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CSY supports Java for 3000 application development
HPs new Small VM doesnt impact CSY support of Sun standard
HP 3000 division (CSY) Java manager Mike Yawn wanted to get one thing clear before he announced full support for Java/iX starting with MPE/iX 6.0. HPs latest plans for a new Java element arent causing any rift in CSYs partnership with Sun or its support of Suns Java standards.
really doesnt affect those of us in HPs server and computer
businesses, Yawn said. On the HP 3000 and the
HP 9000 we will
continue to get our Virtual Machine (VM) technology license
Sun. Theres quite a bit more to it than whats
called the Small
VM thats been replicated. Theres more to
Java than the Virtual
The buzz was raised in the SIG-Java meeting at this
conference, sponsored by Interex in Sunnyvale in mid-March. The
day before the SIG meeting the Wall Street Journal had asserted
that HP was marketing a Java variant, and breaking
with Sun Microsystems
Inc. and opening a rift in an industry alliance.
Yawn explained that Java is more than a virtual machine,
of the environment which runs applications on a specific
In HPs new plans, platforms such as laser printers
will get their
own version of the Java Virtual Machine, one that HP built
to eliminate licensing similar code that Sun had developed.
of a technical watershed, the move appears to be a business
At this point, HPs replication of the
Virtual Machine isnt
interesting to those of us on the server side, and
were not suddenly
going to change horses in mid-stream, Yawn said.
SIG-Java co-chair Gavin Scott reported later that the
new HP Small
VM wont have an impact on the standard, now
by Sun under the auspices of the ISO.
This is nowhere near as big a deal as you might
think from the
news stories of the last several days, Scott said.
reports implied that HP was breaking away from the Sun standard
just like Microsoft, which was going to fragment and eventually
destroy Java. Of course, the reality is that nothing could be
further from the truth.
HP said its VM announcement is designed to push control of Java further into a standards body and away from Suns influence. Scott said the Small VM wont be changing the standard.
What HP has announced is simply a Virtual Machine
which is independent of the Java language, so there
opportunity for them to fragment the Java world,
Scott said in
a posting to the Internet. HP is fully committed to
and has an extremely strong relationship with Suns
New tools, new version
Yawn, the other SIG co-chair, was introducing the new
of forthcoming versions of Java to an audience of developers at
IPROF. The 1.1.5 version of the language will be bundled into
the 6.0 release of MPE/iX, expected for release in late summer.
But what was even more interesting was Yawns
Swing, the Java Foundation Classes that act as a powerful
tool for Java applications.
Swing is the biggest change between Java 1.1 and 1.2,
team is porting 1.2 to the HP 3000 beginning this spring. Yawn
and ORBiT VP of Technology Mark Klein, another MPE/iX Posix
expert, got Javas 1.2 version to successfully launch
first time on a 3000 over the IPROF weekend. Yawn said that the
Swing classes can also be backported into the
1.1 versions of
Java, which might make them available for an HP 3000
before 1.2 arrives for MPE/iX in 1999. You dont
have to wait
until 1.2 to get it, Yawn explained.
In addition to getting Swing capabilities for interface
Java 1.1 has almost all the core features you need
applications, Scott added. Were reaching
a point of some stability.
By supplying a Java Development Kit (JDK) and a Java
in MPE/iX, CSY is committing to bundling the first language
the HP 3000 since the 1970s when SPL was included with MPE.
Yawn said the Virtual Machine thats been available
for the 3000 is now being referred to as the Classic
the next version being prepared for the system is focused
Our priorities for the next year are performance,
and performance, Yawn said. HP is adding transparent
technology to Suns technology to boost application
HP will be improving on the HotSpot VM with an Adaptive Runtime
Compiler, and is prepared to create a native Java version
VM for the 3000 if needed to further address performance.
We want Java to perform just like other natively
Yawn said. An NM PROG executable just like the COBOL
or C compiler
on the platform is part of HPs internal R&D
work, now in the
Control over interfaces
Yawn said that Swing resolves the problems with
Javas claim of
write once, run anywhere. The prior windowing
tool, AWT, was
a poor implementation of a lousy design, Yawn said.
the event model of how things interact with each other in Java
1.1s interfaces, and in 1.2 theyve
finally come along with
a good implementation of a good design.
provides ready-made interface elements like buttons for
applications, including some that do on-screen animation to
theyve been pressed. Labels for items like buttons
can be easily
placed with a toolset that recalls the interface design power
of Visual Basic.
Any object a radio button, checkbox, folder tab can contain pictures or any other sort of object, Yawn explained. Swing also makes possible a concept called pluggable look and feel, answering the criticism that Java application interfaces varied from Windows 95 to Windows NT. Developers can control how the interfaces look using Swing, to adopt a Windows or Macintosh look and feel, or the standard Java look and feel. Windows choices are only available while developing from Windows-based platforms to avoid any lawsuits from Microsoft, Yawn added.
Swing can set a default look and feel, called Metal, or
the look and feel based on the platform the application
Sun has added a set of APIs to permit control of the look and
feel from a user level. Swing can be downloaded from the
Web site and installed into Netscape to be used with HP
today, according to Gavin Scott. The Swing components are
entirely in Java for minimal performance impact.
The 1.2 design also includes a new collections API, ready-to-use hash tables, b-trees, linked lists, and just about any sort of data organization you can think of, Yawn said, so theres a class there to do that, so you dont have to re-implement all that code.
Java IDL will also add CORBA capability to Java,
interoperability and connectivity. Web-enabled, distributed
using Java IDL can invoke remote network services transparently
using protocols such as IIOP. Runtime components include a
OMG-compliant Java Object Request Broker which would
first such ORB component supported for the HP 3000. Yawn
that the ORB would run on the 3000 serving requests coming in
other ORB platforms.
HP is providing a native TurboIMAGE class library for
release in 6.0, a way to call TurboIMAGE intrinsics from Java
applications. The 2.1 version, which can be downloaded from the
CSY Jazz Web server today, provides support for item-level
Remote Method Invocation (RMI) and JavaBeans, as well as an
examples directory and a bug fix for handling String type
to DBGET. These HP supplied classes still need support for
locking, synchronization for multithreaded applications and
consistent exceptions handling.
Theres also a third-party solution in
Adagers ADBC technology,
implemented by Advanced Network Systems, that uses native calls
to IMAGE/SQL. These third-party classes are being transformed
into a JavaBeans implementation for release this spring.
Scott covered the JDBC options for prospective use with the HP 3000. HP said it is considering nearly a dozen different sources for JDBC middleware on the 3000, and it hasnt ruled out its own development effort at CSY. A JDBC-to-ODBC bridge can also deliver a way to piggyback on existing ODBC solutions for the 3000, although the meeting didnt include information on compatible, IMAGE-aware ODBC solutions that have been tested with such a bridge.
Java can be used on HP 3000s natively for application
Scott added, typing a Java program name at a colon prompt
an application without any Internet links, network or Web
But the language can also serve 3000 needs by being downloaded
as an applet into a Web page, executed there, and use
it to talk
to a driver to talk to the network to the 3000 or some
Not only is this going to be the first bundled
language for the
3000, its also got the fanciest development
for it, Scott added. You can get Visual Cafe,
Visual Age from
IBM to develop code that can be deployed on the 3000 or put on
the 3000 and downloaded to a Web page.