Archive for Programming

New release of Java 1.5

Sun released Java 1.5.0_17 today. This release fixes (among other things) the regression bug of Java 1.5.0_16 which made it impossible to view and edit metadata in Conzilla. I wrote about this in a previous blog post.

Generally I recommend to use Java 1.6, but if you have to use 1.5 for some reason you can get the new version directly from Sun.

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Recent problems with launching Conzilla

I got several emails these days from people who were not able to launch Conzilla anymore. The reason was an exception (“java.net.MalformedURLException: no !/ in spec”) during start up.

I investigated the problem (which is caused by a regression bug of Sun’s most recent Java 5.0, i.e. 1.5.0_16) and tried to work around it, but came to the conclusion – as many other developers who tried to solve the very same problem – that it is best to wait for a fix from Sun.

The reason is that it would require too many changes in the code and even some major refactoring. Apart from that, even third-party libraries as e.g. log4j are affected. Conzilla is not the only application which has been broken, basically all applications making use of Java Web Start are affected.

Bugs have been reported to Sun:

http://bugs.sun.com/view_bug.do?bug_id=6746185
http://bugs.sun.com/view_bug.do?bug_id=6753651

Let’s hope that Sun fixes this bug very soon, until then my recommendation is: Do not use JRE/JDK 1.5.0_16, and if you happen to use it, downgrade to an earlier release, or upgrade to 6.0/1.6.

I will keep you informed regarding this issue.

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Attachments with SOAP

Just read an article on how to send (binary) attachments with SOAP.

One described approach is to include the data as MIME or Base64 encoded CDATA blocks. Another possibility is to attach the binary data outside the SOAP message (like it is done in emails). Finally the author talks about SOAP Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism (MTOM), which is supposed to fix the problem.

Well, MTOM has to be understood by the server and the client, which means we have to find a proper implementation etc. Why all this hassle? If it is necessary to send such data, it would perhaps make sense to think of using a Resource-Oriented Architecture (ROA) like RESTful Web Services. This doesn’t mean that it is necessary to switch over completely from a SOA to a ROA, but both techniques could complement each other in RPC-heavy systems. In other cases I would try to avoid using SOAP and focus on resources instead.

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