Java Cantatas: Drip or Perk Those Java Beans?
Dear Squeak and Blat,
Dr. Buck Star
Dr. Star. Been dosing pretty high on that caffine, have you? Well, if you actually get to see some Java programming code with its objects, objects families, and all that good stuff, you'll kick caffe lattes for good, I promise. I'll let Blat tell you about how you could put Java to use, while I try and explain what it's all about. He's got a music professor at his place that uses Java extensively.
Java is a programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. The magic is that Java was designed to run on any computer. Java people sing this mantra: Write Once, Run Anywhere! You can run Java programs on Macs, Windows 95, Windows NT, and many types of Unix computers. Now Java programming is hard core programming (like a quadruple shot expresso!), so you don't want to try this for your initial plunge. Those who like doing this stuff create little Java programs that you can borrow and use from your HTML web pages. These are called Java applets. Gamalan is one of the best web pages for checking out some Java applets.
Dr. Star. Hey, great question! It's time for all of us music "web-sters" (smile) to wake up and smell the Java! Like Squeak says, Java is an object-oriented programming language modeled on C++ but designed to be efficient and to run on a number of different machines. Its history is fascinating. It started at Sun Microsystems as a possible modular language for small, hand-held devices. Interactive television was its original target, but Sun couldn't strike acceptable deals with other companies for this purpose. Then, along came the Internet and the paradigm of servers and clients. Sun decided that this was the perfect environment for Java, hoping that the program could help render more interactive web pages. So, to make a long story short, we have lots of levels of implementation of Java programming on the net with all kinds of crazy Java-related names for different approaches. Basically they all relate to a server that serves up Java code that is interpreted by a client's browser that is Java-capable.
Java is a good example of Internet technology getting better and better. It challenges the whole concept of commerical software and--like authoring tools such as HyperCard, ToolBook, and other multimedia programs--allows us to "roll-our-own" software for the greater good. To borrow a word from today's parlence, this can be "huge."
Check out this URL for more information:
Story about Java history
Blat (whose blatter is currently large from drinking a lot of the regular kind of java)
Peter R. Webster (a.k.a “Blat”) and David Brian Williams (a.k.a. “Squeak”) have presented workshops and other presentations together for CMS/ATMI conferences and workshops for more than 20 years. Their collaboration has led to publications and presentations internationally on music technology as well as the co-authorship of the textbook Experiencing Music Technology (Cengage Learning/Schirmer Books, 3rd edition Update, 2009), a widely adopted and highly acclaimed music technology textbook for high school and college students. Dr. Webster is emeritus professor of music education at Northwestern University and Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Southern California; Dr. Williams is emeritus professor of music and arts technology at Illinois State University, a freelance consultant, composer and musician, and immediate past president of The College Music Society.