The No Decaf Juice on Java

Java can also be viewed as a platform. When a program is written in Java, it can run on any platform—cutting ties between the program and any specific platform. This approach—elevating Java beyond the scope of a mere programming language—is quite radical and revolutionary.

If you ask Sun Microsystems, the Java platform is a fundamentally new way of computing, based on the power of networks and the idea that the same software should run on many different kinds of computers, consumer gadgets and other devices.

Whatever the perspective, one thing remains constant: Java, as a platform, is the most hyped development that has come along in years. Problem is, there continues to be so much hype about Java and its rapidly introduced and, arguably, incompatible versions 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, that Java can’t possibly deliver what the hype promises.

“There are a lot of expectations for Java—that it’s the way to achieve platform independence since Java, unlike traditional programming languages, adapts itself to any given platform on the fly, which is brilliant and elegant in theory and, when successful, in execution,” explains Paul Trevithick, chief technology officer at Bitstream.

When is Java not so elegant? Java, still evolving, is more sluggish than traditional programming languages.

“The promise of Java and reality are still disconnected after all these years. The performance isn’t there; the platform is still immature,” Bitstream’s Trevithick cautions. “But there are good things about Java, very good things, especially in the area of Internet appliances.” Currently, Bitstream is beta-testing its first Java offering, JET, a font renderer completely written in Java.

Corel’s new Java initiatives are designed to help the desktop publishing and commercial printing industries leverage the power of Java.

Corel’s jBridge is a thin-client technology that lets 32-bit Windows applications running on a Windows NT server be deployed to any client running a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Since many desktop publishing applications are written for the Windows platform, jBridge technology promises to expand the range of choices available for hardware to access these applications.

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