An informal group of Linux dev-elopers known as the Linux Blackdown Porting Team made an implementation of Java2 for Linux available last week.
Sun Microsystems opted to work with the Blackdown team rather than develop it themselves, as part of an effort to broaden the base of Java without causing Sun to overextend its resources.
Although interest in Java among independent software developers is high, Linus Torvalds, who heads up the open-source Linux community, has often been critical of Sun's proprietary ownership of what is essentially a programming language.
As a result, it is unlikely that Java technologies will be used in the core Linux operating system anytime soon, but vendors such as Caldera and Graphon plan to make use of Java in their Linux offerings.
Sun has also licensed the Blackdown group to bring Sun APIs, including the Java 3D API, the Java Multimedia Framework API, Java Advanced Imaging API, and the Java Sound API to Linux. Sun officials stressed Java's extensibility to Linux.