NZ developers 'just looking' with Java

Many New Zealand developers are still in the looking stage with Sun's Java Internet application development language, says Auckland technology consultant Bruce Simpson.

Simpson is developing a retail online shopping centre with a Java interface on the World Wide Web, which he expects to go live in June.

"We're using Java because it has a lot more functions and performance than the traditional WWW format. It will process orders in the same way as other ordering systems but will use Java as its front end."

Simpson says other operating systems will be able to use the shopping centre, but those with Java-enabled OSes will be in for an extra treat.

The fact only Windows 95, Windows NT and Sun's Unix can use it at the moment is not a problem as far as Simpson is concerned.

"It's just a transient situation which will be solved over time. Java is tomorrow's technology."

Simpson says Java is not hard to learn, describing it as simpler than C++, but says C programmers will find it quite a change.

Simpson has written a book called Making sense of Java, published through Manning Publishing/Prentice Hall, and is now writing a second book.

"I've been working with Java since the alpha developer's kit. I saw the potential for removing dependence on hardware platforms and I'm familiar with both C and C++"

Another company using Java in New Zealand is Iguana Information, based in Wellington, which has a World Wide Web page featuring a program called Stock Scape. Users can download a pre-release version and see information on companies on the New Zealand Stock Exchange displayed in graphical and tickertape form. Iguana can be found at

Also developing Web pages using Java is CGI Creative, which offers companies animation applets in cgi and Java for their Web pages. They can be found at

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