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Sun Microsystems has expressed "serious doubts" about the usefulness of the latest Apache Foundation project to create an open source implementation of the Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE).
Java creator and Sun vice president in charge of the programming language, explained that he did not understand why the open source consortium was undertaking the project.
"I would never do that," he said about Apache's Project Harmony. "There are so many more interesting things to do with my life."
The Apache Foundation announced the project earlier this month. The organisation aims to collect a group of developers and create an open source implementation of the J2SE, which is needed to run Java code on a desktop computer.
Sun requires J2SE implementations to pass rigorous testing requirements before they can call themselves Java compliant. While this ensures compatibility between the different J2SEs, it also means that the functionalities of the final product are identical to Sun's existing offering.
Sun put the detailed requirements in place to prevent "forking", a fragmentation of the language that would force software developers to certify their code for each fork.
"I understand why they would like it to be different. From our point of view that would actually be more destructive than helpful. It boils down to forking: they believe that the ability to fork is an absolutely critical right."
Sun will not contribute to the project, Gosling said, revoking a comment that another Sun vice president made on his blog earlier.
Sun and the NetBeans software Open Source community recently announced the availability of the NetBeans 4.1 Integrated Development Environment, the industry's first free, Open Source Java IDE, which will fully support Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) 5.0, full Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE 1.4 and Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) 2.0 application development support.
"No other Java development tool on the market today combines the ease of use of NetBeans 4.1 with this level of comprehensive support for J2EE application development," said Jeff Jackson, vice president of Java development and platform engineering for Sun Microsystems.
"The search, download, test and assemble cycle that is required by other Open Source development offerings cannot even approximate what NetBeans provides out-of-the-box for free," added Jackson.
NetBeans 4.1 IDE supports the broadest array of Java technology-based solutions, from Java Web Services, to mobile Java applications, to applications deployments on the industry's most advanced desktop environments.
To further assist developers, the Java BluePrints Solutions Catalog and an updated performance profiler are also available. The profiler enables memory profiling, leak detection, CPU performance profiling, low-overhead profiling, task-based profiling and tight integration into the IDE workflow.
The NetBeans platform is a 100% Java technology-based IDE and runs on any operating system with a Java 2 technology-compatible Java Virtual Machine. This includes the Solaris Operating System, Windows, Linux and Macintosh platforms.