Compatibility, mobility and ubiquity were the central themes at Sun Microsystems' JavaOne conference in San Francisco this week.
Among its many initiatives, the vendor unveiled a portal for Java developers called java.net, a news website at www.java.com, and a new logo.
"Java is getting a new look," said Jonathan Schwarz, executive vice president of the Software Group at Sun. "We aim to simplify the process of building content and to drive it out into the world."
News that Hewlett Packard and Dell plan to ship the latest Java Runtime Environment on their PCs later this year was another boost for Java, especially in light of Sun's ongoing battle with Microsoft over its handling of Java software in Windows XP.
Ease of development was a major theme at the event, with Sun improving the uniformity between Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) for the desktop, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) for servers, Micro Edition for hand-helds and Java Card for ID tags and smartcards.
Focusing on unification, the company also showcased Project Rave, a set of software development tools designed to unify the Java components in web-based applications. It should launch this autumn.
On mobility, the firm launched the Developer Network Mobility Program, a membership-based resource guide.
Sun also said that its new Sun ONE Portal Server, Mobile Access 6.2, will work with the Sun ONE Mobile Application builder tool set. It is due later this year.
Also new is Sun's Business Mobility Initiative, a collaborative effort with partners like Nextel, Lucent Technologies and EDS, to deliver vertical mobile business applications and services based on Java.
The first of these should be detailed within the next three or four months, according to the vendor.
Gartner analyst Laura McLellan described the plethora of initiatives and Java brand revitalisation as an "audacious bet".
"Sun is being creative and innovative, throwing money at it, and introducing partners so that it doesn't have to do it all itself," she said. "If they pull it off it will revitalise the company, and that's what it needs."
With web services, Sun said that J2EE version 1.4 will come with the WS-I Basic Profile, which includes support for SAP, Web Services Description Language (WSDL), document literal encoding and .Net interoperability.
"Sun is putting its stake in the ground and saying that's how it thinks developers should code web services applications," explained Frank Cohen, founder of PushtoStart, a Silicon Valley based web services support group.
"They recognise that there will be .Net services out there that developers will want to connect with."
New regulation expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 17 million metric tonnes between 2020 and 2050
Molybdenum ditelluride is a two-dimensional material that can be easily stacked into multiple layers to create a memory cell
New light-guiding nanoscale device can control and monitor a nanoparticle trapped in a laser beam with high sensitivity
Optical traps are scientific instruments in which a focused laser beam is used to exert an attractive or repulsive force on a microscopic object to hold it in place
Scientists estimate that the exoplanet has already lost up to 35 per cent of its mass over its lifetime