Last update: 2006-12-30



Some small updates for MacOS and Linux user!

I've received an package for MacOS from James Nicolson and also a modified startlinux script from Jan Weiss which will allow you to call JMDB from another directory.
Thank you both for this contribution!

Yesterday I've created a special icon package (*.icns) for MacOS so you get the fancy reel image as icon (128x128 and smaller) in the package. These changes will be included in the final release.
It's also planned to add Growl support for MacOS soon. It will be somekind of hack at first (because JMDB doesn't have a plugin system) and will be only supported at the import (does it make sense somewhere else?), so you get some feedback on the import progress using Growl popups.

A friend is currently testing Derby (Java DB) and SQLite databases but support for those databases won't make it into the final JMDB v1.35 release. I don't have enough time to do the testing for this kind of "big" changes.
There are several things that need to be changed to get the initial connection working, as currently only the URL format ("jdbc:<dbtype>://<url>[:port]/<database_aka_schema>[?parameter1&parameter2]") for databases is supported and not really the format Derby (Embedded version) and SQLite use for the connection. Some modification has been done but there is more work needed to get a clean solution.
The import of the movies with Derby has been reported to be successfull, but the application startup time was totally unacceptable (1-2 minutes). The import itself was completed as fast as on MySQL 5.x. I have an idea on the application startup issue...


Merry X-Mas!

One month has passed since the last public beta and I can say that I have only changed some minor things so far. I'm still looking for two errors (Innotek Java and MySQL 4.1 problem) but there won't be any more feature updates for the current JMDB v1.35 version.
It's time to release the final version. It's planned to get it out within the first two month of 2007. Then it took round about one year to from the first public beta to the final release of this version.
I hope to be able to add another language (French). So far I've no information about the progress of the italian translation but I still hope to get one. Other languages are also welcome so contact us!

If you want to donate some money to keep me motivated to work on JMDB you can do this be either clicking the Ads you find on the left on most of the pages or by using PayPal (click here: Donate).

Merry X-Mas and a happy new year to all of you.


After Warpstock Europe 2006 last weekend I've got some information to share. As always it was very interesting and it was again nice to see some JMDB users there.

First it seems a bug on OS/2 and eCS regarding Innotek Java 1.4.2 I thought was fixed (see News from 2006-10-14) with 1.4.2_09 release is obviously not. :(
When the user started the search, an ArrayIndexOutOfBounds Exception will sometimes (normally only on the first search you execute) be thrown. So far this did only happen with the Innotek releases. No GoldenCode Java version nor the Windows Java versions I did test has shown this problem. I'll try to reproduce it on my machine and I'm hopefully able to add a workaround. If you use Innotek Java just hit the start button again, then it should work fine...
Just don't ask me why this happens as I don't know yet.

The instos2.cmd will be updated to also read the information which Java is installed from the OS2 INI files.

The same user who had the problem with Innotek Java, might add some corrections to the Spanish translation. I hope some other users who find translation bugs or have suggestions about improvements will also get back to us.

Two users have requested the IMDb IDs list for the movies so far. If anyone else is interested just send me a note and I'll will provide you with a link where to download the file (currently it's for the IMDb files from 2006-11-10 but it can be applied to newer IMDb files without any problems). The file may be removed later to make room for a new one, so the link will not work forever!

The last thing is that I found some unextracted text that will be moved to the language files and I also merge some existing language keys into one (some where split).


Released JMDB v1.35 Beta4!

This version includes a major enhancement regarding the memory monitoring, a workaround for the IMDb double space problems and some smaller enhancements and fixes.

Another major update is the support of IMDb IDs for movies. These IDs are not provided by the IMDb and so this is unofficial. The file comes from a JMDB user and it's currently not available to the public (contact us). I still need to find a place where I can make it available. The file is automatically used if the import can find it in the same directory as the offical IMDb list files.

A detailed changelist is available at the download page.


I added the possibility to import the IMDb Ids for movies into JMDB v1.35! This information is not available from the IMDb directly but a JMDB-User provides me with those Ids. I'm not sure how I'll offer those files in the future, but I'm pretty sure that most of you are interested. The import needs some extra memory (~40-50 MB extra) to handle the Ids.

I've received the serbian translation yesterday and I have to contact all translators today to update the translations because of the new memory warings. I hope to receive the updated translations until Wednesday so I can release the next beta on Thursday right before Warpstock Europe 2006 in Cologne. If someone want's to get in contact with me I'm at Warpstock Europe from Friday evening to Sunday (late) afternoon.


Java needs more memory for IMDb list file updates released since October 2006!
You have to change the -Xmx parameter found in the start* scripts again! Set it to -Xmx167M (the old value was -Xmx147M) in order to use this version with the IMDb files from end of October 2006 and later.

A new beta version (BETA 4) with memory monitoring will be released shortly (until mid November 2006)!
The upcoming version catches Out of Memory Errors thrown by Java and will warn you if don't have much memory left (the warning stuff still needs a little fine tuning).
I've also added checks for the movie titles on various IMDb files so the double SPACE problem is also fixed. The IMDb Errors will be written into the IMDb_Error.log!

More details about the memory setting (-Xmx) can also be found in the FAQ (see Q12).


As often I have some bad news and some good news and I'm going to start with the good news!


One month after the first Flash demo some more small Flash demos have been completed. They are available at the Using JMDB page!

These demos cover the search options and also the Java Look'n'Feel possibilities introduced with the latest JMDB v1.35 beta version.

2006-08-28 [2nd Update]

Released a first small Flash demo and updated the About JMDB page!

Today I've added a Flash section to the Using JMDB page which for now only includes one flash demo.

This first demo will show you the basic JMDB configuration work you need to finish to be able to import IMDb list files. The size is below 1MB and the it takes round about 9 minutes.

Go to Using JMDB to watch it!

There is also an updated About JMDB available where the website access for August 2006 can be seen.

More site updates follow in September!


Released JMDB v1.35 Beta3!

This version includes some fixes, small enhancements, a workaround for the recently added IMDb list file bug, a huge speed improvement at the import for several list files (biographies, plots, quotes,..) and language update (Swedish is now up to date again).
Now JMDB also supports 3rd party LookAndFeels and a new list file is supported (movie-links.list).

A detailed changelist is available at the download page.


Ok, after I'm now a little bit tranquilized (see news from 2006-08-08 why I was upset), I give you a list what to expect for JMDB v1.35 Beta3:



Just after I was nearly ready to release JMDB v1.35 Beta3 I tried to import the latest list files (2006-08-04) and IMDb screwed it up...again! The running-times.list contains the movie 'Updebum (2004)' but the line exported from the IMDb database contains an error. The entries normally contain the title, the running-time and additional information about the running-time.

All this information is separated using the 'TAB' character. The title 'Updebum (2004)' however doesn't contain the 'TAB' character between the running-time and the additional information but it's even better. The additional information about the running-time contains actually the plot summary (at least round about 80% of it when compared to the IMDb website) that has nothing to do with the running-time!
So, what happend here?

Here is the complete line from the running-times:
Updebum (2004)
USA:3Ever get something stuck between your teeth and can't get it out? Take that to the Nth Power and you have Jim Minton's perverse, offbeat documentary short. This shocking piece details a true collection of foreign objects recovered by emergency room physicians from a certain body cavity.

The problem is not that the data is again broken, but that I need to fix it on my end to be able to import the file. PostgreSQL and MySQL for example use a VARCHAR(50) on the running-time (50 is the maximum length of the string to be saved), which is normally enough. If the string exceeds this length, at least PostgreSQL with it's strict SQL conformance pulls the plug on the import (at least for this file because we use transactions!). Well I could check the length on each element I get out of the IMDb list files but this would slow down the import and on the other side it's the responsibility of IMDb that the data is ok. The only way to handle this kind of problems is that IMDb will check the data entered by users. On the other hand, how is it even possible that the IMDb export tool sometimes adds a 'TAB' as separator and sometimes not? Have they caged an employee that manually enters the 'TAB' on the data? I really don't get it why these kind of errors show up all the time.

This isn't the first time the data is broken! The last error I saw was at business list from 2006-06-17 where a movie (Shooter, The (2007)) was exported two times with different information.
Again: How can this happen? The movieid is the unique key field of that file, which technically can't be used more than once!
Before that there was the problem with the release-dates list in February, where an illegal dates were saved (29. Feb. in years where there isn't a leap year). At the same time the movies list contained series episodes where a double space in the episode title was used. Normally a double space was used as separator here.
I'm not importing the complete lists very often (tried 5 different list file releases this year) and I have found errors in the data three times. Sorry, but this is way to often!
If these errors are found by me what about someone who pays for the IMDb data because of a licensing contract. Does this also contain the errors I found only this year?


Big import speed improvement for Beta3!

Just after I released Beta 2 I looked into the import for files like biographies, plots, quotes and business (some more are improved - see below - but the named four have gained most of it). These were processed very slow and I thought the reason is MySQL/PostgreSQL because it was only on the files where large text chunks have to be saved.

Looking at the sourcecode I found something in the string handling that I could change within a few minutes and which improved the import speed dramatically.
As a result Beta 3 should be available withing the next 48 hours...

The following result includes all files files affected by the modification, but not all times have been compared. Only the interestings files (those who took longer than 1 min to import on my system) have been listed with a speedup factor.

As result I got this speedup (WinXP SP2, MySQL 5.0.22, AthlonXP 2500+, 1GB RAM):

Times displayed as: h:mm:ss


Released JMDB v1.35 Beta2! A changelist is available at the download page. This version includes a lot of fixes and improvement for the queries. The PDF export function is now build in and the required library (itext*.jar) is included as well.


I've added support banners for the upcoming WarpStock US and EU events no eComStation (eCS) and OS/2 user should miss.

The progress with bugfixes and speed enhancements for the second beta of JMDB v1.35 is nearly complete. I'm now checking working on the the last two TODOs on my list. If nothing happens the release will be up tomorrow evening!


As you may have noticed there is a new menu entry on the left called JMDB 2 Progress. This is dedicated to the new version of JMDB which is build from scratch upon Java 1.4.x features (the current version can be used with Java 1.2 and later).

Uwe will start to experiment with this new version. I'll still continue with the original JMDB tree, so there will be a final JMDB 1.35 and most likely some follow up versions with more features. Those features will also show up in the JMDB 2 development tree.

You can still send us suggestions and feature requests what should be included in JMDB 2. You will also be able to participate in it's development after some basics have be implemented. The project will be on SourceForge!


Sorry for the delay...I really wanted to release a JMDB Beta earlier but there have been a lot of things I had to work on.
Some details you may find on my new personal website here which is available in German and English (depending on your Browser setting).

JMDB v1.35 Beta 2 will be available shortly. I've been working on JMDB the last couple of days fixing some bugs and speeding things up a little bit. I got some performance tips from a new user which I directy added to the list of beta testers. The performance increase is only for MySQL 4/5 and PostgreSQL. MySQL 3.23 is optimized for a long time and couldn't be improved any more in the upcoming beta.

The normal search needs only 40% (5 seconds instead of 12 seconds) of the time for the above database backends. I think this is quite nice. I will also check the series query again as I might be able to improve it even more. I will check if it's a series in one of the last steps instead of a complex SQL query.

Paul Smedley ported PostgreSQL v8.1.4 to eComStation (eCS) and OS/2. I've been testing the Beta 1 and 2 and it works perfectly with JMDB v1.35 Beta 1 and the upcoming Beta 2. The current PostgreSQL 8.1.4 seems to be faster than previous versions (e.g. v8.0.x) ported to eCS and OS/2.

Jeti, the Jabber Instant-Messenger, to which I also contributed some time and work (utility dll for GoldenCode Java v1.4.1 on eCS and OS/2) won the contest at OS/2
I've been a little surprised as I really thought JAlbum would make it to the top...again.


The JMDB application has been nominated as best Java application at OS/2 You can't vote any longer but I'm pretty sure JAlbum won the vote.

The second beta of JMDB v1.35 sould be available within the next 2 weeks. I've tuned a little bit and created a small application to get the IMDb IDs, which IMDb doesn't release. The IDs will most likely not yet make it into the next beta, but they will be included in the 3rd beta. I've also made some progress with the FTP addon to download the IMDb files from the FTP-Servers.

Paul Smedley ported MySQL v5.0.19 to eCS and OS/2. I'm currently beta-testing the release which should be available shortly on his website if not huge problem will be found.


It seems the bugs I reported to the IMDb about their data have been fixed with the latest IMDb list file release (2006-03-03).
It should be possible to import all supported files using PostgreSQL without error messages (I've not yet tested it myself).
I could not find any of the 29 February dates in the releasedates and I also could not find double spaces in episode titles any longer. The list files from 2006-02-24 added more corrupted data then I reported to IMDb list file keepers, so they seem to have checked all data.
Hopefully this will be done automatically from now on, otherwise I need to add a check to the file import to ignore double spaces if they are found within '{}' characters and the dates.

Today (4 hours ago) I've also talked to Uwe about changes we could add to JMDB in the future. Beside the old idea to redo the GUI stuff we had some ideas about additional functionality and also functions that can be accessed from other programs.
If someone has some suggestions it's now a VERY GOOD TIME to contact us because we are collecting functions that may be usefull!

Some may have noted that I changed the site header slightly. I hope you like the new white on blue header (previously it was blue on white).


I've finally made all packages of the new JMDB beta release available. The documentation and also the screenshots have to be updated but I don't know when I have time to do that.
The next step will be query optimization. I'm now using subselects but the old MySQL 3.23 is faster without subselect and it also may be faster to remove the episodes of tv shows by skipping the entry in the JDBC ResultSet then filter it by using an SQL expression.
If there isn't a very big problem I have to attend this version will be not get updated within the next 4-6 weeks because I need to work on some other project (VFP DataConverter and several addons for the Open-Xchange Open-Source Groupware). Those are all related to my studies or my current job at the university. More details will be available next week on my website (there will be a link on the Authors section), which I also have to create (will have basically the same design as this one).

Juergen Ulbts


I was finally able to fix most of the query problems I talked about previously. For the movies query there is still a problem if you want to display several actors/actresses starring in the movies found (this can be enabled in the setup but it's turned off by default) - this will be corrected later. The only thing I need to address is the release-date search as I use this myself and it's easy to fix (clean code). ;)

As a result I'll release the open beta of JMDB v1.35 this evening (GMT timezone). A list of know bugs will be added at the download location.
Thanks for your patience and check out the community link at the menu! I still hope I'll get the Swedish language update in time...and if I'm lucky I'm also able to include Serbian as new language.


I've sent an update to the IMDb Helpdesk which lists all 10 entries of the movies.list that need to be corrected (I could not fix the double space problem using their webinterface) and I also corrected the release-dates.
I hope all fixes will be include in the next update.

I also fixed most of the bigger issues of the last internal JMDB version, but there is still an issue with the database query I need to fix.
The debug output has been removed and some have been redirected to the logfile (e.g. SQLExceptions).
The download page has already been prepared for the new version but it's not yet there.

As you may have noticed I added a Community menu item. There you can find a link to a new group at Frappr! (from Google), which hopefully other users of this application will join.

Many thanks go to Sergi Tur Badenas and Vladimir Frelikh who already updated the Spanish and Russian translation for JMDB v1.35.
Only the Swedish translation needs to be updated to have a complete language pack for the upcoming open beta release.


I updated the Import again (field length fix) and added a switch for MySQL >=5.0! I also added an option to the search window to show episodes or to ignore them.
What I still need to do is fixing IMDb own data because they result in errors on my end that I'm not willing to work around.

I'll sent the current JMDB version to the translators today, to get the latest addons translated. In the meantime I'll fix some queries from the search window and after that I can finally release the new version.


We currently get a lot of replies about JMDB because the import doesn't seem to work!
This is releated to the huge increase of movies with the latest IMDb movies.list which jumped from 474.272 entries on 2005-11-11 to 745.259 entries with the current file from 2006-02-03. It's a increase of 57% in just under 3 month (or one week if you read todays message completely).

The reason can be found if you scroll down a little bit and read the official IMDb announcement I just found.

We load all movies into memory when we start the import (needed to speed things up) and the old Java Runtime setting we used isn't enough any longer. Because of that I updated the FAQ section with the instructions (see Q12) how to add more memory to the Java Runtime Environment.
The setting that needs to be changed is the "-Xmx" parameter. This should be updated from "96M" (or what it currently contains) to "147M" which should be enough until the movies hit 900.000 entries.

The plan to release the first open beta of JMDB v1.35 is in jeopardy as I just found out what caused the huge increase in the movies.list! :-(
There are several problems that I need to address to get everything working as it should (e.g. importing actors/actresses, biographies produces a lot of error messages). I need to take a closer look at the current IMDb changes to fix it.

If you want to read both threads you need a login at (it's free). If you have it just click: IMDb Boards - Thread: Enhanced TV Episode support and IMDb Boards - Thread: TV episode support update

Here is the only the first message:
by - jreeves (Thu Jan 26 2006 - 09:00:43)
We've just launched one of the largest new features we've added in a long time: a massive change to the way we handle TV episodes. From now on, TV episodes are treated as full titles, which greatly expands the kinds of data that can be attached to them.

Things you'll notice right away:

There's lots of other stuff, which I'll leave it to you to discover. A few things we know aren't there yet:
We're also considering some refinements to the display of filmography information. In short, there's a huge amount there already, and a few planned refinements that we couldn't quite finish in time for the launch (but we wanted to get this out before Oscar announcement week - our next round of craziness).


Fixed the JMDB problem reported on 2005-12-24
I was finally able to find the problem that caused the Database Converter to fail. It was at least one language file involved.
End of next week I should be able to release the 1st public beta of JMDB v1.35.


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