RealTime IT News

JavaOne: A Recap

The folks who have been saying "Java is dead" obviously haven't been to San Francisco this week.

Over 15,000 hardcore Java developers crowded the exhibit hall at the JavaOne conference all this week at the Moscone Convention Center to hear dozens of technical talks and presentations.

These developers aren't playing online games either; they're here to learn how to develop more Java applets and full-blown enterprise applications. They're here to learn how to do it quickly, and how to do it on virtually every computer and network platform in existence.

And here, despite the intense competition in the marketplace, there is evidence of serious cooperation and true partnerships. Java developers are programmers, and if there's one thing that's true about programmers, they insist on having access to the tools they need to get their jobs done. They will not be willing to let something like industry competition stand in the way.

Here's a few random observations from the show floor:

In addition to the usual incremental improvements, Symantec's new Visual Cafe for Java 2.5 allows direct distributed debugging of Java applets. If enough of your users run Windows, you can optionally compile your finished applets into native Intel code that will run as a DLL or EXE file. Users can then save the programs to their machine and run at full speed, avoiding reloading of applets.

Speaking of speed, Symantec's new V3.0 Just-in-Time Java compiler is so fast that Sun's JavaSoft division licensed it for integration into its official Java Development Kit (JDK 1.1, the Project Java Activator, and the Java Runtime Environment). Symantec claims that its code rivals C++ in speed and is faster than Visual Basic and Delphi.

If your code is fast enough, but still too big, a product called FreezeDry can concentrate it. Developed largely for the emerging market of Java-enabled consumer electronics devices, FreezeDry can reportedly reduce RAM requirements by up to 95% and is transparent to users.

Innoval System Solutions introduced its J Street Mailer, a Java-based mailer that's designed to work identically on any Java-enabled platform (including Windows, Unix, and Mac). Innoval is also preparing to license a class library so Java developers can create their own portable custom mailers.

Innotech Multimedia upgraded its Java-based search and indexing tool that can automatically search a CD-ROM containing HTML content as well as online Web servers. This product was used to create JavaSoft's Java Developer Companion CD-ROM, with over 5000 pages of documentation, which would be a bit too much for standard programmer's tools such as the Unix-based grep program.