Sun?s Javasoft unit has joined with IBM and Netscape to set up a Java Porting and Tuning Center at Javasoft's headquarters in Cupertino, California.
The Center, which will be staffed by engineers from all three companies and will undertake development and migration work, will be officially announced at the Java Internet Business Show in New York today.
It would appear to be similar in nature to Novell?s ill-fated Unixware Technology Group (UTG), which the networking supplier set up after buying Unix SVR4 to allay fears that it would sabotage the operating system?s openness.
UTG was intended to ?ensure? that the industry, in the shape of its members, had an active say in the features that went into SVR4 and that the standard, as endorsed by the then X/Open standards body, remained open.
But Tony Occleshaw, IBM?s software marketing manager, said of the Javasoft project: ?This is about turning the contrast up against Microsoft to make sure Java becomes a standard. It?s about vendors working together to make sure that Java is consistent across all platforms. Java will become an official standard via OSI, but this is a complementary thing and will not change the standard. It?s to ensure it?s actual embodiment in code.?
He added that the Center was unlikely to be replicated in Europe because its aim was to port, tune and develop core Java technology for different environments, while other localised porting centres such as IBM?s Solution Studios for Java were targeted at ISVs porting applications.
The Center will initially tune version 1.1 of the Java Development Kit (JDK) for higher performance, for inclusion in operating systems, browsers and tools in the fourth quarter of this year.
It will also work on the next release of the JDK, which is due to ship in the second quarter of next year.
The trio also announced Hotspot, the long-awaited Just-In-Time compiler that is intended to improve Java?s performance. This has so far suffered an overhead as a result of the language?s portability.
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