Robert X. Cringely

Robert X. Cringely

Mexico seems like a long time ago now, and I've spent the past week watching my suntan fade. Rose, on the other hand, has been pondering the extra weight she picked up eating burritos and drinking all those margaritas. She's now determined to go on a strict diet.

While Rose tries to control the damage she's done to her hips, Sybase is doing damage control with its new PowerBuilder 7.0 development suite. One user reports that when typing PowerScript code, memory leaks of 2MB occur every 10 minutes. Sybase fixed the problem (sort of) by sending the user Version 6.5, which users couldn't install because it only installs on top of 6.0, which Sybase is now sending to them for free.

So, they only need to install 6.0, then install 6.5, and then download 6.5.1 from the Web site to get by until the 7.0 service release appears online. Sounds simple enough.

It's far from simple over at IBM, where the company is apparently conceding that Java may not be the answer to everything - especially on the client side. IBM insiders whisper excitedly that a good, fast XML parser is now far and away more important than a snappy Java virtual machine on clients (big and small) - and maybe even on mid-tier servers. The new race is to establish XML everywhere, I'm told - and I believe it.

And speaking of IBM, some other minds within Big Blue believe it's time for an "industry group outside of Sun" to define the best, general enterprise architecture for Java. Think of it as the United Nations for Java that is in an objective position to say how both products and specs should line up in typical settings. That way no specific company's product strengths or weaknesses would be reflected in the best platform assemblage of Java. Call it J-business.

Meanwhile, Oracle is running radio ads at the moment in the San Francisco Bay area seeking Java developers, but elsewhere it's contraction, not expansion. A source close to the company reports that the Oracle Data Center is going through layoffs, with at least 15 people gone within a two-day period. Even more layoffs are reported in the product lines, the source said. The odd part is that they are letting some of their best talent go and some people are being snatched up by other companies within 24 hours of their layoff.

Finally, one reader found out the hard way that TurboTax files saved to Zip disks can never be opened again. He said Intuit's tech-support line said they've known about this problem for some time, have not documented it on their Web site, and apparently are not fixing it, either.

Rose has calculated that if she wants to lose these extra pounds she should consume only about 1500 calories per day. Unfortunately, she also calculated that this is about what she consumes in vodka tonics. Still, as always with Rose, the solution is simple. She's planning to abandon solid food until she reaches her target weight.

Robert X. Cringely is a regular contributor to ARN's sister publication Infoworld

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