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From ru...@us.ibm.com
Subject Re: JDK 1.2 vs 1.1: the never-ending story.
Date Mon, 27 Mar 2000 16:22:33 GMT


>>If IBM doesn't follow with their VM (wich I believe is ready but not
>>released), well... that's THEIR problem...
>
>Correction, it becomes the problem of all people using IBM (among other
>platforms) who would also like to be Cocoon advocates. That's me (and all
>the developers who work for me and several large corporate clients).

Arg!

While I may work for IBM, let me state up front that I do not have inside
knowledge on this particular subject.  With that out of the way, let's
review the current state for JDK 1.2.2 JVM's for i386 Linux.

   Sun has chosen to ship a JVM which passes all their tests, but does not
   support native threads or include a JIT.

   Blackdown has chosen to make available a JVM which supports native
   threads and includes a JIT.

   IBM has not chosen to make available a JVM yet.

If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would think:

   Sun is trying to make Linux look bad by producing a JVM which looks like
   Java, but is suboptimal

   Blackdown is thumbing it's nose at Sun's compatibility test suite

   IBM has a rift with Sun and is withholding it's technology in order to
   gain an upper hand in some ongoing negotiation

Fortunately, I am not, so this is what I really think:

   Sun knows that Linux is an important market, but strongly believes in
   the compatibility test suite, and has made available the first JVM which
   passes these tests, furthermore, Sun has every intention of addressing
   the known deficiencies.

   Blackdown respects the compatiblity test suite (in fact it has not
   labeled the release as final for exactly this reason), but believes that
   this is but one factor that people are looking for in a JVM.  For this
   reason, they are addressing the full problem, and making available
   intermediate versions even if they aren't complete.

   IBM has been trying hard to build a reputation for building the best and
   fastest JVMs for various platforms.  It has no intention of damaging
   this reputation by prematurely releasing a JVM which is not ready.

Going back to the original question (should Cocoon2 depend on JDK 1.2), the
answer depends on the timescale and intended market for this product.

   If you are going after early adopters, then the answer is easy.  There
   already are production quality 1.2.2 JDKs on some platforms, and
   bleeding edge JDKs for most.  This story is only going to get better, so
   go for it.

   If you are going after enterprise IT shops, then the question isn't so
   clear.  Even if a great JDK 1.2.2 implementation were available today on
   all interesting platforms, there may still be some time (say, 6 to 18
   months), before they are ready to deploy it.

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