27 October 2011

Oracle JDK7 for OSX

You remember when Apple said they would not maintain Java anymore ? That was just 12 months ago:

Java is dead! Long live Java? (on this blog)

I just noticed that Oracle released a new preview edition of JDK7 for OSX yesterday (b215).

http://jdk7.java.net/macportpreview/

I installed it and after changing my Java preferences (search for "Java Preferences" in SpotLight), I tried the preview version of OmegaT.

The result ?


54443: Info: OmegaT-2.5.0_1 (Thu Oct 27 15:05:55 JST 2011) Locale en_US
54443: Info: Java: Oracle Corporation ver. 1.7.0-ea, executed from '/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/JDK 1.7.0 Developer Preview.jdk/Contents/Home/jre' (LOG_STARTUP_INFO)


It works !

No crash yet so I think I'll finish the current job with that new version of Java.

Be extra cautious though when you use preview versions of software. A bug can bite you in the middle of a job...

Update (a few hours later)
It works, but there are a few issues that make it not practical to work with this preview right now. I've reverted to Java 1.6 until Oracle delivers something closer to a release candidate :-)

Detailed information is here:

http://wikis.sun.com/display/OpenJDK/Mac+OS+X+Port+Project+Status

Update (a few days later)
Apple has just released a new update for Java 1.6 for Snow Leopard and Lion. Check software Update. The JDK7 port just released a new build: b217.

New fun to come with OmegaT 2.5...

OmegaT 2.5, the preview version that you can get from:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/omegat/files/OmegaT%20-%20Latest/

includes a really nice new feature that, unfortunately, is not yet available for Mac users...

(Nov. 10 update: the latest version of the plugin works fine on Mac now)


If it is not, then you can rightly ask why bother mentioning it here at all ? Well, the answer is simple. It is kind of available, but because of an user interface design issue, the buttons that make it run are not available on Mac... This is going to be fixed real soon. In the meanwhile, get ready for...

A scripting interface to OmegaT's internals.

See the announcement here:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/OmegaT/message/22988

People who know what they are doing can already check this Java documentation page:

Scripting for the Java Platform

According to the scripting plugin source code, the possible languages for use in OmegaT are:

  • JavaScript
  • Jacl
  • NetRexx
  • Java
  • BML
  • VBScript
  • JScript
  • PerlScript
  • Perl
  • JPython
  • Jython
  • LotusScript
  • XSLT
  • Pnuts
  • BeanBasic
  • BeanShell
  • Ruby
  • JudoScript
  • Groovy
  • ObjectScript
  • Prolog
  • Rexx


There are already plenty of exchanges on the OmegaT mailing list regarding the scripting extension. Check this thread for example:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/OmegaT/message/23260

We'll have an announcement here when the feature works on Mac...

Dennis Ritchie and John McCarthy too...

A few days after Jobs, Dennis Ritchie and John McCarthy passed away too, but that did not trigger international interest.

Dennis Ritchie is called the "father of C", C as in "C language". Everyone who's done a little bit of programming knows about the importance of C in the computing world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C_(programming_language)

A few days after Ritchie, John McCarthy, the "father of Lisp" passed away too. Lisp is the language that was mostly used for artificial intelligence works "back then".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisp_(programming_language)

Lisp is 11 years older than C. Lisp was born in 1958 and C in 1969. But both languages are still commonly used in computing today...

Of course, both languages can be used on Macs. If you install the developer's tools that come with your DVD, you have access to a C compiler. Lisp, being a family of languages, requires to make a few choices (either get an ANSI standardized Lisp, or a Scheme, or a new Lisp like Clojure, that runs in Java etc.)

As for introductory books, "Land of Lisp" by Conrad Barski, M.D., from No Starch Press has been very well reviewed.

http://nostarch.com/lisp.htm

"Practical COmmon Lisp" by Peter Seibel from Apress is really nice too and sparked a renewed interest in the language. Plus, the PDF is freely available.

http://www.gigamonkeys.com/book

As for C, well, there are so many books about C programming that the only one I can think of is Kerninghan and Ritchie's "The C Programming Language, Second Edition" from Prentice Hall.

http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/cbook/

Objective-C is a strict super-set of C and is mostly known for being the language behind OSX applications.

A good introduction I found is "Programming in Objective-C" by Stephen G Kochan, from Pearson Education.

http://www.pearsonhighered.com/educator/product/Programming-in-ObjectiveC-3E/9780321711397.page

Of course, you can find plenty of free tutorial that can get you started in both languages.


Programming is fun and if it is not already the case, you should really give it a try.

06 October 2011

Steve Jobs passed away

It's going to be analyzed all over the world. Daringfireball linked to Job's Commencement Address in 2005. Here it is:

'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says