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Papows calls for Java truce

Lotus president Jeff Papows called on technology buyers to keep Java from becoming a splintered, proprietary technology.

    CHICAGO--Lotus Development president Jeff Papows called on technology buyers to keep Java from becoming a splintered, proprietary technology.

    Speaking at Spring Internet World, Papows urged users to force technology vendors to eschew their usual ways of dividing technologies for single-vendor gains.

    "You will have to help us shape way vendors behave," he said. "Don't let [the Java standard] get polarized or splintered. If they do, we will lose [Java's] write once, run anywhere capabilities."

    Papows referred specifically to divergent efforts by Microsoft and JavaSoft in the area of class libraries. Microsoft offers its application foundation classes (AFC) to developers using its Visual Studio tools, while JavaSoft pushes its own Java foundation classes (JFC).

    The Lotus executive said differences in both technologies can be bridged by using Java as a glue to link the two approaches, but he's offered no better than 50-50 odds that will happen.

    Still, Papows declined to blame Microsoft for the schism.

    "Microsoft is not the enemy, they are supporting both," Papows said. "If we allow this to get overly polarized, we lose an opportunity for interoperability."

    Papows also reiterated Lotus's commitment to rewrite the bulk of its products in Java.

    Not surprisingly, Papows also did a commercial for Lotus's flagship Domino groupware. He said occasionally connected and mobile users, like those who link to corporate networks through Lotus Domino, will become a principal focus of the future of computing.

    He also predicted that authoring of Web content will become highly decentralized, part of a move from static content to dynamic.

    "That's going to be a pervasive way Web sites are built and managed," Papows said.