updated: 11.12.1997

Review of the first JavaOne, 1997

General Mood -- The excitement is certainly there. It does help with several thousand people attending. Several major technology alliances were announced, sometime for no good reason but to fight with Microsoft. Symantec, Lotus, Netscape, IBM etc.

Several major technologies are "introduced" at this event:

JavaBeans -- This is visual component-ware for Java. Just like ActiveX/OCX/OLE for Visual Basic and other application builder. This is very significant because:

Java Development Kit 1.1 -- This new version has lots of goodies. Not all are shipping right now.

Java Foundation Class (JFC) -- The significance here is that Sun has managed to convince Netscape to join them in this JFC, instead of doing their own Internet Foundation Class. This will give rise to a common look and feel for Java application and save developers some time in learning only one API. This is not shipping until later this year.

Java Speedup -- Project HotSpot will make Java runs faster. This is compiler technology that Sun bought from another company. Let see if it works when shipped.

Java Database Interfaces (JDBC) -- These allow Java applets to access back-end databases directly. As one of the presenter said, the most important new feature is the one that let Java get to data, particularly legacy data, in organizations.

Garage Software -- There are quite a few little companies showing their ware -- This is Java at its best!

Interesting Applications -- These are some of the interesting apps on the show floor:

Eric Schmidt -- SUN's Eric Schmidt (I always think of him as SUN's downscale version of Steve Jobs) gave his final keynote before leaving for Novell. He did his usually interesting talk. One idea is that the firewall separated model of Intra and Internet is all wrong. Both nets should co-exists transparently, extranet here we come...

Garage Software -- There are quite a few little companies showing their ware -- This is Java at its best!

HotJava Browser -- Sun gave quite a few presentation on HotJava, their pure Java browser. They are positioning HotJava as a platform where one can highly and easily customize the browser, possibly for kiosk and IntraNet usage. Someone asked whether they are competing with Netscape and Microsoft, and the answer was basically "not at the consumer level".

Internationalization of Java -- The new JDK 1.1 has many new feature for multi-lingual support, and they are doing it right. This is going to be more important then most people think.

Network Computers -- There are lots of specialized hardware showing, hand held devices, office use ($1500) Java Stations and consumer Java Stations, from Wyse, Fujitsu etc.

WebTV -- The big story at JavaOne was that WebTV signed an agreement with Javasoft to use Java, but the bigger story this week is that Microsoft is going to buy WebTV. So next year WebTV will have Windows CE as the operating system and probably ActiveX support. This is a big lost for Java.

Also additional notes on non Java stuff -- go to part II