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Java Programming

Java on BeOS, supported by Sun 287

John Kenneth Grytten writes "Be and Sun have announced that they will be working together to bring Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition and PersonalJava to BeOs." They expect to have betas ready by the end of the year, with shipping versions going out 1Q 2000.
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Java on BeOS, supported by Sun

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  • They don't want to sign their death warrant just yet. It behooves them to foster the impression that Java's best environment is on a Sun box. If a kick ass JVM comes out for Java 2 on Linux, they are surely up shit's creek.
  • Heh heh. BeOS 1, Linux 0.


  • by Matt Welsh ( 11289 ) on Monday November 08, 1999 @10:08AM (#1551463) Homepage
    This is fantastic, but what would be really great is if Sun could release a stable, working JDK 1.2 for Linux. Unfortunately the Blackdown port of the Sun JDK is far from production quality -- it is rife with problems, especially with respect to native threading.

    This isn't to knock the Blackdown team -- they have done a terrific job. But doing such a port really is a lot of work, maybe too much for a closed porting team. If we could open up the porting process and let those of us with different systems really bang on it, I'm sure things would be progressing much more rapidly.

    Matt Welsh

  • Its said that a JDK with hotspot features is coming soon for linux. dont you read slashdot?? :)
  • Funny, it was just yesterday I was wondering if there was a BeOS Look And Feel for swing. Anyway, it is good to see that BeOS will be supported. Now if I could only get a supported version for FreeBSD, I'd be set.
  • Great! Windows95/98/NT, BeOS, Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, IRIX, all have or will have Java2 support.

    Now if only Mac would get something a little newer than 1.1.6. I can't believe Be is just now getting it. They were on the ball about getting Gtk+ ported....

    I guess Sun just wouldn't help em. I wonder if the recent "Finding of facts" helped push this into action.


  • I think that the best hope for desktop computing is Be. Now that Microsoft is under the legal gun, it's excellent that Be start getting more support. I wonder if this announcement was timed on the MS findings...

    I would like to see the Sun port to Linux surface... I love the Blackdown stuff, but that's still in prerelease...

    Be on the desktop, Linux on the server side... Rah.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Its good to see Sun working with Be and the recently anounced true effort to support Java 2 on Linux (bejond just giving some small help to blackdown). I'm not a BeOS user but I do develop with Java some of the time, I want to see my programs available to everyone. I wish Sun would really beef up their community process. They need to setup an online CVS system instead of just releasing the source for each version... SB
  • java for office apps? ...sloooow.
  • Seems that BeOS is the new darling of pop media. Probably in Sun's best interest to develop it on Be first.
  • Woohoo! There's another reason I'm going to snatch BeOS as soon as I can. I'm a Java developer, and I think Java support is great for alternative OSs.
  • For server side stuff, and for embedded stuff, Java is the way of the future. I'm glad to see movement in this direction--personal Java for Be has some real potential. Java is the only credible threat to WinCE in the long run. (Much as I like the palm pilot, it's internal memory model and APIs just don't give developers enough to work with.)

    However, I have to say that I don't see much good in the future for Java as a GUI platform. Be is definately a GUI platform, so it seems to me the first step is to get that stuff working, at the technolgoy level. Maybe the Be developers can return the favour and help make Java an effective GUI platform.

    Realistically, the competition is shockwave--it's fast, slick, and definately well on its way to being a class one killer app.

    Java just isn't competing here--it's still slow, clunky, and cumbersome. It's pretty obvious that Sun spent 10 years perfecting Java for embedded and server applications, making a damn fine product. But then they hacked a bunch of GUI stuff onto that in a few short months and called it a "web applicaton". Applets are an outright disaster, and GUI applications don't fare much better.

    Which is a shame, since it's such a good idea. Shockwave is going to kill Java unless something is done to speed up the raw GUI performance.

    Don't take me as a Java hater, I'm not--I love Java on the server, and even have a big free software project devoted to making life easier there (webmacro [webmacro.org]). I just don't like the Java GUI.
  • Well, this is a press release, not an actual software release. It could turn out that a year from now it's announced for some other OS and someone says "Other OS???!!! What about the BeOS port promised a long time ago?"

    -beme
  • I know C, C++, Ada, Java, COBOL, x86 asembly and I still like Java the best. Why? Because it's a nice OO language that saves me lots of time in the R&D department. Hotspot is really helping the speed issue a lot. But speed of execution is not the only measure of speed. You can develop an app in Java a lot quicker and if you pay attention to what your doing, it really will be WORA.

    Think how functional Marabilis could be if they had kept the javaicq port going. Now they would have a nice version on Every platform. As it is, you have 10 versions that all lack features because we have to make them ourselves without all the protocol knowledge we need. This could have easily been avioded. Also, the java version would let you use icq on a computer that didn't have it installed. You could set it up so that you could go to a website and log in if you were on a friends computer or a lab computer... or whatever.

    Sad sad sad...

  • BeOS is closed source, thus outside companies usually have to do some work in order to get a product running. Linux is open source, and why spend money developing when a world full of programmers can do it for free? Just release the source, and take the credit when the product is finished. Meanwhile, open source advocates have their egos massaged, while regular users wait forever for the product to come to them. Open source has its merits, but its times like this when its faults are revealed.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Will the world be filled with endless "BeOS vs. Linux" arguments, instead of "Mac vs. PC"?
  • Well, you have to look at it this way:

    Java is about 10 times slower then native machine language. As processors become faster, 10 times slower for stuff such as office applications will become a non-issue with computers. With processors already damn close to a gigahert, thats a pretty good investment for Sun to be looking into.

    People call Java useless (CmdrTaco), but when it comes down to it, its the best thing since sliced bread. In a few years, the slowness of it will be completely unnoticeable next to other applications.

    Now of course when I say this I'm making the assumption that the applications won't use up more processing time relative to the cpu enhancements. This has been generally true with all software over the last few years. They may require more cycles, but they're still faster on faster processors even though they're doing more work.
  • hopefully.... i love that argument :)

  • <disclaimer>
    I am a Linux user and I'm OK, (so don't flame me)
    </disclaimer>

    It's wonderful to see more and more people taking BeOS seriously. Every OS need a good JVM (even Linux). Let's hope Sun is serious about this.

    By the way, "BeKaffe" [netpedia.net] has been around for awhile now. They are an independent effort working on a Java AWT.

  • Be careful, man... saying anything positive about closed source development on /. liable to get you blacklisted.... even more so for saying negative things about open source development...


    yeah, i like ellipses, so what ... :)


  • I've been itching to get my hands on BeOS for over a year now, but I'm a little apprehensive about shelling out $$$ for pay software that's hung at it's current version level for so long.

    Does anyone have any information as to when the next release for BeOS might be expected? I'd just hate to have shelled out $60-$90 for a new OS to play around with just before a new major release renders it old tech.

    PS: All apologies if this is seen as off topic.
  • by Amphigory ( 2375 ) on Monday November 08, 1999 @11:03AM (#1551488) Homepage
    That's great, if they actually deliver. Let's look at Sun's record lately, shall we? In the past year or so, Sun have promised the following (that I remember):
    • Java 2 for Linux
    • Source to Solaris
    • Source to StarOffice

    I'm not aware that they have delivered on any of them. Have they actually /delivered/ a line of code under the SCSL? Whatever you think of the SCSL, Sun's record on delivering promises is not too hot.
  • there are rumors that r5 of be will be released before the end of the year
  • Just to balance things off a bit, they have delivered source under SCLS for ;

    JDK 1.2 source code.

    Jini source code.

    Actually, I might be wrong on JINI since I think JINI has a "JINI license" instead of SCLS, but they have delivered it's code nonetheless.

  • Just to balance things off a bit, they have delivered some source under SCLS like ;

    JDK 1.2 source code.

    Jini source code.

    Actually, I might be wrong on JINI since I think JINI has a "JINI license" instead of SCLS, but they have delivered it's code nonetheless.

  • I agree that a nice JDK would be useful for Linux. However, look at Sun's position:

    Linux==Serious *nix competition.

    BeOS!=Serious *nix competition.

    BeOS is somewhat unix-like (it may even be POSIX compliant; i can't remember). BeOS does have a shell prompt (bash) and BeOS does use GCC. But BeOS is focused on high end media development, not serving mail/ldap/webpages/database stuff.
    By porting Java to BeOS, Sun has paved the way for more Sun applications on BeOS, and in the process learned a lot about the Be system. Doing this puts them a little bit closer to (possibly) reverse engineering some of the Be multimedia code and giving solaris one of the few things it lacks.

    Good move for Sun; good move for Be; bad move for linux.
  • Java v1.3, which is actually a solid client-side programming possibility. v1.2 is nice for servers and networking, but Be is really looking for client applications. --JRZ
  • by DanaL ( 66515 )
    I had been planning on installing BeOS in the near future, and had been lamenting the lack of Java.

    They're suggesting a fast timeframe, though. Beta verion in less than 2 months? Production version by 1Q2000? I also wonder which version they'll be porting 1.2, or 1.3 (hopefully 1.3 since it has the client-optimized version of Hotspot). Mind you, I guess much of the Swing stuff is already written in Java, which should make it pretty easy to port (at least, that's what the Java advertising always says :) )

    I wish them the best of luck, but won't be shocked if those delivery dates slip at bit.

    Dana
  • I would guess that it's probably easier to get Java running well on BeOS than any other environment, because Java is a thread-based language. From what I understand, Be threads are a snap.

    D

    ----
  • This is great news. We've been memeber of the BeOS developers program for a couple of years, but I haven't been able to do any 'real' development on it because our code has to be able to run on other machines.

    BeOS itself is so slick..once you've used it, it is such a drag (literallly) to go back to NT, or even Linux. There is _no_ refresh lag, resources are used up smoothly and predicatbly, and the whole thing boots instantaneously (at least when compared to NT!) Also, with real file jouranling, you can even shut the machine off (not reccommended though!) and not worry that you've just corrupted your entire file system; when you shut down correctly, there is hardly any wait at all.

    BeOS also has a commendably simple, clean and elegant API implementation. Actually, its the cleanest, most rational C++ implementation I've seen. (Hmmm, maybe thats not saying much. I guess I should say its a great implementation regardless of language.) Interestingly, they have explicitly avoided all the C++ 'enhancements' like STL, exceptions model, etc.., etc.. and are really writing to the bone; they're really using C++ like C with simple object extensions which is the only way I'd ever use it.

    I love Java, but I'm not a completly fanatical idiot about it. Right now, you simply couldn't implement the low-level parts of a decent OS in Java. If this is a good Java implementation, with the BeOS finegrained threading, clean graphics mdel, etc.., this has the potential to be the best Java implementation of them all. Truly the best of both worlds.

    Still trying hard to keep my expecations down so if its a half-assed implementaiton I won't Be Bummed..
  • Get R4.5 now. IIRC there currently is a $100 bundle with the Gobe Productive office suite.
    You'll get all the other R4.x releases free (it is rumoured that there will be another before R5), and R5 will only set you back an additional $25.
    If you just want to play around though, snag a Demo CD in some mag or order it.
  • it looks like where Java will succeeded is in the Middle tier. so I'm unsure on how useful it will be for poor BeOS. a lot of barley functionally games do not make a OS succeeded. Either Java needs to start providing a good way to make good windowed apps or people actually need to write stuff for BeOS. I have heard about something called something like "JFC", it's supposed to be a really good API for creating GUI's. I still am skeptical if it will allow Java to make usable GUI apps in a "pure" "portable" java however.


    It would help a lot of BeOS didn't try to get money for there OS. I'd love to check it out, but I'm not about to spend $80. also why the heck did they give away the PowerPC one and not the Intel one? maybe the Intel support still sucks to hard and they're afraid it won't work on 90% of the boxes out there.

    as far as I know it won't play well with my TNT2. darn..


    a while back a purchased O'Riellys book on BeOS development, not a great book. but it did say "BeOS on CD-ROM". when I got home I found out it was for the friggin PowerPC. (ARGGH!!). I mailed them a little letter and ended up getting the "BeOS Advanced Developer Topics". so if BeOS would just let me download there OS I would write some Killer apps for them.


    -Jon
  • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Monday November 08, 1999 @11:25AM (#1551511)
    Don't forget that Sun think that they're in a difficult position because of the Linux vs Solaris issue, so inevitably there will be internal pressure from some of their divisions *not* to help out the Linux scene too much. In contrast, adding value to little ol' Be holds no danger for them.

    In reality of course, assuming that they really make no money from Solaris as the rumours suggest, their best bet is probably to GPL the entirety of Solaris and to support all free operating systems equally on their nice hardware. Unfortunately, internal politics may not allow that --- the Solaris empires within Sun are far too deeply entrenched in the internal political mechanisms of the company. A pity.
  • They have't hung out at 4.5 all *that* long.. There have been downloadable updates for 4.5.1 and then 4.5.2 (current). Maui (the codename for the next BeOS release) may very well be announced/released at Comdex. If it is or is not a free upgrade is so far unknown. So, if you're worried about paying for an old version, I would wait until after Comdex.

    But, if you really want to give it a shot, Be has a good record of offering at least one major update to new owners for free. So there's a good chance you bought it now you would get the next release no matter what. But I can't guarentee anything.

    l8r
    Sean
  • Sorry for the double post.
  • More importantly:
    BeOS == MS competition on the desktop market as a desktop OS. And anything bad for MS is good for Sun due to their server rivalry.

    Linux is not desktop competition yet. It's still FAR too difficult for a new user to try (ahh the memories of yore when I *accidently* made my dad's windows partition into a swap partition... oops).

    And yes, BeOS is somewhat POSIX compliant (and it will be moreso in r5)
  • "major selling points for Be is the speed."

    So it makes an excellent platform for running Java.

    "It's slow, ugly, and a real hog of cpu and memory."

    On the other hand, you can develop software really fast with it, its language is much more elegant than C/C++ and performance is good enough on the server side.

    "Can't we move on? There are _hundreds_ of better alternatives."

    Name them, I hope perl isn't on your list.

  • Linux is much more of a moving target than BeOS. It's probably considerably easier to get this working on BeOS than on Linux.

    Remember, BeOS *does* have a POSIX layer which can be used -- and it changes less often than libc/glibc.
  • Because right now Java is only useful as a server-side and enterprise middleware language. Ever tried to actually run a desktop app written in Java? Even on my PIII-500 with 256 megs of RAM, swing apps are amazing slow to run. The speed of window refreshes, etc make them unusable for me without getting extremely frustrated.

    There are some much-faster-than-Sun's Java implementations (just about every non-Sun implementation of Java is faster than Sun's), but due to Sun's fucked up handling of Java licensing, most of these still don't fully support Java2/Java1.2. Sun only gives us HotSpot...which is great, again, for server apps, but doesn't help much with desktop applications.

    So, *thats* why Linux should be first, but won't be, for political/pr reasons.

  • This really depends on the platform you're using Java on, and what you do with the app before you run it. TYA gives a pretty respectable speed boost. GCJ has just now worked for me (I had to install the GCC 2.95.2 RPMs from Mandrake onto my RH6 box):

    garrett@isomorph:~$ time java Hello
    Hello World
    1.52user 0.27system 0:01.79elapsed 100%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 0maxresident)k
    0inputs+0outputs (7492major+4733minor)pagefaults 0swaps

    garrett@isomorph:~$ gcj -o Hello --main=Hello Hello.java

    garrett@isomorph:~$ time ./Hello
    Hello World
    0.14user 0.03system 0:00.17elapsed 100%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 0maxresident)k
    0inputs+0outputs (1448major+193minor)pagefaults 0swaps

    While this is as far as it gets from industrial-strength benchmarking, all I can say is "oof".
  • It shouldn't be too difficult for SUN to port the JVM since its code was designed to be ported to more than one platform.

    They will probably won't deliver a 1.3 JDK since that jdk is still several months away from final release and they probably don't want to add another platform for it right now.
  • Ah yes, the wondrous subscription method.
    As far as I know, yes. I got r3 for intel (first real intel version) and sure enough r4 and r4.5 both arrived in my mail upon their releases.
  • Actually, on my system:
    Boots in 14 seconds
    Installed in 10 minutes (though a 3 minute full install was recorded somewhere).

    Oh, and java isn't slow, the implementation is. Calling java slow is much like calling 3d first person shooters slow, because of some crap game.

    It's fast enough, professional (semi) looking, and doesn't tax my cpu nor ram.
  • "It would help a lot of BeOS didn't try to get money for there OS"...
    How the hell are they supposed to stay in business if they give away THEIR (note the spelling) OS? Businesses need to generate revenue in order to continue to do business. This may not be apparent to some people out there. Heh, it would help a lot if those bastards at Ford didn't try to get money for their cars too...
    Wake up, kid. This is how the real world works.

    Oh yeah, if you really want to check out BeOS, order one of their Demo CDs. They're cheap, and it's a sweeeet OS.
  • Sun also wants to sell Servers. If BeBoxen are used as graphics workstations for things like editing/designing frames for movies... Then Maybe Sun Servers could be used as renderfarms and large scale storage... *instead* of linux. Anyway, it doesn't hurt them to keep their doors open on that platform... Who knows - perhaps Sun will buy Be?
  • BeOS plays wonderfully with TNT[2]'s, as long as you don't expect 3d. Also, you can get BeOS for cheaper than 80, and I don't recall them giving away the PPC version, when was this?
  • I recently wrote an app that needed non-blocking I/O. I had to implement it with Threads. There was no other option. If MacOS doesn't have threads, I don't see them porting any time soon.

    On the other hand, they can surely get it to work with MacOS X. Anyone know why mach threads are an issue?

    Joseph
  • Be on the desktop, Linux on the server side...

    If only more people realized this should be the way for these OSs to go, then we as PC users could have the best of both worlds.

    People who use both OSs (including myself) realize that one OS makes up for the other in some way. I like the raw power inherent in both, but while BeOS makes little sense in a multi-user server environment (or are they working on that?) linux is too complex for Joe user (and should remain that way, if you ask me - work on improving linux's accessibility to the general public is taking away from adding more useful functionality to the OS.). Each OS has a niche, and each fills that niche extremely well (MacOS is another exmple of a great niche product).

    The one-size-fits-all OS concept should be thrown out for good.

  • Java is a high-level programming language. C is a low-level programming language. Java provides bunches of features that C does not. That means that if you are competent in both Java and C, you will be able to write larger and less buggy applications in Java than in C.

    It's not that people don't program in low-level languages because they're too dumb to figure them out. It's that people don't program in high-level languages because they're too dumb to figure out their utility. =)
  • I recently wrote an app that needed non-blocking I/O. I had to implement it with Threads. There was no other option. If MacOS doesn't have threads, I don't see them porting any time soon.

    Sigh. Threads aren't the problem.

    Mac OS has threads. Cooperative ones. That's perfectly fine, under the JVM spec.

    Mac OS has a port of JDK 1.1.8 (MRJ 2.1.4). The Java2 port has been a long time coming, but Apple demoed some early work in May. They ran some Java2D demos incredibly fast (something like 5x faster than comparable WinTel hardware).

    What's taking Apple so long is that Java2 is a complex beast. They probably have fewer than a dozen people working on MRJ, and they are building it for two platforms (Mac OS and OSX). Compare that to Sun, which has hundreds, or to IBM (thousands probably). Also note that IBM has yet to release a production Java2 VM for ANY of its platforms (AIX is in beta).

    -jon

  • Upgrading works like this:

    To upgrade from a dot-oh release (4.0) to a point release (4.x) = $0
    To upgrade from a point release (4.x) to a point release (4.y) = $0
    To upgrade from a dot-oh release (4.0) or a point release (4.x) to the next doh-oh release (5.0) = $25


  • I agree. Add to in Java 2 for the PalmOS.
  • Except that getting Java to work properly on anything except green threads (which is a userland thread-emulation package), win32 threads or Solaris threads is a real bitch.

    It took the blackdown people ages to get it right (in their latest 1.1.x release it's pretty good and supposedly they've gotten it to work with 1.2 too after a _lot_ of work). Just look at the amount of non-solaris/win32 ports of java2 that aren't in alpha/beta. There's not too many of them, is there.

    I wouldn't expect it to be any easier for the Be people. No matter how elegant your threads are (some people argue linuxthreads are just that), that won't help you at all if your threads dont work the same way as they do in Solaris.

  • Just because the press release only came out today doesn't mean they started working on it today. They could have been working on this for a year for all we know. In fact, given that short time frame, I take it as a given that they've been working on it for a while.
  • >I love Java, but I'm not a completly fanatical idiot about it. Right now, you simply couldn't implement the low-level parts of a decent OS in Java.

    Does this mean that you do not feel that JBED can work well? (See link for details)

    JBED info here [ddj.com]

  • Ages ago, Be had a pre-release version of a JDK running on their operating system using native threads. Apparently, Java ran *extremely* well using the BeOS native threading.

    Assuming they aren't bound by NDAs, and that BeOS still possessed the code, documentation, know-how, or all three, there isn't any reason they simply couldn't adapt the techniques they used from the old JDK to the new one (with appropriate modifications, yes).

  • One of the features that's been discussed as a long-term objective is for multiple user support in BeOS. The foundation for it exists (for instance, BeOS does possess RWX and file ownership concepts from the standard UNIX worlds, although given that it is currently a single user OS, most applications freely ignore it and the operating system isn't too heavy in enforcing them).

    Whether the multiuser support will be more similar to Linux, in that multiple users can use multiple shells, or NT, where only a single user can be on the machine at a given time, but the OS supports multiple user contexts, is unknown (and the level of multiple user support that exists doesn't really give much of an indication).

  • 10x slower ? Maybe 1.2/1.3 is, but try out the IBM 1.1.8 VM on Linux and Win32, it REALLY flies.

    Two years ago I performed some basic benchmarks on the Symantec implementation (and JIT). For tight loops performing repetitive math ops it was approaching C speed. If C == 1 JIT'd Java = 1.7 .

    This was a kindof artificial test. My experience is that the JDK in general with a good JIT is about 2.5 times slower, but can approach C/C++ under some circumstances. I find that the IBM implementation often seems to duck into 1.5 sort of territory.

    On a nose by nose comparison with C++, Java will often win - purely because you can often implement some types of problem more cleanly in Java.

    Where it does fall down is in the AWT libraries (Swing in particular I'm afraid) where some real howlers occur. This of course give Java the impression of being a real dog - WYSIWIG right ?)

    If you can find a decent third party lightweight component implementation you'll find that Java is in a position to write Office applications.

    BTW, its a great shame IBM don't port to BeOS and Mac :-)


  • The question that remains, of course, is which side are you on? ;)

  • I second that sentiment ("I just don't like the Java GUI")! And not just from a performance POV...

    I remember trying to do some experimental and trivial GUI thing with Java back in 97 and having traumatic flash-backs to Motif and X! ICK!

    Layout managers are JUST PLAIN WRONG! If you can't render my pixels the way I want them, then nuts to you!

    Java is a fantastic language but it fails to be a fun or practical way to do GUI stuff. Making GUIs w/o an IDE is NEVER fun but all the IDEs w/GUI RAD for Java (including VJ) that I've tried just can't compete with VB, VFP or even html in notepad!
  • In early '99, a company named Andromeda Labs took up creating a from-scratch JVM and JDK for BeOS. They were making great progress, and then all of a sudden dropped it, citing greener pastures on Linux.

    I wonder if perhaps they got wind of an "official" Java2 port and decided they were superfluous...

  • the free PPC version was *apparently* a while back. as for the TNT2, the last time i checked beOS's web site the TNT2 was not supported.

    -Jon

  • Don't forget that Sun think that they're in a difficult position because of the Linux vs Solaris issue, so inevitably there will be internal pressure from some of their divisions *not* to help out the Linux scene too much. In contrast, adding value to little ol' Be holds no danger for them.

    This is an absurd argument.

    Firstly, having Java on Linux will not make or break Solaris. It may however, make or break Java (since the value of Java depends on greatly on its cross platform capabilities). So it makes sense for them to support ports to Linux, and to as many other platforms as possible -- including rival Unix platforms, which they do (like AIX which is presents much more serious competition to Solaris as a high end server OS than Linux).

    Secondly, if Sun thought that supporting Java on Linux would be a detriment to them, they would not allow or support a port. So either they support the port, or they don't. Half measures don't make sense either way.

    Their treatment of the Linux port is no different from their treatment of other ports (other than the key Windows and Solaris versions) i.e. outsource the ports to 3rd parties, simply because Sun doesn't have the resources to make so many ports directly.

  • I would hope they could get sick amounts of venture capital to pay the bills. Personally I think they should give it away so cheap bastards like me will play with it, and perhaps start writing apps for it.

    and fuck you very much for correcting my spelling you anal retarded piece of shit.

    -Jon
  • For server side stuff, and for embedded stuff, Java is the way of the future

    Allow me to disagree somewhat with this paragraph only... unless you're talking about these new embedded servers which are starting to appear. In those, one's not concerned about performance, it's sufficient to get your little box actually serving pages out to the net. Portability's not important either for embedded servers; code compactness perhaps, as memory is always limited.

    For real-world servers writings CGIs in Java is an easy way to get things rolling, but performance-wise they just don't cut it, and you get an extra layer of software where bugs may creep in.

    For non-server embedded systems, I wouldn't trust Java in the foreseeable future to meet real-time scheduling requirements... and who needs portable embedded code, for that matter? Most embedded designers don't trust anything they don't have full source code for. How would you go about debugging a Java embedded system with a data analyzer, anyway? Just the thought makes me queasy...

    All this periodic hoo-haa about interpreted languages leaves me cold... there are cycles where they surface and go under again without a trace. IBM's RPG and UCSD p-code were early examples. Middle-period Microsoft apps were partially interpreted, and good riddance! Forth is about the only interpreted language I'd use in an embedded system - I've written a few interpreters for that myself. Even so, it takes care and optimization for each case.

  • No.

    There already are open formats. Its not the format that is the issue, its the utility that makes the format. You can potentially make a document that looks as nice as a word document, except its in HTML. The hard part is the utility for making it look pretty.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The original poster is right. Your argument makes rational sense, but that's not how Sun's internal politics works (speaking as a former Sun employee.)

    Sun spends most of its energy infighting. The Solaris group will fight any attempt to erode its status, even if it makes sense in terms of selling Sun hardware (Sun's real business.)

    Sun doesn't act rationally like Microsoft or IBM. It has major multiple-personality problems. Each project is in a constant internal political battle for status and resources.

    So the Solaris group in Sun will lobby hard against a Linux port, but allow a BeOS port. Does that make sense for Sun as a whole? No, but it does make sense from the internal politics.

  • A couple of months ago, hanging out on comp.sys.beos, I read a statement that went something like "Be has been remarkably good at avoiding several landmines that would destroy them" -- and on the list of landmines was Java. I've been trying to figure out why this is so.

    Ideas?
  • You make a good point. Here is the link

    http://www.javasoft.com/pr/1998/11/pr981102-01.htm l

    where sun promised to port JDK 1.2 to Linux, over a year ago! Sun has not yet provided a reference implementation for Linux. All we have is the blackdown JDK 1.2 prerelease which is buggy and *so* slow. Based on the above announcement, I wouldn't expect a BeOS JDK from Sun anytime soon, if ever. All I can say is don't get your hopes up when you read about Sun porting JDK to another OS. Sun has a reputation for making vapor announcements, with the above link as evidence.

  • Stomp on Sun? I hardly think so. Please keep the rabid advocacy to a minimum; this article wasn't about Linux, it was about the BeOS.
  • I kind of find it strange that no one mentions financial news from the Be world...

    Last week, their stock dropped from the 8-range to the low-6 range. Just today, it rebounded completely. Does anyone know why?
  • I am a beos TNT2 user please do not spread FUD
  • The JDK and JRE 1.1.8 for Linux are officially released, from my understanding. The current version of the HotJava browser doesn't work on them though - it dies right out of the box... so I don't know how stable IBM's Java port is. (HotJava is supposed to work on Java 1.1.x anyway..)

    Yes, I know HotJava's not that wonderful a browser, just thought it'd be a good test to see how well IBM's JDK and JRE work.
  • As you may or may not know, Microsoft's stock dropped considerably today. (They finished down 1 and 5/8 points--click here [yahoo.com] for more info). This, and the news of Java on BeOS, sent Be Inc.'s stock up more than 80%. Click here [yahoo.com] for some more info on that. :)

    Your Friendly Neighboorhood Netscouring Dood,
    Warren
  • >>I can't choose!
    The "firewall" is Linux because my provider has moved from DHCP to PPPoE ... heh heh of the 3 Linux has more apps available more active development on new technologies like PPPoE (followed very closely by FreeBSD).

    I'm assuming you mean Sympatico ADSL. Actually, they never bothered to turn off DHCP - I still run my BeOS and Linux boxes straight DHCP - I intend to use the SuSE box as a firewall gateway when they turn it off, but so far that need hasn't arrived.
  • give it away; sell the services. tie-in ecommerce. think different.
  • High level languages are great for many things. I program in Java and Perl almost exclusively. But I would never write a real datatbase program, or a arcade style gaem, in either of those languages. High level languages in general, and interpreted langagues in particular are just not cut out for that sort of thing. Never mind when we start talking about writing OS's.

    It is more than just the speed issue (although that is a big one!). There are things like compactness of code, etc.. In a low level language you have to work a lot harder to get anything done, but (if you are good, and have the right ideas), the code you come up with is far better than what you could produce in anythign else. Really good compilers/interpreters can help to narrow the difference, but..

    Lesson to be learned here: Just like every other issue that splits the computer world, there are always tradeoffs. You just have to pick the tool that best fits the job!
  • I guess there's a port of the JDK 1.1.8 for FreeBSD available.... That's FreeBSD 100 / Linux... umm... -1?
  • firstly, you have to pay isp fees no matter what os you have...
    second, even if you add up all the stuff you mentioned, there's no $400 charge just for a basic license like there is with NT so i bet you come out ahead.
  • I forgot to add... the port is an unsupported port of the Sun JDK 1.1.8 binaries, docs, and examples.

    I have used it and it is a bit quicker than JDK 1.1.8 running on my Solaris 7/x86 boot (still slower than JDK 1.1.8 on WinNT though)
  • You can try telling that to the 20 odd pounds of steel and silicon next to me then.

    It works just fine, the TNT2 is backwards compatable to the TNT, and BeOS handles it without a problem. Maybe it's not on the web site, but I can tell you for a fact that the V770 is a dropin replacment for the V550 under BeOS.

    Windows on the other hand had to install new drivers.


  • "Does this mean that you do not feel that JBED can work well?"

    Nope. Perhaps I sacrificed a little clarity for brevity. What I should have siad is that overall you probably couldn't really build a decent responding desktop style OS in Java right now. While Java has great computatoional speed in some areas (I get better than C++ for some of my stuff) it still may not have the broad perfromance neccessary, esp. when dealing with graphics and device drivers, and any implementation that we did now that was all Java would take a long time to come to fruition, whereas BeOS is here now.

    As someone who has done a fair amount of Swing development, I don't think you could quite do a full-on desktop that would have the perfromance that users expected and still leave some cycles for other tasks. Of course, if you take away the intermediate levels between the vm and the graphics, etc.. you might very well get good performance.

    As far as JBED goes, remember that !(Real Time lt==gt Performance) All a Real Time system does is provide guaranteed performance; it doesn't specify what that perfromance actually is. One could call a system "real-time" that did one add op every second, as long as it refused to guarantee that it could do the op any faster.

    That said, I wouldn't be surprised if JBED does give quite decent performance, but it is not a desktop OS. I think small-embedded type OSs are a natural fit for Java right now. Ironically, embedded systems don't typically have the same performance challenges that desktop systems do. My impression is that they're typically designed such that the processor is underutilizzed if anything. The time taken to display a couple of lines of text on a cell-phone for instance is infintesimal compared to rendering a busy workstation desktop. At the same time, you never want that cellphone to take any perceived time to display something, so you design with that in mind. Its a much more controllable situation.

    But yes, I do think we'll see more and more Java to the metal kind of implementations as the world rolls on, I just don't expect to see them tmrw. I also think diversity is healthy so I'd like to see and support both.
  • For real-world servers writing CGIs in Java is an easy way to get things rolling, but performance-wise they just don't cut it.

    Care to back up that claim with some data? Servlets can be just as fast as mod_perl or mod_php. See this benchmark [caucho.com].

    Besides, Java isn't really interpreted any more. Thinks of the Java bytecodes as a (mostly) platform-independent distribution language.
    Scott Ferguson


  • Don't know anything about KDE's implementation, to be honest. I have to point out to that while Be's APIs are relatively simple, they're also incredibly powerful and well and consitently thought out. I would hope KDE's the same way, but I just don't know. You can get all the API docs and stuff at the Be site. It might be worth it to take a glance.

    I also like ObjC. Much better than C++. Actually, a real decent language. Too bad it never really caught on; but I actually know a lot fo people that work with it today for specialized stuff. I wonder if C++ might be a little better for low level stuff, but I don't know.

    What it comes down I guess is that any language can be used or abused. Good C++ code is still better than crappy Java code!
  • Care to have a bet on that ?

    My company (unique-id) run an entire back-end (including video streaming, real-time video encoding, and image processing) under java using the gcj compiler.

    Gnu Software Rocks! (yes I know it's an infantile salutation but in this case it's deserved :-)

    Gcj has reduced our development time many-fold, and increased our productivity. I love it :-)))

    Server-side stuff (depending on what you need, of course) runs like greased-lightning. Useful, in my business (post-production, video editing, film, etc.)

    Simon.
  • Java is the only credible threat to WinCE in the long run.

    Current Windows CE devices support java 1.1 (full not that KVM crap for Palm) thru Microsoft's VM.

  • I don't really think Java is a landmine, but as AC argued, it makes sense to treat it carefully.

    I think the big danger of adopting it too early would have been that the Be msg would get confused and lose focus. So its more of a marketting msg than even a developer msg. Now that Be has convinced everyone that it has a life of its own, it can afford to let Java into the mix.

    Not to mention that I bet that by playing it cool cannny ol' Gasee put himself into a nice negotiating position as far as licensing and development help from Sun go. If you think about it, it'd be pretty ridiculous for Be's appliance offereing not to have Java, and so from this perspective, Gasee did a superb job of playing hard to get.

  • I can say with certainty that Java does not do that "run anywhere" thing on


    What a loa dof balony. WHy don't you use Sun's VM then? Microsoft's VM is fast and works for me. You seem to be taking in this "oooh MS java is impure" to mean that MS Java won't work with Sun Java. MS just added extensions, if you developed in another plantform, it'll work. The thing that won't work is RMI, you have to download the RMI libraries seperately from Microsoft's FTP site (RMI for Windows CE is there too).

  • It's fast enough, professional (semi) looking, and doesn't tax my cpu nor ram.


    unless you use swing or awt >:P. My CPU just about chokes when using java graphics libraries.
  • First, if you haven't played with the BeOS, free up a partition and install that bad boy. It'll only take a few minutes and you'll impresssed.

    On to my point...

    Having a supported JDK on Be is a great thing for developers, but for it to be really useful, there needs to be a good IDE available.

    Text editors and makefiles are cool, but big projects want IDEs. I wonder if Metrowerks will step up?

  • Java provides bunches of features that C does not. That means that if you are competent in both Java and C, you will be able to write larger and less buggy applications in Java than in C.


    Sorry, gotta respectfully disagree :). You can always look around for libraries to do everything you want in C, or write it yourself. Java has serious limitations.
    However, it is a VERY nice and easy language. Part of the speed problem with Java is not just the VM, but the way the language works (dynamic linking, heaps, gc, OO) etc.

    I'll be happy the day I get my native compiler for Java :). Nice language, reasonable speed..mmm :)~~~


  • Ummm.. Whoop de friggin' doo!

    Linux has JDK1.1.8 - IBM has a version that's as fast as the JDK on NT4 on low-end machines and outperforms NT on high-end machines. I guess that means that NT and Win9x have 1.1.8 as well as BSD. Wowie. I hear that Sun has something going on for Solaris too(sarcasm).

    What I think is that everyone forgets that computers are tools for us to use to our benefit. Choose the tools(platform & OS) that best suits your needs. Don't use Win95 as a server. HP/UX is not known as the best desktop OS. And so on... Operating systems are not something to get this passionate about. There are more important things in life, like football and beer... mmm... "Homer no function, beer well without"

    --
    "Cleavage (n): something you can approve of and look down on at the same time."
    -- W. Garnett
  • I've been following BeOS for a while. I went to their HQ and saw their demo. I got a 3.X cd and installed it. I've tinkered with it, and followed the development... so...

    aside from BeOS being cool for video editing and "Neat" and good for non-geeks to use, who's going to buy it? Or... how's Be going to make any money?

    Before they were targeting themselves as a niche product, but linux/unix apps are now available that do many of the things they were targeting as a niche market.

    Be's refusal to go opensource with their OS source has made it inaccesible to many developers like myself who might have put significant effort into developing and porting to BeOS.

    I just don't see how Be plans to make money... or why anybody should use it as opposed to unix or even windows or MacOS as a platform besides to be different.
  • Hmm .. who was it who said

    "Linux is only free if your time is worth nothing."

    Seems quite insightful to me.

  • Huh? The CODE is freely-redistributable. Binaries might not be, but the code always will be. Presumably you're not that dumb, and you're just trolling.
  • Another troll. The first poster (you?) claimed that since it was GPLed, the code was not freely redistributable. Name me a situation where the GPL stops you from distributing the code? It may prevent you from hoarding the code, but if that is what he (you?) meant, I can only assume he/you would have written that. Once again, I'll assume you're trolling, or perhaps english isn't your first language.
  • No one is forcing you to distribute your code under the GPL. If you want to use GPLed code, you're gonna have to GPL your code, but no one is forcing you to use GPLed code either. I don't see your problem here. You still have the freedom to not say something. Just don't use GPLed code in your software. It really is that simple.
  • From a certain mindset, or perhaps political standpoint, you are correct.


    On the other hand, there are those who approach open source/free software/etc. from a more pragmatic standpoint. They want *good* software: software that isn't bug-riddled, poorly designed, painfully slow, and counterintuitive. For those, they see open source as a way to avoid those pitfalls.


    BeOS is a closed-source example of how to do things *right.* ESR, the champion of the pragmatic, and not ethical/moral, open source arena, praised BeOS for it's technical points. Unfortunately, ESR also slammed it as being proprietary (contrary to his statements about wanting to live in a world where software doesn't suck).


    Frankly, I used BeOS, and now I'm learning Linux, and so far I've yet to find anything I want to do in Linux that I can't do in BeOS easier and quicker. As a developer, I've yet to find any API in Linux that approaches the cleanliness and coherency of the BeOS API (KDE, compared to the BeOS API, is a disaster). The only sticking point, as you say, is the proprietary nature of BeOS. Do I want them to go open source? No. Be, Inc. simply wouldn't survive. On the other hand, the closed source nature means they are limiting themselves somewhat. It's a very tough call - do I give in to the siren call of freedom and go to Linux, or do I simply use what actually suits me better and stick with BeOS?

  • Swing ... will not resemble BeOS's UI at all.

    Correct me if I am wrong but Swing supports something called pluggable look and feel (I believe I spelled pluggable right). If it does, this means that a BeOS L&F will most likely be made for BeOS. Thus, Swing will look quite a bit like BeOS's UI, unless you don't know how to change the look and feel.

    As for the "idiotic 'Pure Java' crap," I'll have to disagree. If Sun "[retracts] on Pure Java, allowing better integration into BeOS, Windows, Linux, etc.," why write in Java at all? You might as well write in C/C++ or some other language (higher level than those two if you like). However, by encouraging Pure Java, Sun encourages applications that will work on all standards compliant virtual machines. That means that I won't have to take my... integrated Windows code and modify it heavily so that it will run on BeOS. If I write my program in Windows, it will work on BeOS, Linux, Solaris, or whatever platform that I choose to run it on, provided there is a VM available.

    Finally, going back to the Swing issue, I'd say you are wrong on the speed argument as well. I have the JDK 1.3beta installed, and am running jEdit [gjt.org] (my favorite text editor). It uses Swing, and I have absolutely no problems with the way it works, speed or otherwise. It could be that whatever platform you are using has a poor implementation. Hotspot makes a lot of difference (at least for me). If they are going to include Hotspot in the package (which would make sense since Sun is making the port), then I would say the GUI will be fine.

    Before you complain about Sun shoving "crap" towards you, maybe you should think about why they are doing so. There are actual reasons for writing in pure Java, and it isn't as slow as many people claim.

    I take no responsibility for grammar, spelling and usage in this post, as it is late, and I don't really care. I thank you for the time you spent reading this.

    Just my luck that when I finally find time/warrant to post something, the moderators are probably done doing their job. Oh well, I can live on no karma, as long as it isn't negative.

  • Is there some page on the be.com site where I could order a demo CD? Is the demo downloadable somewhere? I'd like to try it with my hardware...

The F-15 Eagle: If it's up, we'll shoot it down. If it's down, we'll blow it up. -- A McDonnel-Douglas ad from a few years ago

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