Improving Java for Linux

Jim Pick jim at
Fri Nov 7 12:02:53 PST 1997

Dave Glowacki <dglo at SSEC.WISC.EDU> writes:

> Sun's argument (and I agree with them) is that JFC (and JavaBeans) *are*
> part of the core classes.  JFC adds *so much* to the language that not
> including it means not working with any new apps.

I haven't look at them in detail, so I haven't formed an opinion on that
> Using a nonstandard extension also means that any Java program you write
> won't be useable for anyone who isn't using your platform (which is why
> Microsoft wants people to use their API)

But is that so bad if it is a GNU platform, which is supported even on
Win32, OS/2 and Rhapsody?

> Therefore, if you don't mind the fact that you won't be able to run other
> people's apps and they won't be able to run yours, go ahead and ignore
> the extensions.

But if you ship a JVM with your app (as JavaSoft advocates) - why can't
you ship the one you want to ship.

> I'd hate to see the free software community actively branch itself off from
> the main Java development for two reasons.
> First, any free tools that actively avoided the java.* API would be
> virtually useless to me.

I do think we should implement the core language and java.* API.  Just not
the unproven/recent extensions that Sun has put forward.  We've already
got a large part of the core system implemented - but none of the
extensions.  I think we have to acknowledge that we don't have unlimited
capability to clone everything Sun puts into the java.* API -- or we'll
never get the job done.  What we've got right now is actually quite
useable.  Now if we could convince people to use our stuff, instead of using
Sun's somewhat sexier (but non-free) classes...

> Second, I'm a veteran of the Unix wars of the '80s so I've watched one
> great technology Balkanize itself into obscurity.  I really don't want
> to have that happen to Java, since it'd probably be another decade or so
> before something else got up enough momentum to replace it.

That sounds like an argument against proprietary software to me.  Of
course, I've been pretty well brainwashed by this free software movement.
> In other words, I think a big gaping hole in the API is better than
> a non-portable hack.

Huh?  I hope I wasn't advocating that.


 - Jim
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