JavaSoft has launched an initiative designed to prevent software developers from splintering its Java language by writing platform-specific applets.
Christened 100% Pure Java, the marketing and technology initiative won support from over 100 Java commercial software developers at its unveiling at Internet World in New York last week.
JavaSoft has designed a special 100% Pure Java logo and is offering developers technical and marketing updates, hotlines and related services.
The initiative also covers testing and certification of 100% Pure Java applications. Developers of compliant applications will be able to promote their products in 100% Pure Java Hall of Fame directories on the Web.
"We need to educate developers on the benefits of 100% Java," said Amy Porter, European marketing manager for JavaSoft Europe. "It guarantees applications will run on any platform that has the Java-compatible brand."
IBM, Apple, Oracle and Netscape are among the companies supporting the programme. Porter said: "Microsoft has chosen not to endorse the initiative at this moment in time. " She added JavaSoft would welcome Microsoft's support.
Alan Baratz, president of JavaSoft, said the initiative would encourage the development of new, third-party 100% Pure Java APIs and libraries.
In a barely disguised attack on Microsoft's strategy of Windows-specific Java packages (programming libraries) in Visual J , he added: "It's obvious that the industry values the principal tenet of Java: the ability to write programs once and have them run anywhere, regardless of the underlying operating system or microprocessor."
Defending Microsoft's position, Mike Pryke-Smith, the company's Internet tools product manager, asked: "Why hasn't JavaSoft released Java to an open committee. We're committed to the Java language. But we are also committed to giving developers a choice."
JavaSoft takes the threat of Java splintering into platform-specific factions very seriously indeed. There is a real risk that the true spirit of Java - write once, deploy anywhere - is being watered down as over zealous software developers tune their applications in a platform-specific manner.
The 100% Pure Java initiative is a move in the right direction, if not too little, too late.
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