IRC Log of Amiga Java Conference

The following IRC log comes to us from Team Amiga's Gary Peake (who is also the ICOA's Press Officer). The topic of discussion was Java and it was held on Monday, September 14.

"sdesros" is Stephane Desrosiers (Java Guru)
"Fleecy" is Fleecy Moss of Amiga Inc.
"TA" is Gary Peake of Team AMIGA.
"DrJekyl" is Gus Haines, a Vapor beta tester and Amiga Help Team Member.

The others are visitors to the channel.

sdesros   |TA: if worse comes to worse, I could field some of the
          |non-AmigaNG Java questions...  (Not that I'm in a rush or
pantheon  |sdesros: how close is AWT to completion on the Amiga?
sdesros   |pantheon: I can't really tell you since I'm not building it.  The
          |closest I've seen is AmigaAWT.  You can go to
          |(  It's only
          |1.0.2 compatible and are missing a few snags.
ExiE      |panthen: not so much *GOOD* amiga news page exist :)
TA        |DrJekyl will keep the queue. If you have a question for Stephan
          |please send a ? to DrJekyl.
sdesros   |TA: Maybe I should introduce myself before we start?
TA        |sdesros: Yes, please do Stephan.
sdesros   |Okay, for those of you who are wondering "Who's this Stephane
          |guy", here goes.
sdesros   |I'm a typical Amiga user who has been programming in Java for
          |about 2 years now.  I've tried out some of the current publicly
          |available Amiga Java Virtual Machines.
Perty     |sdesros: You have any programs I can look at?
sdesros   |Perty: You can check out .  It's a
          |software package I co-developped with 3 other people.  It's 100%
          |coded in Java and tested for consistency on Windows 95, NT, AIX
          |and Solaris.
TA        |DrJekyl will keep the queue. If you have a question for Stephan
          |please send a ? to DrJekyl.
sdesros   |Thanks.
sdesros   |Perty: It's a distance-education/class-
          |management/automatic-test-delivery-and-correcting system.
TA        |DrJekyl will keep the queue. If you have a question for Stephan
          |please send a ? to DrJekyl.
sdesros   |I'll look at it at school. I'm at my AMiga now :-(
TA        |sdesros: Is Java hard to learn and what do you suggest someone
          |interested in Java do about books? Buy the Sun Books?
sdesros   |TA: It's a tough call really.  Books tend to get outdated quite
          |quickly.  Java is constantly evolving.  There are so many on-line
          |tutorials that anyone with C/C++ experience can learn Java easily.
TA        |DrJekyl will keep the queue. If you have a question for Stephan
          |please send a ? to DrJekyl.
DrJekyl   |TarasD: ask
sdesros   |TA: Bottom line, you're best bet is to check out
          |"" grab yourself a copy of the "API", sign up at
          |the "Java Developper's Connection"
          |( and see what information they
TarasD    | how good is inbult net fetures of java
sdesros   |TarasD: What exactly do you mean?
DrJekyl   |queue = Strahd Yoshi Chit nuck
sdesros   |(Sorry DrJ...  Can you voice TarasD. :P)
Strahd    |What are the actually avalaible amiga JVM and are they any good?
DrJekyl   |sdesros: :)
TarasD    |well  java has standard socket classes how complete are they say
          |for bulding a web browser
TarasD    |and other clients
DrJekyl   |queue = Strahd Yoshi Chit nuck DrFraggle
TA        |sdesros: Did you get that one?
sdesros   |TarasD: There are quite a few interresting classes like the URL
          |class that actually opens connections. You can also licence their
          |HotJavaBean if you really want a pre-built Browser.  FTP, Mail
          |clients and classes are available through third parties, but if
          |you know the protocol, you can build them yourself. Your only
          |problem is with non-TCP/IP networking software software.<ga>
DrJekyl   |ppl place a # when you finish your question please
Strahd    |What are the actually avalaible amiga JVM and are they any good?
sdesros   |I know of only two that are available.  Kaffee (go to
          | but it doesn't have any GUI
          |classes working.  You can get AmiAWT (it's kaffee), it's a little
          |flakey, incomplete and only JDK1.0.2 but it works pretty well I
          |find. ( Beta/index.html).
Yoshi     |sdesros: For web pages, what's the advantage of Java over
          |Perl/CGI? #
TA        |DrJekyl will keep the queue. If you have a question for Stephan
          |please send a ? to DrJekyl.
DrJekyl   |Queue = Chit nuck DrFraggle Perty
sdesros   |It depends on exactly what you're looking to do. There are Java
          |servlets and Java Appletts...  Servlets run on the server side
          |and act like CGI scripts, except that every time someone runs a
          |servlet, the JVM runs a thread instead of a complete process)...
          |(applets comming up.)
Chit      |sdesros:  Concerning JAVA & REBOL, aren't they a lot alike and
          |where will REBOL figure into the gameplan with AmigaNG? #
DrJekyl   |Queue = nuck DrFraggle Perty
sdesros   |Applets are on the client's side.  They give you the ability to
          |open Database connections, make animations & simulations, feed in
          |live data.<ga> Now for Chit's question.
TA        |Chit: From talking to AI at Amiwest they very much like the looks
          |of Rebol.
sdesros   |I must admit I'm not exactly too sure about Rebol myself.
          |However, rebol seems more like a scripting language and more
          |accessible to people.  Java still needs to be compiled.
TA        |sdesros: Correct, REBOL is more like arexx than Java.
sdesros   |Java can be used to build full applications whereas Rebol seems
          |more geared to adding features and supplementing the OS.
nuck      |sderos: forgive my ignorance... is it currently possible to
          |program Java 1.1 on Amiga? If not, will it be?
sdesros   |It's not ignorance. :P  There are no JVM's publicly available to
          |run pure 1.1 Java code on the Amiga. Kaffee might but it won't
          |support the AWT/GUI.  I spoke with the author of AmiAWT and he
          |plans to put full 1.1 support ASAP.
sdesros   |You're alternatives are so far running another OS (Unix based) or
          |going through Emulation.  (Not sure how the JVM is for Mac.)  On
          |the PC you can now run Java on top of DOS using JavaPC.
sdesros   |<ga>
DrFraggle |Do you see any big applications ported to java soon? How do you
          |think about the importance of java in the future? #
TA        |DrJekyl will keep the queue. If you have a question for Stephan
          |please send /msg DrJekyl ? to DrJekyl.
sdesros   |There are some interresting applications already. (Nothing big)
          |but things like WinZip-like tools and actual wordprocessors.  The
          |software package that I'm building at work itself is pretty huge
          |and will tie into a centralized Java-based server system that
          |will be used for 25 colleges and vocational schools around my
          |home province.
TA        |In answer to running Java on the Amiga, Steve told you about the
          |Classic Amiga. Amiga Inc also plans to have Java on the AmigaNG.
Darxide_TA|How rude, defacto just left without saying *anything* to us!
sdesros   |Java right now really is "big" and people are seeing it mostly
          |for building independent clients to plug into their servers.
          |(Replacing Visual Basic.)<ga>
Darxide_TA|How rude, Worzel just left without saying *anything* to us!
Perty     |Two q's: What is the fastest way to draw realtime gfx with Java?
          |Manipulating memorysourceimages(sp?) and just show/draw them as
          |buffered images, for lets say a realtime bumpmapper as I have
          |seen on some pages? Is the AOS5Dev comming with Java in someway
          |and if so in what way? #
sdesros   |Perty: I haven't used Images much.  But my guess is using some of
          |the built-in functionality in the new Swing API (Java based
          |components, it incorporates Java2D graphics library with all
          |sorts of transformations.)  And I wouldn't know if OS5dev will
          |include Java, but I believe that it should (since Dr. Havemoss
          |did mention that it was in OS5prod.)
sdesros   |<ga>
Revenant  |sdesros: How much help and interest are Sun showing in the
          |current Amiga's JVM development and for the AmigaNG? i.e. are
          |they keen or dragging their heels supporting the developers? #
sdesros   |As far as I know, I haven't heard anything from Sun. (Please
          |remember, I don't work for Amiga Inc. :)) However, Sun always
          |seems interrested in spreading Java.
sdesros   |<ga>
Chit      |So that I am somewhat clear on JAVA, it is a complete programming
          |language to possibly replace like C, Cobol, RPG, etc. ?  I
          |understand the basics of it, but have not investigated the
          |details of the language.  It is suppose to change programming as
          |we now know it right? #
sdesros   |Okay...  Java is composed of two things.  A) The JavaVirtual
          |Machine (a processor emulator) and b) a programming language.
          |The first is the "Compile-Once- Run-Anywhere" aspect of the Java.
          | The second is an improvement (I find) over C++ syntaxe.
sdesros   |It's nothing mind-bongling different than what's out there
          |already, but it's got so much momentum because it's similar to
          |C++ and it's "multiplatform".<ga>
sdesros   |The Java Virtual Machine is an emulator.  And like most
          |emulators, it takes processor time yes.  But at the same time
          |emulators are getting better.  Sun itself has developped "HotSpot
          |Technology" which supposedly makes Java programs run as fast as
          |compiled C++ code...  (Much faster then Compiled Visual C++ code.
          |;) ).
DrJekyl   |Queue =  Perty
sdesros   |HotSpot is a combination of faster Garbage Collection routines
          |and code optimisation routines.
sdesros   |<ga>
Perty     |Hmmmm... got some answares but... What about Hot Spot... I have
          |red that it shuold be very good and fast but what is it? Optmized
          |JVM or?
sdesros   |Okay, time for the details... :P
sdesros   |First time Sun decided to speed up the JVM, was with Run-Time
          |Compilation.  (It would compile something to native language the
          |first time it ran that segment of a program.  When it would
          |return to that segment, it would run the compiled part.)
sdesros   |Then they realized that sometimes that was actually slower.
sdesros   |So they made a smart JVM that compiles the code only when it
          |would help and not hinder.
sdesros   |Then they sped up some other things that would help like Garbage
sdesros   |I still have to see it myself though.<ga>
Perty     |What about Merapi? Any signs/news of that yet? #
sdesros   |I followed Merapi for a while.  The most I've heard is that the
          |author was planning on releasing it similarly as the author of
          |AmiAWT.  (Incomplete but fonctional while he was completing it.).
          | I haven't seen it yet though.
sdesros   |<ga>
santa     |What is your involvement with the combination of Amiga and Java?
          |Are you working on special AMIGA ports/projects?#
sdesros   |Not directly no...  I *will* hopefully be working on some things
          |(soon) that might be a link to both though.<ga>
Chit      |sdesros:  So what is needed and what are those developers doing
          |to make JAVA work with the Amiga?  A compiler or interpeter or
          |both?  From what you have said, the language is not at all
          |processor dependent?  Is JAVA most efficiently run under
          |Unix/Linux environment now?#
sdesros   |Java basically requires a Java Virtual Machine.  The "emulator"
          |part of the equation.  What's taking it's time with the Amiga
          |Ports is the GUI aspect.  The first generation of Java GUI (the
          |AWT classes) require the JVM to have the OS's GUI components talk
          |to the Java GUI components.  With their new GUI "Swing"/JFC you
          |only need a generic component on the Native OS's side.
sdesros   |<ga>
Perty     |Is there some sort of Assembler/disassembler for Java? I really
          |would like to try out real bytecode coding :- )#
sdesros   |I've heard that Sun had licenced a C++ developement kit.  I don't
          |see why Assembly/Dissenbly would be impossible...
sdesros   |<ga>
SupaTroopa|I'm quite used to creating little applications for comms in basic
          |and such like on my current amiga. should I be looking at
          |learning java to make best use of comms on the new Amigap
SupaTroopa|platform that is
sdesros   |It won't hurt...  It'll gear you to Object Oriented Programming
          |(if you haven't done so already).  As long as you're not working
          |on heavy CPU intensive applications it should suit your needs.
          |I'm not exactly sure what Aminga Inc. has in plan for Java.  I
          |only know that it'll be included with OS5. <ga>
elho      |Do You know if any of the Amiga JVM ports is planned to be done
          |for PPC, too? Would it be easy, ie. for kaffe more or less "just"
sdesros   |I don't know of any.  But I don't see why not. However, I'm not
          |sure if their will be a significant speed increase since Java
          |still needs to talk to the underlying OS for networking, GUI, and
          |other things. Maybe H&P could answer that question, if they can
          |Merapi out. <ga>
Neodym    |When will we see a working release of Java anyway? How fast will
          |it be (i.e. PPC?) and will it cover all Java specs?
Neodym    |(ga)
sdesros   |All I know is that AmiAWT is the most complete one I've seen for
          |Amiga.  It's probably going to be included with both OS5dev...
Nutello   |Aren't Java classes a bit too inconsistent already? E.g. the same
          |method is named differently in different classes (setLabel,
          |setText) or caps are used differently (Hashtable, HashCode). Not
          |to mention functions for I/O and conversions. I find it to be
          |quite painful... and it kinda sucks if you consider that Java's a
          |brand new design (and things can only get worse, some would
sdesros   |Hmm...  I don't tend to get lost.  The methods in the subclasses
          |tend to depend on their super classes. Swing seems more consitent
          |though, but a little more confusing to get started in.<ga>
ck        |Hi! I know that you can't tell me much about the Java
          |implementation in OS5, but what could you tell me as a developer
          |that I can get going with now so that I may be able to work on
          |OS5Dev as quickly as possible?
sdesros   |I'm not exactly sure what your question is.  But all I know is
          |I've been told that "Java is a great place to start in
          |programming for the AmigaNG"...  Other then that, you might want
          |to brush up on C++.
sdesros   |<ga>
Perty     |Are you going to buy the AOS5Dev machine? Planning to make some
          |software or likes for AOS5Prod? What's your opinion on the Dev
          |machine? #
sdesros   |Well, my only PC (which I use for Java Programming at home) needs
          |an upgrade anyway.  My A4000 is starting to get used a lot by my
          |roomate.  So I'm probably going for an OS5dev.  However, I'll
          |reserve my opinion on if until I actually see it in action.  (But
          |it does seem promising for a stepping stone IMHO.)<ga>
SupaTroopa|I'm not an Amiga programmer for a living. Will learning Java for
          |the Amiga be identical as learning it for the PC based things?
          |ie: If I do learn OO, will I be able to use it elsewhere? I have
          |currently only Mainframe Cobol  skills.. Naturally I'd like work
          |to buy Amigas :-), but they may not...
sdesros   |Definatly.  Learning Java like any other language can only help.
          |OO skills are tranferable and desired. <ga>
Chit      |Since JAVA was created under a UNIX environment, would that be
          |the best spot for learning/working with it for us (Amiga) now
          |instead of the "bastard" version in Windoze? #
sdesros   |Working in Unix gives you a more stable OS to work from...
          |There's no other advantage, unless you go for a UltraSparc based
          |workstation.  The JVM is supposedly faster because the UltraSparc
          |is a closer match to the Java "CPU".  Oh and you can run a unix
          |environement on the Amiga. :) <ga>
Rocambole |Do you have any knowledge of when java version of IBrowse or the
          |FinalBrowser will be out. And have you been asked for help from
          |any of the authors
Rocambole |?#
TA        |Java and other OO languages are going to be very important for
          |OS5DEV and OS5PROD.
sdesros   |Well, I'm more of an expert in programming for Java and not
          |programming Java Virtual Machines.  The only help I can really
          |give them is testing out the JVM's.  As for Browsers supporting
          |JAVA, I haven't a clue.  It will most likely be a little after we
          |get a working JVM to tie it to. :)<ga>
fleecy    |I am SO sorry guys and gals - the pressure of having a new baby.
sdesros   |fleecy's here. *phiew*. :P
TA        |DrJekyl has the queue. If you have a question for Stephan please
          |send    /msg DrJekyl ?    to DrJekyl.
sdesros   |JMan: Well...  It's fairly simple with Java.  You build a class
          |that extends a thread and go.  The problem with Audio is that
          |it's very limited in Java for now.
sdesros   |<ga>
DrJekyl   |anymore questions out there ?
fleecy    |I am only hear to talk about Java and Corba  ;-)
Dave_C    |Now is the time for the Imapct on AMIGA_NG questions
Revenant  |sdesros: Java seams to still only be a buzz word, I've heard that
          |Corel Office is available in java format (or about to be) and I
          |know of Document management system in Java. Do you know of any
          |java product that is definately available that isnt just a
sdesros   |Revenant: At the risk of sounding like a broken record...
          |There's the one I'm working on, along with quite a few others.
          |There's Java Web Server, Browser, WinZip client, wordprocessors,
          |satellite tracking software, etc.  Go to "" and
          |I'm sure you'll find alot. <ga>
Nutello   |fleecy: are you guys at AI in touch with anybody about CORBA
          |support under OS5? GA
fleecy    |The whole CORBA issue is something I am pushing. Because of the
          |nature of CORBA and the DC priamry markets of AInc, we are
          |looking at some form of MicroCORBA, providing the CORBA bus and
          |basic services but allowing others to build upon them.
Laurie    |I'm wondering what everyone thinks about JFC as a model for Amiga
          |NG gui components?
fleecy    |There are many good examples of freeware and GPL orbs, such as
          |BBN's Corbus ( and most impressively Objectspace's
sdesros   |Laurie: I myself have just begun to work with JFC. I'm used to
          |AWT but I kind of like it.  I can't really compare it to
          |something else (apart from XWindows/Motif) because I haven't
          |programmed many GUI's myself. :)
fleecy    |Swing has been a great step in the right direction but we don't
          |want to end up too tied to what Sun tell us - if Sun open up all
          |the way then we may see the revolution we have all been looking
Chit      |Whoa, slow down a minute, fleecy, explain CORBA to us that are
          |new or at least a little fuzzy to the term please! #
fleecy    |I'll tell you what - as I screwed up, I will offer to do another
          |IRC on CORBA - Idon't want to hijack Stephane's gig.... and I
fleecy    |have to go in a minute as well.
SupaTroopa|Someone made mention of a "os5dev" machine earlier, it was going
          |to replace their current machine. Do I have to get one of these
          |to , how much will they cost, is there an alternative? Is there
          |anything else you guys can tell me about it.
fleecy    |I can answer all Amiga Inc questions at the monthly IRC for that
          |purpose - which Team Amiga organises. This is a JAva IRC
Perty     |fleecy: What about Javasupport in AOS5Dev? I read somewhere it
          |will be there but in what way? Native AOS5 or under MS-DOS or
fleecy    |We are looking at a kernal partner that already has a native JVM.
          |If one exists, we would be fools not to take advantage of it.
fleecy    |Ppl, I am really sorry for my rudeness - I have to go now -
          |please check the website for the monthly TA meeting I get beaten
          |up at, and we will organise a CORBA one as well.
Philbo    |fleecy:  We know that Java will be supported but will there be
          |any support in OS5 for transparent 'Classic Amiga' emulation,
          |just as PowerMacs run old Mac software?  Or even PC emulation as
          |standard to help entice PC users to the new system?
TA        |We will have an Amiga Inc conference later this month. Stay tuned
fleecy    |Philbo - emulataion is very important for us - we want a product
          |that already has apps, even if they are classic apps being
          |emulated - of course you can say goodbye to most of the metal
          |banging ones but we are looking seriously into it.
Asha      |I hear a lot about JAVA for OS5/DEV/PROD, what about for the
          |Classic Amiga?  Any information?
DrJekyl   |Queue = Perty
TA        |DrJekyl has the queue. If you have a question for Stephan or
          |Fleecy ABOUT JAVA please send    /msg DrJekyl ?    to DrJekyl.
fleecy    |Asha - Hey lovely 8-) You know as much as I do - Merapi, the
          |Finale-Dev thing and one or two others.
sdesros   |Well, Kaffee and AmiAWT are the closest so far... I've given the
          |URLs out already.  I can give them out before I go.
Perty     |sdesros: What's the best java environement IYHO? Symantec Visual
sdesros   |I use the good 'ol JDK myself...  I've tried Visual Cafe, Sun's
          |Java Workshop 2.0, PowerJ and none of them really impressed me.
          |However Visual Cafe and PowerJ come with some nice new classes.
DrJekyl   |Anyone else have any questions ?
fleecy    |One thing that is impressive is that JDK1.2 will have a full ORB
          |within it, with a full IDL2Java pre- compiler, so for those of
          |you who want to play with it, you can and for free ;-)
elho      |fleecy: What role will JAVA play in AmigaNG?
elho      |Just supported or will os parts use it?
fleecy    |elho:A very important one. If it wasn't for some immaturity and
          |the way Sun keeps invalidating classes with each release we may
          |have used it totally. it is developing at a phenomenol rate. For
          |us the key is it provides implementation independence
sdesros   |fleecy: What's the URL to your page?
fleecy    |elho : no, we will use C/C++ for the OS. Java at the moment is
          |strictly for the application layer
fleecy    |sdesrod : which one?
sdesros   |The one that states you'll have info on your monthly IRC
          |conference, etc...
TA        |
TA        |
TA        |Perty: We are working fast and furious at it now.
Nutello   |fleecy: has the new programming model created by the ICOA
          |workgroup been examined at AI? Has it been accepted yet
          |(partially? fully? not at all?)? GA
fleecy    |Allan has looked at the model and was impressed. He doesn't want
          |to pass any comments on it until the kernal partner is agreed yet
          |because depending on which way we go could have major
TA        |We only have time for a couple of more questions for Stephane.
ShuFlie   |fleecy: are you thinking of a JIT compiler for java or running
          |precompiled source?
fleecy    |I'm going - sorry Stephane - see you all later
sdesros   |Thanks for comming FLeecy. :)
TA        |Thanks Fleecy and Stephane!
TA        |Sorry guys, both of our guests have other committments.
Rocambole |we look forward to the next session
[X_MaN]   |yes Thank you fleecy for your help, it is greatly appreciated,
          |and I am sure we all look forward to your next conference
sdesros   |It's been fun guys.  Hopefully I can talk about more complete
          |JVM's next time :P
TA        |Thanks to DrJekyl for handliung the queue!!

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