Watch for Java Beans. They will slowly eat away at the openness of the world
and could become MS-like API tools of control and subordination.
> * SunSoft also announced a set of APIs for the core Java
> platform and a set of Java Standard Extension APIs. The
> additional APIs include Java Media APIs, Java Enterprise
> APIs, Java Commerce APIs, Java Security APIs, Java Servlet
> APIs, Java Management APIs, and Java Embedded APIs. They
> are designed to give developers the means to build Java
> applets and applications for the Internet and corporate
May 29, 1996 6:30 p.m. ET
JavaSoft announces JavaOS and support devices
By _Mike Moeller_ and _Margaret Kane_
SAN FRANCISCO--JavaSoft announced four major developments at the JavaOne
conference today centering around the release and support of JavaOS, a compact
operating system designed to run Java applications directly on
"Anything that feels, smells, walks, talks or looks like a processor, we want
Java to run on it," said Alan Baratz, president of JavaSoft, an operating
company of Sun Microsystems Inc.
More than 25 companies have signed up to license JavaOS, and several others
have agreed to write development tools and applications on it and to implement
it on their microprocessors.
Mitsubishi Electronics America Inc. has announced a new personal digital
assistant based on JavaOS and Nokia Consumer Electronics is looking to use
JavaOS to create intelligent phones. Oracle Corp. plans to base the next
generation (Version 2) of its Network Computer architecture on JavaOS.
Baratz added in his keynote address this morning that while JavaOS fits in
embedded controls, it has the ability to scale up to support higher-end
systems for downloading content over the Internet.
JavaSoft also announced today plans to create a set of open Java component
APIs, called Java Beans.
According to Baratz, the component API initiative will enable corporate
developers to link Java applets to non-Java applications through alternative
Borland International Inc., IBM, Netscape Communications Corp., Oracle, and
Symantec Corp. have endorsed Java Beans.
Baratz also outlined plans for HotJava, a set of Java class libraries, at the
conference and said a redesigned version is available now.
"HotJava is not a browser. It is a dynamically extensible framework for
creating Java desktop applications," he said.
For example, Baratz said that through HotJava, users could create an E-mail
client by adding Java components such as SMTP, Multipurpose Internet Mail
Extension, read, compose and send.
JavaSoft will license the class libraries and the HotJava browser source to
developers and will give the binary away free for individual noncommercial
use. A redesign of the HotJava browser is also available.
Also today, JavaSoft released a timeline for a new set of seven component
APIs developed with third parties and covering media, enterprise database
connectivity, commerce, security, server solutions, enterprise management and
small footprint devices.
Some of the releases will be core APIs and some standard extensions. Some of
the specifications are available now, and JavaSoft expects all of the final
APIs to be ready by next year.
James Gosling, senior fellow at JavaSoft and one of the creators of Java,
opened up the conference by providing both a look back on the Java project,
which was begun five years ago, and a look forward to where Java will migrate
in the coming months.
"While it's been one year since the launch of Java, it feels more like seven
years," he said. "Today, Java is for more than creating applets; it is
actually a base technology that people can do just about anything with."
According to Gosling, JavaOS and devices that support the operating system
will not replace desktops. Rather, they will be adjuncts, allowing users to
roam around, but they will be tightly integrated with the World Wide Web.
JavaSoft delivers a spate of new products to boost Java's influence
By Dana Gardner
Posted at 3:41 PM PT, May 29, 1996
SAN FRANCISCO -- The JavaSoft division of Sun Microsystems Inc. took Java
technology a step closer to end-users of thin-client devices here Wednesday
with the introduction of JavaOS, a compact operating system that will run Java
applications directly on microprocessors in a host of devices.
JavaOS combined with new microprocessor technology could increase the power
of Network Computers (NCs) to the point where they could compete effectively
with stand-alone PCs. "When people build chips with Java running right on top,
a lot is going to happen," said James Gosling, senior technology fellow at
Just one of many prominent announcements to emerge from the JavaOne
Developers Conference that began here Wednesday, JavaOS already has a bevy of
companies lining up to license it for use on hardware as diverse as Network
Computers and pagers. A slew of development tools for JavaOS are also in the
JavaSoft calls JavaOS, formerly known as Kona, a dynamically extensible
operating environment that brings the design advantages of the Java
programming language to an operating system. Due to its small footprint,
JavaOS will run equally well on a Network Computer, a PDA, a printer, a game
machine, a cellular telephone, or many other devices, the company said.
"No other software platform has the reach that JavaOS provides for Java,"
said Jim Mitchell, JavaSoft's chief technology officer. "It was designed with
a single purpose -- to be just enough OS of just the right kind to run the
Java Virtual Machine, which brings Java to a huge new range of electronic
Among the other announcements targeted at developers Wednesday:
* JavaSoft outlined a road map for HotJava in the form of a set of Java class
libraries so developers can create dynamic, customized network-aware
applications and user environments. A beta release of the new HotJava is now
* As a proof of concept, JavaSoft used HotJava to develop the HotJava
Browser, a redesign to replace the HotJava Browser alpha. It's available now
in beta at _http://java.sun.com/_.
* JavaSoft unveiled an initiative to create an open set of component APIs
written entirely in Java. Called Java Beans, the project will allow developers
to write Java applets and applications from reusable components that can
transfer their functionality to other Java applets and applications, as well
as to non-Java, platform-dependent applications. Companies such as IBM, with
its VisualAge for Java; Borland, with its Latte tools; SunSoft, with its Java
WorkShop; and Symantec, with its Cafe development environment, will provide
GUI-based tools to build Java Beans components, they said.
* SunSoft also announced a set of APIs for the core Java platform and a set
of Java Standard Extension APIs. The additional APIs include Java Media APIs,
Java Enterprise APIs, Java Commerce APIs, Java Security APIs, Java Servlet
APIs, Java Management APIs, and Java Embedded APIs. They are designed to give
developers the means to build Java applets and applications for the Internet
and corporate intranets.
* JavaSoft has also developed a new set of Web-based services to cultivate
the community of Java developers. The first set of services will be formally
launched July 31 at _http://java.sun.com/_. JavaSoft said it will assist
developers in building Java applications, in gaining market exposure, and in
providing a channel for electronic sales and distribution of their
But the JavaOS release may have the biggest long-term effect for end-users.
Hardware vendors are already working on JavaOS devices.
Wyse Technology Inc. and SunRiver Data Systems Inc., for example, announced
licensing agreements Wednesday for the use of the JavaOS technology.
"There will be no underlying OS on our thin client," said Mike Stebel,
SunRiver's director of marketing. Stebel said the company was keeping a close
watch on the chip-makers' development efforts because new chips may appear
that are designed to run Java.
"There is a lot of good activity out there," Stebel said. "We are taking a
close look at Sun's chip. We are also looking at an ARM chip."
SunRiver's present Internet terminal will go into an extended developer's
evaluation program, Stebel said. "We are going to ship 500 to intranet and
enterprise developers next month," he added.
Wyse's announcement builds on the company's existing $500 thin client, named
Winterm. Winterm clients have been shipping since January and deliver Windows
3.1, 95, and NT applications to the desktop.
Tools shouldn't be far behind for JavaOS. Borland International Inc., Corel
Corp., Dun & Bradstreet Software, Hugh Symon Group, Justsystems Corp.,
Metrowerks, SunSoft Inc., and Symantec Corp., have endorsed JavaOS and intend
to build tools or applications for the platform, they said. JavaSoft is
collaborating with tools developers to define open APIs, such as the JavaOS
Debugging API, that they'll use to ensure their tools work seamlessly with
JavaOS. Borland, Metrowerks, SunSoft, and Symantec intend to adapt and enhance
their Java development environments for JavaOS, they said. ARM Ltd., Cirrus
Logic, Fujitsu Microelectronics Inc., LSI Logic, National Semiconductor, and
Sun Microelectronics are among the companies that intend to implement JavaOS
on their microprocessors, they said.
JavaSoft said it expects JavaOS to be run on a broad variety of
microprocessors, including ARM, CompactRISC, Intel X86, NS486, PowerPC,
microJAVA, microSPARC, picoJAVA, SPARClite, and others.
In other news from the JavaOne conference:
* Intel Corp. showcased media technologies that significantly enhance Java
applications on the PC. The media extensions "enrich" the PC user's experience
in Java, said Intel, via local and streaming audio/video playback, real-time
video interaction and control, 3D audio realism from location and proximity
cues, and smooth animation of complex scenes
* IBM showcased new product features and emerging technologies that use Java
to provide users of IBM's infoMarket service the ability to open Cryptolope
containers on any platform enabled by Java. IBM will be embedding Just-in-Time
compiler software as standard technology in IBM's operating systems, which
can contribute to improved Java performance. Users can now download this
capability at no charge for OS/2 and AIX from
_http://ncc.hursley.ibm.com/javainfo/_. Additional platform support is
planned, including MVS and OS/400, said IBM.
Lastly, IBM has a letter of intent between FTP Software Inc. and IBM whereby
FTP Software will assist in the testing phase of IBM's port of Java to the
Windows 3.1 platform and make its CyberAgent family of intelligent agent
software available on Windows 3.1, as well as OS/2 and AIX.
* Mitsubishi Electronics America's Electronic Device Group Wednesday
announced it has ported the Java programming language to silicon. Mitsubishi
demonstrated its proof-of-concept porting of the Java programming language to
its M32R/D multimedia processor, providing a system-on-chip solution for
portable, distributed intelligence applications. The M32R/D, said Mitsubishi,
is the first microprocessor to integrate 2MB of DRAM and 2KB of cache SRAM on
board a 32-bit RISC processor. The device also includes DSP capability, a
memory controller, and peripheral circuits on chip.
* Netscape Communications Corp. announced Tuesday that it is extending its
Java-enabled open software platform with new technologies and tools that make
The company announced the Netscape LiveConnect software development kit, new
platform support, and component technologies that enhance the Netscape
client/server platform for building live applications with the Java and
* Borland announced InterClient for the InterBase cross-platform SQL database
server. InterClient is written entirely in Java, so there is no
platform-specific code, said Borland. As a result, organizations can provide
new and updated applications via the Web without the set-up and on-going
client maintenance often associated with client/server applications.
JavaSoft, in Cupertino, Calif., can be reached at _http://java.sun.com/_.
Jim Balderston contributed to this article.