News and New Product Briefs (12/18/98)

Microsoft attorney continues to question government economist

On Monday, November 30, 1998, Microsoft attorney Michael Lacovara continued his meticulous questioning of the government's economics expert, Frederick Warren-Boulton, in the antitrust lawsuit. Lacovara accused the witness of selectively choosing documents to back up his thesis.

Lacovara also nit-picked over minor errors in Warren-Boulton's testimony, including the instances in which he continually confused the gender pronoun of one person cited in his testimony.

According to observers, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson appeared restless.

On Tuesday, December 1, at about 4:00 pm, Judge Jackson said to attorney Lacovara, "This has got to end. This examination has got to be brought to an end," and indicated that the attorney had to end his cross-examination of the economist within the hour.

After Microsoft's cross-examination, during the government's redirect, Warren-Boulton got the chance to outline the reasons Microsoft should be considered a monopoly. He said, "Microsoft can raise the price of its operating system without much concern of fall-off"; he also pointed to a Microsoft analysis of operating system pricing that noted that from 1990 to 1996, the cost of the operating system (compared with the total system cost) increased from 0.5 percent to 2.5 percent. And he noted that the Windows OS cost had increased to 5 percent of total in the last two years.

Microsoft spokesperson Mark Murray called this a case of lying with statistics and compared it with Intel's increasing chip costs, noting that it was unfair to compare the cost of developing hardware to an operating system.

Gosling testifies

James Gosling, the inventor of Java, submitted 35 pages of written testimony to the court.

In the written testimony, Gosling accused Microsoft of setting out to destroy Java's cross-platform compatibility in order to do away with its threat to Windows. He said, "If Microsoft successfully fragments the Java technology, the cross-platform benefits to vendors, developers, and users of the Java technology will be damaged, and any threat the Java technology poses to Microsoft's dominant Windows operating system will be neutralized."

Gosling also accused Microsoft of making an "incompatible implementation of the Java technology that is not cross-platform, but instead is dependent on the Windows operating system platform and Microsoft's proprietary technology." Gosling continued that this was like "adding to the English language words and phrases that cannot be understood by anyone else."

Gosling also noted that "Microsoft employees have acknowledged to me that unilaterally extending the Java language destroys the cross-platform compatibility of Java technology."

Some of Gosling's e-mail documents demonstrated his lack of trust in Microsoft, especially since Sun had portrayed Java as a "way to attack the evil empire." Other documents show Sun executives' plans to use Java and a Java-based chip to replace the Wintel combo.

In one message Gosling noted (to Scott McNealy) that through Microsoft acceptance, "Java would instantly become a galactic standard. But there are many problems. Personally, I just don't trust them. The planet is littered with companies that did deals with Microsoft expecting to win big but ended up getting totally screwed." He also wrote that a deal with Microsoft would reduce credibility with Java licensees that had been informed that Java was a way to level the play field with Microsoft.

In the case, Microsoft attorney Tom Burt used the documents to attempt to show that Sun (with a Java-base OS and chip) intended to trample the Wintel combine, including a note from McNealy (after a Java demo) in which he said, "Charge! Kill HP, IBM, Microsoft, and Apple all at once." And he introduced a memo from then-Sun CTO Eric Schmidt that a "Java market wedge" could "attack Novell, Lotus, Borland, and Microsoft franchises."

On Thursday, December 3, Gosling admitted that there were problems with Sun's claim that Java is a "write once, run anywhere" developer's tool (especially with the earlier versions of the JDK), under Burt's introduction of articles and studies critical of Sun's Java claims. Burt called the article relevant because Sun and Microsoft were in competition "for the hearts and minds of developers."

Burt also tried to echo Java claims with those of C from 1978, but Gosling countered by noting that C was an "incredibly powerful example of how standards get twisted." He noted that Java was, in fact, conceived partly because of "scars that I acquired in doing C porting. One of my goals in building Java was not to live through that fragmentation again."

When Burt asked Gosling whether there were Java disadvantages to writing across platforms for users, he replied, "There are certain tasks for which Java is not appropriate. That's why there are multiple languages in this world."

Choosing a different approach during the questioning, Burt alleged Sun dropped development of its HotJava Java-based browser so it would not to compete with Netscape. He introduced a memo from Sun manager Karen Oliphant that laid out Sun's goals; these included "unify browser efforts; stop competing."

Gosling dismissed this claim, saying that after Microsoft dropped its browser prices to nothing, it "hardly seemed the sensible thing" to continue to develop a browser. He also noted Netscape's nervousness over Sun's browser development efforts.

Later, Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray said the talks between Sun and Netscape illuminated a real-world fact: "That throughout the software industry, companies meet together, they plan together." In reference to this, Murray characterized the government's efforts as "pursuing unfair double standards."

Boies responded to Murray, saying, "You had a monopolist threatening to use his monopoly power to exclude competition unless that competitor agreed not to compete."

Gosling returns to the stand

After computer expert David Farber's testimony, James Gosling returned to the stand (on Wednesday, December 10), commenting that the reason Sun rejected Microsoft's repeated attempts to develop a common interface for Java was because Microsoft only wanted to use the interfaces that worked best with Windows. Gosling said, "Microsoft said they weren't interested in doing anything with cross-platform design. We [at Sun] have no interest in locking out other platforms. Where we drew the line was where that work blocked our work on other platforms."

Microsoft's lawyers had introduced e-mails showing that after the Sun rebuff, Sun went on to recruit 11 other companies to work with it on those interfaces.

Microsoft attorney Tom Burt also displayed agreements among Sun, Netscape, and IBM to jointly develop Java projects, using them to draw a picture of Sun as holding Microsoft to a different set of standards than its competitors.

One of Burt's points was that Sun viewed Microsoft as violating its Java licensing agreement when it didn't include the Java Native Interface (JNI) in its products, while Netscape also didn't include the JNI (and still hasn't). He used an e-mail from Sun's Jon Kannegaard to the company's CTO Eric Schmidt in September 1996, that berates Netscape for not integrating JNI. The e-mail stated, "No agreement with Netscape is worth the ink it's written with. Go sign a deal with Saddam Hussein. It has a better chance of being honored."

Gosling attempted to explain this away by saying, "They [Netscape] were having engineering and financial setbacks. Their business was troubled. They kept promising and we were being forgiving of their difficulties."

Outside court, Microsoft spokesperson Mark Murray commented, "For months, we attempted to work cooperatively with Sun, but they blew us off."

More Gates TV

On Wednesday, December 2, government lawyers showed some more of Gates' August 28 video testimony, testimony that attempted to focus on his views of Java and the Sun lawsuit.

In the tape, Gates feigned ignorance about the details of the lawsuit. He said he didn't remember being told that Netscape's browser was a major distribution vehicle for Java foundation classes, even though U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) lead attorney David Boies had introduced a July 1997 e-mail to Gates senior VP Paul Maritz that said, "If we look further at Java/JFC being our major threat, then Netscape is the major distribution vehicle."

Gates then claimed that Maritz didn't really mean Java in that memo, but that he was referring to runtime APIs.

When Boies asked, "Did you believe in July 1997 that JFC was a major threat to Microsoft?," Gates replied, "In the form that it existed as of that day maybe not. But if we looked at how it might be evolved in the future, we did think of it as something that competed with us for the attention of ISVs in terms of whether or not they would take advantage of the advanced features of Windows."

In another e-mail from a Microsoft programmer to Gates from May 1997, the author stated, ""JDK 1.2 has JFC, which we're going to be pissing on at every opportunity." Gates responded that he didn't "know if he's referring to pissing on JDK or JFC, nor do I specifically know what he means by pissing on."

In yet another e-mail from August 25, 1997, Microsoft's developer relations group general manager Tod Nielsen noted, "So we are just proactively trying to put obstacles in Sun's path, and get anyone that wants to write in Java to use Jdirect and target Windows directly." Gates claimed that he didn't know what that meant.

Judge Jackson agreed to allow the government to use video clips from depositions in the Sun lawsuit to impeach witnesses, but disallowed depositions from two Caldera executives in its trial against Microsoft.

Gates speaks out against antitrust lawsuit

On Wednesday, December 2, Bill Gates attacked the government's antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft in an address (and Q&A session) at the Manhattan Institute think tank.

Gates called the lawsuit a mistake because the Windows operating system's dominance in the PC market is not assured. He said, "The current operating system we're selling won't be adequate for the demands of the future."

Gates went on to paint a picture of changes coming in the Windows OS, including speech recognition and more understandable formats for computer-generated error messages.

He trumpeted the AOL/Netscape deal as a demonstration that competitors can still create value for their companies.

As for giving away Internet Explorer (which caused Netscape to have to do the same with Navigator), Gates said, "Our decision that browsers would have a revenue stream from advertisers meant that we didn't have to raise the price of Windows." He continued: "That was bringing competition to the browser market."

Gates also commented: "Clearly the government has a role. There are issues that are essentially political issues," such as privacy. "Should your employer be allowed to see your criminal record?" But he also noted that "the government does not need to set standards -- that is one thing for sure. Internet standards are moving so fast I dare any government to keep up with them."

South Carolina withdraws antitrust trial

South Carolina announced on Monday, December 7, 1998, its intention to withdraw from the Microsoft antitrust lawsuit. South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon cited the planned merger of America Online and Netscape, as well as and their partnership with Sun Microsystems, as an example that "competition is alive and well."

According to Condon, "Recent events have proven that the Internet is a segment of our economy where innovation is thriving. The merger of America Online with Netscape and the alliance by those two companies with Sun Microsystems proves that the forces of competition are working. Further government intervention or regulation is unnecessary and, in my judgment, unwise." He added that he can "no longer justify our continued involvement or the expenditure of state resources on a trial that has been made moot by the actions of the competitive marketplace."

Farber testifies

On Monday, December 7, the government's computer expert David Farber, a University of Pennsylvania professor of telecommunications systems, said that Microsoft is making a misleading claim when it says it creates efficiencies by bundling the operating system with a Web browser. His written testimony pushed the view that combining applications with an OS injures performance.

Farber stated that integrating applications with operating systems usually results in such technical inefficiencies as redundancy, performance degradation, and increased risks of bugs.

Farber also added that if Microsoft's reasoning were taken a few steps further, the company could "bundle together all its existing and future applications with its current product sold as Windows 98."

Microsoft's responded, "Mr. Farber's views should be taken with a huge grain of salt because he has testified at his deposition that he knows absolutely nothing about the internal workings of Windows 95 or Windows 98. Mr. Farber's opinions are at odds with the facts."

On Tuesday, December 8, when cross-examined by Microsoft attorney Steven Holley, Farber managed to keep things light, injecting touches of humor.

Holley feinted and Farber parried the attacks on his viewpoint that an operating system should be limited to relatively low-level services. Farber's written testimony had stated that there are no technical barriers that prevented Microsoft from selling its browser as a standalone product.

Holley attempted to paint Farber's view of operating systems as extreme by reading OS definitions in academic textbooks, to which Farber replied, "Realize that almost anybody can write a book. I even wrote a book." He added that in the academic arena, the only common agreement is that there is no common agreement.

And to Holley's contention that corporate, real-world operating system definitions are far broader than his, Farber noted that "marketing terms are the bane of the field," and that if an operating system includes everything that's included in the box in which it's sold, then solitaire is part of several OSs.

Uniscape Java code scanner keeps code international

Uniscape announced Global Checker for Java 1.0 (GCJ), a Java code-scanning software that automates the multibyte enabling process.

GCJ scans C, C++, and Java type source files and identifies non-standard National Language Support (NLS) code. The software, through its help system, then proceeds to offer solutions to make the code compliant.

GCJ can also be used to ascertain that modified code remains NLS-compliant.

Features include:

  • scans for non-internationalized methods and constructors
  • an easy-to-use GUI for code review and modification
  • a facility to read existing ResourceBundle files and add new messages
  • an easy method to move hard-coded messages to ResourceBundle files
  • an online help system just full of i18n solutions
  • user-definable restraints and batch modes
  • Unicode support

The GCJ toolset includes Global Checker for Java 1.0 and Global Checker for C/C++ 1.1.4. It costs ,500. The C/C++ version runs on Windows 95/NT.

IBM offers BigDecimal Java class

IBM's alphaWorks announced BigDecimal, a Java class that lets systems generate commonly recognized decimal points, including the floating decimal point.

BigDecimal has been proposed as a replacement for the java.math.BigDecimal class. It extends the existing class with ANSI X3.274 floating-point arithmetic, and it implements immutable arbitrary-precision decimal numbers with optional exponential notation. Besides operations for fixed and floating-point arithmetic, it includes methods for comparison, format conversions, and hashing.

ABA delivers Java Cryptography Extension

Australian Business Access Pty. Ltd. (ABA) announced its own Java Cryptography Extension (JCE) that consists of a clean-room implementation of the Sun-defined JCE API and other cryptographic algorithms from an ABA provider.

This JCE is based on the early-access beta version 2.0 of the Sun JCE (which is written for JDK 1.2). It has three versions of the library, compatible with JDK 1.02, JDK 1.1, and JDK 1.2. The libraries contain the complete source code. Other cryptography libraries can be plugged into the architecture.

The JCE 1.2 framework supports encryption, key exchange, Message Authentication Code (MAC) algorithms, secure streams, and sealed objects.

ABA provider algorithms have been compared and checked against other implementations (including hardware when possible) to ascertain that they are standards-compliant. The provider supports the following algorithms (key generators and weak-key checks provided):

  • DES
  • DESede (or "triple DES")
  • RC4(r)
  • Blowfish
  • Twofish
  • RSA

The provider supports the following message digest algorithms: SHA-0, SHA-1, and MD5.

docSpace debuts developer network with servlets

docSpace debuted its new Web site and Developer Network, showcasing Java servlets as the power behind the docSpace open Enterprise backbone technology.

The Developer Network site offers general resource for enterprise Web developers. Members will have access to the docSpace Enterprise API, documentation, discussion groups, and support.

docSpace president and CEO Evan Chrapko said, "Our Developer Network compresses a developer's learning curve and demonstrates our market-leading command of server-side Java technology. Any qualifying docSpace Service Bureau or licensing corporation can fully customize its docSpace file services."

At press time, the developer network was not open; if you're interested, keep looking on the company's site.

For info:

Cringely shows how MS will win

In Robert X. Cringely's column from The Pulpit, entitled "Check and Mate? How Microsoft Just Might Beat the DOJ After All," Cringely details a little secret that could help Microsoft win out over the Justice Department (and Sun), despite the rulings handed down in the respective trials.

He notes that "It hasn't looked good lately for Microsoft. The e-mail trail has been damning and the government's star witness -- Bill Gates -- has looked particularly dopey on videotape." He characterizes the Microsoft legal strategy as a "mixture of legal foot-dragging, libertarian claims that the world no longer requires antitrust legislation, and a Hail Mary defense that sounds to me like, 'The dog ate my homework'." So what made Cringely change his mind on the trials' outcomes?

He expects a licensing agreement between Microsoft (the one with all the money) and a tiny Chicago-based company called the Eolas Development Corp. Eolas, led by Michael Doyle (who, along with UC's David Martin and Cheong Ang), was awarded U.S. patent number 5,838,906 on November 17 -- a patent for an invention described as "a distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document."

According to Cringely, the patent covers the use of embedded program objects, or applets, within Web documents, as well as the use of any algorithm that implements dynamic, bi-directional communications between Web browsers and external applications. He notes that "Every Web browser you can name currently supports embedded applets, and is therefore in violation of the Eolas patent."

Cringely also adds that the patent covers the concept of executable content, or in his words, the "very foundation of Java."

Cringely's conclusions: "It looks like Eolas is in a position to put Java out of business." And Microsoft has the dollars (and hopefully by now, the sense) to buy an exclusive relationship with Eolas while keeping it at arm's length (to prevent the dreaded "monopoly" from being mentioned again).

He expects a "sweetheart licensing deal" to be the next big high-tech story.

Goetz Graphics Kit for creating animated displays

Lawrence Goetz announced the Java-based Goetz Graphics Kit (GGK), designed to create animated graphical scenes for the Web.

The 11KB GGK, a shareware Java applet, lets those with little programming experience build animated Web-based displays. It uses a simple script file to carry out display commands. Each display scene can be separately hyperlinked to a document.

GGK users can use JPG or GIF images; create images as polygons, lines, arcs, rectangles; and use text. The applet can even pause when the visitor moves the mouse over the applet, and it can display info in the status bar about the item.

The animation's file size is smaller than animated GIFs.

Tidestone offers Formula One Professional spreadsheet

Tidestone Technologies announced Formula One Professional (F1P), its Java and ActiveX product for delivering spreadsheets.

F1P lets developers and users implement Excel-compatible spreadsheet functionality on servers and desktops, in applications, or across the Web. It includes:

  • Formula One for Java 5.5 -- a Java-based, Excel-compatible spreadsheet app that can be used as a JavaBean or applet for use in Java applications, Web pages, or as a standalone, platform-independent application.

  • Formula One ActiveX 6.0 -- which can read and write Excel 97 files -- to build spreadsheets into Windows apps.

  • First Impression ActiveX 6.0 -- a 2D/3D ActiveX business charting component for implementing multidimensional charting in Windows apps.

Tidestone has special partnership programs for ISVs, VARs, corporate developers, and users.

A Formula One Professional single-user license costs 9; a ten-user license is 90.

ErgoTech offers new virtual instrument JavaBeans

ErgoTech Systems announced its Professional Edition Virtual Instrumentation Beans 2.0 (VIB), a set of JavaBean components for building Java GUIs for realtime data access and display.

This release (certified 100% Pure) includes support for RMI networks and optional support for CORBA servers. And, the single developer version has been enhanced for this release.

VIB 2.0 is used to develop GUIs for industrial, laboratory, and building monitoring, control, and automation. The VIB-generated interfaces can be distributed over a network (and Internet) and viewed remotely. Its collection lets developers build:

  • meters
  • strip charts
  • annunciators
  • active input devices (buttons, knobs, sliders)
  • bar charts
  • seven-segment displays

It also comes with building-automation components such as luminaries, switches, smoke alarms, and motion detectors.

VIB 2.0 components follow the JavaBean model with easy-to-build user interfaces that integrate with other Java components, use JNI to link with other languages, and support such open standards as CORBA.

The single-developer license costs 99; the professional development license (with unlimited runtime distribution, an RMI server and alarm handling and 90-day support) costs ,299. Runtime fees for either package don't apply.

RealSelect teams with Jutvision to offer virtual home tours

RealSelect, the company that runs the REALTOR.COM 1.3 million-listing real estate site, announced it will team with Jutvision Corp. to build virtual home tours.

The key is Jutvision's Java viewing technology. It allows users to build 360-degree, interactive property tours that don't require any software for the viewers.

RealSelect plans to offer the service on REALTOR.COM in the first quarter of '99.

Java 2 (JDK 1.2) debuts at Business Expo

Sun Microsystems' COO Ed Zander debuted Java 2 (what was formerly known as JDK 1.2) at the recent Java Business Expo in NYC, along with initiatives designed to broaden participation in Java's development process.

Zander called Java 2 a "complete rewrite of the Java platform," which will include faster runtimes, better garbage collection, new class libraries, enhanced localization, and an improved security model. Zander's focus, though, was on Java's readiness for industrial-strength application development and deployment. In his words, "We pounded the heck out of this thing in terms of stability."

Other announcements from Zander:

  • The ability for commercial Java licensees to use and modify source code without intervention from Sun.

  • Opening the API development process to industry experts, standards bodies, and researchers.

  • Some business partners will head groups designed to tune Java for specific uses.

At the expo, companies announced their support for Java 2:

  • Novell offered a free application developer kit that can be used to develop services for NetWare, Novell Directory Services, GroupWise, and ManageWise.

  • Hewlett-Packard will integrate Java 2 in HP-UX 10.20 and HP-UX 11 by the middle of 1999. HP will also build JIT compiler add-ons for Java 2.

  • Computer Associates International will support Java 2 in Unicenter TNG and Jasmine.

  • Data General will support Java 2 in its AViiOn servers running the DGUX.

  • TakeFive Software's SNiFF+ tools will support Java 2.

  • Bull Smart Cards will support Java 2.

Microsoft claims its JVM is the best

Microsoft announced a pure Java upgrade to its 32-bit Java virtual machine (JVM) for Windows that it claims works better than Sun's Java 2.

The new MS JVM supports the Java Native Interface (as the court ordered in a preliminary injunction ruling in the Sun/Microsoft lawsuit). Microsoft claims this JVM, which conforms to the court order, runs an average of 30 percent faster than Java 2 on a 32-bit Windows system.

Microsoft marketing manager Charles Fitzgerald said, "While the Microsoft virtual machine is getting faster, Sun's virtual machine is getting slower on some key metrics." Fitzgerald added that Java 2 is now 20MB, while its JVM is 8MB. Another Microsoft spokesperson, Joe Herman, said, "JDK 1.2 matches the performance we had a year ago. And the main focus of this release is performance."

Java 2 includes:

  • a new JIT compiler
  • developer enhancements to speed the development cycle
  • developer enhancements to simplify integration of Java code
  • support for cross-platform applets and Windows-based applications written in Java
  • enhancements that improve execution of server-side Java components using Active Server Pages and Microsoft Transaction Server technology

Whether all the enhancements in Java 2 are supported in this version are at present undetermined. Because of the lawsuit, Microsoft hasn't been provided the Java 2 source code.

Developer version:

Updated JVM for Internet Explorer 4 Win32 versions:

Informix to combine JVM and SQL

Informix announced it will integrate a Java virtual machine with SQLJ, the Java version of SQL, into its Dynamic Server database.

By embedding the Java business logic in the Informix database, developers should be able to deploy Java applications in the database. The Dynamic Server Java module also will support DataBlade modules, as well as embed the JVM in audio/video, XML, graphics, text, and HTML pages.

Java/Perl Lingo available as open source

O'Reilly and Associates announce that the Java/Perl Lingo (JPL, developed by Perl developer Larry Wall in 1997), software that lets programmers use both Java and Perl in the same environment, is freely available as open source software.

In JPL, Java takes care of data sharing and communication across various platforms, and Perl handles sys admin tasks and Web site interactivity. With JPL, programmers can implement Java methods with Perl, and Perl code can access Java through JNI.

JPL includes a translator and build system. Its source code is available in the latest Perl development release, version 5.005_54.

According to O'Reilly software product director Gina Blaber, by releasing it as open source, "JPL will benefit from the attention of the broader development community."

Insignia signs up embedded-device OEMs to test JENE

Insignia Solutions announced a beta program to let developers test its implementation of Java for embedded systems, JENE.

Insignia signed up embedded-device developers of networking equipment, PDAs, mass-storage systems, color printers, scanners, copiers, and fax machines to test JENE and the Embedded Virtual Machine (EVM).

According to Insignia CEO and president Richard Noling, "We know there is a huge interest among developers for an implementation of Java that is suitable for embedded applications, and our beta testers are proving just how far this technology can reach." He added, "The beta testers we've initially signed include Fortune 500 electronics companies that represent an extremely wide range of applications for embedded devices."

Java evangelist Miko Matsumura resigns to go with Java start-up

Sun Java evangelist Miko Matsumura is resigning to start work with Java start-up company known as (until recently known as Madura, is an Internet applications developer with products and services that are designed to facilitate the implementation of ERP solutions. According to the company site, it is backed by Nomura/JAFCO Investments.

"For three-and-a-half years," Matsumura noted, "I've had the privilege to serve as the Java evangelist for Sun Microsystems. This role has taught me what it means to run fast and "run everywhere." The early Java team showed me what kind of incredible creative energy, talent, intelligence, persistence, humor, and insight it takes to bring a great new technology into the world. I'm grateful for that time."

"I'm leaving my post having evangelized to an estimated 100,000 people," he added.

His largest "sermons" are covered at

His travels as Java evangelist are listed at

Sun offers changes in Java licensing model

Sun announced changes to its Java licensing model, designed to offer more flexible terms for using Java source code. The company also announced an initiative that would make it easier to join in creating new functions in Java.

According to Sun, the Community Source License is intended to provide easier access to source code, increased and more rapid innovation, and faster commercialization of products based on the source technology. Sun's Java Software president Alan Baratz said, "Our goal has always been to foster industry participation in the usage and development of the Java technology, while preserving a unified platform. The new model achieves that balance while opening participation to anyone and enabling collaboration among the participants. This guarantees far more rapid innovation than ever before possible."

Under the Community Source License, Sun will

  • continue to provide source code for non-commercial purposes and provide the Java Runtime Environment binary to software programmers and developers for incorporation into products free of charge

  • allow commercial developers to use and modify the source code for commercial software product development without charge

  • allow innovation to the source code without requiring that innovation be returned to Sun

  • allow commercial entities to modify and share compatible source code with other commercial concerns without charge and without Sun mediation

  • allow licensees to package for resale Java class libraries with VMs from other licensees

"We are sharing our source code with companies and individuals committed to compatible implementations of the Java platform," Baratz added.

Fees will continue to be charged for companies that create derivative products for production use within their companies or for commercial distribution, as well as for service companies that use the source code for commercial support or consulting. Baratz said that under this licensing scheme, "We don't make money unless you make money."

For more information (you must register for this site):

Java 2 developers raise flag on restrictions; Sun reassures

Reaction from the Slashdot information-exchange site's participants highlighted a concern that the Java 2 (JDK 1.2) Binary Code License Agreement prohibits licensees from disclosing any comparison test or benchmark results without the approval of Sun.

One Slashdot participant put it this way. "If they've improved the performance, why restrict the benchmark tests? Seems like they would want to tout their accomplishments."

Sun's Java product line manager Rick Schultz attempted to reassure developers. He said that although the company used standard license-agreement language, Sun has no intention of enforcing that rule. "We'd like to make an exception for Java because it's unique in Sun's product line, so we plan to continue to allow people to publish their findings." Schultz added that Sun should have removed that restriction but had missed it. He promises the clause will come out.

The agreement states that the licensee "may not publish or provide the results of any benchmark or comparison tests run on software to any third party without the prior written consent of Sun."

Group at O'Reilly responds to new Java license model

Several authors and editors at O'Reilly and Associates responded to Sun's recent announcement to change its licensing model for Java.

Tim O'Reilly, O'Reilly president and CEO:

One of the most powerful things about open source is that it pulls itself into niches. Someone has a very specific problem to solve, which doesn't seem to matter to anyone else but eventually goes on to become very important. For a new technology like Java, letting the user community extend it to meet specialized needs expands the boundaries at which innovation can occur.

Java is one of the key technologies for the future of computing, with its support for networked, smart devices. Moving toward open source, Java will bring us that future much faster, and with more interesting surprises.

Robert Eckstein, author of Java Swing: This is a tremendous opportunity for Java. The Community Source License bestows Java with the more appealing aspects of the open source model, significantly widening the braintrust that can further develop Sun Microsystems' Java platform. This agreement also helps to ensure that Java flourishes in a homogeneous environment that both commercial and non-commercial entities can reap benefits from.

Stig Hackvan, author of Open Source Licensing: Although the Sun Community Source License (SCSL) is clearly an important step toward a more cooperative relationship with users of Sun technology, it is also clearly not an open-source license. One important feature of the Open Source Definition is that users of open-source software are free to change it in any way deemed necessary. Sun's license is directed at maintaining control of the Java technology standard, however, and so the SCSL compels licensees to keep in step with Sun's standard, both now and in the future.

Mike Loukides, editor of O'Reilly's Java series: I have long believed that Java was the most important new software technology on the scene, and that it offered a new paradigm for building widely distributed computing systems. It is also clear that the open source community has development skills and energy that are unsurpassed by anything in the commercial world. Bringing the two together has immense consequences. It means that open source applications developed under Java can immediately run on Windows and commercial Unix systems, in addition to Linux, without a lengthy porting effort. Java benefits because it can tap the energy and expertise of open source developers -- a talent pool that can't be matched.

Java servlets programming book fresh off the press

O'Reilly announced Java Servlet Programming, a book by JavaWorld author Jason Hunter that provides all the knowledge needed to write effective servlets, including more than 100 examples that can be incorporated into new servlets.

"Java servlets have been quick to gain acceptance," said Hunter, "because, unlike many new technologies that must first explain the problem they were created to solve, servlets are a clear solution to a well-recognized and widespread need: generating dynamic web content." He continued, "Java servlets offer a fast, powerful, portable replacement for CGI scripts."

The book covers the Java Servlet API standard extension.

Java Servlet Programming, Jason Hunter with William Crawford, 1st Ed., November 1998, 528 pp., ISBN 1-56592-391-X, 2.95.

To order Jason's book online, go to

Greenbrier and Russel offer advanced Java programming course

The training company Greenbrier and Russel announced it will offer the new Advanced Java Programming, a four-day course that covers such advanced topics as advanced core technologies, thread programming, network programming, JavaBeans, JFC/Swing, and JDBC.

According to training and software GM Tom Flynn, "The advanced Java course provides our customers with extremely in-depth Java training."

Two IBM products get EJB support

IBM announced that the advanced edition of WebSphere 2.0 (software server that offers up Web services over networks) and VisualAge (its application-development suite) will support Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) server-side technology.

IBM also announced the availability of WebSphere Application Server Standard Edition 2.0, which includes the new IBM HTTP Server, based on the Apache Web server.

This version of VisualAge, due by the end of the year, also includes wizards and tools designed to make it easier to write and test EJB components.


VisualAge for Java:


Painted Word delivers OLAP server Mocha Beans

Painted Word has released Mocha Beans 1.01, a set of Web-based, OLAP-aware Java-development components designed to build analytic applications for the Hyperion Essbase OLAP Server from Hyperion Solutions. Also, the full Mocha Beans API is available.

Mocha Beans, designed as building blocks for rapid assembly of reporting and analysis solutions, can be used with any Java IDE. The visual bean set includes a template builder, a grid, a list box, an outline tree, and Essbase-specific components. The template builder delivers a common interface to Essbase, used by developers to mouse-click custom data views.

Mocha Beans can be manipulated through an IDE's property, method, and event-handling tools.

Other features include:

  • an OLAP data-wizard bean that establishes communication between the application program and OLAP sources

  • a visual grid that displays data in a tabular format, including column headers and custom sorting

  • a non-visual bean that allows the initial retrieval from an OLAP Control to be customized through a template wizard

  • a grid operation button that allows operations common to the OLAP grid paradigm to be performed

  • the Member Combo, which provides a drop-down list of members that can be retrieved dynamically at runtime from a connected OLAP Control

  • a visual bean that provides a tree-based depiction of an Essbase dimension

  • an Essbase login dialog box that allows the application to connect to and log into an Essbase server and select an application and database pair

  • a Linked Reporting Object browser that allows the user to view objects linked to a grid cell, add new linked objects, and more

Warp 10 offers up Java-based Digital Toolkit 1.0

Warp 10 Technologies announced the Digital Toolkit 1.0 (TDT), a Web-enabled, three-tiered system that can be customized to manage digital assets, develop Web-based asset-management systems, or integrate the functions of a digital multimedia resource into host applications.

TDT offers brand managers and developers the ability to build an application that easily manages control, storage, and repurposing of digital assets. It is a set of Java classes and C/C++ programs that can be used to build either a multitiered C/S or standalone system. It also includes an embedded object database, Web templates, a text search engine, and a sample application of an image repository and Java-upload module.

TDT's three-tiered architecture consists of

  • Data Capture Layer -- a front-end layer that provides data capture, creation, deletion, and modification of assets. It also presents data as a result of full-text searches.

  • Business Rules Layer -- translates the raw data from the Data Capture Layer and converts it to a business context using rules written by systems developers to either create a completely new application working independently of other applications or embed a media asset repository within another application.

  • Storage Layer -- serves data from and puts data into permanent storage while maintaining integrity, controlling concurrent access, upholding security, and supporting other data-management functions.

Warp 10 offers a VAR program for TDT that includes sliding scale discounts, lead generation, online/telephone support, beta program participation and support, and marketing development funds.

TDT 1.0 is available now for 5,000 (five-administrator license).

GJ 0.6i supports generic types

GJ 0.6i is an extension of Java that supports generic types, such as collection classes in reusable libraries, by letting the coder write the GJ type Vector< String > as opposed to the Java type Vector, so the compiler catches more errors.

GJ 0.6i is a superset of Java, so every Java source program still retains its legal status and the same meaning in GJ. The GJ compiler can be used as a Java compiler; GJ compiles into JVM code, allowing GJ-generated programs to run on any Java-compliant system.

GJ class files mix with other Java classes, letting applications call any Java library function from GJ and vice-versa.

GJ is translated by erasure, so no information about type parameters is maintained at runtime.

GJ is freely available.

Sun plans to unveil Jini on January 25

At the recent Java Business Expo, Sun CEO and president Scott McNealy said Sun will formally announce the Java-based Jini distributed computing technology on January 25, 1999.

Jini won't just focus on business markets, noted McNealy, it will also target consumer markets, since Jini-based networks can use a home's electrical wiring (through network adapters attached to consumer devices) to deliver instructions to devices. This applies to the industrial sector -- manufacturers can use the same method to control shop-floor equipment.

Jini should make it easier for developers to build distributed systems: through Jini, any device connected to a network is represented by a software object.

Sun promised to provide a list of manufacturers that will be embedding Jini capabilities into their consumer devices.

More on the commercial aspects of Java 2 licensing

Sun's new commercial focus with the Java 2 licensing model -- give more of Java away to more people, but make them pay for it when they build a commercial product with it -- will deliver more money to Sun from Java. At least that's what Sun executives believe.

The new licensing model is complex. Under it, by just clicking on the license's "agreement" button, users can download Java 2 (formerly JDK 1.2) for free, make changes to the code, and not have to share those changes with Sun. They can even license to others what they've done with the code, as long as those folks become licensees.

But it's not quite open source. Before a product built with Java 2 ships in its final, binary form, Sun gets to approve whether it meets Java standards. After that, Sun can collect a per-unit fee.

Sun's Java Software president Alan Baratz noted, "We have put an enormous amount of thought into the licensing model. We wanted it to be the most open we could while preserving compatibility. To go further would risk fragmentation." He added, "We will make more money on the royalties, far higher than under the previous model."

Baratz also noted that the royalty-calculation determinations will continue to consist of a complex mix of factors. And that, for now, collection will be on the honor system -- no timebombs or expiration code. He said, "In the future we may have to set up accounting measures, but we don't see the need at this time to do that."

IBM has asked Sun to hand over at least part of the mature aspects of Java to the International Standards Organization, and Sun officials agreed that it would begin this process in February 1999. Sun was nebulous on how much of the Java code would be turned over to ISO, however.

As to whether this licensing model will cause the approximate 900,000 Java developers to start fragmenting Java remains to be seen.

IBM Sueltz trumpets Java's arrival

IBM Java and OS/2 GM Patricia Sueltz made a keynote address at the recent Java Business Expo, claiming that Java has gone "mission-critical."

Other IBM officials noted, though, that despite Java's robustness, it will be well into 1999 before IBM will integrate Java 2 into shipping products.

"A host of companies are working closely with Sun to make [Java] more stable and overcome early drawbacks," Sueltz said, pointing out the 10K compatibility tests that now come with the JDK, and the fact that more than 40 percent of large U.S. corporations use Java applications.

Sueltz sees the new Community Source License model for Java 2 as a way to speed up Java development.

Sueltz and senior IBM engineer Andrew Donoho demonstrated a prototype of a new graphics interpreter technology developed with Adobe that uses Java and XML to let browsers resize Web-page graphics without sacrificing detail or clarity. She claimed the software was written in a short eight weeks by six programmers (three from Adobe, three from IBM) using IBM's XML Parser for Java.

Inprise Application Server integrates with Java

Inprise says its Inprise Application Server will offer integration between Inprise's JBuilder and the CORBA-based VisiBroker Integrated Transaction Service, so users will have an end-to-end system capable of developing, deploying, and managing distributed applications.

The system, which comes with AppCenter (an applications-management tool), will offer mid-tier business logic, and standards-based database and legacy connections to support several types of clients. The server also will link programming language, client interfaces, and the DCE and COM object frameworks.

The server will ship with the JBuilder tools at first, with support for Borland Delphi and C++Builder showing up in 1999.

It is available now for Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, and Windows NT. Check with the company for pricing configurations.

Farber's definition of operating system

In the testimony by government computer expert David Farber, Microsoft attorneys introduced several textbook definitions of operating systems in an attempt to discredit Farber's definition of the term.

Of course, as evidenced by other internal Microsoft documents and e-mails, the company didn't expect to have its own definition held against it.

Microsoft's 1997 Computer Dictionary defines Internet Explorer as a Web browser and as an application. The dictionary's definition of an operating system doesn't include one reference to the Web-browsing functions that Microsoft claims Windows 98 incorporates.

When Farber was asked whether he agreed with Microsoft's published definition of an operating system, he replied, "It's the one used by the majority of textbooks."

Did Farber propose a remedy?

In his testimony on defining an operating system, witness David Farber concluded that it was "perfectly feasible" for Microsoft to make Windows 98 more modular, allowing users to choose which functions they wish to use.

Department of Justice lawyer Denise De Mory asked Farber whether he thought consumers would "lose anything" by separating operating system functions from other functions in Windows 98. Farber replied to the contrary: "I believe we would gain in competition in the marketplace."

Farber also added in his Wednesday, December 10 testimony that he thought the way to remedy the situation would be to require Microsoft to make its software code more modular.

Sun to ask MS to rejoin the Java effort

Sun's Java Software president Alan Baratz said he will make an effort to get Microsoft back into the Java community now that Sun has shipped Java 2.

Microsoft's response came from Microsoft group product manager Charles Fitzgerald in a written statement: "Sun's obligation under the agreement is to deliver JDK 1.2 to Microsoft. To date they have refused to deliver and are in breach of the contract. If and when they deliver a JDK 1.2 that fulfills all of their contractual obligations, we will evaluate it. This is just another example of how Java is a double standard, not an open standard."

What Fitzgerald didn't mention is that the above-mentioned contract is the centerpiece of an active lawsuit, which sort of puts it (as well as delivering new technology to an entity that is allegedly violating the terms of the contract that covers such delivery) out of reach. In fact, Sun suspended Microsoft's Java license as part of the dispute.

Sun's new Community Source License, though, means that if it agrees to the license, Microsoft can download the source code to Java 2 and alter it at will. (Before Microsoft attorneys pipe up, this new license model doesn't make earlier alleged violations moot.) The catch: Microsoft would have to subject its Java code to Sun's compatibility tests before it ships it with commercial products or shares it with other licensees. (For more on the license, see "More on the commercial aspects of Java 2 licensing" in this section.)

Baratz said Java 2 gives developers a "complete windowing, rendering, and font system that does not rely on the underlying operating system." In other words, Java GUIs don't need to call native code. He added that Sun had let Microsoft have more leeway to modify Java than it did with other licensees: "You will not see any references in Microsoft's Java license to shared code. In the previous version of the Java platform, 80 percent was shared code that licensees could not modify, plus they had to give modifications on the other 20 percent back to Sun. Now we can be more flexible because our compatibility tests are so much better. Our goal is to get to zero shared code."

At the recent Java Internet Business Expo in New York, Microsoft evangelist Brad Merrill polled developers on what Microsoft should do with Java.

Sun trying to get HP back to Java

As it is with Microsoft, Sun is concerned about getting Hewlett-Packard to rejoin the Java effort.

HP has licensed its embedded Java clone to Microsoft and other operating system vendors.

Sun's Java Software president Alan Baratz claims Sun responded to HP's original objections by allowing the company to build a Java clone.

Judge queries: Illegal tactics or a better product?

On Thursday, December 10, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson asked James Gosling, "Didn't what Microsoft do was grasp the significance of the work you were doing and then run with it and produce a better version of it? They simply couldn't wait for you to catch up?"

If Jackson's question indicated a leaning (he is also the jury in this case), then it means he could accept Microsoft's defense that its implementation of Java was made purely for competition and not as a means to illegally impede Sun's Java effort. It would weaken the government's case.

DOJ lead attorney David Boies said later that the judge's question might have meant agreement with Microsoft's Java defense. He said, "I think that the judge's question reflects the fact that he was impressed with a number of points that Microsoft made on cross-examination -- in terms of the fact that what Microsoft was trying to do was to, in effect, build a better Java." But Boies added that the government (or Sun) wasn't arguing whether or not Microsoft should be allowed to build a better mousetrap; he said, "The issue in this case is whether Microsoft can use its monopoly power to advance its products."

Microsoft lead attorney John Warden said, "Microsoft competed hard with Java and got ahead of Sun. Sun is understandably unhappy about that situation."

Gosling testifies, part three

On Thursday, December 10, Java creator James Gosling testified that Java development was a community effort that Microsoft violated.

Gosling said, "Often when Microsoft was holding out their hand, there was a knife in it and they were expecting us to grab the blade."

Microsoft attorney Tom Burt attempted to paint Sun as a company that chose to work with its competitors over Microsoft, and that Sun had made its own unilateral changes to Java.

Burt cited a Sun internal e-mail after an April 1996 meeting with Microsoft in which a Sun executive expressed concern over Microsoft's use of the term "language extensions." Burt asked Gosling whether anyone from Sun corresponded with Microsoft about their worries. Gosling replied in the negative, adding that Sun didn't think that the situation "was going to lead to something that would require us to send a nasty-gram from a lawyer."

Sun claims new Microsoft VM has arithmetic bug

Sun claims that after internal testing of Microsoft's recently released JVM with the Spec Java Benchmark, it has discovered a bug in the way the JVM handles arithmetic functions. A Sun spokesperson noted that Sun had not alerted Microsoft about the bug.

A Microsoft spokesperson said its Java team hadn't uncovered any problems in the JVM; she also confirmed the Sun had not contacted that company about the bug.

There has been no independent verification of this bug at press time.

Correction: HotSpot compiler beta available

From an earlier brief, we reported:

HotSpot manager Dave Griswold announced that the beta version of Sun's HotSpot compiler for Java is available for free download.

HotSpot isn't a JIT compiler -- it performs a more intensive, analyze-on-the-fly compile of Java bytecode. The HotSpot compiler output is in the form of machine code (1s and 0s). Sun's hope is that the maximum efficiency this would deliver to native hardware speed will bring Java's performance into the same realm as C/C++.

Griswold said HotSpot achieves efficient code compiling by improved garbage collection, which HotSpot does continuously in the background, 5 milliseconds at a time.

So, where's the download, then? Sun's Sherman Dickman informs us that "HotSpot is available to developers, but only in a restricted seed for now. Additionally, HotSpot is currently available to all JAE/JRE licensees. When a Early Access release will be made available to the general public is still under debate."

Sorry if we got your juices flowing too early. Keep checking with the site for news of an early access version.

FAA tests enterprise Java telecom-order system

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced it has implemented a Java-based pilot project -- a telecommunication services ordering system for its national offices, designed to capture data on the more than 0 billion annual telecom equipment/services purchases.

The new system grabs data on what services have been ordered, places the order with the correct agency or vendor, and tracks how well expectations were met. The Java system makes it easier to collate that data, which is split between two separate systems -- one in-house and one with the U.S. Air Force. Order tracking and fulfillment is hosted and accessed on a variety of PC systems.

Telecommunications project manager for the Java system Nick Xidis said the system was constructed over the past year by three programmers. With Java, Xidis said, "Small teams can achieve their goals in a short amount of time."

The system was built using JDK 1.0.1, and will leverage the massive amounts of unused bandwidth the FAA network maintains (for high reliability requirements of carrying voice and radar data).

The pilot system went online on October 19, 1998.

Novell chooses 5 recipients for the Internet Equity Fund

Novell has chosen five companies -- with Java as a central criterion to the selection -- to receive million in investment from the 0 million Internet Equity Fund (IEF), designed to "accelerate the directory market."

The chosen five Internet software companies -- of which the investment will comprise no more than 20 percent of the company -- are:

  • enCommerce (getAccess secure authentication software)
  • NetObjects (Web site management software)
  • ObjectSpace (Voyager ORB software)
  • Oblix (Corporate Services Automation digital persona creator)
  • Orbital Technologies (Organik Persona knowledge-management server)

Head of the IEF, Blake Modersitzki, sees Java as essential to Novell Directory Services: "Java is key to Novell, and we want to be involved with companies that live and breathe in the Java space."

Kane Scarlett comes to JavaWorld from such magazines as Advanced Systems, Digital Video, NC World, Population Today, and National Geographic. He's not a platform fanatic -- he just likes systems that work (i.e., don't issue a beta as a final version) and systems you don't have to upgrade every six months (upgrades should be new features, not bug fixes).