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

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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).
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