Sun Holds The Java Jewels

IBM recently called on Sun to make Java open source. But would opening the source code of Java help Sun beat back Microsoft's .Net efforts, or speed its own demise?
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Still, Sun was not so quick to open the vault to its Java source code at the prompting of Big Blue recently. While IBM offered to help Sun with code and a Java community effort, it did not offer to open up its own successful implementation of Java, WebSphere. Sun did not initially respond to the overture.

On other fronts, Sun hasn't shied away from open-source software, betting big on its Linux-based Java Desktop System as a low-cost alternative to Microsoft's Office. Plus, the Java Community Process, an industry group that is kinda-sorta open, decides the underlying standards for the Java platform.

IBM has been on an open source kick for quite awhile, even starting the Eclipse Foundation to help solve compatibility problems for various implementations of Java tools. Sun has been shy to join the group, but hasn't totally denounced it. Eclipse recently was spun out of Big Blue's control as an independent group, and, at a recent conference, attendees talked about the way Eclipse could bring together the sometimes-opposing Java and open-source development camps.

Meanwhile, Sun will have to consider the inroads made by Microsoft and its Visual Studio .Net development-tool suite—with the next version, code-named Whidbey, recently previewed at the VSLive confab. It will include a tool called Whitehorse that will reportedly help streamline development of more secure Windows apps in the future. And Microsoft also launched its ASP .Net Migration Center as another lure for Java developers to make the switch to .Net.

But lest you think that Java and .Net will never find common ground, Mainsoft recently released Visual MainWin Java 2 Enterprise Edition, which will compile code from Visual Studio .Net into the same byte code as Java's. So if Sun isn't ready to open up its own Java code, others seem intent on bringing interoperability to Java development.

Sun Is Mum On IBM Pitch For Open Source Java - TechWeb
Rod Smith, vice president of emerging technology for IBM, said Big Blue was willing to work with Sun on an 'independent project to open-source Java.'

Developers, Disney Make Odd Couple At EclipseCon - TechWeb
Any tools vendor can download Eclipse for free and create plug-ins to the framework that allow their tools to work seamlessly within the IDE.

Microsoft Touts Visual Studio, Gives Hints At Next Version - InternetWeek
Next edition of Visual Studio .Net will include the ability for developers to use Visual Studio-supported languages to write applications for the next version of SQL Server.

Microsoft Unwraps New Resources For Web Developers - TechWeb
ASP.Net Migration Center on its Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) is effort to encourage developers to migrate away from using Java ServerPages (JSP).

Mainsoft Tool Helps Bridge .Net And Java Skills - TechWeb
Visual MainWin J2EE is a way for Visual Basic and C programmers to get involved in Java development projects.

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