Dev Bytes

Sun hits ‘Jackpot’ with futuristic tools

A picture may be worth a thousand words, or a million lines of code, according to James Gosling, one of Sun Microsystems Inc.’s top engineers.

Based on a theory that software code might be better represented as an image rather than as millions of lines of text, the Sun vice-president has embarked on a research project that eventually could change the way developers edit code. Gosling offered some details of a research group he is leading at Sun Labs, called Jackpot, which he said is “nosing around a bunch of issues,” including an idea to build Java development tools that can visualize software code.

Microsoft releases new beta for Visual J# .Net

Microsoft Corp. has made available the second beta of its Visual J# .Net development tool, which now allows developers to begin creating applications based on the shipping version of the company’s Visual Studio .Net tool set. The new beta also contains a “re-distributable” version of Visual J# .Net, which gives developers the necessary code to deploy their applications to a system that only has the .Net Framework Run Time installed on it, according to Tony Goodhew, Microsoft’s product manager for the .Net Framework.

In Beta 2, Microsoft has tried to improve the product’s IDE (integrated development environment) by upgrading its Wizard, making it easier for Visual J++ 6.0 developers’ move into the new environment easier.

Sun, IBM plan Java portal standard

Sun Microsystems Inc. and IBM Corp. are gearing up to announce a joint plan to define a new Java specification intended to make life easier for developers building portals, an official with Sun’s iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions division said.

Portal vendors use a variety of interfaces for assembling and presenting data. The proposed Java Portal API, which was submitted to the Java Community Process, includes a standard set of APIs that will make it easier to integrate data from different sources and allow for interoperability among different vendor products, said Adam Abramski, an iPlanet product marketing manager.