McNealy attracts a full house

Safety and security – these have become the most compelling reasons for application developers to write their applications in Java.

So said Scott McNealy, chairman and CEO of Sun Microsystems Inc., during his keynote address to a full house of approximately 21,000 developers at the recent JavaOne Developers Conference in San Francisco.

“I think the message that’s coming through clear this week, and what I believe is the most compelling reason [to develop with Java] is security. It’s not this show. It’s not Sun Microsystems,” he said. “The compelling reason people jumped on early were obviously write once, run everywhere and the portability environment – programmers love the fact that they just write code better and faster in Java.”

But according to McNealy it all comes down to security.

“I think there is a reason for being safe in your applications. And CEOs are starting to figure this out. You don’t want to have somebody drive up along next to your car at 65 miles per hour and turn the engine or turn the steering wheel or step on the accelerator, or pop the trunk and take all the data out of it. If it’s mission critical you ought to be writing it in Java.

“It isn’t an issue of Java’s not there now, it is an issue of how in the world can you not write it in Java? Security is not a feature, it’s a requirement.”

As well, McNealy offered these words of advice: “Put a JVM on everything. If it has a digital or electrical heart beat, it ought to have some level of Java Virtual Machine capability,” he said. “For application and content developers, Java is the default.

“Pick your tools very carefully – this has to do with making sure your tools develop 100 per cent pure code, not Windows. And make sure you check for 100 per cent pure. Test yourself and make sure you’ve got a third party evaluation. And for IT execs, rewrite your IT architecture and make sure it’s all Web-based.”

McNealy also talked about protecting the Java brand.

“We are in the earlier stages of a fairly aggressive legal action to protect the brand to make sure that Java meant Java,” he said. “And adding three drops of poison to a Coca Cola means it’s is no longer Coca Cola, it’s Windows. And I want to make sure we protect the Java brand very aggressively and we’re still in court and there’s lots of stuff going on this month. They haven’t even set a trial date so as you all know it just takes awhile to work through the court system but we are going to protect the brand. So when you see that coffee cup logo you know what it stands for and you know what the platform is.”

McNealy also reminded the audience that developers have an opportunity to write in a virus-free application environment by using the Java Virtual Machine.

“PCs with Windows are fundamentally 100MB computing environments that are out of control, they are very unsafe,” he said. “I grew up in Detroit, grew up in the automobile business, started in the car business – if this was a car business, the government would force Microsoft to recall everyone of those things.”

So, according to McNealy, the message the attendees need to take back to their organizations is, if they’re not hearing it from the top already, write safely to Java.