News and New Product Briefs (5/15/98)

Rumors abound: IBM and Sun crafting next Unix?

Rumors are flying that IBM and Sun Microsystems are codeveloping a next-generation version of Unix that will tightly incorporate Java. The goal: Deliver a scalable Java application environment and simplify Unix use.

Without referring to this project at all, Sun Solaris marketing director Brian Croll said, "Five years out, you will see Solaris be a Java server engine. The fusion of Java and Solaris is going to give the capability to run a huge application on the server side, and it will just scream."

Deloitte & Touche reviews 1997 and forecasts 1998

Deloitte & Touche's High Technology Group recently released its "1998 Software Industry Annual Report," a review of major developments in the software industry in 1997 and predictions for 1998.

Based on 1997 performance (and a Zona Research study), the report sees Java wading into battle as a non-proprietary alternative to Windows, slowly absorbing more software developers with its design. Zona projects that the Java tool market will triple (from 8 million to 80 million) from 1997 to 2000.

The High Technology Group's managing director Mark A. Evans said it wasn't as easy to spot a technology winner this time around. "This past year, the industry's rules were radically changed by bold new products, hard-ball marketing, and high-stakes litigation," he said. "Our [Report] takes a close look at the industry, how it's changed, and the challenges that await it -- and provides insight into how it has affected virtually every aspect of our daily lives."

Other findings indicate that business spending will be twice the projected volume of consumer online spending by 2002; online gaming networks should breathe new life (and billion in revenue) into the entertainment software industry; and the Asian market crisis means postponed hardware purchases and infrastructure reductions.

For a copy of the "1998 Software Industry Annual Report," send an e-mail request to

Java not on the agenda for Merced's first steps

At Intel's lead, software for the next-year 64-bit Merced chip (operating systems, compilers, and so on) will be Java-lite, centering on C++ instead. (Compilers and the OS will be important factors in leveraging the architecture of the Merced chip.)

Intel itself, and HP, Microsoft, Metaware, and Edinburgh Portable Compilers are all developing Merced-capable C++ compilers -- not an easy task as the Merced architecture uses both the speculation and the predication techniques (which seem to be mutually exclusive).

  • Speculation masks memory latency by taking load instructions out of their normal place in the middle of a branch, and moving them up to be executed as early as possible in the program.

  • Predication removes branches from an application program by executing both pre- and post-branch instructions at the same time. Then you toss the results from instructions that wouldn't normally have been running in a real-world application.

To take advantage of both, a compiler has to be able to let the many execution units skip unnecessary decision branches and avoid memory latency.

HP, Sun, Digital Equipment, and Sequent are working on Unix OS. Microsoft, of course, is developing a 64-bit version of NT.

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Cisco site replaces C/Perl with Java

Cisco's e-commerce Internetworking Product Center's site's engine is under renovation -- the heavy C and Perl CGI applications are being torn out and replaced with a Java/CORBA environment.

Cisco developers are working with development company Alta Software to provide the new Java/CORBA framework, which, the company hopes, will

  • speed performance
  • deliver enhanced levels of user personalization and customization,
  • make it easier to manage
  • allow it to be more tightly integrated with other systems, both in-house and out

Project manager David Corsano said, "As more and more customers use the applications, we realized that things were going to start to break. We also realized it was starting to get costly. It was taking us more time to build in enhancements as well as maintain the application. It was time to build the system using an architecture that would scale into the future." That was because the company is currently fulfilling about 47 percent of its orders over the Web.

The Internetworking Product Center should be finished in late summer 1998.

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Which ISVs are supporting WFCs

So far, here is the status of major software vendors' support for Microsoft's proprietary Win32 Windows Foundation Classes (WFCs).

According to IBM VisualAge unit spokesperson Dusya Broytman, IBM's VisualAge for Java will not support WFCs. She said, "We are not going to include proprietary extensions to Java." SuperCede also has decided not to offer support for WFC in its SuperCede product. Both companies comment that supporting WFC would be counter to the reason for Java in the first place -- its portability.

Oracle and Inprise haven't decided whether to support WFC in their Java development environments, AppBuilder for Java and JBuilder, respectively.

Sybase plans to continue support for real Java and integrate support for WFC in PowerJ in the future, even though Sybase GM of Powersoft languages Rob Veitch said, "I wouldn't say we see a lot of demand [for WFC] now."

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Smallworld 3.0 can write in Java

Smallworld's Smallworld 3.0 GIS received several enhancements recently. (Smallworld 3.0 is an object-oriented model that links and displays data stored in a database onto an interactive digital map or other visual format.)

In Smallworld 3.0, developers can write component object model applications in Java, Visual Basic, Delphi, and C++, instead of being limited to Smallworld's proprietary Magik library.

Also new to Smallworld 3.0:

  • added support for Oracle databases; users can install the software as an Oracle database client

  • a new map projections module

  • an enhanced ability to integrate spatial data from external sources

  • an enhanced SQL server providing access to Smallworld 3.0 data via Open Database Connectivity

  • improved crash detection and recovery capabilities

  • faster data transfer to external applications

  • double-byte support for Asian language character sets

Smallworld 3.0 should start shipping in fall 1998 at 5,000 per user (general edition) and 8,000 per user (developer edition). It runs on Windows NT, Digital Unix, HP-UX, Solaris, and AIX. Original story:

Infoscape Fresco 3.0 out the door

Infoscape announced that Fresco version 3.0 is shipping. Fresco is an intranet database-application building environment.

New to Fresco:

  • An application wizard that automatically creates a user interface and a set of data connections with event/action buttons.

  • Live test mode so developers can see the Fresco application, both the user interface and content, while the app is being constructed.

  • Support for RDB-stored procedures and database views.

  • Support for NetObjects, FTP publishing, and JAR.

  • Custom object wizard so developers can create and graphically add application-specific components using IDEs.

  • Pre-built, reusable Java components.

  • Native Informix RDBMS adapter.

  • Charting components that integrate horizontal and vertical bar charts into applications. Other charting graphics include a dynamic status bar indicator and legends.

Fresco 3.0 pricing is based on the deployment environment and starts at 0,000.

PNNL releases Java word processor/presentation software

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) announced the release of EMSL Publisher, a Java-based word processor and presentation tool that can be customized for applications through the use of JavaBeans and various plug-in applets.

EMSL Publisher was designed for the preparation and printing of scientific documents. It comes with its own text engine, in two versions -- EMSL Publisher Lite and the EMSL Publisher Professional.

  • Publisher Lite is a word processor/presentation package that lets users display and edit the JavaBeans that rest within documents.

  • Publisher Professional offers automatic journal styling, chemical and mathematical equation setting, a citations database, and distributed document server technologies. It includes floating or embedded frames for JavaBeans and the ability to customize the entire document format for all relevant sections.

The document server allows multiple users to access and edit a single document, delivering record-locking and version control. And Publisher has a built-in citations database, so users can place references into the document and be automatically styled.

The JDK 1.1-compatible software runs on Windows 95/NT, Macintosh, Solaris, and most other Unix platforms.

O'Reilly releases a Java security book

O'Reilly recently released Java Security, a book by Scott Oaks that explores aspects of -- you guessed it -- Java security.

The author details how to use Java's facilities for signing classes or implementing your own signature facility. It gives a step-by-step explanation of how to write a class loader that recognizes signed classes, verifies the signature, and cooperates with a security manager to grant additional privileges.

The book also covers security managers, class loaders, the access controller, the Java security package, and the differences between JDK 1.1 and 1.2.

"Java's security model is, from a programming perspective, a lot more flexible than many people realize," says Oaks.

Java Security, Scott Oaks, 1st Edition May 1998, 450 pages, 1-56592-403-7, 2.95.

Cable company TCI picks PersonalJava for set-top boxes

Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI) has licensed Sun's PersonalJava as one of the standard programming languages for all of its advanced digital set-top devices.

As a result of the agreement, Sun will provide a software port of PersonalJava for devices that will also run Windows CE.

"With Sun's PersonalJava software, TCI will be able to deploy multiple world-class operating systems in millions of advanced digital devices, beginning in 1999, while maintaining a universal API for most content and applications," said TCI CEO John Malone. "Use of the PersonalJava software is a major step forward in the realization of the OpenCable API guidelines for operating system and processor independence," he added.

TCI also obtained the option to license Sun's JavaOS for Consumers. And, TCI will support Sun's JavaTV Application Programming Interface (API).

Netroscope and UC-Berkeley teach "Java for the Enterprise"

Netroscope and the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) announced that they have reached an agreement through which UCB will allow Netroscope to offer "Java for the Enterprise" seminars through the UCB extension.

The "Java for the Enterprise" seminars are designed for organizations and individuals that are looking to gain low-pain expertise in Java development and deployment. The seminars examine why a business would choose Java and gives detailed analyses of Java business products.

The fee for this seminar is 95 per person and includes a day of instructions with handouts. Businesses also can arrange presentations of the seminar in-house.

Know your dynamic extensions in Java

Computer Literacy Bookshop in San Jose, CA, is offering a free presentation by JavaWorld author Bill Venners, called "Understanding Dynamic Extensions in Java." This event will occur on May 19, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

Venners will demonstrate how to dynamically extend Java programs by offering an overview of Java's linking model (that lets developers use unknown classes and interfaces to compile programs). He also will discuss the changes in JDK 1.2, including constant pool resolution, name spaces, and code samples.

Paradigm Research announces JavaBeans technology class

Paradigm Research recently announced the fourth course in its Java Technology Development Series, "Introduction to JavaBeans Technology."

The course offers concise hands-on training in Java component technology, featuring:

  • an introduction to JavaBeans components
  • component design
  • component customization
  • providing dynamic behavior
  • using JavaBeans in other component development environments including Crossware and ActiveX

Class enrollment starts in the third quarter of '98. Contact the company for pricing and group discounts.

Schlumberger and Philips join efforts for encrypted Java cards Schlumberger announced it has selected Philips Semiconductors' high security chip as the processor for its new Cyberflex smart cards.

The Cyberflex card now will come with Philips Semiconductors' P83C858 cryptocontroller secure chip. Schlumberger officials said the chip will provide high levels of security for the Cyberflex card (which is available for third parties) and will allow Java to be used for mass-market applications in the banking, telecom, and e-commerce industries.

The Cyberflex is built on Schlumberger's Cyberflex 2.0 Core technology. The Philips P83C858 IC provides a maximum key length of 2,048 bits; the key length can be scaled in steps of 32 bits. The cryptocontroller contains the FAME (Fast Accelerator for Modular Exponentiation) arithmetic coprocessor -- which means fast execution speeds, allowing users to use longer key lengths for better security.


Philips Semiconductors:

Infosys deploys Java help desk system for Copeland

Infosys Technologies announced it will create the Java-based Client Services Workstation (CSW) for the Copeland Companies, a U.S. retirement planning products provider that also provide services for non-profits. CSW is an integrated intranet application that delivers a graphical front end for a back-end help-desk system.

With CSW, Copeland can offer users a personalized interface based on their industry category. The CSW's easy-to-use GUI provides a single channel for users to access client information from several sources.

CSW is the first step in Copeland's migration to distributed object technology. The final system will consist of a three-tiered architecture that features a Window 95/NT client, an NT object server, and an AS/400 database server. Data access is serviced by JDBC.

Manage.Com debuts FrontLine Manager for intranets

Manage.Com, a start-up, has introduced FrontLine Manager, Java-based software for managing IP-based desktops, servers, and network resources.

FrontLine Manager is designed to handle day-to-day operational management tasks, such as immediate response to alerts. It includes a thin-client, Web browser GUI to offer views of applications, network services, servers, desktops, hubs, switches, and routers. There are also easily upgradable Java agents to provide dynamic resource-status monitoring, and an object database for dynamic representation of network status and device relationships.

FrontLine Manager supports standard SNMP agents and proprietary Management Information Bases (MIBs) from 3Com, Bay Networks, Cisco Systems, and Cabletron Systems. A single copy supports 255 devices.

FrontLine Manager runs on Windows NT and Solaris at a price of ,995 per copy. It should be available by May 31, 1998.

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IBM builds VR and 3D Enterprise JavaBeans

IBM plans to unveil several new Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), spanning the spectrum from merchandising virtual reality applications to Webmaster-specific EJB tools.

According to IBM officials, the Webmaster tool will let Web professionals create EJBs with access to SQL databases using a scripting language, with no knowledge of Java. Look for this tool by the end of 1998.

Other IBM EJBs will provide enough bandwidth support for digital video applications and define new client "platforms" (such as chips to be deployed on freight packages). IBM also is working on EJBs for HotVideo, for Panoramix (a 3D online store), and MerchandiseVR (a VR-oriented catalog).

IBM will deliver an sample of its EJBs in June.

Caribou Lake adds to its JSQL products

Caribou Lake Software announced three new or improved products to its JSQL product line -- Jpass 3.0, Jtunnel 3.0, and Jsockets.

Jpass 3.0 allows pass-through JDBC calls from client applications to any database server through a Web server. Jtunnel 3.0 delivers JDBC calls through DNS-disabling firewalls and reverse-proxies. Both products let users extend JDBC applications to multitier architectures.

The new Jsockets is a general-purpose firewall-tunneling product, designed to be used for delivering Java applets and business objects from the application server to the Internet. Users can deploy Java components to the client from server-side Java applications. Unlike other HTTP-tunneling socket solutions, Jsockets supports full-duplex communication, allowing clients to listen for connections from other Jsockets clients. And Jsockets supports SSL, so users can create a virtual private network between any Internet nodes, regardless of configuration.

The products should be available in July 1998. Until then, try free, fully functional evaluation copies of Caribou Lake products, at the Web site.

FileMaker Pro 4.0 edition certified 100 Percent Pure

FileMaker announced FileMaker Pro 4.0 Developer Edition has received 100 Percent Pure Java certification from KeyLabs.

The FileMaker Pro 4.0 Developer Edition features an API that allows developers to write external functions for FileMaker Pro databases, to expand the core functionality of FileMaker Pro 4.0. It incorporates Java class libraries to provide access to FileMaker Pro databases across all operating systems.

"For years, FileMaker Pro has been one of the best cross-platform databases on the market," said FileMaker president Dominique Goupil. "The Developer Edition, with 100 Percent Java certification, allows developers to enjoy the benefits of easily developing cross-platform custom solutions all in one product. This will be especially important as more developers are creating databases for company Internet, intranet, and extranet Web sites," said Goupil.

FileMaker Pro 4.0 runs on most PC and Unix environments. It is scheduled to ship in June for a price of 99.

Baltimore Technologies debuts Java/SSL and C/SSL

Baltimore Technologies offers two new language versions of the secure sockets layer (SSL) system used by Web browsers for secure transmissions -- J/SSL (for Java) and C/SSL (for C).

Both products will be released as toolkits for developers of e-commerce security software. With the toolkits, application programmers can easily add security features to most Internet applications like electronic banking, online trading, and remote access.

Creating security toolkits for both Java and C leverages the reality of the market, said Baltimore officials. Java is the leading language for client communications, and C is tops in server applications. Both toolkits are compatible with each other.

J/SSL is Java-compatible. C/SSL is portable to Windows (16-bit and 32-bit), Linux, Solaris, VMS, MVS, SunOS, and HP-UX platforms.

Novell chooses POET for Java networking products

Novell has chosen to license POET Software's POET Object Server object database and SQL Object Factory as a common repository for its products.

Novell will incorporate POET technology in the new Java-based Common Install feature of Novell's upcoming NetWare server platform. Novell also will use POET technology in other Java development projects designed to add new capabilities for storing, managing, and retrieving object-oriented data.

POET's compliance with the Object Database Management Group (ODMG) standard, as well as its implementation of Java language bindings, performance, scalability, functionality, footprint, and cross-platform support are reasons Novell picked POET's technology. According to Glenn Ricart, Novell CTO, "The POET Object Server technology is a perfect match with our increased emphasis on Java development projects, offering excellent integration with the NetWare operating system and our server-based Java computing environment. POET's Java enables transparent persistence for Java applications; we expect to leverage this functionality in an increasing number of projects."

The POET Object Server language bindings let developers store Java and C++ application objects transparently in native form. The POET SQL Object Factory automatically maps application objects into SQL for seamless storage of objects in relational databases.

CST debuts Jacada for CA-Telon

CST announced Jacada for CA-Telon, a development environment that automates Java, VB, or Windows graphical clients generation for Computer Associates' CA-Telon products. CA-Telon is an application development system for COBOL and PL/I applications.

Integrating CA-Telon and Jacada gives the CA-Telon applications a fast enhancement by automatically generating graphical thin-client interfaces that require no changes to the CA-Telon application. The client can be generated in Java, Visual Basic, or Windows.

Information on availability was not ready at press time. offers on-site code analyzer is offering a code analyzer on its site. The analyzer will automatically decompile and analyze Java resources within the Gamelan directory, giving developers a peek at the insides of some of the best Java applets available.

To use the code analyzer, developers just click on the "detail" button alongside individual resources in the Java directory. In essence, this technology allows developers in need of coding tips to deconstruct more than 2,000 cutting-edge Java applets.

"The detailed information provided by the 'code analyzer' is the ultimate offering for our audience as it's an incredible facilitator for the tasks involved in their development work," said Bill Gollan, senior VP of online services at EarthWeb.

PixTools gives Java image-handling capabilities

Pixel Translations announced PixTools for Java, a JavaBeans toolkit designed for client-based image decompression and display.

With PixTools, users can construct platform-independent imaging clients or add document-image capabilities to existing Java clients. PixTools comes as a set of beans components that can be integrated easily (often on the component palettes) in Java development tools.

PixTools offers:

  • high-speed display of binary images, including zoom, scroll, and rotate, in Pixel's format or Wang/Eastman format

  • scale-to-gray capabilities for superior image readability

  • image printing

  • client-based file handling and decompression of TIFF/G3, TIFF/G4, and JBIG formats

  • sample code, including source for a sample viewer applet

The JBIG and server-based TIFF-to-JBIG transcoding capabilities deliver a bandwidth-optimized method of passing document images to a remote client.

PixTools is extensible, so developers can add decoders for specialized image formats and input handling for non-HTTP data sources.

Pixel Translations is a division of Input Software.

The PixTools for Java toolkit should ship by the end of the second quarter of this year; pricing is expected to be ,995, with license fees on a per-server or per-site basis.

Progress Apptivity 2.1 adds features and enhancements

Progress Software announced Apptivity 2.1, the latest version of its application server/development tool for Java, with new features and enhancements, including HTTP tunneling and an expanded database driver set.

New Apptivity features in 2.1 include:

  • HTTP tunneling for faster and easier Web application deployment
  • new database drivers, including one for the PROGRESS RDBMS
  • an integrated distributed debugger
  • CORBA support

Apptivity applications can be deployed to any JDK 1.02 or 1.1 platform. Apptivity 2.1 is compatible with any JDBC- or ODBC-compliant data source. Current Apptivity customers get a free upgrade to Apptivity 2.1. It costs ,995, which includes Apptivity Developer and a five-user Apptivity Application Server. Additional licenses start at ,000 for a 20-user server.

VIP debuts Java Inet gateway between Notes and IBM Digital Library

VIP Ltd. and InfoCal LLC announced Collaboration Connect, a jointly developed set of Java-based tools to connect Lotus Notes and the Domino Server with IBM's Digital Library or ImagePlus VisualInfo products.

The Collaborative Connect Java components run within a Notes 4.6 client or Domino browser to enable real-time access of content stored in a Digital Library or VisualInfo repository. With Collaborative Connect, users also can load content based on scan and store processes. According to company officials, this provides the best of both worlds -- combining the collaboration features of Notes and the content-management features of Digital Library and VisualInfo.

"Having industry-dominant software like Notes, VisualInfo and the Digital Library with Java as the glue allows us to create uniquely valuable solutions for our customers," stated InfoCal president Paul Grudnitski. "Customers have been asking for tighter integration between Notes and Digital Library. Collaboration Connect gives customers the ability to significantly leverage their investments in either Notes or Digital Library, or create entirely new application solutions that were previously not feasible."

VIP will be offering Collaboration Connect to Lotus, IBM, and customers as a part of the VIP QuickLaunch Series of professional-services offerings.

VIP Ltd. is an IBM Premier business partner. InfoCal LLC is a Lotus Premium Partner.



Novera/Allied Group offer jBusiness Java kiosk management

Novera Software has partnered with The Allied Group to craft Java kiosk-management applications for the retail market. The software will be based on Novera's jBusiness product.

An example of the kiosk-management systems that the two companies will be deploying includes a self-service, nationwide retail gift registry, using the jBusiness management component so single kiosks can provide access to bridal, baby, retirement, and graduation registries.

"This partnership is further evidence that server-side Java is a viable option for the development of enterprise-wide, business applications," said Novera marketing VP David Butler.

Prism adds Java engine to data warehouse tools

Prism Solutions debuts a new Java engine in its Executive Suite, a data-transformation engine that facilitates the process of data warehousing.

The Executive Suite is made up of three parts: Warehouse Executive, Warehouse Directory, and Quality Manager. Warehouse Executive is a development environment for moving data from operational databases to a data warehouse or data mart. Warehouse Directory is a metadata directory. Quality Manager is a tool to audit and manage data quality. The Executive Suite's GUI has been converted to a 32-bit system, with simplified scripting and enhanced editors for graphics, mapping, and transformation.

Also, new features include workflow capabilities for collaborative development and integration with a main-memory database from TimesTen Performance Software.

The new Java-based Transformation Engine is a "code-transparent" engine that lets users write data extraction and transformation procedures that can be deployed on any Java-enabled platform. According to officials, the engine developers can take transformation routines and install them wherever they're needed in a data warehouse framework. This should make it easier to take data from operational systems and reconfigure it for inclusion in a data mart.

The upgrade is expected in summer 1998. Licensing fees start at 5,000.

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Stingray/Rogue Wave upgrades Objective Toolkit to version 5.2

Stingray Software (a division of Rogue Wave) announced Objective Toolkit 5.2, an update to the set of more than 60 MFC extensions.

Objective Toolkit 5.2 contains architectural improvements to existing components, as well as the following new features:

  • dockable bitmapped menu support

  • redesigned Workspace Manager that adds support for multiple views per document, dynamic control-bar creation, storage-to-file or storage-to-registry, workspace-versioning control, full DockingViews support, and activation-state persistence

  • tree control, which adds native support for sub-item text storage, overlay images, multicolumn editing, and IntellMouse

Enhancements include the following:

  • the menu bar class now delivers the same support found in Microsoft Office and Developer Studio

  • tree control provides enhancements to the keyboard selection interface, notification messaging, and painting routines

  • the build system has been componentized to let developers build into more than 40 different distinct pieces to minimize the size of DLLs

Objective Toolkit 5.2 is priced at 95 (including source code and 60 days of technical support).

GraphOn GO-Joe 2.0 goes faster and farther

GraphOn announced GO-Joe 2.0, an upgrade to its thin-client X server for Java-enabled displays. The upgrade serves up increased performance and extended platform support.

GO-Joe 2.0 uses GraphOn's unified server, which drives all GraphOn's thin clients, including GO-Global for Windows and GO-Between for Microsoft's Windows Terminal Server (WTS).

Version 2.0 adds support for AIX and DEC Alpha server platforms. (Already on board are SunOS, Solaris, HP-UX, and SCO OpenServer.)

Developers eventually will be able to evaluate GO-Joe by picking up a copy at the company's Web site, but at press time, the evaluation download was not available.

Net-It Central 2.5 upgrade ready

Net-It Central 2.5 is available; it is a new version of Net-It Software's server-based software that allows end-user departments to instantly publish documents to the intranet. Enhancements include improved back-office operation, and hyperlink and Java font support.

New features of Net-It Central 2.5 include

  • enhanced back-office operation -- now Net-It Central can run as a Microsoft Windows NT service

  • remote control using the Windows NT Server Manager

  • automatic recognition and retention of hyperlinks included in any desktop document, even if the application itself isn't capable of turning the text into an active hyperlink

  • user-customized font retention/substitution

Net-It Central 2.5 costs ,995 per server; the Professional Edition (with open API document-management integration, groupware, and custom solutions) runs for ,995.

Apple's new OS easier on application rewrites

At the recent annual Apple developers conference, Steve Jobs announced that Apple will not continue on with the development of the Rhapsody operating system. Instead, the company will develop MacOS 10, a combination of MacOS 8 and Rhapsody.

According to Jobs, this combo is better for application developers, because they won't have to rewrite all the code in their applications to run on the new OS.

Version 10 is based on a subset of the 8,000 APIs that developers have been using to create Macintosh apps. According to Jobs, 2,000 of those APIs have been yanked -- the ones that prevented such advanced OS features as protected memory, virtual memory, preemptive multitasking, fast networking, fast file I/O, and PowerPC nativity. The ones that are left are called the Carbon APIs.

"It's only going to take a tune-up of these apps, not a complete rewrite," said Jobs. He predicted that most applications can be "modified" to the Carbon APIs within five days, with an average rewrite of only 10 percent of the entire code per application.

To make things easier for developers, Apple is shipping Carbon Dater, software that analyzes existing Mac programs, then sends the results to Apple, which will post Carbon results on developer Web pages.

MacOS 10 beta should ship in the first quarter of '99, and Sonata (which will merge version 10 and the last shipping version of number 8, 8.6) should ship in the third quarter next year.

The MacOS 10 platform will have a combo Java virtual machine (Microsoft, Metrowerks, Symantec, and Netscape JVMs rolled into one). Apple also expects the next shipping OS (Allegro, version 8.5) to support Java 1.1.6 and the Swing APIs. Jobs promised Java would perform at the 3,100-CaffeineMarks performance level: "Our goal is to be second to none this fall in our performance with Java," he said.

New Java Software division VP Jim Mitchell speaks

In a recent InfoWorld interview with Jim Mitchell, vice president of Sun's newly reorganized Java Software division, Mitchell said that the company is prepared to craft Java technology into market-ready products.

Other comments from Mitchell:

On HP's embedded JVM: "I'm quite unconcerned about the competition of someone building another virtual machine implementation. I actually want to see lots of clones. But if they add bytecodes or change Java by, say, adding one or two new statement types to the language, that would upset me, because their Java would no longer be compatible with our Java. And if they're not compatible, then I think that their motives are suspect. They are, after all, doing this without any license from us for the intellectual property."

On whether Sun will find itself in the same position, legally, as Microsoft in the future -- when Java becomes universal: "I think there are some differences. We license source, number one. Number two, we actually made our specs open; there are no hidden interfaces that we know about and you're not allowed to know about. And we published those specs and said there can be clones with a few rules on the clones because of the primary value proposition of Java being 'write once, run everywhere.' That's quite different from what Microsoft has done. My claim is the horse [Java] is out of the barn and we can't bring it back."

On how the new division intends to make money: "We believe in open interfaces and competing on implementation. If someone goes and builds a clone of the JDK, we're competing on implementation. We've got ours, they've got theirs. Right? This is very common in the telephony world. Lots of people build phones, different features, and so on, as long as they all have an RJ-11 and plug in and obey the signaling standards. That's exactly the same kind of market. The standards are open, and they're competing on features and price and all of those sorts of things."

Read the rest of the interview at the InfoWorld Web site.

Macromedia licenses Metrowerks CodeWarrior Java compiler

Metrowerks announced that Macromedia has licensed its CodeWarrior Java compiler for the Macintosh and Windows platforms, to be integrated into its multimedia authoring tools.

CodeWarrior will compile the Java source code that Macromedia Director 6.5 generates into Java bytecode, making it easier for developers to craft Internet and hybrid applications.

DigiChat 1.1b9 enhances Java

ELS and Digi-Net Technologies announced DigiChat 1.1b9, a beta release of the client/server chat product that includes new enhancements in the Java arena.

This release uses InstallAnywhere (from Zero-G Software) to install DigiChat to MacOS, Windows/NT, Solaris for SPARC Web Servers, and any Java-enabled platform.

In the realm of Java, the following enhancements/features have made:

  • A workaround for a scrollbar bug in Macintosh Runtime Java 2.0 has been included.

  • Menu bars will no longer cover the top portion of a window when using Microsoft Java 2.0.

  • Users now get a "security exception" message if they attempt to access the DigiChat server from behind a firewall (Java doesn't allow this).

Other features and enhancements include better server stability, logout bug fixes, scrolling banner bug fixes, encrypted passwords, simplified FTP access to logs and transcripts, a new Server Console, and increased Windows NT server performance.

Developers can download a free evaluation copy. DigiChat allows an unlimited number of concurrent users and is priced according to the number of Web sites hosted, starting at 95.

Tetranet offers the Wisebot Java indexing engine

Tetranet Software announced the release of Wisebot 1.0, a new Java Web development tool that creates a Web site navigational index just by typing in the URL.

The Wisebot site navigation system consists of four Java applets -- the site index, site map, what's new page, and push channel creators.

The site index creator is a text-retrieval search engine that uses the company's Extractor technology (co-developed with the National Research Council of Canada) to read pages and automatically extract important keywords and phrases, then add them to meta fields.

The site map creator generates a tree that is fully expandable with hyperlinks, creating a visual representation of a site's organization.

The "what's new" page creator generates a page that keeps visitors up-to-date on any changes made to the site in the last 30 days.

The push channel creator automatically creates and publishes content for a CDF-compliant channel receiver (Channels Definition Format).

Wisebot 1.0 (the standard edition, for managing about 500 pages) costs 95. For indexing many sites and larger numbers of documents, Wisebot Pro is available for 95.

Bad applet attacks Microsoft IE 4.0

Users have discovered a hostile Java applet that attacks Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) 4.0 Active Desktop. It paints desktops white, and can possibly cause users with open files to lose those files.

The 1-kilobyte applet replaces the screen with white pixels; this causes users to reboot if they wish to keep working. If you pick up the applet, pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL keys will reset Internet Explorer.

Sun Java security architect Li Gong said the problem exists only in the Active Desktop architecture. "The same attack wouldn't work on the JVM on Sun equipment," he added, since the JVM has an extra security layer not available with Active Desktop.

Short take: Beduin debuts Java browser for phones

Beduin Communications announced Impact, a Java-based Web browser designed for smart or network telephones.

The 260-kilobyte browser is crafted to be integrated into telephones that support Java and Internet access, with a specially designed small-screen user interface that lets users zoom in and out on a Web page. Users can click on a linked phone number on a site, and the phone will automatically dial the number. And Impact also automatically reconnects to that last place if the connection is lost.

Company officials comment that it has made a deal with a major Canadian telecommunication equipment manufacturer to incorporate the browser in mobile phones but declined to name the company.

Java gets differential evolution applet

Rainer Storn, a member of the technical staff of Siemens AG in Munich, recently posted a Java applet for function approximation -- an applet that applies genetic-algorithm theory to mathematical approximation. The technique is known as differential evolution.

Differential evolution is a population-based, stochastic function minimizer designed to model functions that are non-differentiable, non-linear, or otherwise resistant to traditional approximation techniques. A similar technique used by neural researchers to deduce network functions from data samples, simulated annealing, could also model non-linear/non-differentiable functions, but Storn notes that differential evolution is quicker and requires fewer restarts.

"We want people to use differential evolution, so it has not been patented in any way. Our new Java version runs on any platform that has a Java virtual machine and includes graphics support for visually checking the optimization process as it runs," said Storn.

Storn (with the help of programmer Mikal Keenan) created the Java applet with a simple menu interface. The user chooses the problem and solution strategy from a scrolling list, then fills in form fields with the desired parameters. The user receives two visual plots and one textual output plot.