At Inprise keynote, Sun's Baratz makes release-date announcements

Java Software Division president says when JDK 1.2 and HotSpot will ship, announces Sun-Inprise alliance.

August 11, 1998 -- In his keynote this morning at the 1998 Inprise Conference (ICon) in Denver, Alan Baratz, president of Sun's Java Software Division, offered "Straight Talk about Java Technologies for the Enterprise."

Adding to his usual Java spiel, Baratz announced the release date for JDK 1.2 FCS (first customer ship) -- early November of this year. Had this been JDK 1.1 at this stage in its development, he said, it already would have shipped, but 1.2 must meet four new stringent criteria before it gets the thumbs up:

  • The RAM footprint can be no more than 30 percent bigger than the current JDK 1.1 release
  • The startup time must be at least as good as JDK 1.1
  • Performance must be at least as good as 1.1
  • The developer kit must be fully backward compatible

During the audience Q&A session, several audience members expressed concern with the 30 percent RAM increase. Baratz stressed that while the functional increase between the two Java versions is greater than transitioning from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95, the RAM footprint will be trimmed after the initial release.

Baratz also mentioned February 1999 as the release date for HotSpot, the technology that is expected to bring the performance of Java up to the level of natively compiled C++. HotSpot uses a three-prong approach to improving performance: pause-free garbage collection, adaptive optimizations, and a new threading and synchronization model. Adaptive optimizations work by making "optimistic optimizations" (Baratz's words) that a static compiler cannot do. With adaptive optimizations, a bad guess can be backed out later with HotSpot.

Finally, Baratz announced in the keynote a strategic relationship between Sun and Inprise (formerly Borland). The alliance was forged to help migrate existing NEO users to the VisiBroker CORBA ORB, and to enable the porting of Inprise development technologies (like JBuilder) to Solaris. (See Resources for a link to a story on the Sun/Inprise agreement.)

Stay tuned to JavaWorld for a full Inprise conference report.

Learn more about this topic

  • For more on the Sun/Inprise agreement, see "Inprise teams with Sun on Solaris tools, Java support" in InfoWorld
  • Inprise's Web site features a press release on the agreement with Sun
  • HotSpot technology is discussed in the following JavaWorld article "HotSpotA new breed of virtual machine"
  • HotSpot was also covered in JavaOne Today, the online show daily produced by JavaWorld. See "With HotSpot, the JVM is faster than a speeding bullet!"