Expo: IBM working to integrate OpenDoc with Java

The momentum behind integration of OpenDoc and Java grew this week with confirmation from a visiting IBM rep that IBM is actively pursuing the concept.

Scott Bain, of IBM's competitive project office, has confirmed to @IDG that "we are merging the concept of Java with OpenDoc - there's a lot of activity going on there. There are a lot of people looking at the concept of integrating the two, looking at ways of adding more of an object structure to Java than what we currently have.

"That's what Microsoft is trying to do with ActiveX but the Object Management Group selected OpenDoc as its compound document framework and we want to try and work with that, rather than against it."

Bain emphasised the point of open standards during his presentation on network-centric computing at this week's Computerworld Expo. He also ventured that Microsoft would be pushing ActiveX Controls as its own Java alternative this year.

"I know it will be doing that. But at the same time it is making provision to handle Java. Java applets will be able to run in ActiveX. But why Microsoft would choose not to participate in a standards-based world and to instead develop its own proprietary technology is something it has to answer to.

"It has made extensions, but nonethless they're based on the fact that Microsoft controls part of the definitions. It's a case of taking a piece of proprietary technology and trying to make it a little more open than it currently is."

Bain says OpenDoc (currently in beta for OS/2) will be "incorporated in the next release of OS/2 and will be made available on other platforms by the end of the year", but that IBM's most significant product release this year will be the integrated Lotus Notes and InterNotes around the middle of the year.

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