Home > Oracle and SUN > Sun Bets its Future on JavaSun Bets its Future on Java Eugenia Loli 2002-08-28 Oracle and SUN 32 CommentsSun’s recent moves towards supporting Linux might feel like a warm embrace for the open source movement. But it has much more to do with supporting anything that will enhance the Java ecosystem.About The Author Eugenia LoliEx-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 32 Comments 2002-08-28 1:32 am “let java become standardized(by a commitee) and have sun focus on the runtime enviroment”this sounded like a pretty good choice when i heard it. let java become standardized by a commitee(similar to c++, i believe) and let sun make focus on speeding up the jre. thoughts? 2002-08-28 1:36 am When you want true cross platform apps over the web, Java simply rules!With tools like IBM’s WebSphere Studio Java development tool and Kylix Enterprise it will continue to be a web force to reckon with.ciaoyc 2002-08-28 1:53 am It is interesting that two of the biggest players in the computer branche move to operating system agnostic platforms. Sun bets its company on Java, while Microsoft is doing a similar thing with .NET. I wonder if in a few years it won’t matter which hardware or operating system you are running. This is easier on the server side, I wonder if Microsoft can make the same jump on the client/desktop side as well. 2002-08-28 2:07 am > I wonder if in a few years it won’t matter which hardware or operating system you are running.No, it won’t matter. I said that here (second page):http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=686And do not forget, Ms does not make money with Windows. Office does though. 2002-08-28 2:08 am there’s a story about XML’s influence on the whole spectrum;http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/19179.htmlit will be interesting to see hows these standards will interweave?! 2002-08-28 2:42 am No, it won’t matter. I said that here (second page):http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=686And do not forget, Ms does not make money with Windows. Office does though.Direct Link for this comment XML?What you are saying is probably true, but I wouldn’t bet on it using .NET as your previous post suggested. Why would I not believe in Microsoft delivering a standard .NET experience across platforms? Because their hearts are small and their greed knows no bounds as they have proven time and time again during the life of their company.By the way, when I worked at Microsoft, they made scads of money off of Windows. Windows and Office are the biggest money producing products they have (or at least that was the case when I was there).That is why I think the open source community would be much better served working on improving the Java GUI experience (such as eclipse is trying to do) or coming up with a similar technology of their own which WILL be a standard experience across platforms instead of getting into bed with Microsoft; only to have the blankets ripped away later on. 2002-08-28 2:56 am “I wonder if in a few years it won’t matter which hardware or operating system you are running”i agree that the possibility is there. but only if .net and all that comes with it are accessable from things other then win95-xp, macos linux and other platforms must be supported or it will just turn into a rediculouse layer for the MS monopoly 2002-08-28 3:07 am Eugenia, is there a way for osnews to keep my settings (cookies?), so I don’t have to click <read all ## comments> for each new story.Your site is really nice. 2002-08-28 3:27 am The thing about .NET is that major parts of it have been submitted to ECMA. That may not mean that much, but it is a start. Also, Microsoft has worked with many companies to provide all the features in the CLR. It offers a lot of opportunities for other companies. Mono and dotGNU are two examples.One part of .NET is web services. IBM just recently provided an example of how WebSphere can interact with .NET web services based on open standars (mostly developed by the two companies). This interoperability also requires Microsoft to adhere to these standards – unless they want to alienate a lot of people.I think .NET has a lot of potential. It provides a lot of good things that I am looking forward to use. 2002-08-28 3:29 am >is there a way for osnews to keep my settings (cookies?)…nope… 2002-08-28 4:39 am “When you want true cross platform apps over the web, Java simply rules!”What is the deal with ‘over the web’ .. doesn’t anybody program for the desktop anymore? I fear that in a short amount of time, I’ll be running all of my apps in a browser ;-( 2002-08-28 4:45 am I have IE6 on the medium privacy settings. I suspect this does not allow OSNews’ partner (members.csolutions.net) to set a cookie (IE reports it’s blocked by my current settings), and therefore I get a pop-up everytime I go to OSNews, eventhough it’s only suppose to show once.Ironically, the pop-up has the title “Is someone looking for you?”, and the only way to stop it re-appearing is to lower my privacy settings. Maybe I don’t want to be found! :^) 2002-08-28 6:10 am What is the deal with ‘over the web’ .. doesn’t anybody program for the desktop anymore? I fear that in a shortamount of time, I’ll be running all of my apps in a browser ;-(you will most likely not run your apps in a webbrowser. but yeah, more software companies will make their users get the software from a server every time they start it and charge them monthly or every time they use it. the only single purpose of this is IMO to gain control over piracy.Sure these kinds of client/server solutions are good for… client/server applications for light hardware, but not for MS Office or Photoshop.They keep coming back to arguments such as “It won’t waste space on your harddisk” or “It will update on every computer automagically”well, I’m pretty sure that HDD space isn’t not really a problem. It might have been back in the early/mid 90’s but nowdays music and movies are the big diskspace wasters. But large harddisks are so cheap now, it doesn’t really matter.And updating apps automagically isn’t really a problem even if you run them from your HDD. It can even be done during runtime in many cases.A big issue that I see with updating apps like that is that they user has no control over it. Suddenly an app changes and the user can’t work with it like he/she used to. They might even need more education before they can continue working with it.If only more companies could see that piracy actually can be good for their business and increase sales. A few of them sees it, but not enough. 2002-08-28 6:19 am Not saying I like Java very much (I’m a c++ developer who works on intensive scientific apps), but it definitely seems to be a much better solution than .NET, well, it would be if SUN ever decided to release its stranglehold on JAVA.About .net, I was personally amazed at HOW FAST tons and tons of books showed up at the book store covering .NET. Scary… 2002-08-28 6:25 am About .net, I was personally amazed at HOW FAST tons and tons of books showed up at the book store covering.NET. Scary…Ya, everyone wants to make a few bucks on the hype.It was the same thing with ASP.When a new hyped technology shows up like that, it doesn’t matter how well the book is written, it’s just about being first. 2002-08-28 7:03 am Now (as in 1.4) Java is just an overbloated (4 base stream classes ???) crap which is NOT stanardized and controlled by SUN. Java will NEVER EVER make it to the desktop (remeber the “Someday Java will run as fast as C++” …that was said 7 years ago).It will never cease to amase me how you ppl always whine that Microsoft is bad, .NET is bad, yadda yadda. Well now parts of .NET & C# are standardized by ECMA …and you ppl still complain about MS and praise the PROPRIETARY Java (Don’t even start talking abou JCP).Oh yeah….totally agree with the books stuff..most of them suck big time. 2002-08-28 8:49 am But too small parts of .NET is standardized by the ECMA to make the standard really useful, one has to implement huge chunks of non-standard APIs to make a working implementation (an implementation that can’t run the .NET apps that are written is surely a wonderful standardized thing in theory but the practical usefulness is near zero). On the other hand Java is more completely controlled by the JCP, so while it might not be the group people like it to be controlled by, but it is at least all controlled in one place.Interesting about all this is the idea that there are some standard bodies that count and some that don’t, in all honesty I dont care more for the ECMA than I do for the JCP. Any moron can set up a club in his backyard and call it a standards body. Get back to the issue when ISO has published a complete standard on .NET. 2002-08-28 10:18 am Eugenia: And do not forget, Ms does not make money with Windows. Office does though.Microsoft makes less and less money with Windows, but it is still its second biggest cash cow.rain: If only more companies could see that piracy actually can be good for their business and increase sales. A few of them sees it, but not enough.No, your points are moot. When Warcraft III came out, there was keygens flying all over the Net. These keygens allow you to use Battlenet for free from your pirated copy.Brian: About .net, I was personally amazed at HOW FAST tons and tons of books showed up at the book store covering .NET. Scary…I remember Java books came out even faster. At the local bookstores, we saw banners after banners promoting Java books. That was scary. In comparison, .NET is mild.XML is also the same story. 😉tesmako: But too small parts of .NET is standardized by the ECMA to make the standard really usefulThe non-standardized part serves little purpose to non-Win32 OSes. Microsoft is doing to .NET what it did with Java. remember when Microsoft promised to standardize many new technology, like COM – this is different, this is the first time they submited it to a respected (and one of the strictest) standards bodies around. The rest of the non-standardized part is the web services, which is no better than Sun’s ONE, except that I would probably trust Sun more with my banking accounts than Microsoft.tesmako: Get back to the issue when ISO has published a complete standard on .NET.Getting ISO would be nice, but you would see .NET about, say, a thousand years more? Getting something to be an ISO standard, something new, is like getting Satan to do something good. 2002-08-28 1:19 pm I’m not sure where Berlind gets his idea that Sun is “betting its future” on Java. Because one guy at Sun (Gingell) has a few comments about what he’d like to see happen?If Sun was betting it’s future on Java, I think you’d see *real* integration of Java on the Solaris desktop — but it just isn’t there. 2002-08-28 3:24 pm I don’t think Sun cares much about the desktop. That’s why you won’t see much happening in that area. The sell big, powerful boxes – this is a perfect marriage for Java, which needs big, powerful boxes. 2002-08-28 3:40 pm Actually Sun is alive and well on the desktop, in CAD mostly. I dont see how Java could possibly fit into that though 2002-08-28 3:45 pm http://news.com.com/2008-1082-947510.htmlJonathan Schwartz is the man leading the most important efforts at Sun.Within the confines of Sun Microsystems, where he is executive vice president of software, Schwartz is nonetheless brimming with ideas–not the least of them hatching plans for the company’s next assault on arch-rival Microsoft.That’s not all. He’s talking about selling Linux-based desktop computers for specific jobs and backing the MySQL open-source database software for certain tasks. Schwartz is also figuring out Sun’s new “N1” plan to let administrators manage thousands of servers and storage systems as a single computing resource.With Jonathan in charge, it looks like Sun is in good hands.Maybe Microsoft will need some SPF 50 in the future? 2002-08-28 4:07 pm What is the deal with ‘over the web’ .. doesn’t anybody program for the desktop anymore? I fear that in a short amount of time, I’ll be running all of my apps in a browser ;-(When I worked at Microsoft, they were always talking about having people run applications off the web, but this doesn’t necessarily mean through a browser; although in their case it might. They always seem to “integrate” all their crap together into one hellish nightmare.Microsoft isn’t there yet, but with Java’s JumpStart technology, you already can already deploy apps across the internet or a network in a way similar to what Microsoft is hoping to do with .NET. I think JumpStart is a pretty cool technology. Also, I believe you don’t need to be on the net to use the applications once they are downloaded since they are cached on your machine; but I could be wrong. 2002-08-28 4:24 pm The non-standardized part serves little purpose to non-Win32 OSes.I guess you’re right. Most other OSes don’t have programs that need database connectivity. ADO.NET is NOT part of the ECMA stardardization, yet it would be very useful on non-Windows platforms would it not?Microsoft is doing to .NET what it did with Java.Yes, they are. They are making .NET run “better” on Windows than on any other platform. My experience with Java has been that it runs exactly the same and supports exactly the same code on all the platform that have a Sun certified JVM. I can’t, nor do I believe I ever will be able to say that of .NET.…this is different, this is the first time they submited it to a respected (and one of the strictest) standards bodies around.However, they have NOT sent all of .NET to that body. What does that mean for consumers and developers of .NET? It means I will have to write different .NET code to support Mono or DotGNU platforms than I do for Windows platforms. How is that any different from writing different C code for various platforms? Java is much better at this than .NET ever will be. Does this mean Java will prevail over .NET? Probably not. There are too many people that stomp on the Microsoft pedal to receive their food pellets. 2002-08-28 4:44 pm Already wrote a reply about this once today, but I managed to lose it by trying to post it without a header Really the ECMA standard is a publicity stunt, the average slashdotter seems to be all impressed with MS supplying .NET as a standard to something that sounds like a standards body. The point is not that it is bad, .NET is sufficiently standardized through excellent documentation from Microsoft and no “magic” behind the scenes at all. The JCP I have to say is an excellent approach which I cant see why everyone complains about (thought the everyone are mostly slashdotters so I probably shouldnt listen all that much), Sun, IBM and Bea are all in on it and progress looks sane. In the same way as .NET Java is standardized enough with or without the JCP, the JCP is just a bonus.Largely I see no real political reason to go either way, possibly Java is better off since Sun makes implementations available on more platforms themselves.All in all I dont like the politics much since they are so similar in politics, technical arguments are far more interesting and which is better is far from obvious, years of flamewars ahead yet 2002-08-28 5:45 pm However, they have NOT sent all of .NET to that body. What does that mean for consumers and developers of .NET? It means I will have to write different .NET code to support Mono or DotGNU platforms than I do for Windows platforms. How is that any different from writing different C code for various platforms? Java is much better at this than .NET ever will be.This difference between .NET and .C is that your final COMPILED program will (should) work across platform under .NET, but not under .C.It seems to me that MS is standardizing the underlying infrastructure and binary layer rather than the utility layer.A classic example of this for Java would be the Classpath project from GNU. Off hand, I’d say that all Sun would have to standardize in the JVM and java.lang.* (perhaps some other stuff). This standard would help ensure cross platform BINARY compatability versus cross platform SOURCE compatability.Save for, example, java.lang, one could write their entire Java application with GNUs Classpath libraries, and they should work with any JVM.Now, obviously it’s not going to be that simple with MS, because odds are those binaries aren’t “100% Pure .NET”, meaning they’re probably simply shells over .DLLs, but who knows.That is one of the keys to the Java platform. 100% Java means that it is dependant solely on the JVM, and nothing external, thus ensuring binary compatability across JVMs. Whether that binary was generated using the classes from the J2SE or completely custom classes is irrelevant. Properly bundled, the JAR file should “run anywhere”. Any platform dependence is locked within the particular JVMs, and not your application.It’s this lack of 100% .NET that will kill it for cross platform moreso than not standardizing database access, I think. (Now, there may well be a 100% .NET initiative of somekind, but I’m not aware of it, and I’m basing my assumption about it missing on historical MS behaviour rather than any actual information that a compiled, binary .NET application using something like ADO.NET would not run on Monos runtime on Linux. I most certainly could be wrong.) 2002-08-28 7:24 pm This difference between .NET and .C is that your final COMPILED program will (should) work across platform under .NET, but not under .C.I know how .NET and C both work. I was using it to make a point. .NET will be just as C and I will have to compile two different versions. One for Mono and one for .NET. With Java, I only have to compile once and it works. What’s even more amazing, and apparently less understood, is that I can do it today. I don’t have to wait until next year; or whenever.It seems to me that MS is standardizing the underlying infrastructure and binary layer rather than the utility layer.But not fully. That is where the problem will manefest itself.A classic example of this for Java would be the Classpath project from GNU…Okay, maybe this will help. Do you remember why Sun sued Microsoft over J++ 6.0? It was over “enhancements” to Java such as the WFC classes. These enhancements (suprise) only worked on Microsoft’s version of the JVM; thus breaking Sun’s model. Microsoft wants that to be the case. They want .NET to work a certain way across platforms and then to work a “better” way on Windows. They will allow Mono to create a .NET Runtime that will work, but not as robustly as the Windows version will. I promise you that .NET will never work as well on other platforms as it does under Windows. Therefore, you will either have to write crippled code, or write two versions of your software.Now, obviously it’s not going to be that simple with MS, because odds are those binaries aren’t “100% Pure .NET”, meaning they’re probably simply shells over .DLLs, but who knows.Again, that is my point exactly. The standardization is a marketing stunt only. Microsoft will never allow .NET to get out of their control and they will never allow Windows programmers to write code in .NET that can effectively be shared cross-platfrom to, for example, the politburo that produces Linux; or vise versa. 2002-08-28 9:08 pm Okay, maybe this will help. Do you remember why Sun sued Microsoft over J++ 6.0? It was over “enhancements” to Java such as the WFC classes. These enhancements (suprise) only worked on Microsoft’s version of the JVM; thus breaking Sun’s model. Microsoft wants that to be the case. They want .NET to work a certain way across platforms and then to work a “better” way on Windows. They will allow Mono to create a .NET Runtime that will work, but not as robustly as the Windows version will. I promise you that .NET will never work as well on other platforms as it does under Windows. Therefore, you will either have to write crippled code, or write two versions of your software. First off, we’re talking about the same thing here, just FYI.However.The third option to your list above is to right good code and have it run on both Mono and Windows .NET. While, in fact, all programs for Windows.NET may not run on Mono.NET, you’d like to think that the other way around SHOULD work.Now, also I should submit here that I’m talking about “headless” server-esque code, not GUI stuff. I’m pretty confident that writing portable GUI code in ANY .NET is pretty much doomed from the start. I doubt anyone will go to the effort to write something akin to Swing for any version of .NET (which all told probably is hated more for performance than portability).The thinking is that if MS doesn’t free up ADO.NET, then Mono.NET will clone/enhance it. The SQL Server driver for all platforms save Windows will be non-existant, but, amazingly, the Oracle, DB2, and Postgres drivers will be portable.This gives developers the option of writing to .NET on Linux (or whatever), and port to Windows with no changes.MS provides the core runtime engine, the stuff in the ECMA standard, while Mono provides that as well as opens up the rest of the system (Mono Standard Lib, or whatever). All of Mono’s work may be inspired by MS’s, but doesn’t necessarily have to match it exactly. The idea being that Mono has binary portability TO Windows.NET, even if Windows.NET does not have portability to Mono.NET.Binary portability is the predominant thing I like about Java. The fact that you can write a webapp using Oracle, download the Tomcat binary for your appserver, run that appserver, Oracles DB Drivers, and a custom webapp on a Sun, HP-UX, Windows, or AS/400 is a great thing.The .NET platform as submitted SHOULD be able to do that, but the fact that MS won’t LET it do that is the real tragedy.Mono could, sort of, take .NET away from MS. It won’t, but it could. If Mono proves more popular to developers interested in a portable application runtime system, and for whatever reason aren’t interested in Java, then Mono can define that platform. Portable coders use MonoADO.NET versus ADO.NET.But if .NET becomes popular with non-Windows users, and MS continues to lock up basic infrastructer pieces, then we’ll someday see “I have some C# code that doesn’t compile in Visual Studio” “That’s because you’re not using the Standard Mono Library, but MSs. You need to download the Mono Libraries at xxx.yyy.com”. 2002-08-29 2:28 am I’m not sure where Berlind gets his idea that Sun is “betting its future” on Java. Because one guy at Sun (Gingell) has a few comments about what he’d like to see happen?Has anyone read the Interview with Scott McNealy that appeared in the August/2002 issue of Linux Magazine?He said as much himself:“If you want to be so last millenium and write to an ABI that is compiled to a specific version of an OS and a specific version of a microprocessor, if you want to do that, we’ll offer you a standard Linux ABI — whatever standard means in the Linux world — but we will recommend very strongly that you write at one level up. And that is to the Sun ONE architecture.”Sounds pretty clear to me that they see the writing on the wall and that they’re betting the business on Sun ONE [Java].Cheers 2002-08-29 2:31 am Here’s another good quote from the same interview:“We tell people, ‘Don’t write to Solaris. Don’t write to Windows. Don’t write to Linux. Write to the Sun ONE platform…'” 2002-08-29 7:32 am No, your points are moot. When Warcraft III came out, there was keygens flying all over the Net. These keygensallow you to use Battlenet for free from your pirated copy. I did not say that piracy is good for all companies but for a lot of them it is.I’m not sure if you will read this so I’ll just take a short example, two reasons why Photoshop piracy is good for Adobe.1.) It allows people to educate themselves at home and becoming very good at photoshop. Those people would never be able to afford it so they pirate it instead. But the fact is, once those people start working professionally with Photoshop they (or the company) will buy a license, and Adobe makes money.2.) If people in the home market are pirating Photoshop instead on buying one of the cheaper applications which is targetted directly at the home market, those other companies will loose sales and will never make enough money to make an application professional enough to compete with Photoshop, thus Adobe remains king of the hill.I could give you several more reasons, but I have to get some sleep.Instead I’d like to quote a guy at NewTek (don’t remember his name).When he was asked about what he thinks about people pirating Lightwave 3D he said “It makes good lightwavers”.think about that one 2002-08-29 10:24 am Let me nitpick on your example first: Adobe has Photoshop Elements at a 100 bucks. Great way to learn.Besides, most design houses use Photoshop. They don’t change their system because their potential employee previously used GIMP or Paint Shop Pro. They hire employees who knows Photoshop.And all the designing insititutes I know teach Photoshop. They most likely have labs with them installed. The student don’t have to buy it to learn. Heck, some insititutes have educational discount.Now back to your point: You have a point there even though i don’t agree (Well, my ambition is to open a software company, what do you think?). You could use a better example though.