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Red Hat Distributing IBM Java Runtime and Tools 142

gac writes "The press release today notes: 'Under the agreement, Red Hat will license and distribute IBM's Java Runtime engine, Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and the IBM Developer Kit for Linux, Java Technology Edition. IBM's JavaTechnology will be distributed with the Red Hat Linux Operating Systems (OS) Enterprise Edition. Red Hat will provide worldwide support contact for users of the IBM Java Technology as they create and deploy Java-based Internet solutions on Red Hat Linux.'"
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Red Hat Distributing IBM Java Runtime and Tools

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you haven't noticed, Slashdot's moderation system is very flawed. Instead of using it as it was originally intended, it is now routinely used as a form of censorship. Any opinion that is not in agreement with the prevailing mood of the hive will be labeled as "flamebait".

    The irony is that I bet these "modedators" fancy themselves as "free thinkers" and "educated". Ha.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I work as an Intern (and wish to stay AC) in IBM and I am confident to say there are incorrect remarks in your post. IBM is not struggling to redefine ourselves as a servicing company -- it is a servicing company. Over half of IBM's revenue is from servicing. Hardware and software accounts for only a small portion of IBM's income. On the contrary, IBM wants to redefine itself as a hardware/software company. IBM JVM for Linux, JDK, etc have been available for free in or for quite some time now. This move merely helps IBM software to be more exposed.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ever sit down at a system to do work only to spend the next few hours downloading GNU tools and Perl and other stuff you just expect to be on a system? It's annoying and it's why Linux (or GNU/Linux, if you will) is so geek-friendly -- it has that stuff in the standard installs. Load it up and geek out!

    ...unless you're a Java geek. Then, even with Linux, you have to spend some time downloaded and configuring your tools every time you sit down at a system heretofore untouched by a fellow Java geek.

    No more! Now you'll be able to pop open a CLI and type java and have it work. Now you'll be able to release your cool Java widgets and tools knowing that other geeks -- even non-Java geeks -- will be able to download and run those tools without first installing the JDK.

    Happy happy. Joy joy.

  • Solaris simply doesn't have the momentum behind it on x86 that FreeBSD does. I'm not a fanatic, but I certainly don't think that just because Solaris 8 is available for free with source pseudo-available everyone working on FreeBSD will suddenly just stop and go "Shucks, guys, this is what I was after all along". Hell, no. There may well be some cross-breeding of ideas between the two, but it's more likely to be that FreeBSD includes stuff from Solaris than the other way around.

    And also, think how likely it is that Sun will actually implement the changes in Solaris that *you* want. Even /if/ you submit patches. And how often do you think they'll release updates? Your chances of getting something even remotely close to CVSup are minimal.

    Just because it's free doesn't mean it's good.
  • That's not entirely true. That was the initial idea but Sun changed the rules of the license.
    There are 2 IBM JVMs, the Sun created, IBM compiled JVM (Sun's JVM, packaged by IBM) and the the Sun created, IBM modified, and IBM built JVM with better garbage collection and all sorts of other goodies. They have full access to the sun source.

    There is still fear though because sun can and might change the license structure or restrict future versions so they are still careful about who they let see the code.

  • I have been using the 1.1.8 JDK from IBM for the past 3 months. It has been faster then Blackdown's and they have been fairly responsive in fixing big bugs. Overall, it's a thumbs up on Linux.

  • Fuck off you anti-Catholic bigot. (Yes, this gets a 2, and it deserves it -- unless you'd like anti-Semitic propaganda to be posted on slashdot too? How about goebbelsjII, declaring how deeply he relates to "Open Source"?)
  • In addition to the comments above - I have to add an additional one. Who's deploying many Java 2(1.2) dependent apps? The only big additions were the Collections API and Swing. Neither of those are hitting my inter/intranet development very hard. (And both of which can be bundled in with a 1.1 app). Besides, I always liked the JGL better anyway.

    Every place I've been in in the past 18 mos. that's putting out server-side Java is running them on 1.1.x VMs anyway.
  • COBOL for B2B and e-Commerce? I don't think so. As a back-end for ERP/EDI I can see COBOL as an invaluable asset but it's not my first (or second) choice.
  • This is not true. IBM and DOJ settled. This cramped IBM for years and was one (not all) of the reasons they are no longer king of the Heap.
  • What's truly great is that this actually provoked a serious response.

    I mean, running a COBOL-based "business-to-business e-commerce framwork using advanced object-oriented methodogies and optimized for intranets running on the powerful Windows2000 platform" on CP/M 2.1?

    All you forgot was to say that your intended hardware platform was a cluster of 12 750 megahertz Z80s linked with fiber-optic cabling, 2 GB MFM hard drives, and 512 MB of iron-core memory.

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • Does this mean we BSD folk will be able to do some serious Java work (using Linux binary compatibility)?

    Anyone know more?
  • I have used both for developing Swing applications and I recommend keeping both environments around.

    The IBM JVM uses JIT compiler technology. I have not found any advantages to using the IBM JIT for development of Swing based apps. In fact, because of the JIT technology, the java apps take longer to start up and stack traces do not contain line numbers. (Apparently line number info is lost in the compilation process.)

    Note that the IBM JVM has a superior threads implementation making it a better JVM for an applications server.

    I have also found the IBM compiler picks up some ambiguities associated with inner classes that are missed by the Blackdown JVM.
  • It seems that that question must be asked with everypiece of software that gets ported to Linux, just as everytime a new processor, computer or what-not is announced, there's always a Beowolf post.
  • This story ran elswhere either yesterday or the day before. Redhat's not the lone Linux distributor that can use IBM's java. 4 or the 5 big ones can - I just forgot who's left out - I think SuSe, and the hope was that they'ed sign on by the end of the week.
  • It's ironic that users of the the operating system with the most open license (BSD) are practically begging for SCSL software, when IBM is handing the world real Open Source.

    go figure
  • Java2 support is necessary for Jini.

    If you are doing any Java2D or Java3D or Drag and Drop, you need Java2.

    If you want to do any sort of fat client development in Java, Java2 is very useful. Of course, very few people are doing this, and those that are are doing so for in-house apps.


  • Please, Java is the washed-up, has-been, never-will-be-again, even-if-it-tries-really-really-hard of programming languages.

    You want performance? Enterprise support? Proven track record? I dare all the Slashdotters to point me to a better choice than COBOL, which I am currently using to develop an open source, business-to-business e-commerce framwork using advanced object-oriented methodogies and optimized for intranets running on the powerful Windows2000 platform. Huh? i thought so.

    What I *really* want to know is which COBOL system Red Hat is going to support. GNU? [] maybe Tiny COBOL? [] I want answers. The choice operating systems is now down to CP/M 2.1 and Linux, and I'm going to go with the one with the best COBOL support.

    C'mon Slashdot, address the real needs of real programmers, not these 'hackers' and 'd00ds'. So let's see more COBOL coverage in the future!

  • Why is "Java2" better than the "old" version? Is it because Sun gave it a bigger number, or is there really a difference? do you think that IBM might just have a good reason for not focusing their efforts on Java "2"?

  • I posted the original comment, and I never meant to imply that IBM wasn't doing a terrific job with Java. I have been using their Linux JDK and Jikes for quite a while now and they are very solid.

    My only concern was that this was being billed as "IBM beating Sun to the punch" and I wouldn't consider releasing a 1.1 JDK a little earlier than a 1.2 to be much of a beating.

    I have looked at the various press releases and I can't find any reference to what version they will be releasing.
  • I am currently using [COBOL] to develop an open source, business-to-business e-commerce framework using advanced object-oriented methodologies and optimized for intranets running on the powerful Windows 2000 platform.

    Haven't had much to do after you quit the Y2K racket, huh?

  • 'course it is: []

    No JDK 1.2 yet though..

    Another interesting IBM/Java link: IBM's commitment to Java and the Sun J2EE brand name [].


  • story here [].

  • >...COBOL, which I am currently using to develop...

    You get to use COBOL? Lucky bastard! I'm stuck with ones and zeros, and I had to fight to get the ones.
    Once I had to write an entire database with just zeros.
  • Let me see... reminds me of... TurboLinux... yeah, that's it.
    I guess it would probably have to be downloadable from the web, or I know of about a million RedHat-users who'd be pretty annoyed with having to buy RedHat all over again just to get this tool. This also mean that it would be downloadable to everybody (well duh...:), but if RedHat's the only one distributing it would only be distributed in rpm (again... duh...) and I can think of quite a few distros that don't like that too much.
    (This would be a perfect time to start a distribution war. Luckily, it would be an even more perfect time not to. ;)
  • If you haven't looked at IBM in the last year (and you sound like you haven't) you are out of date friend... Not only do they have an entire JDK available, they have profilers and a ton of other FREE tools out there... (XML stuff, pure Java installers, etc etc)
    "IBM provides developer kit code for AIX, OS/2, OS/390 (UNIX Services), OS/400, VM/ESA, Linux and Windows(R). You can download the code (without payment) either from this site, or from some other part of IBM's web linked to from this site. These are the Java developer kits available now. "

  • The Linux JRE (with JIT) from IBM is as fast as their WinTel version... and it's substantially faster than Sun's ~and~ MS's...

  • Does this mean RedHat will be taking over the role of the AlphaWorks site for distributing Linux Java stuff? Or is this a licensing agreement for including IBM's JVM with RedHat's distro?

    I know you can get a lot of IBM's source code at their Alphaworks site but does their licensing OSI certifiable?

    How does this affect RH-based distros like Mandrake (or the lowly LinuxOne)? Can they bundle
    IBM's JVM? Can KDE? Does this leave Caldera, Corel and Suse out in the cold?

    I'm confused.
  • As previously mentioned, TurboLinux also announced similar partnerships with IBM regarding the Java technology. LinuxToday picked up all the various press releases on the topic.

    Our specific information can be found at []

    On the surface, it appears that the Red Hat claim to being the "first to license" is incorrect. My preferred News Authority (LinuxToday :) actually presented some other similar announcements prior to RH's own press release. Go figure.

    The important thing to note about these announcements is that it brings more choice to those of us who program in Java under Linux. I think we're all in agreement that it's not in any of our best interests to have one corporation with exclusive access to such a critical technology, especially considering a demonstrated tendancy towards extreme territorial behavior. This helps level the playing field, and demonstrates IBM's continued support of the Linux platform.

    Aaron McKee
    Clustering Products Manager
    TurboLinux, Inc.
  • But you can't get both Java2 and Linux together.

    (At least, that I can see; but I find the VisualAge site a pain to navigate around so maybe I missed something.)

    The "Early Adopters" Java2 stuff seems to just be for Windows at this point.

    If you have a URL for a Linux Java2 download from IBM, please post it! Profuse thanks.

  • This could be a chance to clean up both the Java implementations [] and the RedHat problems. IBM has a history of being able to plod through to completion.

    RedHat Linux and Java both lose in various benchmarks comparisons. Both are backed by enough money to incent developers to scratch their itches on the outstanding bugs. Remember that $1 Billion dollars in market cap can translate into 1,000,000 $1000 checks to community contributers.

    What I suggest is this: RedHat offer shares from its huge marketcap [] to get bugs [] fixed in the RedHat installation and other not-quite open source [] software. Sun [] and IBM [] would then offer shares for Java bugs [] in their not-quite open source [] software. If only one thousand annoying problems were fixed (0.006% of RedHat market cap) and incorporated into later releases, the popularity of both Java and RedHat would rise enormously.

    Disclaimers: I had grevious problems [] getting Redhat to install and have not been impressed with its ease of use. I have been employed by Sun [] as the strategic systems engineer liason for Java between Sun and IBM. I own stock and want it to go up.


    Charles Merriam

    merriam @

  • "Their stuff" being an importaint point - this is IBM's software, not Red Hat's.
  • My impression of IBM is that they aren't always the first movers but that they are very good at taking their time and doing things right. If you haven't seen their evaluation of Java on Linux check it out Here []. This ran on Slashdot a few days ago and it was well done.

    IBM's support is going to be great for Linux, great for Apache, and great for open source. It's nice to have you onboard.

    As for Red Hat being evil because the work with commercial shops, I disagree. There are too many good developers who work for money in the commercial world. To ignore their work would be a mistake. (According to me)
  • It's freely downloadable.
  • Caldera and TurboLinux will be including this in their distros as well, apparently.
  • But the big problem with Jikes is the completely irrational error messages it produces.

    For example, adding an unnescessary brace to one class, can cause completely nonsensical error messages in other classes/files.

    Because of this, numerous times I've been forced to revert to javac in order to understand what the hell is wrong. Extremely frustrating!

  • I apologize; I thought he was referrring to the JDK. Yes, I have looked at IBM in the last year ;-) and I'm looking forward even more to what they'll be doing *this* year. Eventually they will be the people to go to, not Sun, for the basic Java tools. Especially with their interest in Linux.

    Whoever thought that IBM, of all companies, would be not only supporting, but developing for, open source? I'll bet Gates is just *fuming*.

    "It's an exciting time to be alive!" - Tank, The Matrix

  • Does anyone actually know how to report JDK bugs to IBM?

    JDKs (Java Development Kits) are from Sun, not IBM. You are probably referring to the "Jikes" compiler []. Jikes is included with a few Freenices; it's part of FreeBSD's ports collection, I know.

    JitterBug [] is where you want to go to report bugs.

    However, if you use Linux, I would instead recommend getting the Sun/Blackdo wn Java 2 SDK [].

    If you use *BSD, read my other post about Java 2 SDK and go vote!

    If you use Solaris... WTF are you doing using Jikes, mate?

    If you use Win32, well, bollocks. ;-)

  • I have my copy of free Solaris 7. I had it installed and running on x86 in under a half-hour, and with the included JDKs (including Java 2 SDKs), I could write and run Java apps perfectly, and also, immediately. Heck, I even loved the cool little icons that CDE put on my Java source files. I was so amused to run applets with HotJava, which is of course a Java app itself.

    But... free Solaris 7 didn't even come with a C compiler. It came with *nothing*. I even had to install Netscape separately. It was disgraceful. FreeBSD comes with all of the cool GNU apps I need, plus I have the source.

    Only my love for a real UNIX is keeping me from switching to Linux. Ever since I found the Linux port of Java 2 SDK, a day has not passed that I do not think of converting to Penguinism. I hate it. But it's true...

    Alas, if free Solaris 8 is everything it's cracked up to be, FreeBSD may have to go. If Solaris 8 is loaded with apps like Linux and FreeBSD, and if it's "free", then I have no logical reason not to switch. It is a real UNIX, after all. (Of course, I still prefer the "feel" of FreeBSD, but what good is feel without functionality?) It will sadden me greatly, but you may be right, Mr. AC. :(

    [wakes up] What? No! Never! FreeBSD will never die! We must have Java 2 SDK on FreeBSD! I will not succomb to the temptations of Slowaris!

    (Who said blind loyalty wasn't fun?)

  • Subject: given Sun's recent track record with Jave, rather
    should have previewed

    "Jave?" Maybe you should have previewed, too. ;-)

  • I want to sincerely thank you for responding in that mature manner. I am very willing to accept Java's weaknesses, but I currently have a real problem with the trolling ACs that bash Java for no reason.

    I can see by this post that you do indeed know what you are talking about. I only with that you had said all of this in your original post. I would have even moderated you up, becase even though I disagree, you put some good reasoning behind your arguments.

    And about your responses to my insults... I'm not insulting the intelligence of |deity|, the person who wrote that very intelligent post just now. I *will* however insult the intelligence of the AC who screams in CAPS that Java "sucks" and "blows". You say "I'm sorry if I offended you with my opinion". I was not at all offended by your opinion, I was merely offended by your method of delivering it.

    Perhaps I was a bit to quick to flame. But please, in the future, avoid that AC style that you can see the moderators were quick to shove down to (Score: -1, Troll). If you had posted in your later manner in the first place, you probably would have gotten a (Score: 3, Insightful), at least.

    Since you have, as requested, backed up your arguments, I hereby recant my previous flames and apologize for my quickness to respond that way. But I will stand by my criticism of the manner in which you first posted. That is what I look down upon.

    Now that we have that out of the way , I will respons to your arguments.

    I agree that Java is slow as hell compared to native languages and even many interpretive languages, I do not think that Java will ever have a place in standalone application programming. And for text processing, Perl is still the way to go. But Java has what I think to be the perfect mix of power, speed, and functionality for its current use in small WWW applets. Servlets still need a while to ripen.

    I myself code in C, and I too first thought that Java was *extremely* verbose when I first saw the code. I've gotten used to it, but I get the feeling that its designers weren't planning on it being used as much as it is for applets. Too much code is required to do simple things for most WWW applets, IMHO.

    I must disagree that Java is "dead". You say yourself later in the post that it is in widespread use. Java support is getting better all the time. Look at how much better the Java stuff for Linux has gotten. Java is anything but dead.

    Servlets may very well change the way that WWW server-side code is thought of, if they haven't already. However this will require broad Java support for the underlying OS. Solaris, to no surprise, handles this best right now. Linux is getting there. *BSD is a long way off. NT... well, NT is crap anyway.

    Java is still a very new technology. I'd give it a few more years before you write it off completely. Especially when you see how it can work so nicely with the next Technology of the Week, XML.

    You mention that you're reading some books about Java currently. I'd recommend O'Reilly's servlet book, and most of the Wrox stuff.

    You say that you saw my info and noticed that I'm a BSD person. That is very true. However I am even more of a Java person, and so I will probably be dumping BSD in the next month if I don't hear any good news about that Java 2 SDK. There was been far too little Java FreeBSD development for me to be optimistic. I'm going to go back to Linux (yes, I confess. I used Linux and loved it until FreeBSD rocked my world), at least until I see Solaris 8. The time has come to return to the Penguin. Linux is being supported by IBM now, IBM loves Java on Linux; and there's even an official Sun JDK for it. Linux supports my SMP workstation better, and has better support for more filesystems. I was a hardcore BSDer, but even I am being turned around. Linux is the way of the future. I look at the feature list for the next kernel, and I'm amazed. Sure, BSD has 25-year old code, but Linux's code is being developed NOW. Also, I can attest to the fact that many BSD people are those snooty University types. The Linux scene is more my style anyway. I've been on both sides of the fence. As much as I love the kernel, I can feel in my bones that Linux is growing and changing and becoming better everyday, while BSD is getting stale, and no-one supports it, and being a developer I can't stay there for much longer. I'm coming back, Tux, I'm coming back...

    Java cannot replace C or C++. But as it finds its niche as a *web* technology, it will become better optimized, faster, and more stable. Sun has hopefully realized that no-one really does a lot of stand-alone app dev in Java. They need to get Java running on servers, and improve how applets, databases, and servlets talk to each other.

    It was indeed a pleasure talking with you, |deity|. I really do hope that you post this way in the future. Please do, because it's a pity to be written off as a troll because of that fanatical AC posting style where you yell like a 12 year-old. It was a pleasure to be proven wrong, and I will give all troll ACs a second thought now. ;-)


  • Yes, I agree that it's rather funny. But I still like the Sun JDKs. And they did a Linux port, after all...

    Perhaps if *BSD had the publicity that Linux did?

    A few of my arguments to Sun for why they should do this:

    • FreeBSD is a widely-used as a server OS, and an official port would encourage the use of servlets
    • A FreeBSD port could be used on NetBSD and OpenBSD with only mininal, if any, modidications. Killing three Daemons (four if you count that BSDi thinger, but I don't).
    • FreeBSD is popular in Japan. I don't know if Java is as well, but this couldn't hurt!

    Here are a few of the tons of comments on the "bug report" page where you can vote for this RFE [] (request for enhancement).

    • "FreeBSD is one of the favorite OS to run servers, and Java is becoming the favorite language to write server applications."
    • "Daemon News supports this project. DN will also issue a certification if it runs well on BSD."
    • "Due to the stability we use either Solaris or FreeBSD. It is very tiresome not being able to develop on FreeBSD for deployment on Solaris. Using solely Linux is not an option for me."
    • "It's a pity that we can't develop on a OS that is very popular among small ISPs."
    • "As has been said, not having Java ports for these platforms helps only Microsoft, and hurts the people Sun really seems interested in helping: the Open Source community."
    • "With official support of Java2 on FreeBSD from SUN, I would be able to finally abandon NT platform and use my prefferd FreeBSD OS for most of my projects."

    Come on, people. Sun will have to pay attention if we Slashdot their server. Not even SMP Solaris can survive the wrath of Maldastein's Monster. ;-)


  • Personally, I find the increasingly pervasive notion that "Linux" is synonymous with "x86" even more infuriating than the notion that "Linux" is equivalent to "RedHat".

    I just spent 10 minutes hunting through IBM's Java sites for their Linux JDK installation requirements. I knew it was going to say "x86 processor", but I shouldn't have had to look so hard to find that out.

    I don't mean to flame, or to suggest that a company has any sort of obligation to support non-x86 Linux platforms. It just seems to me that if a company is providing software for x86 Linux systems, then that should be prominently stated in press releases, web pages, etc. They shouldn't say just "Linux" unless they mean all Linux systems (PowerPC, Alpha, StrongARM, 68k, etc.), which they never do unless they're releasing source.

  • Now that is interesting! Except for the Crusoe item, I was told almost the exact same thing from a completely differenct source. I thought it was just hot air - obviously not.
  • All in all, I think this is great news ! We [] have had a few problems with the Blackdown VM (now repackaged as Sun jdk1.2 for Linux) under high load (more than 1024 connections etc...) Our experience is that the IBM JDK is more stable (generally speaking) and will shortly be switching to it. OTOH its worth noting that there is some inexplicable memory leak (IBM's words) when running the IBM JDK on Compaq servers. Though I guess RedHat or Compaq will find a way to solve that one soon enough ;-)
  • My experience has been that IBM's tools are faster, but less reliable than blackdown's.

    Jikes (the compiler) is awesomely fast, but will not always catch errors and can generate funky bytecode that causes VM's to crash.

    the high performance VM is fast, but has some funny UI quirks. (even more so than java does in general) However, I use it for running AnyJ (the java IDE written in java -- free for linux users!) and it seems stable enough. Though even as fast as it is for java, java is just S*L*O*W.

    I'm sure this will all get worked out some day, so I think overall it's a great thing to have the ibm tools automatically install with red hat.

    Like everyone, I wish IBM would get their java 2 act together, but even more so I'd like to see java 2 in browsers; and I wish netscape would upgrade their dreadfully slow, buggy vm. (off topic, but other people were mentioning java 2)

    (P.s. I can't find the link for anyJ right off, since I can't get the site to connect, but you can get the link from there, I think on the "status" page. Definitely worth checking out if you're developing java on linux.)

  • I won't speculate on the strategic motives, and actaully do not care why IBM is advocating Java and even Linux. As far as I am concerned, SUN has left us hanging. How long did it take for SUN to give Linux an official JVM? - never if you champion the efforts of blackdown.

    Props to IBM.

  • The price of any new technology should (imho) always be a secondary concern. I love free software, but it's not worth much to anyone unless it is properly built and supported.
  • COBOL was a required course for my info. systems degree (that I'll earn in May). I'd say that COBOL was a fair academic language, to teach the non-technical folks some basic coding.

    Other than that, it's too verbose and cumbersome to read/write/debug/compile.

    Only thing worse that I've seen, is the Fortran CGIs out there.

  • Back in my IBM days (95-98) we had a little joke about IBM's marketing vs Microsoft's:

    Microsoft could sell vacations to hell even if preliminary reports came back that the first vacationers never came back.

    IBM, on the other hand, could try to give free passes to heaven and would somehow wind up offering 1 for 1 conversions to Microsoft's Hell Getaway.

    The BeerBaron
  • Does anyone else see the irony that IBM is making the bucks (minus licensing fees?) from Sun's Java technology on Linux, which Sun thinks is a waste of time 8^)

    If you look at the history of personal computers and software, the money has mostly been made by the exploiter - not the people or company who initially developed it.
  • No it isn't free, it's "Alphaworks" which means IBM can pull the rug from it at any point (or charge money for it) and you're supposed to delete it from your machine. I believe you're supposed to delete it after 90 days also.

    It irks me that Red Hat seem so keen to licence this into their product. What happened to the commitment to keep their stuff GPL'd? I suppose they'll weasel around this by putting it on a supplemental CD or somesuch.

  • Are you sure? The article you linked to does _not_ specifically say its Java 2. It says:

    Sun announced plans to ship Java 2 Platform...

    It doesn't say what version of Java *IBM* will be shipping to the Linux distro companies. The only version they have available now is based on Java 1.1...Its fast as hell (compared to other Java VMs, especially on Linux), but 1.1 nonetheless.

  • When IBM JDK was in early stages of development (there was versino 1.1.6 pre-alpha which you might have seen and then 1.1.8 alpha), there was an open forum on dedicated to Linux JDK. IBM people were helpful, they reacted to feedback and they actually fixed many bugs submitted there. Now JDK 1.1.8 is pretty stable, it's a release and it has been moved from alphaworks. Hardly you can expect any bugfix releases.

    Remember how it all happened? IBM did not tell they have their own JDK in development until they showed the working version! So don't be so impatient, chances are, they work on Java 2 now and we'll see it soon!
  • Is it free? Can you download it from the web? I don't know about this...I don't like the commercialization Red Hat is doing. Esp. having different "Editions" of Linux. Now what does that remind you of?
  • You had zeros? All I had was the letter "O"!

    Make Seven
  • Interesting. I'm actually a bit too young to really understand the animosity towards IBM, everything I know about it, I heard from other sources. It seems pretty obvious in retrospect, however, the main example being the "throwing the hammer" mac commercial. I suppose in many respects microsoft has taken on the IBM role, though one thing to remember about IBM is it's assets are mostly physical. I mean, they have more than just software.

    They are a truly huge company with many physical assets. An interesting point that is often missed about some of the new "eipo.coms" that have started up, and microsoft itself. Microsoft is "worth" 200 billion, but it only HAS 20 billion, unlike "real" companies such as GM and IBM.

    I just find the complete and utter turnaround from total Evil Empire to total Underdog Hero amazing, that's all. You don't often get to see that.

  • I would also much prefer if Microsoft would clean up their own act instead of forcing us (taxpayers) to do it for them. They could certainly learn a thing or two from IBM. Also they should avoid the example set by AT&T (i.e. government is forced to take action)

  • We've been working on a system called gcj. The compiler is part of GCC. It compiles java source to native- or byte-code. It will also compile bytecode to native code. The runtime also includes a bytecode interpreter. See
  • Why wait? I'v had it for a few months now. Just download it from IBM's site.
  • this is odd
  • Without commercialization, Linux would still be the OS of choice in Helsinki and a mere myth for the rest of us. Linux needs to take the next step and go after the commercial market. Unfortunately, geeks don't drive computer markets otherwise Windows would not be the desktop standard in almost every company in the world. I'm not a big IBM fan but they have been comitted to Java for some time and they have always made the runtimes freely available (even for OS/2). I think that this is good news for the Linux community.
  • Choke!

    I do note that IBM has VisualAge COBOL [], but where are the Qt [] bindings?

    ... And when will you be putting fixed-record support into ext2?

    Which one of the COBOL environments provides a metaobject protocol? (Just as CLOS - Common Lisp Object System [] has, as does C++ [] as does Guile with GOOPS []

    Hmm? Hmm? Inquiring minds want to know...

  • "but even more so I'd like to see java 2 in browsers"

    I agree. I don't think that Microsoft will lead the way. But if enough of their competitors updated their VMs we might see web sites supporting newer versions of Java. I find it a bit of a pain not being able to use Swing 1.1 (well, I could, but the JAR files are just too big to place on the web server).
  • Excuse me? Although I have little desire to get into an argument with a coward on here, but I'm speaking from cold hard experience, and several months of fairly heavy benchmarking and evaluation of a half dozen platforms for servlet and EJB-based applications on a number of servlet engines and application servers on the various platforms.

    Blaming Java for Linux's inability to handle large numbers of threads stinks of Linux evangelism at it worst. How long have you, Mr or Mrs Anonymous Coward being using Linux? Eight years like I have? How many commercial rollouts of services using it have you done? Dozens like I have?

    The fact is, regardless of your opinion on the Java threading model and the way most Java applications are written, that Linux is not a good match currently for running enterprise class Java applications. And it most certainly is because native threads (being one-to-one mapped to processes) are too heavy-weight. Tweaking the scheduler helps, but most certainly doesn't fix the problem.

    If you've ever written enterprise applications in Java, you'd know that the choice as how to use threading isn't always in the control of the application writer. Its tied to the application server and the web server, or servlet environment.

    The one point you were correct about was the need in Linux for a more robust kernel threading model that isn't process-bound as it currently is. Until that time, no matter how good IBM's JVM is (and it IS that good), the vast majority of enterprise applications are going to run notably faster under NT. Shipping IBM's JVM with RedHat under the guise of making it an "enterprise" platform, however, is asking for more pseudo-Mindcraft tests to run and show how much faster Java applications are on NT than Linux.

    RedHat would be better spending some of its millions hiring kernel hackers to find a solution to the threading issues, THEN Linux could really compete in the enterprise application marketplace.
  • This is a good thing. The IBM JVM is far and away the fastest on Linux. But it still (unfortunately) sucks compared to the IBM JVM on NT. That's not IBM's fault, but rather the threading issues dealing with the Linux kernel.

    Bundling it is good, but its definately not "enterprise" ready. On identical hardware (ie dual boot) its at least 40% slower than NT at moderate load using the JRun servlet environment and Apache 1.3.9. I hate it when I end up having to host an application on NT instead of Linux -- its rare -- but the area of Java is definately a weak point.

    The work IBM's been doing to optimize the scheduler looks promising though, but it can't replace the benefit of having ligher-weight threading in the kernel.
  • If all the distros are going to be providing a version of Java then it should be a CURRENT version. The Blackdown Java2 VM would be a much better choice IMO.

    IBM has committed to supporting Java 1.2 on all of their strategic platforms. They consider Linux as one of those platforms. A number of other moves they've made (I wish I had the URL's handy) corroborate this statement. They haven't really released a 1.2 JVM for any platform, let alone Windows and their own OS's. This is because, as I said above, they do more than add bells and whistles. There are research teams in Texas, Japan, and Israel, I believe working on various aspects of the JVM technology.

    Most of what they initially need to do is move their original improvements from the 1.1 series into the 1.2 reference they get from Sun. They've made some huge improvements to the JDK. For example their GC work alone is pretty impressive. Give them time... 1.2 will be out.


    PS. Most of this is coming straight from IBM dev rel folks at a Java Briefing Day. There were more than a few folks interested in Linux, and they mentioned all of the issues in that article that made a previous story and then some as items they'd like to work out in the future for linux.

  • As a former Micro Focus employee, I have to take issue with this...

    The term you wanted was ADD ONE TO COBOL GIVING COBOL. Of course, it was also locally known as Oh! Oh! COBOL! and I Object to COBOL.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a COBOL programmer. Life's too short.

  • Does anyone know if the new Red Hat Enterprise Edition supposedly carrying this IBM Java stuff will include (as standard) those kernel performance tweaks published by that IBM research lab the other day?

    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction
  • Basically, you're saying you trust Sun's roadmap, over IBM's.

    That's fine.

    However, given Sun's recent track record with Sun (removing it from standards consideration for example), I don't trust them.

    IBM has shown itself perfectly willing to make money USING Open Source software, rather than by denouncing it. I trust them.
  • Sun sits there and wonders why everybody else is wasting their time with Linux. Everybody else sits there and wonders why Sun isn't doing anything while they reel in the mula. As much as I might dislike Java some days, I think this is good for both RedHat and IBM. IBM gets to have support done by someone who knows Linux, which makes them look good. RedHat gets more support contracts, which makes them have more money to fund developing more Linux stuff.

    Does anyone else see the irony that IBM is making the bucks (minus licensing fees?) from Sun's Java technology on Linux, which Sun thinks is a waste of time 8^)

  • The following is taken directly from IBM's web pages:

    VisualAge for Java Version 3.0 includes an Early Adopters Environment providing support for Java 2, formerly known as JDK 1.2. Developers can start now to build and deploy selected applications that target the Java 2 platform, taking advantage of Java 2 features such as improved security, portability, and advanced user interface controls.

    It appears you are partially correct, as it looks like the JDK 1.2 support is beta at this point. The place I work is a fairly large IBM customer, so we get a lot of stuff fairly early.

  • You are correct up to a point. IBM never got broken up, but it was forced to make some concessions to the government to avoid that. Interestingly in the end IBM chose to break large parts of itself off (the spinoff of Lexmark, the sale of Rolm to Siemens, etc). Not being able to replay history with different scenarios, it is hard to say that IBM ever would have changed had they not had to live under the DOJ's scrutiny. Also the industry has yet to prove that it can force Microsoft to change their ways like it did with IBM, so I am not yet ready to think that DOJ action against Microsoft isn't necessary. Without the DOJ keeping IBM fighting on another front in court, would the industry have been able to break from IBM's grasp?
    Count me as someone who would be happy if Microsoft could/would choose to clean up their act on their own, or that the industry could force them to do so without requiring government action. But until that happens, I hope the DOJ continues to fight them.

  • Does this package from IBM include their fast VM?

    I don't know about the fast VM, but this article [] describes a way of patching the Linux kernel to speed up performance of a VM. I guess it would be up to Red Hat to include that patch in their package.

    As far as someone claiming that IBM is dumping all their support on Red Hat for their Java tools, it looks to me that Red Hat would only be providing support for the IBM software that is sold by Red Hat not all IBM Java support under Linux totally.

  • They've been promising support for 1.2 for quite a while now. So far no 1.2. That alone is enough reason for me not to use it. I don't see why anybody developing serverside Java would want to limit himself to just the 1.1 API. The 1.2 API is so much richer in functionality.

    Therefore I don't share the enthousiasm about IBM's vaporware. Of course they've got a lot of good stuff as well (especially aglets, XML, san Francisco, etc.) but as far as I can see it IBM's choice of not supporting 1.2 is a marketing driven decision, not a technologically driven decision.

    As for their Jikes compiler: many people don't seem to realize that compiler speed is not so much an issue in Java since there's no linking phase as you have in C++ (this causes even minor changes to take a long time to compile). Because of that you can incrementally compile your system (i.e. you recompile only the changed classes). For this reason Jikes alledged compilation speed is not a very compelling argument to me. And since other comments on this story have hinted that the quality of Jikes' compiler is not so high I don't think I'm missing much by not using it.
  • IBM is struggling to redefine themselves as the "service company". Now they let Red Hat do the support for them. I suspect IBM's just trying to benefit from the current media hype surrounding Red Hat and anything around it. Once the hype is over, IBM will grab the support back, I bet.
  • Go to this page [], it's exactly what you're looking for.

    To sum it up, 1.2 for Windows, Linux is supposed to come in Q1 / Q2 2000, 1.3 following soon. It is already available for AIX and OS/400.
  • I don't work for IBM, but I use to (the federal systems division was bought) and I know several people (including my father, a retired IBM manager, and my mother who still has a few years left with them). I'll back your statements.

    A good friend of mine, at IBM, is working on the Transmeta Crusoe chip (but he won't give me details, that stupid NDA!). And my mother has said that there is a huge push towards Linux. They are trying to get their hardware and other software packages out to the community so that they can profit on the service. But they have ties to Red Hat for the Linux specific support. I also believe that they are working with other distros as well as LinuxCare(I'm not sure, since this bit of info came from hearsay). The service that they supply is more towards their own products.

    Expect to see more coming from IBM that will help the Linux community. From all my resources, it seems that IBMs intent is genuine. They found a way to profit with the Linux community without stepping too much on the principles. Their focus seems to lean towards hardware/service, where the GPL doesn't effect it much.

    Steven Rostedt
  • It says that RedHat will be the first to licence and distribute the tech, but does that mean that they're the ONLY one who will? Call me paranoid, but I'm getting images of even greater differences between distributions and possibly what is known as 'unfair advantages' here.
    I guess the part about 'open standards and community source technologies' hints towards open source, but as we all know, big companies *cough*SUN*cough* doesn't nessecarily (sp?) mean the same when they say open source as the rest of us do.

  • I don't think people realize exactly how much effort IBM is putting into Java. I work for IBM, and have access to the internal Java sites and source code. IBM is doing a complete rewrite of Java. The programmers cannot have even looked at Sun's code, because IBM is afraid that anyone who has seen Sun's code may produce code that infringes on Sun's copyrights. So the IBM Java programmers (theoretically) have never seen any of Sun's source, just the specs. Pretty damn impressive. Plus the IBM jdk is much faster and more reliable than Blackdown's (I can consistently produce a seg fault with Blackdown's native thread 1.1.8 while IBM's has no problems).
  • Is there anyone producing an open source java variant for linux ??

    If not, why not ?

    Why would Red Hat include a non-open source product in their main distribution ?

    Or was that all smoke being blown by Young until it was convenient to release closed source products that he feels add value to RH's products ?

    Open Java for linux !

  • Anyone care to venture an opinion regarding the quality, speed of these tools vs. the JDK from Sun (the one they ripped from Blackdown)?

    Does this package from IBM include their fast VM?
  • This is all well and good, but I prefer to use Sun's official tools. And while there has been an official Linux port, there is no native Java 2 SDK for FreeBSD.

    Please, all members of JDC, go here [] and cast your votes to have Sun release this software. We are up to 2703 votes so far. It took 4551 votes before Sun released the Linux version, so we're almost there, right? ;-)

    (However, I am well aware that the release of the Linux port was due in large part to the excellent folks from Blackdown [].)

    You must be registered in the JDC (Java Developer Connection) to vote. Registration is free and quick, so if you're a Java developer or just have a general interest on FreeBSD or Java, please go sign up and vote!

    Anyone interested in doing an unofficial port please mail me at [mailto] (obviously remove the "spammerslove" :-).

    Viva Java 2 en FreeBSD!

  • It is not just PR, IBM is becoming quite different compared with what they've used to be 10-15 years ago. They are still in a process of defining themselves though.
  • by um... Lucas ( 13147 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2000 @01:13PM (#1337510) Homepage Journal
    IBM's probably the most earnest pusher of Java in the world.

    Sun created Java and still champions is, but they have a vested interest in keeping Solaris as their premiere platfrom. IBM, on the otherhand, sees Java as a way they can unite all of the platforms that they support - Linux, Win32, OS/2, AIX, OS/390, etc...

    Part of IBM's a sevice company. Part of it's a hardware company. Part of it's a software company. They don't really work together as much as they should, which is what happens when you get into a decade long anti-trust battle.

    But anyways - Redhat's licensing Java from IBM's software developers, not it's services department. The services business that IBM aiming for is not tech support, it's performing huge installs, etc...

    I think it's much more beneficial that Redhat handle the tech support. The way I see it, they should have to support everything that they ship on their main CD (not the Demo Apps CD, though)... It'd be such a headache if you called them and they had to refer you to the actual developer of each package on their CD... THAT's the entire reason for their existance - to add value to linux and support their distro.
  • by SoftwareJanitor ( 15983 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2000 @01:10PM (#1337511)
    VisualAge does not support Java2. Websphere does not support Java2.

    This is obsolete information. WebSphere 3.0 and Visual Age for Java 3.0 have support for Java2. We just got our CD's for the 3.0 versions the other day and will be upgrading from the 2.0 versions in the near future.

  • by spiral ( 42436 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2000 @01:19PM (#1337512)
    >VisualAge does not support Java2.

    From the VisualAge [] web site:

    Java 2 and Linux Support

    VisualAge for Java Version 3.0 includes an Early Adopters Environment providing support for Java 2, formerly known as JDK 1.2. Developers can start now to build and deploy selected applications that target the Java 2 platform, taking advantage of Java 2 features such as improved security, portability, and advanced user interface controls.

    In response to popular demand from developers, IBM is providing VisualAge for Java for the Linux platform, underscoring IBM's commitment to supporting customers on the platforms they choose. With VisualAge for Java support for Linux, developers will be able to quickly build, test and deploy 100% Pure Java applets, applications, JavaBeans components and servlets on Linux. VisualAge for Java on Linux is available at [].

  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2000 @02:40PM (#1337513) Homepage Journal

    As the joke goes...

    • C++ is the Object Oriented C.
    • ADD ONE TO COBOL. is the Object Oriented COBOL.
  • by The_Messenger ( 110966 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2000 @01:54PM (#1337514) Homepage Journal
    I agree that the name "Java 2" is misleading; there were hardly enough changes to jump from 1.1 to 2, right? Java 2 (which is really JDK 1.2) does have many advantages over "the 'old' version", like bug fixes, added functionality, more classes, et cetera, but code written with JDK 1.1.x is by no means obsolete.

    See, Sun decided to be really clever and drop the standard practices used for software versioning It goes like this:

    • Solaris 7 is really Solaris 2.7, and came after Solaris 2.6
    • Java 2 SDK is really JDK 1.2, and came after JDK 1.1.x

    Get it? By dropping the number before the decimal point, they can fool you into thinking it's a whole new version! After all, there's no way we can convince our employers to pay for a software upgrade from 1.1 to 1.2, but 1.1 to 2 must be something big. (But JDK is free, so...? Nevermind.)

    Eventually Solaris and Java will have to start using Apple's roman numeral software versioning, because you can't have Java 10. Because Java 10 would be JDK 1.10, which is technology from the Dark Ages (1997!!). My hunch is that they'll start using the "Street Fighter" versioning system, so by 2002 we'll have Java 2 Turbo Alpha Hyper. Capcom managed to survive for five years like that.

  • by svo ( 128675 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2000 @04:02PM (#1337515) Homepage
    I care. I can't provide with benchmarks, so here's my own subjective opinion that has formed during long working for TogetherSoft as the only Java developer on the Linux platform there. When IBM first released JDK 1.1.6 it was a relief! Compared to the latest version of Blackdown that existed that time, it was 1.1.7v1a, it demonstrated breakthrough performance, but the stability was so-so. But after release of IBM JDK 1.1.8 it's our recommended Java platform. The performance is about the same as MSVM regarding data handling and a little slower in GUI areas. It means that it is VERY fast. The only problem with IBM VM is their JIT that is build with correct code in mind. So if you use a scrambled application and the scrambler was not at its best mangling the bytecode, chances are that you get signal 11.
    About Sun JDK1.2 that they ripped from Blackdown. They (Sun/Inprise) acted not very nicely with Blackdown, but whatever has happened - we now have a fast and stable Java 2 VM on Linux. The Blackdown's version was out of questions - it could run some tests and Swing demos but it never worked for complex applications - I have tried it with a variety of them. It is hard to compare the performance of Java 2 vs IBM JDK 1.1.8, but they seem like equal to me and both are good.
    My impressions are formed on using and writing Together/J a massive and complex Java modelling tool - if there's something wrong with the VM and app is complex enough you notice it soon. Both IBM 1.1.8 and Sun JDK 1.2 (I only worked with rc1 so far) proved stability and high performance. Blackdown's versions are totally of no use since we have them, sorry.
  • by FreshView ( 139455 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2000 @12:55PM (#1337516) Homepage
    I'd like to point out that IBM has recently done an excellent job of grabbing good PR where it used to be terrible. There was a time when IBM was as hated as Microsoft is today, and now even the "underground Microsoft resistance" doesn't have too much bad to say about IBM. I imagine it stems from their underdog status gained during the development of OS/2. Or, it could be their lack of unfair business practices.

    Does this IBM VM come with source code? I'd love to get a look at that.
  • They've promised to support 1.2, as well. You have to understand that they don't just stick a few bells and whistles in and then repackage it. IBM has 3 labs working on various aspects of the JVM. Some of the improvements they've made are truly impressive. IBM JDK1.1.8 speeds on Windows approach natively compiled Java code (a la TowerJ) on the same platform. The Linux 1.1.8 JDK is not that far behind. Take a look at IBM's dev site [] to see benchmarks and information. They're still working on similar levels of performance for the 1.2 JDK. Personally, I can't wait.

    I've run the Blackdown 1.2 JDK and the IBM 1.1.8 JDK and there is no doubt the IBM version is faster. Granted, it doesn't "know" how to do as much, but even considering that factor, the 1.1.8 JDK kicks solid ass.


  • by mbowler ( 13075 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2000 @01:05PM (#1337518) Homepage
    IBM makes lots of noise about supporting Java but what they never mention is that they're supporting an OLDER version of the language. None of IBM's JVM's support Java2 (JDK1.2+). VisualAge does not support Java2. Websphere does not support Java2.

    Java2 has been out for quite a while and the fact that IBM still doesn't support it doesn't give me any confidence that they will stay current in the future. How long will it take for them to support 1.3 or the version after that?

    Some parts of IBM are doing some really cool things with Java, an example being the Jikes compiler. If you look closely, however, you'll notice that the only parts of IBM doing CURRENT java stuff are research projects. All the products that IBM plans to make money from are using an OLD version of Java. Admittedly, they're still working on the product and are making it faster and more robust but they're supporting the wrong version of the language.

    Hearing that IBM will distribute their VM's with all the major linux distros doesn't make me overly happy. Why do I want another Java 1 VM?

    If all the distros are going to be providing a version of Java then it should be a CURRENT version. The Blackdown Java2 VM would be a much better choice IMO.
  • by SoftwareJanitor ( 15983 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2000 @01:05PM (#1337519)
    There was a time when IBM was as hated as Microsoft is today,

    You are very correct. I used to be a very vocal critic of IBM, much as I am of Microsoft now. Many of the things I find objectionable about Microsoft now are tactics that I believe they learned from the IBM of the 60's to the mid 80's.

    and now even the "underground Microsoft resistance" doesn't have too much bad to say about IBM. I imagine it stems from their underdog status gained during the development of OS/2.

    OS/2 may be more important to other people than it is to me. I never really was very interested in it, as I was a *nix person before OS/2 was first announced.

    Or, it could be their lack of unfair business practices.

    For me, my attitude to IBM has changed mostly because I have seen solid evidence that they have really cleaned up their act and are now a company that is conducting business in an ethical manner. To be totally honest, I was surprised when things changed at IBM, particularly how quickly they have been able to turn things around. But it is certainly a pleasant surprise. I won't say that I don't still view IBM with a little long term cautiousness, but until I see any evidence of backsliding on their part I am encouraged.

  • IBM seems to be set to render Sun irrelevant to the future of Java...They are making the right Linux moves [] as well as good moves in the Java & XML [] front. I can't wait to get a IBM's JDK on my linux box. :)
    Oh happy day...

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. -- Albert Einstein