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MS Killed Java: Time for Justice - A Commentary on Sun's Injunction Request Against Microsoft

MS Killed Java: Time for Justice - A Commentary on Sun's Injunction Request Against Microsoft

(August 30, 2002) - It's interesting to discuss this on the day that Michael Skakel, the "Kennedy cousin", is sentenced to 20 years to life for killing a woman 25 years ago. Someone mentioned to me that it seems a harsh punishment for something that happened so long ago, and I could only reply, "She's still dead."

Five years ago, almost to the day, Microsoft shipped IE4 with a JVM that was intentionally engineered to provide leverage to corrupt and pollute Java compatibility standards. The US District Court clearly found Microsoft guilty of illegal anticompetitive behavior with respect to Java, and that court's findings were upheld and clarified by the US Court of Appeals. Nonetheless, Microsoft has continued to benefit from having used its monopoly power illegally to suppress the emerging success of Java. They have been as free during these past five years as Michael Skakel was since he committed his crime. It is time for justice to be done, and justice demands that Java get the chance to succeed that Microsoft intentionally and illegally took away.

It doesn't matter that Microsoft committed the illegal acts a long time ago, they are no less culpable. I support Sun's motion and hope that the judge who hears this case will understand that Microsoft's illegal acts were made even more severe by the fact that Microsoft committed them early enough to kill Java on the client before it had a reasonable chance to succeed. In the famous words of Barney Fife, they "nipped it in the bud!" It is representative of the worst and most calculated forms of illegal use of monopoly power.

Microsoft's Response to Sun's Injunction Request
Due in October

(August 29, 2002) -- Microsoft has until Oct. 4 to respond to Sun Microsystems' request for a federal court injunction requiring Microsoft to integrate Java into Windows, said Sun spokeswoman Penny Bruce.

This week, U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz set a Dec. 3 hearing on Sun's request for the preliminary injunction, in which Sun also asks that Microsoft be prevented from distributing Virtual Machine for Java in an unlicensed manner.

Last March, Sun filed the private antitrust lawsuit in federal court in San Jose, CA, and transferred the suit to Maryland in August. The lawsuit alleges Microsoft's antitrust violations have harmed the Java platform, and have forced other companies to distribute or use products incompatible with Java. Sun also charges that Microsoft has intentionally created incompatibilities between Microsoft software and competing technologies. Sun has not set a definite dollar amount in the lawsuit, but has said it is seeking coverage for legal costs as well as economic damages.

More Stories By Rick Ross

Rick Ross is the founder of Javalobby (www.javalobby.org). He is a frequent speaker at Java-related events and a well-known advocate for Java developer interests.

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Most Recent Comments
Chris 08/30/02 02:31:00 PM EDT

You bring up an interesting point about open source not being free because it's not bundled. However, it my assumption that things like JBoss bundled Tomcat with it.

At any rate, I think you still need to pay developers about the same to maintain a IBM bundle as you do an open source mix of software. Plus, it's been my experience that once you start the open source route, you sorta have to know Tomcat, Apache, MySQL in the same way you would understand WebSphere and Oracle.

Just a thought.

Sam Houston 08/30/02 01:12:00 PM EDT

Microsoft would be a fine company if they would just concentrate on making good products, or making their existing products better. The problem is that Microsoft also spends a large amount of effort on fighting other innovators, and implementing stumbling blocks in their products to disable or degrade the performance of non-microsoft products. As for Java on the client side, seems to me that Flash has claimed the territory that Java wanted.

[email protected] 08/30/02 01:09:00 PM EDT

Since the beginning of Java, Sun has never failed to do the worst damage to Java's future. If Sun had a clear vision for Java, they should've never licensed it to Netscape and Microsoft. If you own a patent, why on earth will I license it to my worst enemy? Instead, Sun should've focused on making JDK 1.02 reliable, releasing HotSpot in JDK 1.1, making Java plug-in the only browser VM (which would've saved client-side Java), going open source right from the start, etc. It is time for all of us to recognize who is the public enemy #1 of Java -- Sun. Microsoft at best can only rank #3. It is a competitive industry. What else do you expect Microsoft to do?

Stephen Bennett 08/30/02 12:59:00 PM EDT

IMHO - As MS operate within a wolly closed environment and as one can now see large open source communities dedicated to the spirit of utilizing technologies like Java one can only logically come to the conclusion it should not be very long before such communities and technologies finds some initative which close organizations like MS has missed or better yet failed to see, (remember the Internet). Such communities however needs to manage and protect their work and ideas better in order to prevent the likes of M$ taking advanatage of their research and development work. Just think of the many minds that readily apply themselves to technologies and compare it to the world of MS. MS may have a great marketing machine but in todays world does that make for better solutions? I heard someone once say, "The best things in life are free". Technologies like Java give you free unhinder access to a wealth of features that can allow you to provide your very own solutions or allow you to present your very own ideas, your way. Please do not be afraid to use these technologies, and if MS give you something useful, think of it as a small bonus in this amazing world of techno :-)


OhOhOh 08/30/02 12:51:00 PM EDT

Comparing Microsoft to Michael Skakel to is not a fair analogy. Michael Skakel has only kill one person. Microsoft has a pattern of using monopoly to ruining or damaging technology companies by manipulating their underlying APIs or other unfair business practices. Microsoft is a technology company serial killer.

A few examples:
Operating Systems (DR DOS)
Languages (Borland (delay releasing API's, hiring management away, violating patents))
Office Applications (Numerous companies)
Web browsers (got convicted, but not punished)

Devin Scherck 08/30/02 12:50:00 PM EDT

As near as I can remember from that time period... Whenever I installed the official Sun JavaVM for Windows, I would pretty much bluescreen whenever a Java App attempted to run. The MS version (while admittedly one that was modified without permission) finally allowed me to see what this Java thing actually was. If anything, MS at least helped me get to know Java by their act. And I am certain that I am not alone.

Jason Michel 08/30/02 12:04:00 PM EDT

Flash back to 1997-1998- MS's runtime strategy is to integrate Java with COM and Win32-- this is done via J-Direct/WFC and other interop, as well as some extra keywords like delegate, etc...

Sun decides to use the courts and the government to compete, and Java enters its infamous litigation stage. Gates breathes a sigh of relief. Use the lawsuit to go into a stall pattern and give his developers time to build a Microsoft-controlled runtime(CLR/.NET).

So 5 years later, MS's strategy is C# and .NET, which is a much bigger threat to Java than the extensions ever were. Furthermore, Sun needs to get .NET running on Solaris to stay competitive.

If Sun had not sued, there wouldn't be any .NET. MS's runtime would be a Java VM. All Sun has to do is embrace the extensions and they are still running the show.

Then you have EJB, which was more about using a bloated component architecture to sell overpriced servers, than about elegantly solving pressing business problems. I think Java would have been better off with healthy competition around app-server architecture, instead of everyone jumping on the "me-too J2EE bandwagon." Communism didn't work in the economy, and it doesn't work on the server, either.

Moral of the story-- when lawyers and the government become your main strategic weapon, your stock is on the way to $3!

gery 08/30/02 12:01:00 PM EDT

The only thing that I dislike about J2EE development and your magazine is all of the whining about Microsoft that goes along with it. This reminds me of Scientology; a lame-ass religion based on the bashing of modern psychiatry. Perhaps you could change the name of your magazine to Microsoft Basher’s Journal?

In any case, Java is kicking ass in the NY area.

D King 08/30/02 11:51:00 AM EDT

I would like to express an opinion from someone who is fairly neutral in all of this. I am a developer who loves languages, in particular object-oriented languages and I have always looked at platforms from a current development prospective. By that I mean I seek out the best platform for the job and what my client can support. I currently work for a Microsoft shop developing in .NET but I also develop in and teach Java. I use to be like some of the people I have seen on this newsgroup that are angry at Microsoft. I agree with some of the posted statements but for the most part I agree with the people who say that this article is childish and many of the responses I have seen confirm that. Mr. Ross, I am disappointed in you as a journalist because I feel like you caved to reader pressure from the article where you took so much criticism from the Java community. I thought that article was excellent in that it should have been a wake up call for the Java Community. How do I qualify this? My company sent me to VBITS in New York last year and I was fortunate enough to have a conversation with a key speaker named Dr. Gary Cornell. For those of you who may not be familiar with him he is co-founder of APress Publishing and a Java expert. When I first started working with Java in 1997, his Core Java series was my textbook and has been so since I have been teaching it. I was shocked to say the least that he would be at VBITS touting the virtues of .NET and I basically told him so. He explained to me that he loves languages and that in his opinion, Sun has not done enough to radically shape the Java platform, provide the tools developers need, and revolutionize the language. What he said made sense to me and it changed my view. When I see Scott McNealy on a talk show and he throws a Windows box across the room it’s like I am watching Nickelodeon. That is not what the Java Community needs. What the community does need is developers who are passionate about Java demanding that Sun revolutionize the platform and make the choice between using Java or .NET easier. Mr. Ross, bad taste in analogies. The murder of a teenage girl and anti-trust issues do not correlate. Also, I agree with those of you who have posted comments about getting facts straight and not being juvenile about this. Come on people, we’re supposed to be better than that.

Cesar Villalta A. 08/30/02 11:34:00 AM EDT

First of all, you do not write "your selves", but "yourselves."

Java is better than Microsoft in its own field: Internet. Can you design a fully functional Web Portal (involving DB transactions, REAL security, and other things) and run it in Unix, Linux, Solaris, Mac, just as you would in Windows?

I think you would, if you use Java. I think you definitely wouldn't, if you use Microsoft.

And Microsoft comes up with their "new" technologies, such as the .NET virtual machine, which is a really bad copy of the well developed Java virtual machine.

They bring a "brand new" idea, and full of bugs and security holes. Not only Windows XP comes with really serious security holes, but Internet Explorer as well -- you can hack a Windows XP system to run malicious code from the Internet!

Java has been on the market for about 6 years, and it has done a really important job. It has created a revolution on the Internet. Simple.

J2EE expensive? Think about the real expensive costs security and others issues raise in a serious project. How many threats can you generate if you develop a system that works with credit cards, and you find out the credit card info is never encrypted??

Well, some people think that because Microsoft develop fancy software, with nice icons and colorful images -- even though you get the blue screen of death every once in a while --, they can call their software "seriuos" and "the best."

J2EE expensive in terms of costs? You can fully develop a system with J2EE and J2SE, using freeware such as Forte4J, and you come up with robust products.

And you don't have to pay for a license per user, or per machine. Even better, you don't have to pay for the really bad customer service Microsoft provides.

The industry is moving to Java, and it's also moving around Java. Face the truth.

It is true that the learning curve, when it comes to J2EE, can be higher than that of Visual Studio, for instance. But right after the learning process, the working process is faster and even better, ending up with really robust applications and projects finished faster.

There IS a standard, and Microsoft is trying to ruin it, with their forever-full-of-bugs software.

You love Microsoft? Stay with the bugs, cause we cleaned the house!

Best Regards,

rob 08/30/02 11:30:00 AM EDT

From the earliest DOS days MS has obscured their API. We had to reverse engineer PRINT to find out how to do multi-tasking. (How may of you remember the "terminate-and-stay-resident" games we had to play.) Since MS controlled the OS their apps were always months ahead of everyone else's.

Now, after the trial, MS has been found guilty of using it's monopoly status illegally. What's the punishment? Nothing because the Bush administration is bought and paid for by big business.

Not that Sun is any paragon of business virtue either. I think Scott would be just like Bill, given the chance. However, Sun has not been convicted of any wrong-doing.

I think having a language owned by one company is a mistake. And Java has its share of design problems like compiler checked exceptions.

I'll continue to use Java until something else comes along and I'll continue to avoid MS products where I can because they just offend me. rob

Eddie 08/30/02 11:26:00 AM EDT

How in the world does the Kennedy murder have anything whatsoever to do with Java and Microsoft? Associating a legal dispute over a programming language with a cold-blooded homicide is not only dispicable, it's just plain silly. Only a melodramatic computer geek would ever put those two together to make a point.

I suggest that JDJ seriously overhaul its editorial standards if they expect to be taken seriously as a publication.

David 08/30/02 11:25:00 AM EDT

I haven't been smoking anything, but you obviously have been and it has made you blind!

You say that Java adheres to no standards, but what STANDARDS does Microsoft adhere to? Windows is not a certified standard, C# certainly isn't a standard, .Net certainly isn't a standard, and even Microsoft's C++ is not a standard. (Unless you can accept that if Microsoft says it is a standard it must be a standard, which I can not do.) Microsoft products run with other Microsoft products, any thing else will just be a token effort.

Jave runs anywhere! I have personally moved Java code between PCs, Linux, Unix and Macs and it works great. I have also moved J2EE code between WebLogic, JRun, and Oracle's App Server. Try moving Microsoft code between different vendors' deployment environments!

Java was designed from the ground up with security in mind. Microsoft has so many security holes in its' products, from design through implementation, there may never be an end to them.

I take it from your views that you want nothing more than to live with whatever a monopoly feels like giving you, out of the goodness of its cold, unbeating, and totally self serving heart! No thanks!

The computer industry needs Java, if for no other reason than to keep Microsoft from taking over the world!

Microsoft saw the competition that Java was presenting to them and they have tried to squash it in several ways. I don't think it will happen though. Bill Gates says .Net will not be ready for some time, but he expects people to hang around and wait for it?!

Java is here now! It is stable, well defined, and compliant with a well publicized specification. It allows the customer to choose their own hardware and operating system. There are many very large companies, and even more smaller companies, backing and supporting Java (IBM, Oracle, Sun, HP, BEA, just to name a few).

Java isn't going anywhere! It is here to stay, but I still wonder about .Net. Will .Net have the same number and severity of security holes that Windows does? Will it be mature enough any time soon for me to recommend to any of my clients?

I feel totally secure in recommending Java to clients, .Net is way too much of an ever expanding, developing, and immature environment for me to recommend to my clients, and I don't!

Fake Under 21 Rick Ross 08/30/02 11:17:00 AM EDT

How can Rick Ross write something that contains no facts and still call himself a writer? The last factual document that this guy produced was his drivers license which I used to buy beer from ages 19 to 21!

rob 08/30/02 11:07:00 AM EDT

That's right. "Survival of the fittest" is where it's at. Kennedy shot that woman. If she was fittest she would have ducked. Whatever MS does is okay if they survive.

Have I stated your position correctly? Don't come crying to me if your the one who fails to duck.

Ron 08/30/02 10:50:00 AM EDT

I read with amusement this article, "MS Killed Java". Not only was it devoid of any objectivity, but lacked any true air of professional journalism. Instead, the author sounds like a grade school kid attempting his first essay, and decides a good topic would be to rant about the cafeteria no longer serving his favorite pudding.

First, get a clue! Java is not dead, nor will it be - IF you use it wisely. Java was never best implemented on the client side anyway, which is the only place Microsoft has any true power. I use Java to create servlets that transform XML and XSL into web pages that are sent back to the browser. So, Microsoft's movement toward .NET, and away from Java, is irrelevant to the real development world. The only thing it now means is you can't use applets, which were always bad ideas from the beginning.

To write the article that Rick Ross did tells me two things: 1) his Java abilities are limited to corny little applets, and 2) he doesn't realize the true ability of Java remains in servlets and EJB, which Microsoft has ZERO power to thwart.

Change is inevitable. The cry babies whine about perceived losses. The professional rides each wave that comes along, enjoying it while it lasts. Live in the moment, and not on bitterness of regrets about the way you wanted the world to be, but it did not accommodate your temper tantrums.

To the board of Java Developer's Journal, I would say it is time to re-evaluate your staffing decisions and bring some real professionals on board.

Bret Ladewig 08/30/02 10:50:00 AM EDT

I just love this bickering of who's better, MS or Sun, IE or Netscape, .Net or Java. I've developed for both and plenty of others. I think there are lot of great offerings and that there's room for more. The real issue here that this articule addresses is the anti-competitive, monopolistic practices MS (and others) use to unfairly block competition. We've seen IBM, Intel and HP as well as many others get challenged in court do to these types of practices. MS, I think, is the king as they've done it so successfully. Start with the OS. MS was a partner with IBM and later gave away it's product in order to beat IBM. In the browser arena, MS bundled the browser into the OS. Why bother with Netscape when IE, a perfectly capable browser, was free and already installed. MS continue to do this with Windows Media Player, a tool that can play CDs, MP3 and AVI files. With WMP free and already bundled, why buy RealOne? The justice department would do everyone a really big favor by require MS to UNBUNDLE. The OS should be a separate, single component. WMP and IE should be separate components. I also believe, everyone else should be required to do the same. Another point, which can be proven, MS does slant there products to make it harder for competitors products to work cohesively in MS's OS. Examples: WMP does not play RealOne formats. MSN messenger does not recognize AOL or Yahoo IM. MS's Passport doesn't recognize Yahoo Wallet or PayDirect. MS wants you to use nothing but MS. That is not fair.

Doug 08/30/02 10:26:00 AM EDT

Calling what MS does a "business decision" is what continues to give good honest business a bad name... saying you are offended is like the mob saying they are offended when people criticize them for their "business decisions"...

Booger 08/30/02 10:19:00 AM EDT


Because you were naive enough to buy dBaseIII for $700 back in the late 80's ! Or WP5.1 for $300....

Who did Dell copy ? KPro ? Commodore ?

Doug 08/30/02 10:19:00 AM EDT

MS can't win on the merits of their technology... Java, Linux, Netscape, etc., are, or were superior products... so what does MS do? They crush not by being better, but by resorting to using all the tactics of the most lawless among us... there's NOTHING to be proud of or to defend in that kind of victory... it's truly pathetic to see anyone defending them...

J Simmons 08/30/02 10:16:00 AM EDT

I have a hard time with the phrase "integrate into Windows" that the Sun spokesman seems to be using. A Java VM is an application program. It is no more integrated with Windows than Leisure Suit Larry is. Technically they could have said "supply a Java VM that works with Internet Explorer." For my own part I don't care if they do or they don't. It's easy enough to install a Java VM on any platform and costs nothing, and applets are pretty useless most of the time. I've used Java on the desktop and found it to be very useable there, on both Linux and Windows. Nothing MS does will change that.

In any case, when you say "Integrate into Windows" you're using Microsoft speak, and letting MS define what the issue is. That won't help Sun's case.

NotFair 08/30/02 10:04:00 AM EDT

We should be forced by the government to use only one language. Let's find the lowest common denominator so that no technology has any advantages over another. This free market thing has just gone too far...
yeah right -- get a clue Sun -- Make JAVA more compelling if you want market share!

Chris 08/30/02 10:03:00 AM EDT

This article was definitely in poor taste. Not only is it bad enough that your magazine mentions MicroSoft in EVERY issue. Now you are comparing the MS/Sun issue to a murder. If Java is dead, then how come I'm using it?

Poor taste. Self defeating. The writer should be censured.

Vince Marco 08/30/02 10:00:00 AM EDT

Java is not dead, but M$ has evaded justice. George W Bush has not been good for Java. Clearly M$ has and will continue to use their monopolistic power to suppress technologies they cannot own and control. But Sun has been less than stellar in their Java efforts....just look at the platforms supported by iPlanet or the J2EE RI....Windows and Solaris.

I finally made the switch away from all M$ products, and ask others that are disgruntled with M$ to join the boycott of M$ products. Words are meaningless if you continue to purchase and use M$ products. If you like M$ products too much then rather than flame me, just quit whining and support them with your dollars. M$ is a marketing machine. I for one am tired of being marketed by a company that produces mediocre products and works to break all others. Sure M$ is supporting XML in .NET, but tell me why MSOffice documents don't use an open ly published XML format. If you haven't got the Java message yet, it is that information and software is bigger than any one operating system or environment or hardware platform. You either support that or you don't.

mfoley 08/30/02 09:55:00 AM EDT

Comparing the murder of a young girl to the supposed death of java crosses over the line of decency. I'd like to write a long reply of how successful our company has been using client side java, but am too disgusted. Rick - you went too far.

JavaDeveloper428 08/30/02 09:41:00 AM EDT

Star Office, J2EE,J2SE, Apache Web Server,Tomcat, Linux and an entire community will topple microcrap and its mediocracy

JavaDeveloper428 08/30/02 09:41:00 AM EDT

Star Offrice, J2EE,J2SE, Apache Web Server,Tomcat, Linux and an entire community will topple microcrap and its mediocracy

fletch 08/30/02 09:26:00 AM EDT

Of course MS should be forced to put the right JVM into Windows. There insistance on thinking of Windows as their baby is wrong. As long as they have 80-90% of market a technology like Java which competes against them but everybody counts on needs to be in the OS. If Linux or Mac or Unix had a good share of the market they might be able to claim let the market drive it..as it is they is need to step up to their responsibility as the monopoly on the desktop.

David 08/30/02 09:23:00 AM EDT

Building critical business apps on open source offerings like JBOSS and MySQL is not free. Someone has to support these products and companies that deploy critical apps on them have to either hire programmers that are expert in the inner workings of application servers, databases etc or pay other companies for support. This costs money. It may well be that open source products are cheaper in the long run but we have to look at the total cost of ownership not just the up front costs (or lack thereof).

Large companies like IBM often bundle hardware, software, service etc together and make the total price in the same ballpark as using the equivalent open source offerings. Granted this is reserved for large customers, but the purchasing choices of large companies affect the IT industry much like the states of California, New York, Texas and Florida pretty much determine which textbooks are primarly used throughout the country in public schools.

I think that many technical folks see the end customers in the IT industry as total morons who don't have a clue and are seduced by the sales pitches of IBM, SUN, Oracle etc. In some cases this maybe true but for many cases the decisions are made by people who understand the big picture.

With that said, I am a big fan of open source and think that it will put pressure on the "big boys" to produce better and cheaper products. It just bothers me when people forget the old adage "there's no free lunch".

Heath 08/30/02 09:20:00 AM EDT

I would be the first to admit that M$ had a large hand it putting PCs (Not Terminals) in the workplace/home. That being said I also believe that M$ has been ACTIVLY sabotaging anything and everything that has been/is becoming popular, that they cannot make money off of. Some would say that "hey its a free country" and "that’s how you do business" and I am not going to disagree, but the problem I have is that every time they come out with a new patch/product/version it inevitably hoses up some part of my application.

This is especially true with IE and the JRE. There I have said it, my biggest beef with Microsoft (other than the whole "let the users test the software" policy" is my selfish reason that I DON'T WANT TO MODIFY CODE/ENVIRONMENTS OF EXISTING APPLICATIONS WHEN A NEW VERSION OF IE IS RELEASED.

The other thing I wanted to say is that for servers M$ is not an issue because WE HAVE CHOICES LINUX, SOLARIS, HP-UX, the list goes on, all of which are Java capable. However the Client side code (either applet or html/JavaScript) is the source of most of my compatibility issue searches.

That is it. One of the main reasons Java is flourishing in the server world is because M$ is because we can architect whole server clusters that don't have a single M$ machine in them. And you can bet that keeps Billy up at night.

Bob Myrick 08/30/02 08:55:00 AM EDT

I must state that I am deeply offended by the references to the murder of a woman in an article that purports to be advising the ethics of a business decision.

It is obvious to me that Rick Ross owes many of us an apology.

Sung Yi 08/30/02 08:51:00 AM EDT

They kill first then steal!!!

Rod 08/30/02 08:38:00 AM EDT

Though we Java fans could be accused of having an inferiority complex, Microsoft does compete unfairly.

Since MS dominates the desktop with their OS and Office products, they have the ability to block or slow the adoption of other technologies that might weaken one or more of their product lines. They have a track record of doing so:

** Lack of a JVM in XP means that the user has to install one on his/her own before using Java applets. While they might like a specific Java app and want to try it, the additional effort on his/her part to go get the JVM will in many cases "not be worth it..." - - so the Java apps will not be adopted as broadly as they might otherwise have been.

** File compatibility issues with Office continue to keep the masses on Office instead of competitor products. Don't get me wrong, I like Office. However, I have noted that there are other productivity suites (SmartSuite, Star Office, etc.) that have similar functionality (though user opinions would differ on ease of use). However, MS puts out new file formats with each version, so the competitor suites lag in getting compatibility so that their users might exchange files with other users (of MS Office). This barroer has been noted in many places as a prime reason not to steer away from Office, even if you wanted to do so for other reasons.

** MS continues to pound out its own versions of open standards, and using its desktops to force people to comply. JScript, C#, .NET - - they are all copies of other architectures, and MS could have chosen to "play along" with open standards, but instead, they choose to copy and pervert them to the MS standard and then say it is an open standard...........

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Mike 08/30/02 08:38:00 AM EDT

What are you really debating? MS vs Sun or C++ vs Java? If you are debating MS vs Sun the market place is going to take of that for you. If you are debating C++ vs Java you better put down your weapons, call a truce and try learning both. It may be the key to your survival. Neither MS nor Sun care about that.
You are all missing a very important point. Good and bad code does not depend on the language, it depends on the programmer. Remember we put men on the moon using COBOL. Those must have been some good programs. I've also seen some awfull COBOL programs too. Just as I have seen good and bad C/C++ programs. Java is no exception. I'm sure good and bad programs will be developed using it as well.

Steve Vago 08/30/02 08:33:00 AM EDT

I'm a member of JavaLobby and a enthusiastic java developer, but...this article is a pathetic rant. MS killed Java? I didn't know it was dead.

Sun needs to concentrate on putting out good products and stop running to the courts for redress.

greg blanston 08/30/02 08:28:00 AM EDT

I cannot speak for you. But as most of us are not animals this statement does not and should not apply. Your statements display a fundamental lack of understanding of business, history, law and economics.

To the other more intelligent people that might be reading this: I don't believe java had a great chance at capturing a lot of the desktop market, but I don't think that microsoft's predatory practices should go unpunished. I also think it is very inappropriate to attempt to draw a parallel between this topic and a murder case.

Kevin Bierre 08/30/02 08:20:00 AM EDT

If this is Java's obituary, when do you folks stop publishing JDJ?

During much of my recent consulting, I've seen an increased acceptance of Java as a development language. I don't see it dying anytime soon.

Mike Montgomery 08/30/02 07:53:00 AM EDT

Check out the new Java SWING API's in 1.4 and Java WebStart and then tell me honestly if you think Java is dead on the desktop.

Round two is comming.

Jack B. Nimble 08/30/02 07:38:00 AM EDT

Nice post Venky, stop taking drugs and you'll write with a point.

I did M$ programming for years and after going to Java, never had a reason to want to go back to that stuff. The only thing that M$ has going for it is that it's tools are great, everything else, OS, etc. is crrrap! I see that Linux is catching up with appearance but tools there need to match what M$ delivers then M$ is dead, dead, dead.

C# is just a copy of Borland Object Pascal with some Java/C like syntax. In fact, M$ hired/stole Borland Delphi's team with huge $$ offers to come and develop first Cool, NGWS which transformed into C#/.Net.

With regards to Java WORA, I have had no problem getting my java programs to run everywhere with excellent performance. If you can't do that, get a good book on OO because that's all their is too it.

Even if no one else uses it. I will continue to do Java. It works well and that's enough. yawn.

Venky 08/30/02 07:16:00 AM EDT

a) Java is not about platform independency. It IS A PLATFORM. If you can not accept it please do not promote something that is NOT.
b) If you want your OS to run on top of mine I would refuse it. MS has a right to do that and why bother? Is it because they kick butt in terms of simplicity.
c) One of the best standing environments - even today - is CICS (MS and SUN can just dream of transactions)depsite the onslaught of MS. I don't see IBM whining (poor SUN folks). If you do not agree on CICS just look at the installations and the COBOL programmers who are still sought after. Hey COBOL is not dead !

So if Java (aka SUN) wants its OS let it promote it - like the SUN SOLARIS, why does it want MS to support it. If you as the user do not want to use MS because MS does not support it FIND ANOTHER OS (you have variations of LINUX). It is not arrogance it is the market share (the ability to capture it by good products).

To all wonderful - I am sooo good in computers ONLY I should know how to use it - programmers, MS made computers reach everyone - not JAVA (or SUN) for that matter.

Pinda 08/30/02 06:40:00 AM EDT

Truth be told, Java's problems go well beyond anything Microsoft has or ever could do. The community as a whole has a vast array of tools and products available, but Sun and others seem to misunderstand that if you want to beat microsoft, you have to have an answer for their value proposition. You have to bring more to the marketplace than "buy my product because it's not made by Microsoft". Microsoft's overwhelming strength over the years has been delivering easier to use and cheaper products (they were almost never the leader in features, but the marketplace voted that they preferred cheaper products over feature rich ones). As a developer, for about a $1000 (less if you just use office) you could essentially get a complete development environment/platform that you could learn to use and develop and deploy pretty powerful stuff on. Also, your clients don't have to spend a fortune on licensing application servers and databases (nor do you). Sure the products have not been (many still aren't)secure but for a great many projects the security is good enough (or can be made so if you pay attention and use available resources), but you can work with them and make a buck. The Java world on the other hand sets the buy in price so high (both monetarily and culturally) that only the largest companies can afford to really deploy an application using J2EE (on Weblogic or WebSphere the current studs). When there are lower cost/open source alternatives that would allow J2EE to get to the broader marketplace, SUN plays games and refuses to even try to certify them on J2EE (or charges an outrageous amount of money to do it) effectively castrating them in the eyes of non-technical people and slowing the momentum further. JBOSS ring a bell? The real battle is for the small to medium sized businesses and that's where Microsoft is strongest (and price is most important). The big players have the money to buy whatever they choose, so arguing relative merits is irelevant when a client only has $10K to spend and they insist on something they've heard of or built with something that is backed by a company they've heard of.

Inspite of all of these problems, JAVA is everywhere, but there is a lot more work to be done. We need easier to use IDE's particularly for developing windowed applications. We need to get our Open Source studs blessed (and effectively marketed)so we can have a value proposition that is compelling on the low-cost side. We need to have JAVA (and a 1.3 certified J2EE container) come built into a *nix kernel ideally a flavor of Linux (RedHat or other) and FreeBSD. The reference implementation should be one that shows off the entire J2EE stack and one that can run with the Big dogs.

Ulf 08/30/02 06:20:00 AM EDT

alas, good stuff seldom makes it. If you have a large selling machine you can sell crap and win.

Masood Jan 08/30/02 04:45:00 AM EDT

It doesnt matter MS provides a place for java or not. The java is so compatible with any platform and can be plugged in with out MS interventions.
So i suggest stop accusing MS and think abt a way to pluggin java .

Jogi 08/30/02 04:20:00 AM EDT

I belive that developers need to be agnostic about the toll or language you use.
You need to use code to solve business problems in what ever language is fit and Java sucks client side and rules server side
just my two cents

Tore Gard Andersen 08/30/02 04:10:00 AM EDT

Together we can build good solutions. I want ASP.net on a J2EE platform, Windows service is greate !

Java and J2EE was first, and I think it's cool (and Corba too) !
C# is cool.
ASP came before JSP. Same thing.....
Why can not Sun and Microsoft do something together ?

J2EE implementation is a App.server.
Windows 2000 (XP)+.NET is a App.server

Eduard Lukschandl 08/30/02 03:57:00 AM EDT

Java - the language (including class libraries):
I have worked with all major languages since 1972 (except Ada and Eiffel) and think Java is the best of the procedural ones for serious system development, because
1) It has the cleanest syntax.
2) The compiler stops more programming errors than compilers for other languages do.
3) I have seen a framework for communicating processes, written in C++, re-written in Java, and the code volume shrank to a third.

Java - the platform:
Java has been designed with distributed computing in mind, and the implementation of this idea is still unsurpassed.

Survival of the fittest:
Sure, this is a fact. But if the cheaters survive, then I think you should change the rules. After all, we want the companies to survive who give you the best value for your buck - don't we?

Keep up your important work, Rick. Someone has to do it!

Thomas 08/30/02 03:28:00 AM EDT

Sun is just killing Java on the browser side without any help of M$. AWT from the beginning looks awful and lacks many important features and Swing is too incredibly slow and resource hungry to be used in an applet.
The new java.awt.Graphics implementation is perhaps platform independent but much slower than the old AWT peer concept. The drawing of text e.g. is about 10 times slower than in the JDK 1.1. The VM is clearly better now than in JDK 1.1 but with well written Java Code is still has no chance against the current M$ JVM. I ran many real world benchmarks and M$ is in front with every one of them. I would say: Without M$ Java would never have had any chance on Client side.

if you interested in Java CLients: The Xcc Software AG (see link) is one of the few companies I know which try to save Java on client side. Unfortunatly you can not buy this product because its an inhouse technology used for custom projects.

Roger 08/30/02 03:19:00 AM EDT

Until C# programs run the same way without recompilation across the huge number of OSes that my Java programs run across (the same way without recompilation), C# will remain a grossly inferior language for my purposes.

As for the new features of C#, some are intriguing, none are breakthrough, and a fairly large number are actively counterproductive.

Roman 08/30/02 03:19:00 AM EDT

Most of the confusion is to blaim NOISE (Netscape, Oracle, IBM, Sun, Everybody) - who do not keep a stright direction and are obsessed by MS and competion against each other.

So this guys (NOICE) killed already Unix, CORBA, OpenDoc, etc etc, etc... by pure stupidity. If IBM, Sun, HP, +++ in 80's/90's agreed on strategy to roll out Unix with affordable license fees and pushed for applications there would be no Bill Gates today.

And the story is not over - all the time you see them to cooperate with the Evil Empire, like when IBM and MS stated on the nonsence SOAP standards, or when they are appointing Windoze as the prime platform for thair products.

Julien Messer 08/30/02 02:49:00 AM EDT


I have been using .NET for a couple of weeks, and from a Java developper's perspective, it appears to me that its design is much better than old Visual Studio (to extend, to maintain, to develop), but it is largely poorer than Java (especially for the user interface layer)... This is not a surprise for a plateform which is just born.
I think it shows that even Microsoft enough trusts the concepts of Java to integrate them it its, which is not a bad thing for the programmers !
About the "delegation" subject, I still do not have any personal opinion, but my feeling is that it is useful for small "quick&dirty" applications.

Julien Messer

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