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Richard Conn <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Fri, 24 Oct 1997 15:15:33 -0400
text/plain (93 lines)
Hi, Everyone,

I picked up the following article today from C|Net Central.
It was filed under their list of the "top 10" technologies
doomed to failure.  Interesting insight from a group like

They are inviting comments and discussion.  You can get to this
article at:

C|Net Central articles are very timely, so if you want to see
it, get to it soon (this link is likely to go away in a week or

Richard Conn
mailto:[log in to unmask]       
Opinions expressed are my own and not necessarily those of anyone else.
From C|Net Central:

                             Imagine a world without computer
                             incompatibilities. You can write a
                             program on one platform, then run it
                             on a Sun workstation, a Mac, and a
                             PC with any version of Windows.
                  The cost of developing software plummets, software
                  becomes cheaper to buy, and a new age of
                  computing dawns. The lion lies down with the lamb.
                  The land flows with milk and honey.

                  Now, wake up and smell the Java. The Sun-spawned
                  utopian vision of "write once, run anywhere"
                  programming might have worked. Sun has licensed
                  the technology to all comers and has powerful allies
                  in IBM, Oracle, and Netscape. But for the plan to
                  work, Microsoft must also use Java. So you can
                  forget about consensus right away. It's been clear for
                  a long time that this situation had lawsuit
written                     all over it.

                  Microsoft loves Java. That is, some
                  of its bigwigs love to put it down
                  and scoff at attempts to make Java a
                  full-scale application platform. But
                  Microsoft supports it nonetheless
                  because it provides another
                  opportunity to promote Windows.
                  Microsoft loves the idea of luring
                  people into its own Java world, only
                  to reveal that the applications won't
                  work properly (or at all) except
                  under Windows. Apple has the same
                  plan for Java with its upcoming

                  So despite the best efforts of Sun and its supporters,
                  Java is bound to follow the same course as Unix,
                  another technologically laudable effort at creating a
                  single, united software environment. Everyone will
                  claim to be supporting it under the banner of "open
                  systems," while adding their own proprietary
                  technologies that completely undermine the goal of
                  universal compatibility. Unix has now splintered into
                  the famous 31 flavors: Solaris, Irix, AIX, DG-UX,
                  HP-UX, Ultrix, Linux, and more. That's why Unix is
                  not proving much of a rival for Windows NT. The
                  same thing will happen with Java, only the Java
                  flavors will undoubtedly have cuter names. This
                  splintering is precisely what Sun is suing to stop.But
                  it's hard to successfully sue someone for not agreeing
                  with your philosophical ideals.

                  Recently, even Marimba, Java's most enthusiastic
                  proselyte, has begun to dilute the Java gospel. The
                  new addition to the once Java-only Castanet line,
                  UpdateNow, lets users distribute and manage
                  non-Java applications coded in C languages and even
                  Visual Basic.

                  Java is a good programming language and it will
                  probably make it as a successor to a long line of
                  dominant programming languages: Fortran, Cobol,
                  Basic, C++, and so on. But what drove the enormous
                  Java enthusiasm was the promise of platform
                  transcendence. And it's not living up to that promise.
                  Whereas Microsoft's promise of "Windows
                  everywhere" is pretty near to being fulfilled.