edge it's not clear to me what you'd actually be able to accomplish with it, other than cool-looking demos. I mean really, where are the peripherals and such that are supposed to be part of this confederation of dynamic devices and services? From what I've seen, hardware makers are having enough trouble getting full-featured USB drivers out, much less Jini-based agents.
--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Friday, December 3, 1999

C++ has lots of dark corners and even though I've been working with the language almost since it began, I keep discovering them.
--Bruce Eckel

Thursday, December 2, 1999

there's a CAPSLOCK key that's just as big as the TAB key. Hello? What are these people thinking? That I want to hit CAPSLOCK as often as I do tab, and that I don't care about CONTROL or ESCAPE? This is all nuts. The proper place for a CAPSLOCK key is in a different hemisphere from you. If we ever manage find out who invented that abomination, we're all going to show up for the lynching party, but we'll have to wait our turn in a line of programmers stretching all the way from Boston to Mountain View.
--Tom Christiansen
Read the rest in Slashdot | Features | Interface Zen

Wednesday, December 1, 1999

The real, honest-to-God reason our company has moved to Java is to take decent, though not Mac-proficient, developers, train them a bit and have them succeed on the Mac platform as well as the Windows platform. We are tired of having to do a nationwide search for another Mac developer every time we find a need for one. It takes months to find someone qualified. With a Java foundation, we can set our sights a bit lower and get equally-good results.
--Matt Bishop on the mrj-dev mailing list

Tuesday, November 30, 1999

If the code is going to a consumer market, I want to have detected and fixed 95% of the estimated bugs. If it's code for a commercial application, then 85% is probably OK. And if it's for a developer audience, then even 65% is sometimes acceptable, because we often use them in our beta testing.
--Frank Dibbel, Manager of Software Quality Assurance in Sun's Consumer and Embedded Division
Read the rest in Testing and Java(TM) Technology

Monday, November 29, 1999

Our opportunity is in the killer applications of the 21st century, not in reinventing the PC platform; and the killer apps will be Internet appliances.
--Bob Young, Red Hat
Read the rest in Closing the Windows on MS

Friday, November 25, 1999

One of the most exciting things about open source is that it represents a huge shift of power from vendors to end users, who are not left without recourse if the original developer abandons the marketplace. The Apache web server is the clearest case of this benefit: after the university-developed NCSA web server was abandoned because the entire technical staff was hired away by Netscape, it was a group of users of the NCSA server who put together an informal group (held together by an Internet mailing list) to coordinate their updates and patches to the NCSA code. That was the origin of the name--it was "a patchy server".
--Tim O'Reilly
Read the rest in opensource.oreilly.com -- Ten Myths about Open Source Software

Thursday, November 24, 1999

Microsoft's main strength has always been marketing, and now they find they're being not just out-coded but out-marketed by a bunch of grubby hackers in sandals. That's got to sting. Used to be they could plant half-truths and lies through tame journalists; now they have to issue defensive broadsides straight out of Redmond and the trade press is cutting them less and less slack all the time.

So what are we seeing? They're thrashing--their performance is degrading under stress. The Common Linux Myths page is full of distortions and technical howlers, but that's not news. What's news is that it's badly written and unconvincing--so much so that it's hard to find anybody in the trade press who's not snickering audibly. The riffs about USB and security have provoked special mirth, and with good reason.

--Eric S. Raymond
Read the rest in Amazon.com: Amazon.com Interview: Eric Raymond

Wednesday, November 24, 1999

...my company's books on Perl, the leading open source development language, have been sold in large quantities into virtually every Wall Street investment bank. A large number of attendees at my company's Perl conferences come from Boeing and other aerospace companies. When Amazon recently unveiled their Purchase Circles feature, which shows the books most frequently bought at various companies, books on Perl dominated the top ten at every large semiconductor company, and showed up in more purchase circles than any other technology topic. In fact, I'd bet that we've sold books on Perl to virtually every company on the Fortune 500. The users aren't using Perl to do things that they could do with commercial tools; they're using Perl because it allows them to solve a new class of problems.

I found it amusing that some of the Wall Street banks I talked with didn't want to talk publicly about their use of Perl, arguing that it gave them a strategic advantage over the competition. I had to tell them that all their competitors were already using it as well.

--Tim O'Reilly
Read the rest in opensource.oreilly.com -- Ten Myths about Open Source Software

Tuesday, November 23, 1999

Conventional closed software has served corporate customers very badly, exposing them to large and unnecessary business risks starting with the obvious cost of downtime and finishing with the unobvious but much greater problem of being at the wrong end of a monopoly lock-in.

What's happening now is that big outfits like Reliance and Burlington Coat Factory in the U.S. are waking up to this. They're not going to accept being captive customers anymore--not when by joining the open-source infrastructure they can increase reliability and cut costs and not be locked in to a single supplier.

--Eric S. Raymond
Read the rest in Amazon.com: Amazon.com Interview: Eric Raymond

Monday, November 22, 1999

When you standardize, the benefits that you hope to achieve stem mainly from the network effect -- lower development costs and greater interoperability spring immediately to mind. These benefits are so powerful (and so tempting) that they often lead people to rush to standardization.

On the other hand, standardization has many costs, of which the most obvious are the initial cost of implementing more than you need to (since standards are necessarily a superset of the needs of any specific set of users) and the risk of committing to an inappropriate solution prematurely and squashing real innovation.

--David Megginson on the xml-dev mailing list

Sunday, November 21, 1999

Some people say that ECMA doesn't have a copyright policy, because we don't have anything on paper, but our position is very simple, and has been stated on many occasions since the group's founding in 1961. We have two objectives -- to make standards and to promulgate them by making them available both free of charge and free of copyright
--Jan van den Beld, ECMA secretary general
Read the rest in Sun, ECMA fall out over Java standardization (InfoWorld)

Friday, November 19, 1999

It might be a bitter pill for the entertainment industry to swallow, but software content protection does not work. It cannot work. You can distribute encrypted content, but in order for it to be read, vieWednesday, or listened to, it must be turned into plaintext. If it must be turned into plaintext, the computer must have a copy of the key and the algorithm to turn it into plaintext. A clever enough hacker with good enough debugging tools will always be able to reverse-engineer the algorithm, get the key, or just capture the plaintext after decryption. And he can write a software program that allows others to do it automatically. This cannot be stopped.
--Bruce Schneier in the CRYPTOGRAM newsletter

Thursday, November 18, 1999

The Java designers have never had any qualms about language invention. Although it draws heavily on other languages, primarily Smalltalk and C++, it was created from scratch and spawned in an atmosphere of pure invention. With no wall of standardization to contend with, the designers could look at problems with a can-do attitude, and as a result have been able to produce simple, elegant solutions to an amazing array of problems.
--Bruce Eckel
Read the rest in Java's emerging pattern of development

Wednesday, November 17, 1999

A script kiddie is someone who writes (or more likely cuts and pastes) code without having, or desiring to have, a mental model of what the code does; someone who thinks of code as magical incantations and asks "what do I need to type to make this happen." Script kiddies are to programming as prooftexters are to theology.
--Eric Bohlman on the xml-dev mailing list

Tuesday, November 16, 1999

RSA Security, Inc. likes to talk about the long mathematical history of the factoring problem, and how that gives us confidence about the security of RSA. Yes, it has been studied for centuries, but only recently has that study been even remotely related to cryptography. Moreover, working on factoring hasn't been a respectable area of study until very recently; before that, it was considered an eccentric hobby. And efficient algorithms for factoring have only been studied for the past couple of decades. We really have no idea how hard factoring truly is.
--Bruce Schneier in the CRYPTOGRAM newsletter

Monday, November 15, 1999

Many of you will remember numerous computer magazines, over numerous years, announcing "the year of the LAN." After one or two "years of the LAN," I actually tried to get a LAN working and found it was far too difficult. I waited one or two more "years of the LAN." Still no good. I finally gave up. Then one day, hardware was ridiculously cheap, software knew about the hardware, and you could actually plug a couple of machines together and they'd talk to each other. The real year of the LAN had quietly happened. I think we're on the verge of the same sort of thing with Java.
--Bruce Eckel
Read the rest in Hyping yourself in the foot

Sunday, November 14, 1999

We tried repeatedly to show them how they could have their cake and eat it too -- that opt-in marketing is a win-win situation for the DMA and consumers. But the DMA has shown that they are untrustworthy and completely lacking in integrity.
--Nick Nicholas, executive director of the Mail Abuse Prevention System
Read the rest in Salon Technology | Direct mail double cross?

Monday, November 8, 1999

Microsoft's technical skills in developing innovative and robust software do not strike fear into the hearts of anyone except its customers.
--Eric Bender
Read the rest in PC World News: Myths of the Antitrust Case

Saturday, November 6, 1999

Microsoft enjoys so much power in the market for Intel–compatible PC operating systems that if it wished to exercise this power solely in terms of price, it could charge a price for Windows substantially above that which could be charged in a competitive market. Moreover, it could do so for a significant period of time without losing an unacceptable amount of business to competitors. In other words, Microsoft enjoys monopoly power in the relevant market.
--Justice Thomas Penfield Jackson
Read the rest in Full text of Judge Jackson's findings of fact

Thursday, November 4, 1999

The only way most projects actually get finished is when management is forced to retract most of its requirements and decide which ones are actually worth spending (limited) time and money on. No advance planning process seems capable of avoiding this problem.
--David Megginson on the xml-dev mailing list

Wednesday, November 3, 1999

Traditional phone service, therefore, is (relatively) secure, but is it private? A judge in the USA has recently ruled that phone companies have a First Amendment right to sell information about your private calls to whomever they wish.

This reveals the true benefit of security: With a secure system, you may rest assured that someone other than you, probably a well-established corporation, will be making a whole bunch of money off of your private information. No amateurs will be destroying your privacy for free.

--Bruce Tognazzini
Read the rest in AskTog: On Walls and Mouseholes: Security and Privacy

Tuesday, November 2, 1999

I have little faith in TRUSTe. They're lapdogs. They're not watchdogs. Their primary stated aim is to stop government legislation by putting up this fake alternative to self regulation.
--Jason Catlett, Junkbusters
Read the rest in RealNetworks stops secret information collection (11/01/1999)

Monday, November 1, 1999

In Java, unlike some other languages you might be used to, main() does not encompass the entire lifetime of the program. The event handling thread (and your program) can continue to run after main() exits.
--Michael McCormick on the mrj-dev mailing list

Saturday, October 30, 1999

Most of Congress has a soulmate in Bill Gates. They're doing everything they can to preserve themselves, and the rest of us be damned.
--Paul Saffo, Institute for the Future
Read the rest in Windows on a Dilemma

Wednesday, October 27, 1999

We're seeing companies continue to use the languages that they've used to build up their infrastructure, but as we move forward, there's a transformation toward Java as the common programming model for e-businesses.
--Scott Hebner, IBM's program director for e-business technology marketing
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - Enterprise Computing - Study reveals not-so-hot Java

Monday, October 25, 1999

Although Sun has done a phenomenal job in the last several years, both in its core server business and in its promotion of the Java language, I believe that Sun is simultaneously trying to keep Microsoft at bay with one hand and Linux with the other.
--Richard Brandt
Read the rest in Richard Brandt

Sunday, October 24, 1999

In one of its rawer displays of arrogance, Microsoft has been pressuring Congress to cut antitrust enforcement funding. One of the main Washington cheerleaders for this maneuver has been Slade Gorton, R-Wash., otherwise known as the Senator from Microsoft. Gorton has been serving ably as a corporate ventriloquist's dummy since the trial began, but this particular attack on the system, reported recently by the Washington Post, has unnerved even some of the company's erstwhile backers. Happily, Gorton has few allies in Congress on this matter.
--Dan Gillmor
Read the rest in Wishful thinking could lead justice astray on antitrust (10/22/1999)

Saturday, October 23, 1999

The open source community's root objection to SCSL is not that it allows proprietary add-ons, but that it denies the right to fork--it gives Sun a privileged power position over the software.

Bill thinks that's a feature. We think it's a bug. Far be it from us to stop him from doing what he thinks is right--but we won't play on his terms, which is why Jini and Java have notably failed to recruit vigorous co-developer communities

--Eric S. Raymond
Read the rest in Richard Brandt

Wednesday, October 20, 1999

Sun and AOL are acting largely out of fear of Microsoft, are equally scared of the open source movement and do not have the guts to follow its community-dependent lead.
--Richard L. Brandt
Read the rest in UPSIDE today: No, Sun Doesn't Get It

Tuesday, October 19, 1999

But Microsoft's competitors seem determined, through their own bullheadedness, to ensure Microsoft's success. Companies such as America Online and Sun seem to believe that to beat Microsoft, they should imitate its tactics.

Now, let's think about that. Did Microsoft beat Digital Equipment, IBM, Lotus Development and the entire software industry by adopting their tactics? No. It developed an innovative new business model: a high-volume, low-cost, broadly licensed software business leveraged off then-partner IBM's strength. But competitors today are actually copying the worst of Microsoft's tactics, the one that might prove Microsoft's undoing in the long run.

--Richard L. Brandt
Read the rest in UPSIDE today: AOL, Sun Repeat History

Monday, October 18, 1999

The Immigration and Naturalization Service, meanwhile, fessed up to a fairly amazing error this week. It told Congress it had grossly exceeded the high-tech H-1B visa limit in the fiscal year that ended last month, and blamed everything on computer glitches.

Anyone whose BS detector is working at all will give the INS's explanation the credibility it deserves: little or none. This agency is famous for relentless persecution of people it wants to toss out of the country -- such as those who aren't coveted by the technology industry. The INS is extremely competent in its institutional cruelty, we've amply seen. I don't believe it's so incompetent that it literally can't count.

--Dan Gillmor
Read the rest in Nanotechnology: from science fiction to fact (10/15/1999)

Sunday, October 17, 1999

FWIW, getting line-endings to work correctly with just the standard classes is often painful, partly due to ignorance or misperception and partly due to defective Sun implementations. The observation that it works on Unix or Windows is happenstance. Those platforms happen to have a LF in their local line-ending that happens to make the typical defective readLine() implementations work. There is a vast conspiracy of ignorance about the defects in readLine(), println(), etc. and their applicability to networked byte-streams. Sadly, much of this ignorance is codified in supposedly authoritative books, magazines, etc.
--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Saturday, October 16, 1999

Red Hat is one of the few software companies developing an innovative business model, exploiting both the open source movement and the Internet. Anyone can create new features and programs for Linux and share them over the Internet. Red Hat simply selects the best and sells them in return for service and support.

The irony is that this model is exactly what Sun and others proposed over a decade ago but never really put into practice. If AOL and Sun would adopt Red Hat's model and throw their code into the public domain, they might stay ahead of Microsoft's proprietary development model. Instead, they're sticking to Microsoft's old, obsolete model of proprietary standards.

This business seems to have little sense of history. If it did, these companies would realize that innovation, both in technology and business models, is the key to success.

--Richard L. Brandt
Read the rest in UPSIDE today: AOL, Sun Repeat History

Friday, October 15, 1999

Technology has nothing to do with the corporate world. I don't see technology and the corporate world as being necessarily intertwined, any more than art and the corporate world are intertwined. Yes, I knew a lot of people when I was in my formative years who were very clear that they didn't want to grow up and work for some faceless corporation. They wanted to do something different with their lives, and a lot of them did. But that has nothing to do with science and technology and art. A lot of scientists have never worked in a corporation. And a lot of them started their own.
--Steve Jobs
Read the rest in TIME Magazine: Steve Jobs at 44 --PAGE 3-- OCTOBER 18, 1999

Thursday, October 14, 1999

If you're talking about Java in particular, Python is about the best fit you can get amongst all the other languages. Yet the funny thing is, from a language point of view, JavaScript has a lot in common with Python, but it is sort of a restricted subset. The real disadvantage that JavaScript has at the moment is that it is so confined to its original target platform, inside browsers. It needn't be confined there, actually, but that's where it ended up. All the development in JavaScript is focused on that environment, so that's sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. This doesn't help Java at all, because even though Java was promoted early on as something that would run in the browser, the real application areas for Java are in many different places, like Jini and servlets. In those places, JavaScript is not very useful.
--Guido van Rossum
Read the rest in www.oreilly.com -- Frankly Speaking

Wednesday, October 13, 1999

...there's a great need for a language that makes Java less complicated. Some think JavaScript is that language, but lately interest in JavaScript as a Java scripting language seems to be dropping off. But in addition to being multi-platform, Python is a very natural scripting language for Java. It fits the kind of development that Java also fits.
--Frank Willison
Read the rest in www.oreilly.com -- Frankly Speaking

Tuesday, October 12, 1999

The person who's made the most money from open source so far is Bill Gates. Did people buy upgrades to Office 97 and Windows 98, all those billions of dollars of upgrade fees, did they shell out that money for Microsoft BOB? No, they shelled it out for Internet functionality. They shelled it out for the functionality that had been developed over a period of 15 or 20 years by a community of collaborating researchers, hackers, people who built tools for their own use. So, the people who profit aren't necessarily the people who build the software. And we have to think about that. We have to think about how we make sure to create business opportunities that encourage the further development of free software, of open source software, of software that really matters.
-- Tim O'Reilly
Read the rest in XML.com - Where the Web Leads Us

Monday, October 11, 1999

There's a whole tradition of programming environments, and whether it's Visual Basic or Visual C++ or Java development environments from IBM or other vendors, they all seem to share the property that you start the application and you have about 2,000,000 windows and pop ups and menus and dialogues and choosers, and little output widgets. Now, all those things at some point certainly serve a purpose, but it's so incredibly overwhelming when you first see that kind of environment. It can be even for an expert, if you're not already familiar with the actual environment.
--Guido van Rossum
Read the rest in www.oreilly.com -- Frankly Speaking

Saturday, October 9, 1999

Object orientation was one of the techniques I used to make Python platform independent. I think the real key to Python's platform independence is that it was conceived right from the start as only very loosely tied to Unix. In fact, early development was done on the Macintosh, and one of the early target platforms was Amoeba [a distributed OS], which was very unlike Unix. And that, combined with my almost instinctual desire for portable software, which comes from way back in the early '80s, made me focus on making sure that Python ran on multiple platforms in a different way than some of the other scripting languages that started out as Unix only. Some of them said, "We're never going to be bothered by porting it to other platforms." Then when people find out that it is actually possible to do a sort of port, users are crying for it. Python was naturally ported to Windows and has attracted some attention there.
--Guido van Rossum
Read the rest in www.oreilly.com -- Frankly Speaking

Friday, October 8, 1999

people misinterpret what available() is telling you. If it returns a non-zero number then yes, it means that you should be able to read that number of bytes without blocking. If it returns zero, then all it means is that it isn't prepared to promise on its grandmother's grave that there are bytes available, but in practice there may well be. It is perfectly legal for available() to always return 0, even when there are a zillion bytes available, and in fact the default implementation in Inputstream.available() does just that.
--Thomas Maslen on the mrj-dev mailing list

Sunday, October 3, 1999

Sun has tried this scam before with Java and Jini and we are not going to buy it. They are trying to use us as free labor, without making us a partner. Sun retains all the rights. These terms are therefore unacceptable.
--Eric Raymond
Read the rest in Sun Reiterates Plans To Open Up Solaris

Friday, October 1, 1999

A perfect Perl doesn't have systems programming as part of its target problem domain. That's what C++ and C and those other languages are for. Those are systems programming languages. Perl is an application language, and in fact one of the things that I really felt uncomfortable about Eiffel was that it also is really an applications programming language. The whole concept of pointers and pointer arithmetic and memory management—if you read Meyer's new book, the chapter on memory management begins with "Ideally, we would like to completely forget about memory management." And I thought to myself, well that's great if you're doing applications, but for systems programming, that's nuts. It's an example of what the language is for. When I was trying to figure out how to be persuasive on this subject, I finally realized that Perl may be competing with Java in the problem space, but when you're writing Perl, implementing the Perl runtime, really what you're doing is something equivalent to writing a JVM. You're writing the equivalent of a Java Virtual Machine. Now, would you write a JVM in Eiffel? I don't think so. No, so neither would you write the Perl runtime in Java or in Eiffel.
-- Chip Salzenberg
Read the rest in www.perl.com - Topaz: Perl for the 22nd Century

Thursday, September 30, 1999

Regardless of whether it's convenient or works on some platforms, neither a PrintWriter nor a PrintStream is appropriate for writing to a Socket UNLESS you do something about the line-endings (there are several strategies). And contrary to an argument regularly trotted out, this is NOT simply a Mac "peculiarity" -- it's a flatly incorrect use of the class. Wrong is wrong, and arguing that "it works sometimes" is simply not a valid response.
--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Wednesday, September 29, 1999

For years Unicode has been making it clear that text processing on a byte- per-byte level is complex and repetitious enough to belong in an abstract library. Programs that want to handle text data *really* should be revised to work with strings of text as the logical unit and if the program has inherent design assumptions that preclude it, the program should be redesigned. Yes it is a pile of work codewise and designwise. On the other hand your software will then be fairly well insulated from the next bizarre writing system requirements unearthed by archeo-linguists.
--Geoffrey Waigh on the Unicode mailing list

Saturday, September 25, 1999

Most "lightweight" applications today depend on megabytes of JDK, JVM, OS, GUI and device drivers. So "lightweight" typically means "written in a few lines of code but built on top of mountains of it."
--Paul Prescod on the xml-dev mailing list

Thursday, September 23, 1999

Security and encryption should be pervasive: no plain-text information should ever cross the Internet; nor should any messages be sent without a digital signature. Unfortunately current approaches like PGP have too poor usability for the average user: security should just happen and it should be the default rather than the exception.
--Jakob Nielsen
Read the rest in User-Supportive Internet Architecture (Alertbox Sept. 1999)

Friday, September 17, 1999

Have fun... and remember it's "research", not "playing around".
--Greg Guerin on the mrj-dev mailing list

Thursday, September 16, 1999

We can offer the buying public better products and more efficient products (what we think are better and more efficient products, that is), but we can't make the public buy them. It is not the purpose of business to make better or more efficient products. It is the purpose of business to make products the buying public wants and will buy. Market research is not confined to discovering what the public needs; it is discovering what the public wants, what it agrees that it needs.
--Herman Holtz on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Wednesday, September 15, 1999

unlike a lot of open source partisans, I don't think that all good things come from the open source community. We like to bash Microsoft with the idea that "no matter how big you are, all the smart people don't work for you" but it's just as true that they don't all work for the open source community either. There are great ideas coming from companies like Sun and Microsoft, and (most of) the people who work there are just like us. They care about doing a good job. They want to solve interesting problems and make the world a better place. And sometimes they do.
--Tim O'Reilly
Read the rest in Slashdot | Interviews | Interview: Tim O'Reilly Answers

Tuesday, September 14, 1999

The first year at Netscape was an emotional roller coaster. One moment we were euphoric, thinking we were going to own the world. The next moment we were clinically depressed. That was emotionally a very rocky time. This is the dark side of the start-up experience.
--Marc Andreesen
Read the rest in CNET.com - News - The Net - What's next for Web pioneer Andreessen?

Friday, September 10, 1999

Sun has assisted Linux and other operating systems on the principle of the enemy of my enemy is my friend, because those systems cut into Microsoft's operating-systems revenue and intrude upon their monopoly in the systems software market. Unfortunately, my enemy's enemy relationships often break down after the war, as the relationship between the Soviet Union's and the U.S., essential for beating the Nazis, became acrimonious after World War II ended. Linux systems on cheap commodity PC hardware are already cutting into Sun's server sales, no doubt this causes them concern.
--Bruce Perens
Read the rest in Sun's StarOffice Release: Is It Really What You Think?

Thursday, September 9, 1999

There certainly have been performance issues with Java. We've been working really hard on them. The primary way we've attacked the problem is with advanced virtual machines. The performance has been getting very nice.
--James Gosling
Read the rest in VNU Story

Wednesday, September 8, 1999

Sun doesn't have the same reasons for restricting the license of StarOffice that it did for Java, which is also under the SCSL. It probably doesn't make a big difference whether or not someone makes and commercially distributes incompatible changes to StarOffice. In contrast, changes to Java by Microsoft jeopardized Sun's write-once, run anywhere strategy of Java as a universal cross-platform solution. Sun isn't going to make big royalties off of StarOffice while it's also giving it away for free from its own web site, so the restriction on commercial distribution makes little sense. Sun can show the Linux community which side it's on by modifying its license to be fully compliant with the Open Source Definition before it releases the StarOffice source code.
--Bruce Perens
Read the rest in Sun's StarOffice Release: Is It Really What You Think?

Tuesday, September 7, 1999

programmers call themselves software engineers, but they don't act like engineers, the act like cowboys. Real engineers have design processes, reviews, and standards that make it reliably true that when a PE signs and stamps a set of plans for a bridge, the bridge won't fall down. We know quite a lot about actual software engineering, and there are plenty of processes and practices that a well managed development shop can use, the most notable being the Carnegie-Mellon SEI Capability Maturity Model**. It has five levels, from level 1 "initial" complete disorganization, up to level 5 "optimizing", with typical development shops being at about level 1.2. This stuff isn't rocket science, it's straightforward procedures like having people review each other's code, and designing subsystems before they're written rather than after. But too many shops, with Microsoft being an egregious example, have no interest in this, partly because it flies in the face of the cowboy image they have of themselves, and partly because it shifts costs from the mass of users back to the developers, and users haven't figured out that they'll only get software that works when they stop paying for software that doesn't.
--John R Levine on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Monday, September 6, 1999

I tend to think of all the Sun SCSL licenses as very much closed licensing. It certainly beats binary only however. The big problem is sun used the word 'community' which people tend to think of as 'the open source community' not 'the sun user community'.
--Alan Cox
Read the rest in Building Number Three, September 3, 1999

Sunday, September 5, 1999

I really believe that my background is fundamental to the success of UNP and my other books. That is, I was not one of the developers at Berkeley or ATT, so the writing of UNP was not a "memory dump". Everything that is in the book I had to dig out of somewhere and understand myself. This process of digging up the details and learning how things work leads down many side streets and to many dead ends, but is fundamental (I think) to understanding something new. Many times in my books I have set out to write how something works, thinking I know how it works, only to write some test programs that lead me to things that I never knew. I try to convey some of these missteps in my books, as I think seeing the wrong solution to a problem (and understanding why it is wrong) is often as informative as seeing the correct solution.
--W. Richard Stevens
Read the rest in W. Richard Stevens' FAQ

Friday, September 3, 1999

You need to run your full QA cycle on _all_ platforms you plan on supporting your app on, or there's no guarantee it'll work, as you're discovering. "Write Once Run Anywhere" is a marketing slogan, not reality, and anyway applies to the architecture of the app, not to polishing and testing it. For comparison, all Macs share the same OS and architecture, but real software releases need to be tested on a large variety of different systems and OS versions because there _are_ differences. Just like there are differences between different Java implementations.
--Jens Alfke on the mrj-dev mailing list

Thursday, September 2, 1999

Java is head and shoulders above everything else from the perspective of mobile code, but that that doesn't mean it's perfect. Unfortunately, you have to be perfect in order to be secure.
--Gary McGraw
Read the rest in CNET News.com - Malicious Java code uses IE to access computers

Wednesday, September 1, 1999

Nothing we have ever done has taken business away from Microsoft, and we are not about competing with Microsoft
--Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems
Read the rest in Microsoft confrontation downplayed by McNealy (8/31/1999)

Tuesday, August 31, 1999

In the race to the millennium, it looks like C++ will win, Java will place, and Perl will show. Some of you no doubt will wish we could erase those top two lines, but I don't think you should be unduly concerned. Note that both C++ and Java are systems programming languages. They're the two sports cars out in front of the race. Meanwhile, Perl is the fastest SUV, coming up in front of all the other SUVs. It's the best in its class.
--Larry Wall
Read the rest in 3rd State of the Perl Onion

Monday, August 30, 1999

Microsoft is not some big, stupid, screwed-up company. It is a big, smart screwed-up company.
--Robert X. Cringely
Read the rest in I, Cringely: The Pulpit

Sunday, August 29, 1999

I often find with Java that if you run the same program twice, the second run is significantly faster, presumably because the JVM is remembering something.
-- Michael Kay on the xsl-list mailing list

Friday, August 27, 1999

I understand politicians like to compromise and that faced with one group who say two plus two equals four and another group that says two plus two equals six, will tend to arrive at a position that says two plus two equals five. Unfortunately, sometimes the answer has to be four
--Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education
Read the rest in Republicans back creationism, scientists shocked (8/26/1999)

Thursday, August 26, 1999
It's prudent to avoid systems in which we can have executable content. There is no way you can have any assurance whatsoever that it will work.
--Peter Neumann
Read the rest in Business News from Wired News

Wednesday, August 25, 1999

JVMs won out over JavaOS. When you go back to when IBM first announced, part of the reasoning was that Java performance was a real question mark at that time. One of the thoughts was that in developing a Java-only operating system, Java applications running natively would be a lot faster than running on a JVM. That was true, but since that time, performance on JVMs has increased dramatically.
--Jeff Tieszen, IBM
Read the rest in CNET News.com - Sun, IBM decaffeinate JavaOS

Tuesday, August 24, 1999

The district court held that this case is a copyright infringement case and not a contract case and therefore presumed irreparable harm. It is not clear, however, how the district court reached its decision that this case should be analyzed under the copyright infringement standard.
--Circuit Judge Mary Schroeder
Read the rest in CNET News.com - How much weight does Java decision carry?

Monday, August 23, 1999

Whoever you are -- SGI, SCO, HP, or even Microsoft -- most of the smart people on the planet work somewhere else. The leverage you get from being able to use all those brains and eyeballs in addition to your own is colossal. It's a competitive advantage traditional operating-systems vendors are finding they can no longer ignore.
--Eric S. Raymond
Read the rest in Slashdot:The Re-Unification of Linux

Saturday, August 21, 1999

Beating on your chest and saying, "We are taking on Microsoft" is one sure way to get their attention. No one who has done that has survived.
--David Smith, Gartner Group
Read the rest in Microsoft: Resistance is futile

Friday, August 20, 1999

The quality of desktop sofware is, by any sensible standard, scandalously bad, with huge costs. Most users evidently that their time is worth nothing, because they're unwilling to pay more (or sometimes, less) for programs that don't screw up all the time.
--John R Levine on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Thursday, August 19, 1999

Obfuscators have serious drawbacks, so be wary. One of the biggest drawbacks is that some of them generate bytecode that can't pass the verifier. This is evil on a high order since people are then told to disable their verifier, which is A BAD IDEA.
--Kevin Herrboldt on the MRJ-Dev mailing list

Wednesday, August 18, 1999

I think Java is a great language. As the author of the GNU C++ compiler, I've seen a lot of C++ projects. I've seen a lot of projects that have used C++ successfully, and I've seen many which have not.

I have not written a Java program, but I have talked to a lot of people who know a lot about Java, and who have been able to convince me that Java ... as a language, is a better language than C++.

The bugaboo is that to Sun, Java is more than a language. It's a religious issue. It is deus ex machina -- the way that, hopefully, Sun will be able to scrape the Microsoft barnacles off of the computer industry. Sun has their agenda, which is basically replacing Microsoft with themselves and becoming the new leaders of this world. The problem is, though, that that is not actually what people are asking for. They are not asking for a new master, they are asking for commercial solutions.

--Michael Tiemann, Cygnus Solutions
Read the rest in An Interview with Michael Tiemann

Tuesday, August 17, 1999

Many software professionals have the mistaken belief that making the software "work" is the primary defining aspect of their jobs, but they never succeed in defining what it means for software to "work." Usually, it means the software performs as expected when the software developer uses it in fairly simple ways. Such software developers tend not to be concerned about whether the software does something useful, what happens if the customer uses the software differently, or tries to solve different problems than the ones envisioned by the developer. A common phrase heard within the halls of software companies is, "if the user does THAT, he deserves what he gets," where "THAT" might be anything unusual, such as trying to edit an entire book in a single word processor document, or trying to use every documented feature of a product.
--Ray Lischner on the Computer Book Publishing mailing list

Sunday, August 15, 1999

QA is important*, but you can't inspect quality into something that wasn't built to work. Reliable software is hard to write because it has so many parts, many of the parts interact with each other, and each point of interaction is a possible point of failure. My Unix system is very reliable largely because it has a small documented set of interfaces, which greatly limits the number of ways that programs can whack on each other and mail each other fair. Microsoft takes an opposite approach, anything can and does talk to anything else with wild abandon, leading to an unrelenting stream of "why did it do that?" that nobody can answer.
--John R. Levine on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Friday, August 13, 1999

Arguing that it is not feasible to review every line of code is a cop-out. The single most effective technique for finding and fixing software bugs is to read the source code. If a software vendor does not do a peer review on 100% of the source code, that vendor is guaranteed to sell defective software.
--Ray Lischner on the "Computer Book Publishing" mailing list

Thursday, August 12, 1999

The world has changed. The conversation years ago was primarily, "Which Windows development tools will you use?" That's not the conversation anymore. Now, it's which Web development tools they should use, and Microsoft is just one of the options.
--Mike Gilpin, Giga Information Group
Read the rest in CNET News.com - Reach, pay drawing developers to Java, Linux

Wednesday, August 11, 1999

An automobile is just a Java browser with tires
--Scott McNealy
Read the rest in Car giant General Motors 'dot-coms' itself (InfoWorld)

Tuesday, August 10, 1999

The goal is for you to be able to build world-class networks that you can't bring down without cutting the cables
--Hugh Daniels, Linux FreeS/WAN encryption project
Read the rest in Culture News from Wired News

Monday, August 9, 1999

There's no question that it's a little ridiculous that all companies--not just Microsoft--fly the flag of open standards when it suits them and clearly pursue their own advantage when it doesn't.
--Lucas Graves, Jupiter Communications.
Read the rest in Why open standards are a myth

Saturday, August 7, 1999

What we need is a shift in the mindset of how to use information. A lot of people still think that their email is safe from prying eyes or tampering. That's not true. We have to protect ourselves, and we have to know how to use the tools
--Ann Cavoukian, Ontario privacy commissioner
Read the rest in Political News from Wired News

Friday, August 6, 1999

there are a whole group of people who can't imagine learning Java without learning C and then C++ first, because thats what they had to do, and because they have a dog-eared copy of Kernighan and Pike on their shelf.

Go to Java. Go directly to Java. Do not assume because everybody else had to unlearn procedure in order to learn object orientation that you have to do the same.

--Clay Shirky on the wwwac mailing list

Thursday, August 5, 1999

The mere act of coding in Java isn't sufficient to guarantee cross-platform portability, any more than coding in C/C++ guarantees non-portability.
--Michael Brundage on the MRJ-Dev mailing list

Wednesday, August 4, 1999

A lot of programs written in Java work fine on the Mac until you try to save something to file or load something from file -- and then you find that the application is totally broken in that respect because it assumes UNIX or Windows file conventions like drive names (C:) or folder navigation (.. and .). A few programs avoid these problems out of some combination of luck and good programming style, and a few others were actually QA'd or even developed on the Mac.
--Michael Brundage on the MRJ-Dev mailing list

Tuesday, August 3, 1999

Programming languages themselves are not typically the main source of illogic. The source more likely lies in the environment in which the program must be developed. The most inconsistent and complex environments can still produce perfectly logical compiled code. And the more complex and illogical the environment is, the more likely engineers will flock to it, not because they intend to exclude anyone, but because they really love the challenge of complexity.
--Bruce Tognazzini
Read the rest in AskTog: How Programers Stole the Web

Sunday, August 1, 1999

Usually, the louder Microsoft protests, the more I believe the opposite. But this time I can't help thinking the company may be on to something. We may be expecting too much from Java. And that could be a very expensive mistake.
--Jesse Berst
Read the rest in Time to Rethink Java? Corel Blunder Points Out Expensive Dangers

Wednesday, July 28, 1999

As 20,000 JavaOne attendees swept into the Moscone Convention Center in downtown San Francisco last month, I wondered how many of them, underneath their tired-but-wired faces, were secretly mocking the ridiculousness of this developer conference. No one seems to talk about it out loud, but JavaOne is pretty laughable.
--Mariva H. Aviram
Read the rest in What Sun won't tell you about JavaOne

Monday, July 26, 1999

You have seen Sun take the position that Java is completely proprietary, that is that nobody other than Sun can do a compatible implementation. And they've had to come out of the woodwork on this as they were sort of suggesting to certain standards bodies, "hey, you should have Java things in it", and then people finally asked the question in black and white, "well, in this Microsoft lawsuit you're saying nobody can ever be compatible without paying you arbitrary royalties, is that right?" And they delayed, and they delayed, and they delayed. And finally, because of the court suit they had to answer the question that, yes, this is the world's first proprietary computer language. And how does that affect us? Not as much as you might think. We have Java in the marketplace today, people are using it. We wanted to be able to have a normal standards committee guide the direction of that language. And that's always what we've been saying is that, "hey, have a one man one vote kind of a standards committee for it, and make it like every other thing that flies under the flag of being some kind of open standard."

It looks like Sun is going to thwart any innovation in that language, and they'll just control everything that gets done with it, which is fine. You know, we'll have Java as one of the languages we offer, and we'll have other languages as well. That's a big difference between our strategy and theirs. They want you to rewrite all the code in the world. We don't think that's a realistic thing, or a reasonable use of people's energy.

--Bill Gates
Read the rest in 1999 Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting

Saturday, July 24, 1999

Speaking theoretically, I think the likelihood of success of an open-source project is greater when the user base is widest. For example, everyone uses an operating system, and almost everyone uses Web servers, so those are areas where there's been a lot of activity and interest. For something like a program that does analysis of satellite photos for oil companies for new areas to drill, the users of that software are so few and the market so wealthy (nobody minds paying high dollars for that software), with so little need to do customization, that open source is unlikely to produce any value to the overall users of that software.

I think for practical reasons we've seen a fairly linear progression from compilers to system utilities to operating systems to graphical environments to end-user applications. This is because of the developer/user ratio. When that ratio is really high, meaning when all the users are capable of also being developers, open-source is an ideal solution. When that ratio is low, meaning software for which most users aren't inclined to want to personally see or to improve the code (such as end-user applications), the value to an open-source approach decreases. But over time, as the number of developers overall increases, as projects become better organized, etc., [it becomes] more likely that those types of low-developer-ratio projects will be pursued.

--Brian Behlendorf
Read the rest in developerWorks

Thursday, July 22, 1999

Whereas PersonalJava was considered by many a failure, Java Card -- the Java specification for smart cards -- was considered by just as many to be a success....The difference, perhaps, was that Java Card was the solution to the problem of programming smart cards, whereas PersonalJava was a product in search of a problem.
--Chuck Mcmanis
Read the rest in The Palm V meets J2ME - JavaWorld August 1999

Saturday, July 17, 1999

...you should be able to test these software components once, and then run them anywhere. If you have sufficient space and time, they should compute the same result independent of where they are run.

For physical objects, we have a nice property in the universe that the laws of physics are the same so that if you move things around the planet, the behavior of a physical object doesn't change. If we had the same property for our software then we could move software objects around and their behavior wouldn't change.

--Bill Joy
Read the rest in The Joy of Computing

Wednesday, July 14, 1999

Systems designed by individuals wearing Dilbert t-shirts and jeans for others in Dilbert t-shirts and jeans is always a bad idea.
--Todd Burgess
Read the rest in osOpinion: Tech Opinion commentary for the people, by the people.

Monday, July 12, 1999

Sun's Community Source License (CSL) is a set of restrictions, not a set of rights. You may not show or discuss the source with anyone else who has not agreed to the CSL. You may not use any code-fragments in any code you develop, no matter how small nor obvious. You may not reuse any of the intellectual property embodied in the source in any way -- disputes to be settled by arbitration or in the courts, with you against Sun's phalanx of lawyers. Other restrictions may apply.

The CSL also gives you certain rights. You have the right to find Sun's bugs without being paid. You have the right to give all your fixes to Sun without recompense or credit (at Sun's sole discretion). You have the right for Sun to ignore your bug-fixes for as long as it chooses, Sun being the sole arbiter to incorporating fixes. You have the right to discuss the source only with others who have these rights (but no one else, lest your rights immediately terminate). You also have the interminable right to do your own future work under a looming shadow of "tainted intellectual property" a.k.a. unauthorized derivative works. Other equally enviable rights may apply.

--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Saturday, July 10, 1999

If you read about Spotless (the ancestor of the KJavaVM that we all got on our PalmV's at the conference), you learn that they found that roughly the first 130K bytecodes executed all have to do with I/O initialization and internationalization -- stuff the typical app doesn't even use. In order to fit into 40Kb and not spend the first two hours spinning wheels, the Spotless VM tosses all that stuff out the window. In general, the whitepapers at http://www.sunlabs.com/research/spotless/ have a lot to say about why the typical JavaVM is so big and slow.
--Michael Brundage on the mrj-dev mailing list

Friday, July 9, 1999

On the whole, developers like working in Java (I sure do). Thus, they tend to attribute project success, to some extent, to the use of Java. Yet, the pleasure of working in Java tends to make these same developers unwilling to attribute some of their failures to Java, as well. If we did, the reasoning goes, management might forbid us from using Java in the next project and we would hate that. Instead, we say "next time" or "real soon now" or "with JDK N+1" or "when we upgrade to MiracleWare 3.0", and optimistically gloss over Java's all too real shortcomings.
--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Thursday, July 8, 1999

Not every platform has every glyph for every UniCode character. You probably shouldn't count on being able to draw every UniCode character or sequence on every platform. Strangely, I don't think anything in the Java spec says that every UniCode character must be renderable on every platform. It's sort of a blind-faith assumption on AWT's part, nor is there a mechanism to distinguish renderable from unrenderable glyphs or combinations.
--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Wednesday, July 7, 1999

CaffeineMark isn't particularly useful.
--Ross Nelson on the mrj-dev mailing list

Tuesday, July 6, 1999

the bytecode interpreter is trivial -- if you're a good C programmer, you can write one yourself in a weekend. The killer is all the other stuff the class libraries support, particular AWT, but also networking and I/O. This is how embedded VMs have been able to get cleanroom implementations up and running so quickly, and fit them into such a small space -- they subsetted (or completely omitted) huge portions of the standard libraries. If you're willing to sacrifice all output but System.out.println(), you really can write a JavaVM in a weekend. If you want full AWT support on some operating systems, it would be do-able but take months.
--Michael Brundage on the MRJ-Dev mailing list

Monday, July 5, 1999

I'm am a long time (since 84) Mac user and fan. I have a museum of Mac artifacts (most of which still work). I have stood by the Mac, through the thick and the thin, hoping for it to come out on top. I became a Java developer because of the promise of write-once-run-anywhere, and for several years that worked. Using the Mac, I was able to develop and expertise in Java. I wrote all my early Java on a Mac, I became Java certified using my Mac, I wrote articles about Java on my Mac. I ported wintel and unix Java apps to the Mac so that the Mac community could use them. I used my time and expertise to support the Mac Java community in the MRJ-dev list. I am happy to have done this because it have made me a better Java developer and a better person.

But those days are over now. Apple and I no longer share the same vision. I have a dream of Java, a Java that will transform that way we have been interacting with computers, just as the Internet has done. I may sound naive, but this is what I'm betting my career on. And the Mac on my desktop doesn't help me at all.

--Paul Philion on the MRJ-Dev mailing list

Monday, June 28, 1999

Well if Java isn't delivering everyday apps, what *IS* it delivering? A few applets are compelling, though most, sadly, are needless fluff. Servlets are a great way to do certain things on servers, that would otherwise be difficult or impossible. Middle-ware and enterprise Java solutions seem to be booming. But these are far from mass market or everyday-user applications. Indeed, many are administrator or power-user apps, or are custom-made for specific businesses, or for specific market niches, or even for specific entertainment ends (intentional fluff). Could it be that Java's strength is simply the ease with which programmers create new things with it (malleability)? Such malleability comes at a price, though -- runtime speed, RAM consumption, class-library size, etc. Perhaps not coincidentally, the domains where malleability is most valued are willing to pay that price, since even a sluggish RAM-hungry solution is often better than no solution at all. But what businesses accept or tolerate for business reasons doesn't necessarily translate into the mass market of everyday software.
--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Friday, July 2, 1999

What is a "collection" anyway? What Java calls a collection is really a bag. What Java calls a set is really a set of memory locations. What Java calls a class...don't get me started. Once upon a time, "collection", "class" and "set" all meant the same thing. Then computer scientists reinvented everything. In a perfect world we would all be using SETL (the World's Most Wonderful Programming Language) and we would seldom ask what "class" our sets are "backed by".
--Dr. Richard S. Wallace on the java-gods mailing list

Thursday, July 1, 1999

It appears the same thing that's happening in the garment and agricultural industries is happening in Silicon Valley. It's the misuse of independent contractors to avoid labor laws, to shield the real employer.
--Tom Rankin, president of the California Labor Federation
Read the rest in Piecework

Wednesday, June 30, 1999

The reason there are very few "shrink-wrap" Java apps is, as I've been saying for about 2 years, largely due to the "100% Pure Java Initiative". 100PJ discourages the development of real-world, user-friendly software. It provides an economic incentive to develop bad, "generic brand" software.
--Chris Kelly on the MRJ-DEV mailing list

Tuesday, June 29, 1999

Sun's basic approach seems to be to flood the world with APIs at such a rate that Java licensees will be so swamped with trying to implement them all that they simply won't have time to innovate on any Java technologies of their own; this helps Sun keep a lock on the platform.
--Jens Alfke on the mrj-dev mailing list

Monday, June 28, 1999

There's also the "flop factor" to remember -- attempts to produce such apps that failed or were withdrawn before completion (or even starting) -- WordPerfect in Java being a memorable case. By any rational measure of the mass market, Java has failed to deliver everyday applications to everyday users, whatever the reasons.
--Greg Guerin on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Saturday, June 26, 1999

I don't think that Java actually has adopted any of the open-source principles yet. I think that Sun does more marketing, uses open source as a marketing vehicle than as a real development vehicle. Sun has always been very nervous about Microsoft, obviously, and still has all these basically limitations about what you can do with it (Java). Even companies like HP who used to be very vendor neutral have basically decided they can't work with Sun when it comes to Java. So HP has been walking in the Microsoft camp because they decided the Sun licensing, the Sun politics when it came to Java was just not something they could work with.
--Linus Torvalds
Read the rest in Linus Torvalds -- The father of Linux talks about the OS' heritage and future

Friday, June 25, 1999

The Java community ( which I think is collectively delusional on this topic) has to ask itself why, after all this time, there are almost no Java applications out there, particularly on Wintel, which would be the litmus test. I use UNIX and Wintel machines a lot and if I have never found a Java application that came close to the 'quality' ( i.e. meets user requirements for speed, look and feel, resource usage) of a native app.
--Andrew Cunningham on the mrj-dev mailing list

Thursday, June 24, 1999

Bad advocacy killed OS/2, The Amiga, and still threatens the Mac- don't let this happen to Linux.
--Rob Malda
Read the rest in Slashdot:Mindcraft Posts Linux Hate Mail

Wednesday, June 23, 1999

The secret to Java is that all of their APIs are reasonably good implementations with fairly simple interfaces. Nothing is super fancy or hardcore optimized, but it all works pretty well. When you start to dig deep you find all sorts of problems, but most people never go that far.
--Nelson Minar on the java-gods mailing list

Tuesday, June 22, 1999

if Apple wants any respect or support from the Java community, their management is going to have to buckle down and deliver Java2 by early next year.
--Donald McLean on the mrj-dev mailing list

Friday, June 18, 1999

I've thought before, and I'll say it now, that Java would benefit from being split into Java for Network and Java for Applications. I constantly feel like my app is being hobbled in order to support the ability to crank someone else's applet through a browser.
--Patrick Coskren on the mrj-dev mailing list

Tuesday, June 8, 1999

Censorship is no longer a plausible solution to real or perceived dangers, political issues or social problems. Prominent among its many legacies, the Internet has gravely wounded, if not killed, the very idea of censorship, probably for good.

If you have any doubts, consider "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," who, along with her many fans, has not only taken down a passel of demons but humiliated a craven corporation as well in a much more dramatic finale than the show's writers could have imagined.

The drama over the season finale of "Buffy" demonstrate that there are just too many people out there with too much access to too many computers for censorship to work anymore.

This is horrendous news to religions, governments, corporations, educational institutions, journalists, and moral gatekeepers who for centuries have been telling people what they should see, read and hear.

--Jon Katz
Read the rest in Slashdot:Bootlegging Buffy

Wednesday, June 2, 1999

The Unix community in particular is going to have to come to grips with the idea that more powerful is not necessarily the same as better.
--Paul Prescod on the xml-dev mailing list

Tuesday, June 1, 1999

many corporate IT departments are biased against free software, because it bypasses the purchasing process. The purchasing process, of course, is a major source of control.
--Jim Buyens on the Computer Book Publishing mailing list

Friday, May 28, 1999

As a submitter, we're not trusted as a single company.
--Jim Mitchell, a JavaSoft vice president
Read the rest in Technology News from Wired News

Thursday, May 27, 1999

HotSpot takes longer to optimize something that the standard JIT. Most relatively short benchmarks (such as the dreaded CaffeineMark) run faster in Java2 using the "-classic" switch. This is not 'no-jit' it is 'standard jit' as opposed to 'hotspot compiliation'.
--Ross Nelson on the mrj-dev mailing list

Wednesday, May 26, 1999

We can't have four Web servers. What is going away is the Sun Web servers, because the Netscape Enterprise Server and FastTrack have bigger market share and a bigger installed base. The Sun Web Server and Java Web Server--both great Web servers--didn't have the market presence.
--Tom Lee
Read the rest in CNET News.com - Alliance gives Netscape's servers the nod

Tuesday, May 25, 1999

So far performance of JVMs in general, not just GUI code, is terrible on Solaris. It's better than on Linux, but the Linux JVMs (that I've used, anyway) aren't yet using JIT technology. The win with using Solaris for Java applications is all in the server and all due to scalability -- you can run a BIG application with a lot of threads and I/O requirements on a Solaris box and you can't on an Intel box.
--Jim Frost on the advanced-java mailing list

Monday, May 24, 1999

We actually had cases where we (almost) matched the C++ code speed - as long as we were very careful about reusing instead of creating/releasing objects (inside loops etc.). Java isn't inherently slow, it just encourages a "create and forget" type of programming which is.
--Oren Ben-Kiki on the XSL mailing list

Sunday, May 23, 1999

Actually, I've only ever claimed Python had one virtue: it doesn't suck. Java comes in second place for unsucky-ness but the current debate about how to work around its type system makes me think twice.

I think that it is actually pretty pathetic that programming languages haven't moved far beyond Python by now but all I can do is use the least annoying of them.

--Paul Prescod on the xml-dev mailing list

Saturday, May 22, 1999

Abandoning a language you know well is not so rare. Most Python users are refugees from other languages that seemed perfect for a while (Perl, Scheme, Smalltalk) but got less perfect as they became expert at it.
--Paul Prescod on the xml-dev mailing list

Friday, May 21, 1999

What I see in Jini is in the short term a way for practical zero (well, epsilon) administration for SOHO, and a way to do really neat things for mobile computing. In the long term, I simply love the idea of replacing the PCI bus with a 1000 ethernet micro hub. Instead of having a fat ugly box it is a hassle to upgrade, you have a small pile of cubes plugging into the network, which you can upgrade individually, just by plugging one out and plugging a new one in. USB and FireWire give some of this to an individual user; Jini can give it to a whole net.
--Oren Ben-Kiki on the xml-dev mailing list

Wednesday, May 19, 1999

I don't think Microsoft needs to be involved in the 'process of killing Java'. Sun is so paranoid at this point, and is making so many enemies so rapidly, that Microsoft can just sit back and watch them thrash.
--Simon St.Laurent on the wwwac mailing list

Tuesday, May 18, 1999

...the reason Pascal never caught on was it's lack of standardized I/O
--David LeBlanc on the xsl mailing list

Monday, May 17, 1999

If Sun was uncertain about how their view on maintenance would be viewed by the ISO, they were uninformed
--Jim Isaak, IEEE
Read the rest in Technology News from Wired News

Sunday, May 16, 1999

all of what Sun is up to at the moment is simply PR spin. I don't think it gives two hoots about getting an ISO standard for Java any more. I think it wanted one two years ago, but doesn't think it needs one any more to make lots of money out of Java and harm Microsoft in the process, which are, of course, the only two things Sun really cares about. It can't be seen to just give up on standardisation, since it made such a fuss about it originally and has left so many developers expecting it. It's looking for ways to make its own U-turn look like someone else's fault.
--Eric Gufford on the sc22jsg1 mailing list

Saturday, May 15, 1999

When the person from the patent department comes around and asks if you have invented anything, just say you have invented a lot, but nothing that hasn't been invented before. Now just go away, and let me do my job.
--Tim Berners-Lee
Read the rest in Berners-Lee Says Patents Obstruct An Open Web

Friday, May 14, 1999

I find Sun's claims that developers will unwittingly be seduced into writing platform-specific code to be patronizing in the extreme (especially considering that they added their own little goodies like Runtime.exec that are nearly impossible _not_ to use in a platform specific manner.)
--Jens Alfke on the MRJ-Dev List mailing list

Friday, May 7, 1999

Government efforts to control encryption thus may well implicate not only the First Amendment rights of cryptographers intent on pushing the boundaries of their science, but also the constitutional rights of each of us as potential recipients of encryption's bounty
-- 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Betty Fletcher (Myron Bright concurring)
Read the rest in Political News from Wired News

Thursday, May 6, 1999

I think this is to some degree a great adventure in worthless expense. I don't see how an ISO standard will help or harm Sun in any way,
--Anne Thomas, an analyst with Patricia Seybold Group
Read the rest in CNET News.com - Sun renews Java standards effort

Wednesday, May 5, 1999

In C++ and Java I experience a certain amount of angst when you ask how to do this and they say, "Well, you do it like this or you could do it like that." There are obviously too many features if you can do something that many ways—and they are more or less equivalent.
--Ken Thompson
Read the rest in Computer: Interview with Ken Thompson, May 1999

Sunday, May 2, 1999

The standard component model of the future will be EJB. Even though COM+ is a great architecture, it lacks persistence and certain messaging capabilities so it will only be able handle simple client/server applications. It will take Microsoft at least five years to rearchitect COM+ to be able to handle the same capabilities that EJB can handle today.
--BEA Chairman and CEO Bill Coleman
Read the rest in BEA's Coleman touts EJB for app dev future (InfoWorld)

Saturday, May 1, 1999

I don't have lot of confidence in CaffeineMark; there seems to be little correlation between CaffeineMark performance and any other performance measures (javac, our own compiler, Jess, CN2) across a wide variety of VMs that we tested this against.
--David Chase on the advanced-java mailing list

Friday, April 30, 1999

It's very much in character for Sun to lay the blame for everything at Microsoft's feet, but in this case, the facts do not support Baratz's statements. The reality is Microsoft did not change the process. We don't have the power. We didn't spend millions of dollars. This is a smoke screen. They're trying to back out and pin the blame on us.
-- John Montgomery, product manager with Microsoft's Standards Activities Group
Read the rest in Technology News from Wired News

Wednesday, April 28, 1999

Sun's interest has changed considerably since the days it played a leading role in bringing the industry together under the OMG banner. Today, Sun's only interest in the OMG is as a rubber stamp organization for Sun's own Java technologies.
--Roger Sessions
Read the rest in CORBA 3.0 POSTMORTEM

Tuesday, April 27, 1999

The big story out of Littleton isn't about violence on the Internet, or whether or not video games are turning out kids into killers. It's about the fact that for some of the best, brightest and most interesting kids, high school is a nightmare of exclusion, cruelty, warped values and anger.
--Jon Katz
Read the rest in Slashdot:Voices From The Hellmouth

Saturday, April 24, 1999

The JCP may feel like an 'open' process if you're a mammoth, or even if you're a reasonably well-off sabre-toothed tiger, but to us small mammals, it's the same old s***, different day, that we get from standards organizations. We get to run around among the mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers wearing funny lenses that blur our vision and working with tools that may not have been created with our needs in mind.

The price of _joining_ the process (as a partner, where it appears you do have more influence) is even more irritating because Sun is, after all, a vendor. If I really wanted to give Sun Microsystems a sizable check, I'd expect at least a Sparc 5 with a huge monitor to show up in return. Giving Sun $5000 so this poor company can manage a not-so-open process ('Process Cost Sharing') is ridiculous.

Given that $5000 pays all my expenses for a few months, the cost to small business and self-employed folks is outrageous. I'd love to participate in the process as a 'full' member, contributing time (which costs me something too), the standard currency for open source and open process participation, rather than a large sum of money that goes nowhere.

--Simon St.Laurent on the xml-dev mailing list

Friday, April 23, 1999

RandomAccessFile is really a horrible API
--Jens Alfke on the MRJ-Dev List mailing list

Wednesday, April 21, 1999

Unicode *is* being used all over the world. Without trying to sound too grandiose, it is important to realize that Unicode is incredibly widely used today - the people using it just don't realize it. Around the world and in Asia, in Japan and all parts of China, it is a safe bet that >50% of text being written today on computers is stored as Unicode (Microsoft Word97, Word98, and JustSystems' Ichitaro). In Asia, over 50% of Internet content, in particular around 65% of Korean content is now viewed in Unicode (Internet Explorer), even if the web content itself is not stored in Unicode. This trend is continuing: Word97 Korean is already Unicode, Hangul and Computer plans to move their AreA Hangul word processor to Unicode, and Navigator 5 will be based on Unicode. Besides word processors and browsers, there are other programs used everyday in Korea like Excel97 and PowerPoint97 that use precomposed Unicode Hangul syllables. And Office2000 will add Access2000, based on Unicode, using precomposed Hangul. So, the myth of Unicode "non-adoption" is just a myth.
--Chris Pratley on the Unicode mailing list

Saturday, April 17, 1999

The Java platform is ready for prime time. Java 2 sports an impressive battalion of APIs that can do almost anything you can imagine. As a platform, Java has finally matured to the point where serious applications are possible. It's clear to me that applications like Photoshop, FrameMaker, and (Heaven forbid) Word can now be written in Java.
--Jonathan Knudsen
Read the rest in O'Reilly Java Center -- News

Thursday, April 15, 1999

Java does not expose many of the I/O capabilities that are synonymous with high performance. Examples include memory mapped files and asynchronous I/O. Heck, it doesn't even expose non-blocking I/O.
--Gabe Beged-Dov on the xml-dev mailing list

Wednesday, April 14, 1999

...execution speed is not the only important factor in system development. It's often important to have the system done twice as fast (a number of studies have shown that Java programmers are twice as productive as C/C++ ones), or be more stable when it's been declared "feature complete" (e.g. no pointer smashes)
--David Brownell on the xml-dev mailing list

Wednesday, April 7, 1999

I am sorry, I can't read your new book on Java I/O right now since I'm reading a book called Java Network Programming by Elliotte Somebody or Other.
--John Kordyback

Sunday, April 4, 1999

Because Java is a relatively new language, optimizing compiler features are less sophisticated that those available for C and C++, leaving room for more "hand-crafting". The "hand" optimization of key sections identified by profilers such as the profiler available in Sun's Java WorkShop 2.0 can reap substantial benefits.

One of the more common problems in Java applications is inefficient I/O. A profile of Java applications and applets that handle significant volumes of data will show significant time spent in I/O routines, implying substantial gains can be had from I/O performance tuning. In fact, the I/O performance issues, usually overshadow all other performance issues making them the first area to concentrate on when tuning performance. Therefore, I/O efficiency should be a high priority for developers looking to optimally increase performance. Unfortunately, optimal reading and writing can be challenging in Java. Streamlining the use of I/O often results in greater performance gains than all other possible optimizations combined. It is not uncommon to see a speed improvement of at least an order of magnitude using efficient I/O techniques...

--Daniel Lord and Achut Reddy
Read the rest in Java I/O Performance Tuning

Friday, April 2, 1999

Let me assure you that whatever problems the Mozilla project is having are not because open source doesn't work. Open source does work, but it is most definitely not a panacea. If there's a cautionary tale here, it is that you can't take a dying project, sprinkle it with the magic pixie dust of ``open source,'' and have everything magically work out. Software is hard. The issues aren't that simple.
--Jamie Zawinski
Read the rest in nomo zilla

Tuesday, March 30, 1999

Our experiments do not support the folklore that Java interpreters are 10 times slower than C, except when the excruciatingly slow I/O libraries are involved; otherwise the ratio is much smaller. Using buffered I/O functions improves runtimes, but by no more than a factor of two. Just-in-time compilation can have a significant effect, usually beneficial.
--Brian Kernighan and Chris van Wyk
Read the rest in Timing Trials, or, the Trials of Timing: Experiments with Scripting and User-Interface Languages

Sunday, March 28, 1999

I'm surprised that object databases aren't more popular. My personal theory is that the ascendance of C++ is responsible for the floundering of object databases. Anyone intelligent can quickly write a highly reliable program in Smalltalk or Common Lisp. But the world embraced C++, a language in which almost nobody has ever managed to write a reliable program. Corporations tend to be conservative about databases, among their most valuable assets. They never developed enough trustworthy C++ applications to make an object database worth buying and hence they continued to program in SQL.

Java to some extent restores programmers to where they were in 1978 with their Xerox Smalltalk environment or MIT Lisp Machine. Since Java seems to have enough money behind it to catch on and object databases are very naturally suited to backing up Java programs, I predict an increase in object database popularity.

--Philip Greenspun
Read the rest in Introduction to Database Management Systems

Saturday, March 27, 1999

Java virtual machines have been embedded in commercial browsers since 1996. Tens of millions of these Java-capable browsers have been installed on desktops worldwide with remarkably little impact; most people cannot think of a valuable Web service that has been made more useful via client-side Java.
--Philip Greenspun
Read the rest in Thesis Overview

Friday, March 26, 1999

I don't think Java or Inferno (Lucent's embedded operating system) are going to succeed for embedded devices. They have missed the significance of Moore's Law. At first it sounds good to design an optimized system specific for a particular embedded device, but by the time you have a workable design, Moore's Law will have brought the price of more powerful hardware within range, undermining the value of designing for a specific device. Everything is getting so cheap that you might as well have the same system on your desktop as in your embedded device. It will make everyone's life easier.
--Linus Torvalds
Read the rest in The story of the Linux kernel

Thursday, March 25, 1999

Contrast Linux for a moment with ventures that have had strong commercial backing, like Java or Windows NT. The excitement about Java has convinced many people that "write once, run anywhere" is a worthy goal. We're moving into a time when a wider and wider range of hardware is being used for computing, so indeed this is an important value. Sun didn't invent the idea of "write once, run anywhere," however. Portability has long been a holy grail of the computer industry. Microsoft, for example, originally hoped that Windows NT would be a portable operating system, one that could run on Intel machines, but also on RISC machines common in the workstation environment. Linux never had such an ambitious original goal. It's ironic, then, that Linux has become such a successful medium for cross-platform code.
--Linus Torvalds
Read the rest in The story of the Linux kernel

Wednesday, March 24, 1999

This seemed to be the gravest and most observable tension: the mainstream software industry has observed that Open Source is a powerful way of getting big things done. But they don't understand why. And it may be that they're incapable of getting it. To paraphrase a line of dialogue from a film not directed by Stanley Kubrick, maybe they can't handle the truth.

Much has been written in recent decades about the market value of trust. The larger story seems to be that trust is the highest efficiency; when two parties trust each other to do their best and live up to their agreements -- made most likely, some would argue, by the context of superseding community values -- the engines of commerce run at peak performance. But businessmen are very often untrustworthy (surprise!), and thus markets do not operate at maximum efficiency.

The continuing question in management circles is how to quantitatively represent and value trust on the corporate balance sheet. The most probable answer is that -- on a macro level, at least -- you can't. All but the very smallest markets and transactions are incapable of recognizing the value of trust. So laws are substituted as proxy. Businessmen sign contracts so that when one side doesn't live up to a promise, the other side sues, and the courts punish. It's not nearly as effective as a real community, but it'll have to do.

This suggests to me that one of the reasons Open Source works -- and why business doesn't "get it" -- is that its practitioners have all implicitly pledged allegiance to a higher standard of trust and shared values. Call it the Hacker Code of Ethics, if you will. Open Source is more than anything else a way of getting everyone on the same side of the table, working together on the same problems, for the collective good of the computing community. And it works. The efficiencies in software development made possible by the Open Source framework are truly awesome. Who would ever have foreseen that a loosely-knit band of enthusiasts -- many of them amateurs, some of them teenagers -- might present an imminent threat to the digital powers that be?

--Thomas Scoville
Read the rest in Summit Piece

Tuesday, March 23, 1999

Computers are beyond dumb, they're mind-numbingly stupid. They're hostile. rigid, capricious, and unforgiving. They're impossibly demanding and they never learn anything.
--John R Levine on the Computer Book Publishing mailing list

Monday, March 22, 1999

Apple has grasped perfectly the concept with which "open source" is promoted, which is "show users the source and they will help you fix bugs". What Apple has not grasped--or has dismissed--is the spirit of free software, which is that we form a community to cooperate on the commons of software.
--Richard Stallman
Read the rest in Linux Today: Richard Stallman -- Apple's non-free source license

Friday, March 19, 1999

Modern super-scalar processors with deep memory hierarchies and complex compiler optimization stages make it *extremely* difficult to predict which code or data structure variant is more efficient. Old rules of thumb and "common sense" are not of much use any more for distinguishing more and less performant algorithms of comparable complexity on a late 1990s processor. Surprises are frequent. Design decisions on performance grounds should today only be made after real measurements and much of what you learned 10 years ago about manual optimization is obsolete these days.
--Markus Kuhn on the Unicode mailing list

Thursday, March 18, 1999

Apple can say, arbitrarily, no one can use this software any more and we have no path of appeal. We're sure they have no intention of doing that, but we need to close up these loopholes now.
--Bruce Perens
Read the rest in Technology News from Wired News

Wednesday, March 17, 1999

When Java 1.0 was released, it contained 212 classes and interfaces, grouped into 8 packages. That was a very manageable size. With Java 1.1, the Java platform grew to include 504 classes and interfaces grouped into 23 packages˜more than double the size of the initial release. The Java 2 platform contains 1520 classes and interfaces in 59 packages. This is three times as large as Java 1.1, and seven times as large as the initial released that fit so nicely in a Nutshell. Add in the important standard extensions available today, and the Java platform grows to 98 packages and well over 2,000 classes and interfaces. That's a complete order of magnitude larger than Java 1.0!
--David Flanagan, author of Java in a Nutshell and the Java Power Reference

Tuesday, March 16, 1999

When you buy a car, you start with the base model and add packages of interest. You don't start with the luxury model and remove everything but the bulletproof glass. Seems to me that software companies could learn a thing or two from the rest of the world. Commonsense design is not very common.
--Bruce Epstein on the Computer Book Publishing mailing list

Saturday, March 13, 1999

We believe that open source is the best way to provide true compatibility between competing Java implementations, and is the only way to prevent fragmentation of the language.
--Tim Wilkinson, Transvirtual CEO
Read the rest in CNET News.com - HP steams ahead on Java

Tuesday, March 9, 1999

Many modern computer languages aspire to be minimalistic. They either succeed in being minimalistic, in which case they're relatively useless, or they don't succeed in being truly minimalistic, in which case you can actually solve real problems with them. A number of languages give lip service to the idea of minimalism, but merely sweep the complexity of the problem under the carpet of the programmer. C is a minimalistic language, but only if you don't count all the libraries that are necessary to use it usefully. C++ is obviously not trying to be minimalistic. Unix is considered by some to be a minimalistic operating system, but the fact of the matter is that if you think of Unix as a programming language, it's far richer than even Perl. Perl is, by and large, a digested and simplified version of Unix. Perl is the Cliff Notes of Unix.
--Larry Wall, inventor of Perl
Read the rest in Perl, the first postmodern computer language

Monday, March 8, 1999

I personally want to take over the world. I want to take over the world because I'm an egomaniac. A nice sort of egomaniac, an egomaniac moderated by belief in the value of humility, but an egomaniac nonetheless.
--Larry Wall, Inventor of Perl
Read the rest in Perl, the first postmodern computer language

Wednesday, March 3, 1999

Let's face it, using punctuation marks in filenames can have differing results on different platforms. Using a ":" on Windows or MacOS will get you in trouble, as will using a "/" on Unix. If you really want total compatibility, stick to alphanumeric characters and a few known quantities like "." and "_".
--Jens Alfke on the MRJ-dev mailing list

Saturday, February 27, 1999

Sun seems to be trying to pick up some of the "open source" buzz currently going around while still keeping their source proprietary.
--John Brewer on the mrj-dev mailing list

Friday, February 26, 1999

If Sun, with its Community Source License, maintains its control of Java, then all you're doing is swapping a Windows API for a JavaSoft API, and that doesn't seem like a particularly good deal to me
--Tim Wilkinson, chief executive of Transvirtual
Read the rest in CNET News.com - Sun hesitant on Solaris licensing plans

Thursday, February 25, 1999

Markup *is* the essential characteristic of XML -- XML is a markup standard that describes how to represent a hierarchical structure in a linear sequence of characters. XML is *not* a complete system design, a Golden Hammer, or an investor-appeal buzz-word.
--David Megginson on the xml-dev mailing list

Tuesday, February 23, 1999

Most Java VM implementations search the interface list back to front so that most often used interface (i.e. org.w3c.dom.Node) should be the last interface in the 'implements' list.
--Don Park on the xml-dev mailing list

Monday, February 22, 1999

Some observers have laid the blame for Microsoft's legal fiasco at the feet of its attorneys, some of the nation's best antitrust litigators. The critics are missing the point. The lawyers are saddled with the worst of all worlds: a mountain of incriminating evidence against a client who not only acts guilty but is monumentally arrogant to boot.
--Dan Gillmor
Read the rest in What awaits Microsoft after the trial? (2/20/1999)

Sunday, February 21, 1999

Hand over the domain name, or we will take you through a procedure we understand and you do not that is unlike your national courts, and whose rules appear in a language you may not speak or read if you are not fluent in one of the world's major languages. You will be given a list of potential deciders to choose from whom our lawyers know, or at least know of, and you do not. We represent to you in this impressive letter on the letterhead of our expensive law firm that we will win with ease. We think it only fair to warn you that if you lose you will pay all arbitral fees and costs [which, even if they are quite a bit more modest by arbitral standards than I fear they would be -- say, US $1000 -- would be more than 15 times the value of the original contract at current prices and a higher multiple if the price of registration drops]. Of course, even though you are not a lawyer, you are free to research the law and equity in this area, or to engage trademark counsel at high fees. But you will never be compensated for your time and effort even if our demand is not in fact meritorious. And, oh yes, don't limit your research to the laws of your country because the arbitrator might use decisional principles drawn from 'a set of guiding principles that endeavor to identify the dominant considerations that national courts cases have taken into account' even if these principles are not recognized by the courts of your country. If we win, the decision will go into effect immediately, without even a decent interval for you to find a court to appeal to. If you happen to have the misfortune to live in a place whose courts have no jurisdiction over us, we do not consent to the jurisdiction of that court to enter either a stay of the order or to decide the ultimate merits. Furthermore, be advised that once we have the domain name re- assigned to us, there may be an issue as to whether you even have a cause of action against us, or standing to sue us, where we live. Nevertheless, after you lose please feel free to engage foreign counsel to sue us where we reside, but remember that you have to do it immediately or the decision goes into effect and there is no procedure for automatically staying it once you do find a lawyer to bring a case in a court of competent jurisdiction. You also will need to pay your lawyers twice: once for the emergency stay order, and then a second time to litigate the merits. And if our courts are slow, and the goodwill, traffic, or other interests associated with your domain are destroyed by our action, you have no claim in tort, absent outright fraud on our part, since you agreed to all this in your registration contract. Of course, if we lose, we reserve the right to bring suit against you in any court where there is jurisdiction -- including the place where the registrar is located, wherever that may happen to be, since you agreed to this in your registration contract.
--Michael Froomkin, University of Miami School of Law
Read the rest in A Critique of WIPO's RFC 3

Friday, February 19, 1999

Sun still retains their intellectual property rights, still maintains control over what is Java, still controls the process by which new releases of Java come out, still controls the trademark, and they still get the revenue.
--Anne Thomas, Patricia Seybold Group analyst
Read the rest in Sun posts Java 2

Thursday, February 18, 1999

The only thing that's spec'ed in Java is the behavior of the virtual machine. Everything above that is very loosely defined, particularly AWT. You can look at the javadoc comments or "The Java Class Libraries", but they only tell part of the story. (Yes, there is the Java Compatibility Kit, the JCK, that tests for conformance, but even it is quite limited.) The closest thing there is to a spec is the JDK source code. :-/ As a result, everyone does things somewhat differently.
--Jens Alfke, Apple Java Toolkit Engineer on the mrj-dev mailing list

Tuesday, February 16, 1999

I was boggled to see alpha channel support for bitmaps, quicktime, high-precision vector graphics, font vectorisation, plug-in filters, anti-aliased vector graphics, multiple master typefaces, rich text formatting... It's like someone took the core features from Freehand, Photoshop, Quark Xpress, Director and After Effects and stuffed them into an object oriented operating system. Throw Java3D on top of that, and that's an ENORMOUS leap ahead for something that everyone used to accuse of being just a toy language for animating "jiggling logos"...
--David Parry on the mrj-dev mailing list

Monday, February 15, 1999

Microsoft was smarter than us when we did the contract. They did contemplate that our interests in evolving the platform would conflict with theirs, and they put language in place that not only protected their interests but also inhibited our ability to drive significant new functionality that is not purely bolt-on to the existing Java Classes. What I find most annoying is that no one at Sun saw this coming. I don't think our folks who negotiated and agreed to these terms understood at the time what they meant.
--David Spenhoff, former director of Java product marketing
Read the rest in New documents reveal underbelly of Sun-Microsoft Java battle

Sunday, February 14, 1999

Java will never be successful unless it's truly open. Otherwise you're just swapping the Windows [application programming interface] for the JavaSoft API
--Tim Wilkinson, founder of TransVirtual Technologies Inc.
Read the rest in Sun demurs on making Java open source

Friday, February 12, 1999

The interesting thing is that our estimation of who are our most serious competitors has been changing the last years. Today's competitors are Palm, Symbian, JavaOS, Linux, and Solaris.
--Bill Gates
Read the rest in Competition is changing

Tuesday, February 9, 1999

And those of you who put on your tie-dyed shirts, bandannas, and kidney protectors to watch "The 60s" last night heard this immortal billboard:

"The 60s is brought to you by Fidelity Investments."

It's enough to put ironists out of work.

--Frank Willison on the Computer Book Publishing mailing list

Saturday, February 6, 1999

It used to be easy for me to stand up proudly and say that I was a Mac user, but especially as a Java programmer, I've had a few years to get used to being treated like the town idiot.
--Charles Thomas on the MRJ-Dev mailing list

Friday, February 5, 1999

Intel sells hardware, so Intel wants to build security into hardware. But the resulting scheme is phenomenally silly on the face of it: Who says I do all my Net-based work from a single computer? What if more than one person uses my computer? Aren't we moving away from the single-desktop-computer model toward a world of diverse Net-access devices, anyway? Isn't the point of Web-based businesses and services that you can access them from any available browser? What if I want to do my online banking from a public Net terminal in an airport or cafe?
--Scott Rosenberg
Read the rest in Let's Get This Straight: The Web's identity crisis

Thursday, February 4, 1999

They should split the company into two and let Steve Ballmer run one company and let Bill Gates run the other
--Larry Ellison, Oracle
Read the rest in Business News from Wired News

Wednesday, February 3, 1999

Java will be the programming language of choice. In two years time, the vast majority of server-side will be written in Java
--Annrai O'Toole, CTO Iona
Read the rest in Iona fortifies Java strategy

Tuesday, February 2, 1999

Computer trade publications shamelessly hyped the release of Windows 95 because they assumed a successful Windows 95 would lead to a tidal wave of new 32-bit Windows software from third party software developers. This naturally meant these publishers would get a big increase in advertising dollars.

Unfortunately for these publications, Microsoft used Win32 to eliminate competing Windows applications, not to grow the market. Consequently, the budgets for advertising tightened up as more and more of the money that was normally distributed among ISVs was diverted to Redmond. Before long many small publications found they could live or die based on how Microsoft budgeted its advertising dollars from one month to the next. Large publications felt the crunch, too.

--Nicholas Petrely
Read the rest in Linux and the monopoly game

Monday, February 1, 1999

David Aaron is in Europe now saying the United States has adequate privacy protection the same day the chief executive of one of the leading computer companies stands up and says "you have no privacy". It's tantamount to a declaration of war.
--Jason Catlett, CEO of Junkbusters
Read the rest in Political News from Wired News

Saturday, January 30, 1999

I think Scott's comments were completely irresponsible and that Sun and Intel and many of these leaders are creating public policy every time they make a product decision.
--Lori Fena, chairman of the board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Read the rest in Political News from Wired News

Friday, January 29, 1999

One might hope that industry leaders such as McNealy would propose solutions to enhance citizen privacy rather than just telling them to "get over it". He may have no privacy because of his status as CEO. He shouldn't assume his reality is everyone else's
--Linda Walsh
Read the rest in Political News from Wired News

Thursday, January 28, 1999

You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.
--Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems
Read the rest in Political News from Wired News

Wednesday, January 27, 1999 8:45:36 AM

Many companies are attracted to the Java language, but uncomfortable with Sun's technological and legal dictates. The double standard of Sun's capricious stewardship is making independent development more and more attractive for many companies, not just Microsoft. It's the only way to reconcile the promise of the Java language with Sun's desire to have their cake and eat it too.
--Charles Fitzgerald, Microsoft
Read the rest in Sun set to release Jini -- and take its lumps

Tuesday, January 26, 1999

You still have the problem of an ID number, and Web sites can force people to disclose that ID number as a condition to get into the sites. Just having a software patch does not resolve the underlying concerns.
--David Banisar, Electronic Privacy Information Center.
Read the rest in Intel Agrees To Change Its Chips

Wednesday, January 20, 1999

Once you start thinking of computer source code as a human language, you see open source as a variety of "free speech". Free speech is not just a political ideal. It is the currency of science and of western civilization. It is a truism in the Western academic tradition dating back to the Renaissance that exposure to criticism and dialogue are the surest ways to refine ideas
--Tim O'Reilly
Read the rest in SunWorld

Tuesday, January 19, 1999

The operating system wars are over, and operating systems lost.
--Clay Shirky on the wwwac mailing list

Monday, January 18, 1999

Black socks and Birkenstocks do not maketh the geek. I would argue that the essence of geekitude comes from within. To the true geek, it's not enough that things work. He or she must know how things work. And beyond that, there is the nagging temptation to make said things work just a tad bit better than factory spec. This curious and compulsive fixing of things that are not broken -- that's true geekitude.
--David Plotnikoff
Read the rest in Coming clean with an installation

Sunday, January 17, 1999

Getting away from the Valley, gave me a fresh appreciation of the fact that there are a lot of Americans who make $22,000 a year and they're worth something.
--Steven Edelman
Read the rest in Saying Goodbye, and Good Riddance to Silicon Valley

Saturday, January 16, 1999

Nobody could make pointers easy, and nobody should have added them to a language that aspires to simplicity. The correct question is, "How do you do the things that other languages do with pointers without pointers?" Java does it, and VB ought to do it. Pointers in Visual Basic are like an automatic transmission on a bicycle.
--Bruce McKinney
Read the rest in Bruce McKinney's Hardcore Visual Basic

Wednesday, January 13, 1999

PCs -- and the software products that animate them -- don't work very well. The average American would never buy an electric razor, let alone a chain saw or a mountain bike -- that was as buggy and unreliable as a PC.

And the PC bug problem is getting worse. BugNet's data indicates that bug fix rates have declined with every new mass market version of Windows. The bug fix rate for Windows 3.x (OS and apps) was/is higher than for Windows 95, and Windows 95's bug/fix rate was/is higher than Windows 98.

In other words, in a broad sense across the industry, a lower percentage of bugs are being fixed with each new generation of Windows.

--Bruce Brown
Read the rest in No BugNet Annual Award For 1998

Saturday, January 9, 1999

Microsoft's pricing strategy is nothing less than a comprehensive campaign to force millions of consumers to pay high prices for unneeded capacity. A low priced PC would open the information age to the 50 percent of households that do not yet have a PC, but it comes into conflict with Microsoft's revenue growth goals.
--Consumer Federation of America

Thursday, January 7, 1999

The court hereby orders that the parties immediately schedule a settlement conference before Magistrate Judge Edward Infante or a settlement conference or mediation before some other mutually selected individual. The court believes that such a session could be productive since the parties have now received the court's preliminary injunction rulings and because, despite their differences, the TLDA shows that both parties recognize that there are times when developers need to call native code.
--Judge Ronald M. Whyte
Read the rest in Order for Settlement Conference or Mediation

Wednesday, January 6, 1999

Sun's open source goes something like: You can go and get their code, you can play with the code and you can bug-fix it. If you're an individual or a university, then it's no big deal. But if you want it to be commercial, you've got to go back, make sure it passes their specification and license their brand from it.
--Tim Wilkinson
Read the rest in The ecology of Java

Saturday, January 2, 1999

The nice thing about Java circa 1995 is that it had simple, coherent design that had been thought out carefully by a bunch of tenured Sun olympians and their underlings. The followed the rule "leave out anything that we don't know how to do really really well". Now, the rule is to add every conceivable thing as fast as possible, and pretend it's still got that Java charm, and it just doesn't.
--The Mitochondrion on the java-gods@purpletech.com mailing list

Friday, January 1, 1999

The patents that were issued last year were filed in 1995, when commercial use of the Internet was new. Consequently, a much larger number of Internet patents should be granted in 1999. Patents prevent others from doing certain things, such as designing and maintaining certain types of Web sites. Thus, as more and more Internet patents are issued this year, there will be more electronic landmines to avoid for all companies with an Internet presence.
--Jeffrey R. Kuester, partner, Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley
Read the rest in Major Court Decisions Will Shape the Internet in 1999

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Last Modified January 3, 2000