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In an effort to compete in a playing field that includes Microsoft and Sun, on September 27 IBM officially launched its developerWorks portal site, which has been in beta since June. The free online developer resource is a concrete expression of IBM's commitment to open standards and cross-platform development. The site includes seven zones: Open Source, Linux, Security, Unicode, Web Architecture, XML, and Java. Through its commitment to provide product- and platform-independent information, IBM aims to make this site the ultimate resource for ebusiness application developers.
Compared to other vendor sites, IBM seeks to downplay self-promotion in developerWorks. For example, an article on the site makes reference to the recent Volano Report, which found that Tower Technology's TowerJ beat out IBM's new JDK 1.1.8 for Linux. "Essentially, if we feel the information is critical to developers, we'll want to cover it in developerWorks. No corporate developer resource offers the same breadth and depth of content -- free of proprietary or company-specific constraints," says O'Connell.
developerWorks also allows you to search the Web for Java-related material through IBM's jCentral, which provides more than 360,000 items of interest to Java developers. Less than one percent of that content is IBM's, according to Bahr. Through jCentral, developers can search other developer Web sites, such as EarthWeb's Gamelan Java resource site, all public Web sites, and other corporate Web sites, such as Sun's Java Developer Connection site, as well as other IBM sites. (See Resources for links to these Java sites.)