Optimize with a SATA RAID Storage Solution
Range of capacities as low as $1250 per TB. Ideal if you currently rely on servers/disks/JBODs
San Francisco (6/24/97) -- In what Sun calls a move to lock developers into the Windows platform, Microsoft has announced that future versions of its Java virtual machine will support direct calls to the entire set of Win32 APIs (application programming interface) -- a feature Microsoft calls J/Direct.
Microsoft Product Manager Tom Johnston says upcoming versions of Microsoft's Java software developer kit will let developers write Java applications that can run Win32 DLL's (Dynamic Link Libraries) without using native methods. "It looks as if you're importing the DLL," he explains, "and making it look, in a sense, like a Java class." According to him, "developers are telling us that they are more productive in Java than in C, but they don't have the fine grain control." And fine grain control, at the expense of interoperability, is what Microsoft is providing with J/Direct.
On the Internet newsgroups J/Direct is being called the death of Java. And some developers say it will create two versions of the Java platform: Windows and non-Windows. But Microsoft's Johnston says his company is simply aiming "to increase what the Java developers today can do." He predicts that J/Direct will be used in things like vertical applications that use data gathering from a device, multimedia applications that want to talk directly to the hardware, and applications that require tight integration with other applications.
Everyone, except Microsoft of course, seems to think Microsoft is doing more than lending a friendly helping hand to Java developers. JavaSoft's director of corporate marketing, George Paolini, is predictably unequivocal: "their only motive is to lock developers into the Win32 APIs." But Paolini says that J/Direct will backfire because developers want interoperability, not access to Windows APIs. "It's the classic mistake high technologies go through: milk the cash cow instead of adapting to the new paradigm: this is Wang [Laboratories Inc.] trying to hold off the PC, and the PC subsuming Wang's PC features," he remarks, referring to the beating the company took at the hands of PC and LAN technology in the early 1990s.
Does J/Direct mean Microsoft is abandoning ActiveX? Microsoft says no. Paolini says yes. "If you look back over the last six months, they [Microsoft] have seriously backed off pushing ActiveX," he says. Morgenthal disagrees. "ActiveX is still an excellent way to do inter-object communications on a Windows platform. [With] J/Direct we're talking about raw access. That isn't the stuff that compound documents are made of," he says.