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Developer Week in Review

Here's what recently caught my attention on the developer front:

The continuing adventures of Java

Sometimes you can see the train-wreck coming a mile away, can't you? When Oracle bought Sun, a lot of insiders thought that it couldn't be good news for Java, since Oracle wasn't all that big into the whole open source community development lovefest. Well, shock of shocks, this week Big Blue joined forces with the House of Ellison, dumping the Apache Harmony project, which is intending to create a soup-to-nuts open source implementation of Java, in favor of Oracle's OpenJDK.

On a pragmatic level, more resources (especially from a powerhouse like IBM) will help improve the quality and breadth of OpenJDK. On the other hand, IBM jumped ship because Oracle refused to certify Harmony or open source the technology compatibility kit (TCK), which would have allowed Apache to become certified. And yes, the Google vs. Oracle lawsuit is tangled up in this ...

Meanwhile, OpenOffice has filed for divorce from Oracle, citing irreconcilable differences and lack of affection.

Speaking of lawsuits ...

For those keeping score, this week Motorola sued Apple. But rather than claiming that Apple violated Motorola patents, Motorola is asking the court to invalidate 12 Apple patents. It's a defensive move, evidently anticipating that Apple will use the patents against the big M. In a refreshing change of pace, the suit was filed in Delaware. A lonely law clerk can be heard crying somewhere in east Texas.

iOS, uOS, we all OS for iOS

The iOS 4.2 release approaches quickly (currently scheduled for the fairly vague target of "November"), and as usual, the betas are flying hot and heavy. The 4.2beta3 release hit the streets -- albeit the highly secured gated community of developer.apple.com -- on Tuesday. The main feature of 4.2 will be iOS 4 support for the iPad. Printer support will also be included in the mix, if only to printers hooked up to Snow Leopard boxes and a series of new printers that haven't even hit the streets yet. I guess CUPS support was more than we could have hoped for.

Pentest habitat: Do not taunt or tap on the glass

Is there anything with as much hubris involved as daring the worldwide security community to hack your system? First, we had the president of LifeLock spreading his social security number across the Interwebs, and daring folks to steal his identity. They did. Then, last week, the District of Columbia (or as the folks at News of the Weird like to call it, the District of Calamity) invited the good citizenry of the Net to subvert their shiny new electronic voting system. They did. And nastiest of all, they used shell injection to do it, one of the oldest tricks in the books. I wonder if Little Bobby Tables is getting ready to vote?

That's it for this week. Suggestions are always welcome, so please send tips or newshere.

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Schweinderl