HP signed up four more licensees for its own ?flavour? of Java.
Lynx, ISI, Microware and QNX will integrate HP?s implementation of the Java virtual machine into their real time operating systems. HP is also lining up support for an open, vendor neutral process to define a standard for Java in embedded systems.
HP caused a stir in the Java community when it broke ranks to announce its own embedded Java VM on the eve of the Java One show in March. The fact that the first licensee was Microsoft helped to spur fears of a rift in the Java world.
HP, which does use Sun?s Java in desktops and servers, claims its rival's approach to licensing Java is not sufficiently flexible for customers in the embedded market. The company independently developed its own low footprint Java VM.
HP said its JVM can be tailored to any type of embedded system, ranging from handheld computers down to smartcards. ?The programming needs for these [different types of] devices are different, and the class libraries you need are different," Byron Ryono, director of marketing for HP?s embedded software group, told 'VNU Newswire'.
Sun has also defined a specification for memory constrained dedicated embedded devices. This scaled-down Java, called Embedded Java, is not yet shipping. The specification is currently up for public review on Sun?s Web site (http://www.javasoft.com/products/embeddedjava). It is expected to be finalised by June.
Sun?s reference implementation should ship to licensees in the third quarter. Sun has also proposed separate Java specs for smartcards (Java Card), and for consumer devices (Personal Java) - two areas which HP says it covers with its own, modular Java implementation.
William Woo, director of engineering for HP?s embedded software group, said: ?[Embedded Java] looks to me like a standard that needs a lot of work."
He suggested that developers of embedded systems need more flexibility than Sun is providing. Some vendors would be forced to include more memory with their embedded systems, just to meet the requirements of Sun?s specification, Woo claimed.
Woo added that HP believes that, if an open standards process is set for embedded Java, it could be controlled by a standards group such as the Open Group or the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
HP stated that its drive for such a standards process has the support of Intel and real time supplier Wind River, as well as the four vendors that have just licensed its technology. HP is also talking to Sun about the idea.
Sun did not return calls asking for a response to HP?s push for a new standards process. A spokesperson for the company did say that the company has received positive feedback from the embedded industry regarding its Embedded Java specification. ?The comments we got from the industry were that we are moving in the right direction for them," she said.
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