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March 12, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:29pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Sun Microsystems Inc and Hewlett-Packard Co yesterday announced that HP has signed a global licensing agreement with Sun for its Java Workshop Java development environment. HP will use its source code license to tweak Java Workshop to run better on its systems write once run best on HP. HP will extend the environment, adding its own plug-ins and build it onto its HP-UX Unix virtual machine, and market it as the HP edition of Java Workshop by Sun. HP will also sell Workshop on Windows NT. HP is not going the same execution route as Sun. Instead, as well as fine-tuning the Java virtual machine (JVM) to run better on HP systems, it is also using a Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler of its own to translate the bytecode into machine code. Sun doesn’t yet have a JIT of its own and doesn’t appear to want one. But Daniel Charlu, HP’s Java product manager said the company would ensure 100% Java compatibility at all times as it extends the JVM. HP will use what it calls its Dynamic Optimization Technology which Charlu says will come close to native performance. Joe Keller, Sun’s director of marketing for Workshop products said the plug- ins are likely to become part of the standard product as it goes forward, but has not sorted out the licensing of future enhancements with HP or with Novell, which is also writing plug- ins for Java Workshop. Despite chief executive Lewis Platt’s exhortations to the contrary, HP always seems to be on the sidelines of the Java world, never appearing to want to do much original development itself. Last November, it finally provided its Unix customers with the HP-UX Developers Kit for Java, based on Java Release 1.02, and with an HP-UX virtual machine. In September, HP announced that it was also working on a Java compiler and run-time environment for its HP 3000 MPE/ix systems, but there’s no sign of it yet. Back in the days before Java – if you can remember what that was like – Sun and HP both had C and C++ development environments that ran on each other’s Unix platforms. But there the espirit de corps broke down and from there on it was price wars galore. The NT version of Java Workshop arrives this month with HP-UX coming next quarter. Both versions will be the same price as on Sun’s platforms: $99 per user. Charlu said the Java market has moved too fast for HP to consider doing its own environment, when Sun has one ready.

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