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From Here to Everywhere: Schwartz Is "Totally Pumped" About Java

From Here to Everywhere: Schwartz Is "Totally Pumped" About Java

"Ever more energy and passion and wisdom comes from Java developers," Sun's software czar proclaims

(June 10, 2003) - The top tier of Sun Microsystems' Software Group was mobilized at the opening General Session of this year's JavaOne conference and expo - and that word "mobilized" is chosen advisedly, because Sun's vibrant and vigorous vision for the next huge wave of worldwide expansion for Java, and thus the next wave of professional opportunity for Java developers, involves mobility, mobility, and more mobility.

This was the clear message of the morning here in San Francisco, at the eighth JavaOne. In a major departure from the custom and practice of the previous seven years, the keynote address on Day One was allocated not to Scott McNealy but to the EVP of Sun's Software Group, the charismatic Jonathan Schwartz.

Introduced by Sun's Chief Researcher, John Gage, Schwartz promised to give the jam-packed keynote hall a sense of what gets him, as he termed it, "totally pumped" about Java.

Java, Schwartz reminded the audience, is in not just 90% or even 95% of the Fortune 500 companies… it’s in 100% of the Fortune 500 companies. Even Microsoft, he noted, had now joined the international Java community by dint of acquiring PlaceWare and folding it into its newly-hatched Real Time Collaboration Group. "We welcome Microsoft into the Java family," Schwartz added… as if he truly meant it.

"Who'd have envisioned we'd have this level of penetration: servers, clients, smartcards, robots - it’s incredible," Schwartz declared, warming now to his theme.

"The majority of Web services that are built today are going to be built with Java. …Half a billion desktops are running Java… it's behind the scenes, on news sites, in the ads…"

Schwartz believes that it's high time the PC industry started looking at what's going on in the wireless space, where 22 handset manufacturers now produce Java-enabled phones and 53 carriers are deploying Java services to about 100 million subscribers.

"The ring tone industry alone is a $1.6 billion business in Europe," he said, "and we're on target to add a quarter of a billion Java-enabled handsets: what a phenomenal business opportunity.. talk about volume, we've got it coming out of our ears."

"Where else is Java?" he asked, rhetorically, so that he could introduce for the first time the Word of the Week so far as this JavaOne is concerned: everywhere.

"If it's on the Web and you want it to be doing something interesting… it's going to be running Java. If you have a Visa smart card, you have a Java Card, if you live in Belgium and you're over the age of 12, you have a Java Card… "

Java is what allows you to authenticate Web services, Schwartz noted, before drawing attention to the week's big announcement of how corporate-computing rivals Sun and Intel will henceforth be working jointly to develop more powerful computer systems for consumer gadgets using Java in combination with Intel's wireless processor technology.

("Driving Java into the very silicon…" was how Schwartz summarized this new twist.)

"When we talk about everywhere," he continued, returning to the E-word again, "I mean ABSOLUTELY everywhere…"

"Whole Countries Are Adopting Java"

Whole countries are adopting Java, he pointed out: the mobile telcos in Japan, the healthcare industries in Brazil and Taiwan… "Korea has adopted J2ME," thanks to Sun's senior technical director, the Korean Internet standard for mobile handsets, WIPI, is adopting J2ME as its official Java specification.

It was as this point that Schwartz introduced the D-word for the first time: developers.

"If you want volume," he enthused, carrying the room with him, "we’ve got 1.2 billion JVMs running in the world in an extraordinary diversity of devices...and who's driving it? You and three million other Java developers across the planet."

"It's not Sun," he affirmed, "it's you. We're just one of the boats on the rising tide."

(More about tides and boats in a moment.)

There are 500 JUGs worldwide, Schwartz said, "and 93% of all countries recognized by the US Dept of State have Java developers, including Antarctica and Uzbekistan."

"The JSRs are led by you, not by the industry, not by Sun. Ever more energy and passion and wisdom comes from developers."

Java developers, in other words, are the key to all the opportunity and wealth that Sun believes will populate the Java ecosystem… if only the platform can be simplified.

"We've got to get back to defining a common platform," he pronounced. "No CIO wants one set of technologies for one platform and another for another. They want one architecture. And then they want one network, so everything can interact with everything else."

In other words, Schwartz's vision is that there should be "One Java," - one Java platform, and not the three-tier J2SE/J2EE/J2ME flavors that we have at present.

"We've got to pull together to propel One Java. That platform will create the rising tide that creates an ocean of opportunity."

What Schwartz envisages is what he called a Java "system" - an ecosystem - so that as developers are creating Web services and next-gen apps, they can have those services interact with everything else in the network.

What will make it happen is "compatibility, compatibility, compatibility," Schwartz said.

"Plus security: viruses on desktops have wasted millions of dollars, the infrastructure in Java is one of the absolute killer properties of the overall platform. With security in place, the value can move around people just as people can move around."

New Mantra

J2ME and J2EE, in Schwartz's new vision for Java, are going to come together once and for all, allowing Sun to say that it has fashioned a full-blown "Java System for the Mobile Enterprise" - making possible a new mantra (and at this point the Java faithful were asked, in Kool-Aid fashion, to intone it out loud, which they obligingly did): "Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Every Time."

"That is an incredible future, I think," said Schwartz, before rounding off his presentation with the thought that, once the Java platform is simplified in this way, "the number of Java developers will potentially rise from 3 million… to 10, and then to 15 million - triggering a new wave of apps and a new wave of innovation in the Java ecosystem."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Most Recent Comments
Allen Kantner 06/13/03 04:49:00 PM EDT

Personally, I thought this was the most motivating developer conference I've ever attended - Schwartz was unbelievably motivating, they had incredible partners and support, and the buzz was electric. And the HP/Dell announcements put Sun back in charge of their desktop destiny.

And the mobility stuff was absolutely blow away!!!

Chris Judd 06/13/03 08:25:00 AM EDT

I disagree with the One Java concept. I think splitting Java into three editions was a great strategy. I remember the days when there were many loosely coupled APIs. Developers were confused about which ones to use and were to start. The term Java 2 was an attempt to reenergize the Java movement, One Java is just another marketing attempt to do the same thing.

Harm Smit 06/13/03 03:31:00 AM EDT

Let me quote a phrase from an article entitled "The Problem with J2EE" by Annrai O'Toole (Cape Clear Software): "The J2EE vendors have done a fantastic job of convincing the world that you can't run a line of Java unless it runs inside a J2EE container. This is just pure bunkum. The vast majority of Java, especially server-side Java, runs inside a servlet engine. There are plenty of great servlet engines, such as Jetty (www.jboss.org), that are not only better than the servlet engines you'd find inside your typical application server, but they are also free" (http://www.capescience.com/articles/j2ee/index.shtml).
The above pie-in-the-sky talk about "One Java" is part of similar marketing bunkum (or, in fact, religious incantation).
Let's stay in touch with reality. Today, no J2ME-based device is capable of running anything more professional than calendaring or gaming applications. Moreover, these devices are all incompatible because their JVMs all come with proprietary extensions.

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