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Developers descend on JavaOne

With Java everywhere, developers meet to make its applications ubiquitous too.

Now that Java support is on its way to becoming a ubiquitous feature in operating systems and browsers, developers are convening at this week's JavaOne conference to get down to the dirty work of creating Java applications.

As the proud parent of Java, Sun Microsystems is presiding over the developer conference in San Francisco, detailing the evolution of the various parts of its family of Java: development tools, dedicated microprocessors, the Java Virtual Machine, and the Java language itself, which includes a growing number of application programming interfaces (API) and class libraries.

Sun is using the conference as a podium to announce licensees of its Java OS, code-named Kona, which will be used to power network computers and a variety of other consumer devices, such as phones. The company would not comment on the licensees.

Sun's SunSoft division will also announce tools that allow companies to build systems and network management applets in Java while Sun Microelectronics will announce the licensees for a set of dedicated Java microprocessors. The chips will power applets in network computers and embedded systems.

More than 35 other vendors are on hand for the event, showcasing a host of Java applications and tools:

--AT&T spin-off Lucent Technologies announced that it's working with Sun on a set of Java telephony specifications for applications that integrate business voice networks and the Internet. Lucent has already developed Internet and telephony capabilities in its Limbo programming language.

The company says its expects both Java and Limbo to be used to create telephony applications. "There's room for several players. The advantage to us is that we market call centers and business systems. We want the foundation to be there," said Carl Blesch, Lucent public relations manager.

--IBM will announce the availability of a Java just-in-time compiler to speed the performance of applets running on OS/2 and AIX platforms. The company will also announce that it has partnered with FTP Software to port the Java engine to Windows 3.1. IBM will also announce the addition of support for Java in its cryptolopes, a software technology designed to ensure that electronic publishers are paid for content by encrypting enclosed material. Java will broaden the number of platforms that can obtain cryptolope-enabled content.

--NetManage will announce that it has licensed Java from Sun for use in its JetMail email client, Forum Usenet newsreader, and WebSurfer browser. The company also announced that it has licensed Borland International's just-in-time compiler, called the AppAccelerator, to improve the performance of applets in NetManage software. Netscape Communications has also licensed the AppAccelerator for Navigator.

--Zydecom will announce its own Java OS, dubbed I-97, which it is billing as a "real-time, Java-compatible" OS that can be used on multipoint control units, video servers, and other devices that deliver multimedia over networks.

--Corel will extend its WordPerfect brand to Java, unveiling a suite of productivity applications written in Java for Network Computers and PCs. According to company officials, the Java applications will not include all of the features of the desktop WordPerfect applications because they are designed to be delivered over the Net.

--EarthWeb and SoftBank will announce online retail storefronts for selling Java applets and other Internet components online. SoftBank will launch Code.bank, a Web site that allows developers to buy and sell applets, objects, and browser plug-ins. EarthWeb is planning an upgrade to its popular Gamelan Web site, which contains a Java applet showcase, called Gamelan Direct. The new Web site will focus on the sale of applets and providing a central clearinghouse for Java publications and other products.

--Matisse Software will demonstrate the Matisse MMDBMS, a multimedia database management system that will allow Java client and server applets to access online multimedia data. The Java capabilities will be supported in the next major release of Matisse, version 3.0, due out in the third quarter.

--Wayfarer Communications will ship a Java version of QuickServer, an application that allows companies to distribute real-time information from a variety of data sources over the Internet to Web browsers. QuickServer includes an software development kit for creating customized client applications, such as spreadsheets, that can display and analyze real-time data in a Web browser. An earlier version of QuickServer SDK supported development of applications in VisualBasic, but this will be the first Java version of the tool.

--Dimension X will ship the server portion of its Liquid Reality software suite, a collection of tools designed to help Webmasters set-up 3D, multi-user environments using Java and VRML.

--NTT Data will introduce InterInfo, a Web site that will help users search for and filter Internet information that uses Java to provide a higher degree of customization than other search engines, a company spokeswoman said.

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