Sun Microsystems Inc JavaSoft Inc division yesterday tried to hit back at the cassandras who reckon Java will be killed off by multiple incompatible versions by rounding up IBM Corp, Apple Computer Inc, Netscape Communications Corp and Oracle Corp to support its 100 Percent Pure Java initiative, some 500 days since the language was introduced. […]
Sun Microsystems Inc JavaSoft Inc division yesterday tried to hit back at the cassandras who reckon Java will be killed off by multiple incompatible versions by rounding up IBM Corp, Apple Computer Inc, Netscape Communications Corp and Oracle Corp to support its 100 Percent Pure Java initiative, some 500 days since the language was introduced. But overshadowing the whole thing was the absence of Microsoft Corp, which needless to say was the trigger for the new initiative, causing consternation in the Java ranks when it announced at Comdex plans to develop several programming interfaces and tools for the Java language that would create applications that would run only under Windows, so defeating the most important selling point of Java. But JavaSoft president Alan Baratz got bogged down trying to explain away the absence of
representative from Redmond. Contrary to some reports earlier in the day, Baratz said Microsoft had been invited to participate, but once Redmond had understood that if it submitted code to JavaSoft it wouldn’t be excluded from logo allocation. It then went away to talk about it in private, with no word on how long that will take. Baratz said he talks to Bob Muglia, Microsoft’s VP Internet platforms and tools division at least once a week. The whole thing looked thrown together at the last minute, and indeed that proved to be the case. One by one, executives from the other four companies admitted that the first they’d heard about it was at the end of last week and most didn’t see the spec until Tuesday, the day before the announcement. The initiative will provide education for the industry, developer assistance and Java certification to guarantee that a program is pure Java. Next quarter, Sun will introduce testing, certification and branding for applications that pass its criteria, and Sun, IBM, and Netscape will launch a worldwide educational tour with the aim of training software developers to write and test Pure Java applications. There’ll be two tests: one for systems people and the other for developers. Each is a single step through, despite there being some 5,000 compatibility issues. More than 200,000 software developers are now said to be writing applications in Java and Sun’s JavaSoft unit says it is committed to spending millions of dollars on the 100 Percent Pure Java program. Netscape was first out of the traps by announcing that its new Windowing Internet Foundation Classes (IFCs) have been designated 100% pure. They’re used to creating graphical user interfaces for Java applications. It gets a little black and yellow logo for its troubles.