Sun responded to a serious challenge to its control of real time Java by outlining its own plans for embedded systems yesterday.
The day after a group of vendors, led by Hewlett Packard, formed set out to develop rival standards in this area, Sun announced the completion of EmbeddedJava 1.0, its specification for a scaled down version of the language for embedded applications.
Speaking at the Embedded Systems West conference in San Jose, California, product manager Vicki Shipkowitz said: "It's the first time you can actually configure the [Java] platform.?
OEMs are free to eliminate classes from the Java environment, and even cut some functionality from the Java Virtual Machine. The VM for EmbeddedJava can be shrunk down to 130Kbytes, she added.p> EmbeddedJava 1.0 is expected to be commercially available by the end of the year, with products based on the technology following in 1999. Motorola and Alcatel are among companies that have licensed the platform.
Sun also announced plans to develop real time extensions to Java. The specification will allow developers to write real time applications entirely in Java, Sun claims. The next version of EmbeddedJava will also include the extensions, as well as support for Sun's Jini network protocol.
James Gosling, one of the creators of Java, will be involved in the real time project.
Java's lack of real time characteristics has often been cited as a reason for its failure to catch on in embedded applications. Microsoft has already announced similar plans for Windows CE.
Sun is also facing competition from inside the Java community with the formation of the HP led Real Time Java Working Group, which includes Microsoft.
Sun expressed disapproval of HP's move. "I think that they are using this forum to achieve business objectives, not to further real time technology,? said Lipkowitz, hinting that HP set up the dissident group as a bargaining chip for Java licensing talks with Sun.
She said the Java platform is not about to split. "This will go away,? she predicted. HP first came to the fore as a Java rebel in March, when it announced its own Java VM for embedded applications, independent from Sun's.
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