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EzLog4J 3.01 

It's About Time


Anyone who develops software in their spare time knows that the choice over how to spend that time is often budgeted between re-testing, or adding cool features.



Testing Word


Indeed, as we consider how tighter security is causing many programs to fail on Microsoft Windows, the word on the street for anyone who has not tested their programs in the past 3 months should be to do so - and to test across as many OS flavors as possible.



Crazy Problems!


Once Java has been installed on your computer, EzLog4J was designed to run from a simple click. Since our latest install of 'Windows 7 with the Oracle 7 platform-invocation randomly decided to use WebStart (!), a clicking on ezlog.jar thereunder fails with a JNLP Error.



Oddly, the new default is to use WebStart. From there, to treat Java as hostile even on your own local machine.



In other words, without even the slightest hint of any web-start support requested in the .jar file, if your Java Application is not code-signed, then it will no longer run on Microsoft Windows! Even worse, Oracle insists that self-signed code will shortly be going the way of the Dodo.

(sigh)


Yes, we could educate all would-be users how to do an "open with" to run our .jar files with some other launcher, but fortunately there are several simple work-arounds. Techniques that we developers can take to effectively side-step this ever-growing .jar lock-down problem.

For lack of time, we employed the easiest of the lock-down avoidance lot -- batch files & "start" commands:

cd .\dist
start javaw -jar ezlog3.jar

~ or ~

cd .\dist
java -jar ezlog3.jar

How does the alternate file-name approach work? -Well, since most folks ignore those file types / descriptions on Microsoft Windows ANYway, my friends will still "start" my program by clicking on the "ezlog.bat", rather than that evil "ezlog.jar" file. --All anyone will be looking for is to click on the word "ezlog" anyways. (Muhhhahah-ha)



The .EXE End?


What comes next? Rather than brandishing console-laden command prompts everywhere, everyone who does not want to pay $100 / month for a certificate will surely be creating an .EXE, next (which the planetary-wide free Java Tooling - at the time of this writing - will not create!)

--Might all of the above .jar lock-down silliness be more evidence that Oracle is indeed trying to kill Java?

.Batter-up


So because 'Windows accounts for about 80% of the EzLog4J Project downloads, last night we provided a new ezlog.bat start-up file. To run EzLog4J on 'Windows, merely merely download & unpack the zip file from SourceForge to click on the same from within The Microsoft Windows File Manager.

In a like manner, Linux & OS X Users can try the virtues of the included ezlog.sh file.

p.s.


Along the way, we discovered & fixed a voice-file playback buglet, as well. -Hence the .01 suffix on this Version 3-Release.

(Perhaps Nietzsche was right: That which does not kill us, makes us stronger?)

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New Features for EzLog for Java 
While working for the client mentioned earlier, we found ourselves starting & stopping tasks. So much so, that even a spreadsheet was being challenged to create an invoice.



That was the bad news. The GOOD news was that we had a real & present excuse to add another feature to EzLog4j:



So in addition to "hotel ranking" (1 - 5 stars) our log entries, we can *now* also add start & stop time information:


(old version)



(new version)


The result is the ability to track just how long we have been working.

Enjoy,

-Rn




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