The row over the Java programming language turned ugly last week with Sun claiming Microsoft was in danger of breaching its licensing agreement.
As reported in last week's issue, Microsoft claims certain applications developed with the latest JDK V1.1 will not run on Internet Explorer 3.0.
Sun argues there are no such compatibility issues.
Last week Amy Porter, SunSoft's European marketing manager, gave its rival a stern warning: "Microsoft will be in breach of its licensing agreement if it does not include all of the JDK (which includes JNI) in Internet Explorer."
However, Jeremy Gittins, Microsoft's Internet product manager, insisted that including JNI would effectively lock out Windows users to certain Java programs because of the incompatibility. "Sun's slogan for Java is 'write once run anywhere' but with this it's more like 'write once run anywhere ... Except on Windows'," he said.
Porter reiterated that there are no compatibility issues with JNI and Windows: "Microsoft seems to be interpreting this as an either/or proposition, but it's not. They have to implement JNI - just like the other 60 licencees have to, and guess what, no one else is complaining, just Microsoft."
Jonathan Cuffe, a third-party Java developer, said Sun has made it clear to developers not to rely on native interfaces. "I worked out for myself they meant Microsoft. No one else was building an interface."
Commenting on the row, he said: "They need to sort this out. If they don't we'll end up with a battle that will inevitably lead to some users being shut out of the Java experience, because they're not using the right software."
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