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August 21, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

Sun Microsystems Inc will finally ship its Java WorkShop 1.0 development environment on August 26th at the promotional price of $100 until the end of the year, hoping to make up ground on rival products such as Borland Latte, Symantec Cafe, Microsoft J++ and Rogue Wave JFactory. Available initially for Sparc and x86 Solaris, Windows 95 and NT and then on Macintosh around year-end, the Java Workshop will supposedly cost $300 in 1997. As well as its usual channels, Sun’s also putting the software through software retailer Egghead Software, apparently Sun’s first retail venture. Java WorkShop 1.0 is a Java development environment, written in Java, and aimed at professional developers to design, test and deploy Java applications. It’s an integrated development toolset as opposed to the Java Developer Kit which contains the core Java toolkit. Java Workshop has been in beta since March when SunSoft first revealed details of its Internet Workshop environment which will eventually house all of the company’s Java, C, C++ and Neo development tools. Internet Workshop is now due in January, a quarter or so later than originally planned. Only tools for developing applications on the NeXtStep-derived OpenStep users environment won’t be included in Internet Workshop. Sun says the production version of Java Workshop runs more than twice as fast as the beta. Like other Java development products, the Java Workshop includes a graphical user interface builder that Sun calls Visual GUI, which is OEMed from Mountain View, California start-up Active Software Inc. Sun has no plans to incorporate other GUI builders at this time. Sun uses Imperial Software Technology Ltd tools for C and C++ GUI development. Some features originally penned for Java Workshop, including the TwinPeaks C++-to-Java bridge Ilog SA is creating from its Ilog Talk interface software, will now ship as part of the Internet Workshop next year. Other tools will be added to support the Java Beans API set which is now slated for the fourth quarter, plus the Joe Java object request broker. Rolling Java Workshop releases will keep the environment in synch with Sun’s C++ Neo Workshop toolset. Other enhancements will include support for native Solaris threads in the next release. Features Sun claims Java Workshop has that rivals don’t include full internet enablement and an applet portfolio and publishing system. Sun claims time constraints forced it to leave out other features such as a syntax highlighter which will go into the next release. Sun doesn’t plan to include the first cut JavaScript in the Workshop and although it will use a second generation version now under development it says that work is taking far longer than anticipated. It says the Advanced Windowing Toolkit also needs attention.

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