Kaffe's MS-Extensions Will Hurt Java

Archie Cobbs archie at whistle.com
Thu Jun 24 16:51:01 PDT 1999

Mike Cornall writes:
> > Mike Cornall writes:
> > > This is a delightfully enticing argument. It's also utter nonsense.
> >
> > That may be so (and not to sound too snotty), but where's your freely
> > available, written-from-scratch JVM and class library??
> A man's technical achievements may be great, but that does not make him immune
> to making moral or logical errors.
> Also, I am not denying Tim's achievement, I am trying to stop him from
> destroying it.
> If Tim follows through with his plan of trying to support the MS "standard",
> he will be doing what Bill Gates calls "putting himself on the treadmill". He
> will be thoroughly distracted, trying to keep up with a shifting and
> undocumented MS protocol, and his product will suffer as a result.
> Furthermore, as shown by the Bristol case, MS will never truly support
> anything that does not further the goal of forcing people back to the
> Microsoft fold. MS will be very helpful at first, but once they have convinced
> enough developers to use the MS extensions (thus splitting the Java standard),
> they will cut back on their support, and future MS-extenions will never seem
> to work quite right under Kaffe. In fact, Microsoft's real purpose here may be
> to convince Windows developers that it's safe to use J++, by dangling the
> promise that they can always switch to Unix/Kaffe later on.
> If Tim carries through with his plan, then either Transvirtual, or Java, could
> end up being destroyed, or at least severely damaged. The list of Microsoft's
> former partners is littered with examples.

I guess I'm not really arguing against what your saying, and I
don't doubt that Microsoft is evil :-) It's just that everyone has
to weigh their priorities. In Transvirtual's case, they made a
deliberate decision to accept investment from Microsoft, and part
of that deal (I'm supposing) was that kaffe would include support
for the MS-extensions.

I'm sure if someone wanted to pay Tim (or anyone else for that
matter) X dollars per year just to develop Java to their heart's
content, they would be able to pay more attention to the open source
athetics. Unfortunately, we all have to work within the constraints
of reality.

So in this discussion I think it should be remembered that Transvirtual
doesn't have to give *anything* away if they don't want to. In the
big picture, I think they've done us all a great service, and I don't
see them now as 'selling out' .. even though it would be perfectly
within their right to do so.


Archie Cobbs   *   Whistle Communications, Inc.  *   http://www.whistle.com

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