Java 6u10 on Mac?

I’ve heard chatter that the JavaFX demos at JavaOne were done on Macs. The problem is, as far as I know, Java 6u10 isn’t available for OSX. So what’s up with that? Is Sun working on porting JavaFX to OSX, or were they maybe using Apple hardware but running Windows or Linux?

Someone help me understand this.

No New APIs?

Java 6u10 is not called Java 7. Because of this name — and the rules associated with JDK update releases — no new APIs can be added. But is this really the full story? For example, with 6u10, you can create translucent and shaped windows.

However to really leverage this feature, you need to use the AWTUtilities class. What’s that?

The translucent and shaped windows feature is available through the new com.sun.awt.AWTUtilities class. Note that this class is not part of an officially supported API.

By back-dooring stuff into “com.sun.*” packages, we can still call this an “update release”. But seriously, folks. This is just an API semantics game. It reminds me of a famous Clinton quote:

That depends on what your definition of “is” is

So I guess this depends on what your definition of “API” is. Is Sun producing demo apps and publishing articles describing how to use this new class? Yes. Are they calling it an “API”? Sort of, but within the confines of what an update release allows. Does this mean I should use it?

Translucent and shaped windows are huge new features I have wanted for years. This is exactly the sort of thing rich client applications will use, but I also want my Swing apps to run on all platforms.

Will Java 6u10 be ported to OSX, and when? Will the com.sun.awt.AWTUtilities class work just through a simple JAR file addition to the boot classpath, or does this require OS-specific native code?

November, 1975 Portable Computer

Here’s what the IBM 5100 Portable Computer looked like:

IBM 5100 Portable Computer

From the look on that guy’s face, I bet that thing was damn heavy. I scanned this from the November, 1975 issue of Scientific American. Here are the specs:

IBM 5100 Portable Computer

I just received a whole box full of Scientific Americans from the 1970s. I’ll scan and post some of the Apple and Radio Shack ads in coming days.

The March, 1979 issue looks really cool — it features detailed descriptions of ancient catapults with lots of diagrams showing their construction. The whole magazine had a distinctive hands-on feel back then.

Dumbest Generation?

Wow, 8 reasons why this is the dumbest generation is way off target. Let’s review the list, put together by author Mark Bauerlein.

1. They make excellent “Jaywalking” targets.

The article starts with a weak argument that today’s young people “…are encased in more immediate realities that shut out conditions beyond — friends, work, clothes, cars, pop music, sitcoms, Facebook.”

Apparently “pop music” and “Facebook” are bad. But where is the evidence? Let’s continue.

2. They don’t read books — and don’t want to, either

Again, he presents no evidence. My gut tells me he is right: people read less today, particularly “young” people. But I’m also sure that has something to do with the availability of more information online. Why dig through books when I can look up something in a few seconds on Wikipedia? Does that make me “dumber”? Prove it. You may be right, but I think some evidence is in order.

3. They can’t spell

From TFA:

Lack of capitalization and IM codes dominate online writing. Without spellcheck, folks are toast.

Actually, my quote is the entire explanation put forth in the article.. Maybe people adopt shorthand writing styles because it is a PITA to text on most phones? I am detecting a distinct trend in these wacky reasons we are so “dumb”. This guy does not like technology.

4. They get ridiculed for original thought, good writing

He uses MySpace as the first example, where (apparently) buddies make fun of you if you write clearly. Huh? OK, I’m sure you can find lots of examples of this. But again, are these cherry-picked examples evidence of widespread dumbness?

He then goes on to criticize Wikipedia:

Wikipedia writing is clean and factual, but colorless and judgment-free.

That is because it is an encyclopedia. It is supposed to be judgment-free. They call it NPOV, which is actually quite smart.

5. Grand Theft Auto IV, etc.

Holy shit. Go read the article. I don’t even know where to start. He somehow connects video games to “Thousands of Massachusetts public school graduates are ending up in remedial reading and writing classes in college…”

What absolute rubbish. Maybe we ought to look at poverty, single parent households, and other such factors before pointing fingers at video games.

6. They don’t store the information

The fact that we can easily look up information on the Internet makes us dumber. I don’t get it.

7. Because their teachers don’t tell them so

Here we go again. Another “blame the teachers first” article. Sigh.

8. Because they’re young

No, no, no!. I think I first read this in a book called “The Invisible Future“, but I might be remembering that wrong. (thanks to reason 6?) The general idea is that EVERY generation since the dawn of time has always thought the young “next” generation is dumber, that society is decaying, etc. This must be wrong, of course, or by now we’d be in complete disarray.