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Sun exports pure Java initiative

Nihon Sun Microsystems will launch the "100 percent pure Java" initiative in Japan in cooperation with ten major software vendors.

Nihon Sun Microsystems said it will launch the "100 percent pure Java" initiative in Japan in cooperation with ten major software vendors. The initiative is an effort to discourage developers from extending their Java applications with technologies like Microsoft's ActiveX, which works primarily on Windows.

Nihon Sun announced it will establish a Java authentication center in Japan in the spring of 1998, hold conferences to disseminate technical information, and promote the Japanese version of the 100 Percent Pure Java Cookbook, a guidebook for systems developers, according to a report by Nikkei Online Business Publications.

Vendors cooperating in the program include Apple Japan, Symantec Japan, Justsystem, IBM Japan, Oracle Japan, Netscape Japan, Novell Japan, Powersoft K.K., Borland, and Lotus Development Japan.

The announcement comes against the backdrop of Sun's filing a $35 million lawsuit against Microsoft two weeks ago in the U.S., alleging that Microsoft's implementation of the cross-platform programming language violated the terms of a licensing agreement. As reported by CNET's NEWS.COM, the case could turn on whether Microsoft is found to adhere to Sun's strictures governing use of the Java-compatible logo, a mark intended to assure consumers that a product has passed independent tests of compatibility.

Marketed under the slogan "write once, run anywhere," Java is designed so that developers can create an application that runs on any platform, regardless of the underlying hardware or operating system. However, Microsoft has previously written extensions to Java based on ActiveX, a broad set of technologies that forms the foundation of the company's Internet strategy. Unlike Java applets, ActiveX programs or controls can be written in a handful of languages (including C or C++) and work primarily on later versions of Windows (including Windows 95 and NT 4.0).

The pure Java campaign was launched in December 1996 in the U.S. Protecting the "purity" of the Java language has become a high priority for Sun, as evidenced by its lawsuit against Microsoft.