A Sip From The Firehose: December 4, 1996

By: David Intersimone

Abstract: Which Java VM?

December 4, 1996
San Francisco, CA

Which Java VM?

I am waiting in San Francisco for the rain to diminish so I can drive back to Scotts Valley after giving a presentation at the CAUSE96 conference. A big Pacific storm is just now hitting the city with strong winds and heavy rainfall. Meanwhile in the Java world an even bigger storm is brewing over an article that appeared in PC Week Magazine titled "Microsoft splitting Java" (PC Week November 25, 1996).

The article raises questions about compatibility among different Java virtual machines from Sun, Microsoft and others. Sun Microsystems allows companies to license the source code to the virtual machine for the purpose of porting it to other hardware and operating environments. A worry among developers is that their Java applications and applets may not run on all Java VMs.

The goal of our "Golden Gate Initiative" is to bridge the differences between leading browsers, web servers, virtual machines, databases, distributed computing environments and component architectures so that developers can focus on the cross platform applications and systems they are trying to build instead of wasting time coding around the differences. If you want to read more about our Golden Gate architecture check out the white paper on our website .

Since the PC Week article appeared, I have received many email messages of concern, interest and support. The messages have included a few quotes from those emails.

"As a developer who has invested a lot of time into learning and developing Java, I object to any attempt to split the Java community into proprietary, isolated camps."

"We have no interest in Java products which depart from platform-independence."

"This is an outragous act, and it will certainly bring the ire of the developer community at large."

I'll let Richard Landsman, Director of Development - Internet Products Group, speak in reply to the PC Week article and the many emails I've received:
"The core VM for JBuilder is the JavaSoft VM and we are totally committed to supporting Java standards, as evidenced by our early support and committment to JavaBeans and JDK 1.1 and our close relationship with JavaSoft. Our OpenVM architecture will allow developers to use other VMs to test Java applications in the environment they will be deployed in. It will also allow developers to make a decision about whether to use any 'extensions' that are available in non-JavaSoft VMs."

Stay tuned to Borland Online for the latest news about our Java support and the availability of Borland JBuilder.


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