Touring the Top 10 RFE's

by Chris Adamson

Dolphin is coming... do you think they'll listen to us? From the looks of the most popular RFE's, I'm kind of hoping they don't.


20 Comments

Dalibor Topic
2006-07-19 16:30:19
Mpeg4 is a patent minefield, so it's next to useless, unless you want to be a target for $random_corporation looking to score some fast and easy money. AT&T is currently making the round, apparently.
Chris Adamson
2006-07-19 16:37:36
Dalibor: That's what we have MPEG-LA for. And don't think for a second that scummy patent trolls wouldn't make a similar claim on Ogg if it were relevant.
Dalibor Topic
2006-07-20 03:02:46
MPEG-LA can license you some of the patents covering the video portion (except AT&T's claims, of course). You still need to go out and license audio separately from Thompson & Via Licensing, who have different terms, of course.


Nevermind that MPEG-LA's licensing terms have been rather weird in the past. Among other things, they tried to collect a royalty on all MPEG4 streams played, which heavily annoyed Apple and other implementors. Reasonable and non-discriminatory terms ... yeah, right. :)


JMF users and developers have been burned before when MP3 had to be pulled out. Putting patent-loaded technologies into standards is not such a great idea. That's what plugins like IBM's codec are for.

Morgan
2006-07-23 02:03:32
Good post!
Markus Schlegel
2006-07-26 03:31:46
Rendering potential HTML4.x sites is not the main problem, there are solutions for this in the opensource area.
But have you ever tried to EDIT HTML with the current implementation (notice that the component is named JEditorPane)? It contains so many bugs, that it really needs some redesign. But redesign does not make sense if it would only support HTML 3.2, because must of the sources for HTML-Text (think of copy/paste text out of a Browser or MS Word into a JEditorPane) are HTML4.x sources...


JEditorPane in Edit-Mode is a real nightmare!

David Herron
2006-07-26 08:48:09
Chris, Your point on RPM/LSB/DLJ is exactly why we created the DLJ. Part of the justification we mustered for the DLJ is the high ranking of the RPM/LSB RFE. Yes, the Linux distro makers know their system much better than we can ever know them ... and I don't mean that to say we don't/won't know Linux, instead what I mean is there are many flavors of Linux, each with their idiosyncracies. e.g. Solving for RPM would not solve for Gentoo nor Debian. So why not give the power to the distro maker to bundle Sun's JDK in the way that makes sense for their distro???
Chris Adamson
2006-07-26 18:49:34

Dalibor: I had kind of intended to let the MPEG thing lie, for fear it was off-topic, but with new traffic on this blog entry (thanks, Java Posse!), it kicked up some old feelings I had when I first heard about AT&T's patent claims against MPEG-4. I'd intended to blog them then, but never did, and I really can't now with our awful new blogging system that won't let me out of my topic box.

I can't tell if you assume AT&T's claims against MPEG-4 to be valid, but I don't. Then again, I think the RIM case showed that validity doesn't matter anymore. Which is scary. I suppose one could conclude that patent discussions have now left the realm of rational discourse.

I would prefer patent-free standards, but I'm not convinced that's even possible in the media realm anymore. I don't know if the Ogg codecs do or don't use any patented algorithms, but do I think a lawyer could convince twelve laypeople they do? Given the similarity of the various DCT-based codecs, I think it would be harder to disprove a violation.


Given the reality of the field, I do think MPEG and MPEG-LA have done a very good job, especially considering that the likely alternative is the corporate-owned, non-interoperable codec. You know which ones I'm talking about. The MPEG organization and its standards have served us well for nearly 20 years, and I see the AT&T claim as an abberation, and probably a bogus land-grab. Do I like the terms seeking money from content providers? No, I think it's impractical. But that idea probably came from the patent-holders trying to maximize the value of their portfolios. It's reasonable (if a little greedy and unwieldy) and non-discriminatory (everyone gets the same deal). And again, I'd rather have that than have Microsoft getting into my TV.

So if we're going to have Java Media at all, someone somewhere has to figure out how to get enough money to get a comprehensive MPEG-4 license for Java applications. Maybe that's Sun, maybe it's some kind of open foundation, whatever. Apple did it for QuickTime, back before Apple was cool (and rich) again, so it's not impossible.

The thing that so burned me up that I had meant to blog about it was AT&T's claim itself. Either it's bogus and they're just using the patent system to extort money from technology winners, or it's valid and they ignored the MPEG-LA's call for participation in order to submarine the patent. Either practice is utterly unethical, and if I were on a standards body or expert group, the first thing I'd do is seek the expulsion of all AT&T employees in the group, on the assumption that it is now that company's policy to game standards bodies in order to generate patent license revenue.

John
2006-07-27 10:45:15
> Enhance Hot Code Replacement
This is the one.
THis would be soo nice during developpement and let's not forget server code swapping!
Aaron Anderson
2006-07-27 11:23:32
Referring to #3:
I believe the comment is incorrect. While there are AMD64 JVM's for Solaris, Linux, and windows non of these provide 64bit java plugin support (applet and webstart).
From the 1.5 JRE download page for Solaris X86 for AMD64:
"Solaris x64 self-extracting file (use 32-bit version for applet and Java Web Start support)"



idcmp
2006-07-27 23:10:01
Last I checked, JMF didn't have any sort of reasonable lossy audio codec with it. Seemed like a no brainer to include Ogg/Vorbis and then not have to worry about patents.
Outsider
2006-07-28 02:13:33
Hot Code Replacement


Hey, even if the shorter fix cycle is not a reason enough (Hint: What is it that people like so much in Ruby on Rails?), hot swapping could be used for so many other things: low-overhead profiling and monitoring (check JFluid, currently NetBeans profiler) or aspect-oriented programming (check AspectWerkz and JBossAOP). Even Design-By-Contract's implementation could use a boost because of this RFE.

Kirk
2006-07-28 04:23:47
In regards to structs... Please... no more C features in Java. It is bad enough we have primitives.
Helmut Rubasch
2006-07-28 04:31:11
Ad "Enhance Hot Code Replacement":
First off, an extract from JSR 292 (http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=292):


Specifically, we seek to add a new JVM instruction, invokedynamic, designed to support the implementation of dynamically typed object oriented languages. We will also investigate support for hotswapping, the capability to modify the structure of classes at run time.


This JSR 292 is about "Supporting Dynamically Typed Languages on the JavaTM Platform", which is mostly about introducing this invokedynamic instruction in the JVM.


So enhanced hot code replacement would practically be a byproduct of this JSR 292.


I don't know if Sun has any other solutions to this hot code replacement problem, but this solution will definitely take a little while until available, because the JSR 292 is just getting going.

c
2006-07-28 06:20:51
Another bad expert, please if you do not know what you are talking about can you shut up
ibid
2006-07-28 06:40:04
what I meant to say was: thanks for posting these opinions.. it really helps to bring the conversation out.


re: lack of html pane, wouldn't validating the html to xhtml using something like jtidy first do the trick? occasionally it may yield unintended results, but probably no worse than a buggy implementation.

Vincent de Graaff
2006-07-29 12:35:47
On the subject of HTML support, readers might want to check out the TagSoup library at
http://mercury.ccil.org/~cowan/XML/tagsoup/ . I presume this is the solution that Markus Schlegel was referring to in his comment.


My own "pet deficiency" in the Java ecosystem is the lack of a standard application skeleton for Applets and GUI-based programs on the desktop (think of Borland Delphi, where hitting "new" in the editor yields a blank, but fully responsive application with all the wiring and infrastructure ready to go). Of the various things I blame for Java's continuing failure to impress on the desktop, this is the one that still hasn't been fixed (I believe there's a JSR now).

Helmut Rubasch
2006-07-30 09:19:42
BTW: concerning the possible JSR-292 solution to the "Enhance Hot Code Replacement" issue (or at least some parts of it), Gilad Bracha has an interesting post in his blog.
am
2006-07-31 06:56:48
Changing the current directory is useful in windows so that your files are loaded/stored based on the current directory.
Dalibor Topic
2006-07-31 13:47:36
Chris, I reject software patents as a fundamentally harmful idea, so as such, the validity of AT&T's claims does not particularly matter to me. Living in the EU, I do what I can to keep that particular sort of anti-social behaviour out of my legal system.


As you say, it doesn't matter if the claim is valid, it matters if someone has the lawyers (or guns & credits, on the international floor) to back it up. As far as ogg * goes, vorbis is patent free for all we know atm, and theora is basically on2's vp3 codec with an ogg vorbis audio container, with a patent covenant from on2 [1].


As for commercial relevance, Flash does not use MPEG4, and still managed to rock the online video distribution world in a major fashion in the past year, as all the hot new social video sites/YouTube lookalikes are using Flash to distribute their content, rather than using H.264/WMA/RealVideo/QuickTime or another format. There is a niche for Java in there somewhere ... and I hope freecast finds it. Of course it uses ogg. ;)


cheers,
dalibor topic


[1] http://svn.xiph.org/trunk/theora/LICENSE

terror
2008-01-11 22:51:54
pano mag download??