[LWN Logo]
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 10:19:34 -0700 (PDT)
From: nelson@popularpower.com (Nelson Minar)
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: JavaOne for Linux

Just got back from the first day of JavaOne. I'm happy to say that Sun
sounds like they're fairly serious about Linux support. Lots of Linux
visibility at the conference, several talks and BOFs. The biggest news
I heard is that Java 1.4 ("Merlin") should be released simultaneously
on Windows, Solaris, and Linux. Yay! Pretty much all the standard J2SE
and J2EE stuff should be coming out for Linux, including Hotspot
(client & server), Java plug-in, etc.

The session name was BUS-1698, you may be able to find notes on the
JavaOne site at http://java.sun.com/javaone, or at

Blake Connell, Calvin Austin, and Eileen Yang all spoke for awhile. 
Blake is a product line manager, Calvin is the lead Linux port
engineer, and Eileen works on performance. (Hong Zhang was also on the
panel, he does Hotspot work).

Some technical tidbits:

J2EE 1.2.1 is also available for Linux
October 2000 should be the final J2SE 1.3 release.
Fourth quarter 2001 should be J2SE 1.4 release (simultaneous).
Linux 1.3 should include everything that's in the Solaris version.
  Hotspot both server & client, I believe native threads too.
Sound API is currently OSS, they may move to ALSA.
1.4 should be better at Java2D, SMP, and Hotspot.
They're interested in better Linux desktop support. Motif gives them
  trouble with non-Motif window managers. They test KDE + KWM mostly, 
  but want to support everything.
Dual monitor support is forthcoming
There's a AWT on GTK port on the SCSL site, but they don't intend to
  do anything with it.
Java 3D API is forthcoming from Blackdown.
Performance is getting better, 1000% IO improvement in 1.3! Faster Swing, too.
No specific plans for embedded Linux support.
No plans to do SVGA or framebuffer versions of AWT.
x86 releases only for now.
A FreeBSD port is in the works! Not official yet.

Political tidbits:

Caldera is a Java source licensee and is doing their own ports.
Mandrake will distributed Java with next release.
Sun is working with LinuxCare for support on portability, optimization.
They have no plans to compromise on SCSL to be more GPL friendly.
Plenty of props and respect paid to Blackdown. An explicit apology
  about the gaffe on Sun's first Java 1.2 release with Inprise. They
  also indicated a continuing relationship with Blackdown,
  particularly for porting optional packages.
I asked "why did it take so long to support Linux?", the answer I got
  was "limited resources".
They are listening to people's feedback and bug reports, would like to
  hear more.

.       .      .     .    .   .  . . http://www.media.mit.edu/~nelson/