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June 13, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:59pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Sun Microsystems Inc’s much-anticipated fast Java compiler technology from that it acquired back in February will not be released as a product until next year. The company’s roadmap touted at JavaOne at the start of April showed a developer’s release by now. But when we checked in with JavaSoft yesterday, it said that developers won’t have the compiler in their hands until late this year. Sun says it is still rewriting the Java Virtual Machine and Java class libraries. By about August developers will be able to see just how fast the compiler will be, according to Eric Chu, JavaSoft’s Java Developer’s Kit product manager. He said Sun and other vendors are trying to work out some sort of ‘real world’ benchmark. He said the goal is to eliminate any trade off between performance and portability, for Java: in other words run at the same speed or better as current C/C++ compilers. Chu said one partner has been porting a server application from C to Java, and using a Just-in-Time compiler it lost 30% of its performance in Java; without a JIT it lost 50%. A lot of developers we’ve spoken to are banking on sun producing a super-fast compiler to avoid a loss of confidence in Java’s ability to scale to fast enterprise applications. The HotSpot compiler technology came with the acquisition of Longview Technologies LLC, which traded under the name Animorphic Systems (CI No 3,103). Sun has taken its ‘in-line optimization’ technology, which looks for performance lapses deals with them on the fly. Sun will also add better garbage collection, synchronization and what it calls adaptive optimization, which means taking into account the configuration of the system the compiler is running on and adjusting itself dynamically. Expect a white paper detailing the technology around August. The next version of the JDK – it’s currently on the 1.1.2 cut – will focus on the addition of the Java Foundation Classes JavaBean GUI- building components, but the one after that will add HotSpot. Sun won’t be putting the cryptography APIs into the JDK because it is a worldwide product and the APIs are restricted by US export laws. Expect a preview release of the Java runtime Environment for Windows, which sun says will be the highest performing Java environment under Windows by the end of this month. Security is the other area Sun is concentrating on right now. It will add the ability to virtually partition the virtual machine according to different levels of trust, and so IS managers can control the partition. It also plans to check applications, as opposed to applets, and then limit their access to certain partitions only in the file system.

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