Sun’s Radical Java Update

Sun Microsystems, purveyor of all things Java have introduced the most significant update to their platform in five years.

Java2, Sun’s write-once-run-anywhere software platform, popular in everything from mobile phones to PCs to smart cards has gone from version 1.4 to version 5.0.

Previously known as Tiger (stripy mammal, now mostly employed to sell breakfast cereal), the new release hopes to address previous concerns related to speed and scalability. This release of the platform has over 100 new features, including updates to the language and metadata. The amount of memory required by the virtual machine and code has been reduced, and new management tools have been included to help developers and administrators keep track of resources, applications and services. The compiler and code interpreter have been tweaked, providing performance that exceeds C++ … in some applications.

Java was originally seen as a computing platform for small devices, but got a new lease of life with the world wide web as a way of adding interactivity to web applications on a variety of host machines. Recently, Java has received a second huge boost in the form of mobile phones – many modern phones incorporate a Java virtual machine so that games and applications will work across a range of mobile hardware.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?