Sun pushes for Java ubiquity

Sun pushes for Java ubiquity

Making Java ubiquitous and presenting a unified Java to make that happen are key goals Sun Microsystems has for its popular programming language, company officials revealed during a keynote presentation at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco.

There still would be separate versions of Java for enterprise, mobile, and card deployment, according to Sun officials, Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice-president of the software group at Sun, and John Fowler, Sun CTO of software.

The company nonetheless is looking to provide for unified face among these different flavors of Java to present to the marketplace. To make development easier, the company is working to make sure that different parts of the Java platform are no longer developed in isolation.

Schwartz hailed Java’s success and stressed that the platform must grow in areas such as on handheld devices and in consumer and gaming applications. Java is in 100 percent of Fortune 500 companies, he said.

“I think we’ve been fabulously successful in some ways that no one could have (predicted) five or six years ago,” Schwartz said.

Java was pervasive in clients, servers, desktops, handheld devices, and Web services, he said.

“The majority of Web services that are built today are going to be built using Java,” Schwartz said. About a half-billion desktops run Java,he added.

One network

Java will be in printers, TVs, Webcams, cash registers, PDAs, and even gas pumps, Schwartz said. But unity was needed in Java and a common platform is needed to bring together different components. No one wanted different sets of technologies for multiple architectures.

“To do that, we’ve got to build out one network,” Schwartz said. “We’ve got to make sure those mobile devices are interacting with those desktops, which are interacting with those servers.”

He touted a single platform, called The Java System, to provide a unified face among Java variants.

The JavaCard, Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME), Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE), and Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) versions of Java must be integrated as one system to provide for simplification and grow the Java developer base from its current 3 million developers to 10 to 15 million developers, Schwartz said.

“If we do [this unification], we’re going to take the network effect we’ve got and we’re going to propel it,” he said.

Fowler said that Sun, in addition to ensuring interoperability with the Microsoft .Net platform, was planning a host of improvements, such as greater programmability for handset applications improvements.

Ease of development would be the major focus of J2EE and J2SE 1.5, he said.

Sun also is working on a project called “Fast Web Services Everywhere,” intended to boost Web services by using WSDL as the IDL instead of XML and also using binary wire protocol.

This had resulted in a five- to tenfold improvement in performance, said Fowler.

Schwartz also introduced a new logo for Java, which looked slightly different than the existing coffee cup brand.

“I think we recognise that the brand really drives a lot of value. It drives awareness,” Schwartz said. “Awareness of Java means it’s easier to sell your product to the marketplace.”

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