Sun Microsystems? Javasoft unit has outlined a version of Java for handheld devices such as network computers, as one study predicts the Java Virtual Machine will become the main way to link mobiles to the enterprise.
Javasoft has posted the Personal Java specification for review on its Web site, detailing a new Java development environment for consumer and handheld devices.
The move came as US analysts, SRI Consulting, released a report indicating that the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), which runs on top of open and proprietary operating systems, would become the predominant means of linking handheld devices to the enterprise.
The study revealed that, while most handheld operating system suppliers would support the JVM by 1998, few would use the JavaOS for the devices because it required too much memory.
The analysts added that downloading Java applets over a wireless network was not practical because the amount of bandwidth required made the process too slow.
Meanwhile, the review period for Personal Java will last for 60 days and the specification is expected to be published by the end of the year.
It is aimed at programmers wanting to write packages that run on handheld and network computers, set-top boxes, games consoles and intelligent telephones.
Personal Java comprises core Java application programming interfaces (APIs) and optional extensions for environments with limited system resources, with specific features for consumer devices.
Javasoft hopes to include the new development in the Java Developers Kit (JDK) by January 1998, enabling developers to use it to build applications that span both corporate and consumer machines.
The JDK will also include a pre-processing tool to test code for adherence to a specific Java Application Environment, including Embedded Java, Personal Java or standard Java.
A certification process will also be introduced as a subset to the 100% Java Initiative to ensure that the application is portable and can interoperate with other Java-based packages.
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