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March 5, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:37pm

LOTUS AND MICROSOFT BLAST “OPEN” STALWARTS SUN AND NETSCAPE

By CBR Staff Writer

Lotus Development Corp last week posted an open and very nasty letter to Netscape Communications Corp on its Web site, charging Netscape with becoming just as proprietary as IBM Corp was in the bad old days. In the letter, addressed to Netscape’s Marc Andreesen and signed by Lotus’ chief messaging architect Nick Shelness, Lotus charged Netscape with being dishonest by claiming it uses open standards while it actually uses proprietary extensions and protocols. Specifically, Shelness charged Netscape with using a proprietary NNTP Network News Transport Protocol extension not sanctioned by the Internet Engineering Task Force. and shipping support for a fictitious LDAP 3.0 Lightweight Directory Access Protocol – LDAP is currently only on version 2.0, which is about to be revised, and the preliminary 3.0 specifications have all but been trashed. Needless to stay the examples Shelness cited – and he says there are dozens more – run only on Netscape servers. Meanwhile, Microsoft Corp has been battling with Sun Microsystems Inc’s SunSoft division over the Java Developers Kit 1.1. According to Microsoft, the JNI Java Native Interface in the 1.1 of the Java Development Kit doesn’t follow the Java standard – if there is such a thing – that Microsoft was handed when it wrote its own Microsoft virtual machine. As a result, certain Java applets won’t run on Redmond’s Internet Explorer. Mysteriously, they do run on Netscape, it seems. SunSoft admits there was no JNI in earlier versions of Java, but says it is Microsoft’s responsibility to put one in and tear out the Windows interface it wrote, lacking any other guidance. It says IBM’s got to do the same with its Java, and it’s in the contracts both companies signed. But that might cause ActiveX controls to stop working properly in Internet Explorer, something Microsoft’s clearly not about to do.

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