JavaOne: Sun outlines road map for Java

Sun Microsystems has outlined its road map for the Java programming language at its JavaOne developers conference, saying it plans to add significant enhancements this summer. Java improvements will include enhanced security, support for the Object Management Group's Common Object Request Broker Architecture, (CORBA) and Internet InterOrb Protocol (IIOP).

Sun Microsystems has outlined its road map for the Java programming language at its JavaOne developers conference, saying it plans to add significant enhancements this summer.

Java improvements will include enhanced security, support for the Object Management Group's Common Object Request Broker Architecture, (CORBA) and Internet InterOrb Protocol (IIOP).

The company will also add to the Java development environment Servlets, a technology that will enable Java to be uploaded to the server as well as downloaded to the desktop.

Sun chairman, president and CEO Scott McNealy told an audience at the conference that Sun can keep Java non-proprietary and still make money. The company Sun will make its money building and selling systems, hardware, processors and application software, he said.

"We don't have to own Java to make money," McNealy said. "In the same way as a writer doesn't need to own the English language to make money writing."

When asked why there is so much rivalry between Sun and Microsoft, McNealy joked, "From a personal perspective, it's just pure jealousy, envy and immaturity."

Meanwhile, Sun also is working on performance enhancements to its Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Codenamed HotSpot, Sun acquired the technology with the purchase of LongView Technologies. HotSpot will increase the speed of the JVM by three-fold, according to officials.

As expected, the company announced its JavaStudio developers Kit, a programming tool that is designed to enable non-programmers to build Java applications. It will ship with 75 JavaBeans, which are previously developed software components, from vendors such as Oracle, Novell, Object Space, JScape Software and Thought Inc.

Other tools on the way include:

-- JavaWorkShop Professional, a rapid application assembly and development tool (RAD).

-- JavaPlan, an enterprise development tool for creating visual applications.

-- Cool JavaBeans, a number of software components from software vendors such as JScape, KL Group, ObjectSpace and Thought Inc. These applets include business logic tables, grids, charts and graphs, as well as automated objects that shield the user from programming in JDBC or SQL.

Sun also announced its Enterprise JavaBeans initiative, a way to design small program elements that can be combined as corporate applications. The program includes PersonalJava, a version of Java designed to enable programmers to write Java for TV set-top boxes; EmbeddedJava, a version without World Wide Web capabilities designed for printers, fax machines and other embedded systems; and the JavaCard, a version of Java designed to run on smart cards.

"We don't have to move at the speed of our programmers," said McNealy. "We are moving at the speed of Java programmers around the world. That is going to be very hard to keep up with."

The company is also working on two Sun Java processors. The picoJava processor will include a JVM in silicon for embedded systems, such as telephones. The UltraJava processor will include the JVM in silicon but is designed to enhance multimedia capabilities. The UltraJava chip will not be available until 1998.

"The UltraJava will be tailored for a combination of real-time applications and multimedia applications such as Web Televisions and Games," said Chet Silvestri, President of Sun Microelectronics, a division of Sun Microsystems.

Sun also announced new agreements and letters of intent with Toshiba , LG Semicon Inc., Rockwell Collins, Thompson Sun Interactive and MetaWare Corp., who will either co-develop or manufacture Sun's Java processor.

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