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April 15, 1994

IONA LEADS THE C++ MAPPING INITIATIVE

By CBR Staff Writer

As expected, Hyperdesk Corp’s withdrawal from the Object Request Broker business has caused the firm’s opponents Hewlett-Packard Co, IBM Corp, Sun Microsystems Inc, Iona Technology Ltd, Digital Equipment Corp and NEC Corp – to re-group and come up with a new proposal for mapping C++ to the Object Management Group’s Interface Definition Language. This submission forms part of the Corba 1 Common Object Services Submission. The C++ crowd met in the Mountain View, California area on Good Friday to hammer out a compromise, the bulk of which was said to have been accepted by those present, although nothing was inked or made public, as the Object Group processes have yet to take their course. There is also still some legal fallout from HyperDesk’s stand-down that must be resolved, and that may take some time. It is expected that the technology of Irish firm Iona Technology, Dublin, will predominate this time around, though even it will have to rewrite parts of its Orbix ORB and IDL compiler. Indeed, the specification as envisaged will apparently require all of the submitters to re-design part of their designs – some more than others, however. The mappings will provide an interface between C++ and the Object Group’s Interface Definition Language so that any objects written C++ can be made available to Corba-compliant object request brokers. The mappings are part of the Object Group’s Common Object Services specifications which define relationships between objects, networks and applications and cover conventions such as naming, persistent object storage, events, execution and addressing. The specification will have to pass through the Group’s technical committee and its board before it is published as an Object Management Group specification in Corba 1.2 – a rationalised version of the Corba 1.1 standard established at the end of last year to which the Object Group will add C++ mappings as an addenda. Iona, which is being bankrolled by SunSoft Inc to make Orbix, which will run under Windows NT, Windows and various versions of Unix, interoperable with Distributed Objects Everywhere, will complete its UnixWare implementation in a few weeks, with a Santa Cruz Unix version not far behind.

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