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May 98 - NewsBits

Volume Number: 14 (1998)
Issue Number: 5
Column Tag: Newsbits

May 98 - Newsbits

by Jessica Courtney

Apple and Microsoft to Unify Java Technologies for the Macintosh

Will Work Together to Ease Developer Access to Native Mac OS Services; Improvements in Java Performance, Robustness Expected in Future Java Virtual Machine

Apple Computer, Inc. and Microsoft Corp. announced plans to converge their Java technologies for the Macintosh to create a single Java virtual machine (VM) for the Mac OS. The unified VM will be based on Apple's Mac OS Runtime for Java (MRJ) and will incorporate a variety of Microsoft technologies for Java. Currently, both companies offer Java VMs for the Mac OS. The companies' cooperation on Java technology promises to advance the performance, robustness and functionality of Java support for the Macintosh and promote greater consistency for Java implementations across Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows operating system-based computers.

As part of the plans, Microsoft expects to license to Apple a variety of technologies including aspects of Microsoft's J/Direct API technology for incorporation into MRJ. This will allow software developers to create applications that meld the productivity of the Java language with the native capabilities of the Mac OS. Apple expects to incorporate this functionality into a future version of MRJ later this year. Once MRJ fully supports these technologies, Microsoft Internet Explorer for the Macintosh will rely exclusively on MRJ as its Java virtual machine.

The following are primary areas of cooperation between the two companies:

  • JDirect harmonization. Apple will extend the capabilities of its JDirect technology by incorporating applicable features of Microsoft J/Direct to enhance native language access and provide consistency for development tools. JDirect gives Java developers direct, high-performance access to native Macintosh system services such QuickDraw, AppleEvents, contextual menus, drag and drop, and TrueType fonts.
  • Security Zones. The companies will integrate the Microsoft security administration technology for Java with other Internet security options to provide a simple and consistent model for managing security preferences.
  • Debugging. The companies will integrate the Microsoft VM debugging API into MRJ, exposing a rich and consistent set of debugging capabilities to Java development tools like Metrowerks' CodeWarrior. This API will also support debugging across languages, allowing developers to build applications using multiple programming languages
  • Compatibility test suites. The companies will exchange their internal compatibility test suites to facilitate consistency and compatibility with real-world Java applications.

Apple Brings QuickTime to Java

It's been rumored for a while, and now Apple has announced the availability of QuickTime for Java. QT for Java is a developer framework for easily adding multimedia playback, authoring and publishing capabilities to Java software. QuickTime for Java will significantly increase Java's acceptance in new media markets and enable delivery of compelling interactive content to Java customers.

QuickTime for Java allows developers to write Java programs that incorporate QuickTime content and functionality. Java developers will now have unlimited access to QuickTime's rich support for digital media, including graphics, sound, video, text, music, VR and 3D. Additionally, they will be able to deliver high-quality video and audio using QuickTime 3's compression technologies, which ensure outstanding fidelity even at low bit-rates.

A developer release of QuickTime for Java is now available. For information on how to get the software, visit the QuickTime website at http://www.apple.com/quicktime.


FileMaker, Inc. Announces FileMaker Pro 4.0 Developer Edition

Powerful developer's tool for rapid solution development and deployment FileMaker Inc., formerly Claris Corp., announced FileMaker Pro 4.0 Developer Edition, an essential database development tool kit for corporate and professional developers that runs on Windows 95, Windows NT and the Mac OS.

FileMaker Pro 4.0 Developer Edition will provide developers with a wide array of 32-bit based applications and tools for compiling, debugging, developing, deploying and managing FileMaker Pro database solutions, the company said.

For the first time ever, the new version, scheduled to ship later this year, will feature an API (Application Program Interface) that will allow developers to write External Functions for FileMaker Pro databases, a capability that will greatly expand the core functionality found with the standalone version of FileMaker Pro 4.0, the company's award-winning desktop database software application. In addition, FileMaker Pro Developer Edition will also enable access to FileMaker Pro databases over Java compliant operating systems, such as Unix and Solaris Systems, with the addition of Java classes.

http://www.claris.com
http://www.filemaker.com

 
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