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blue sky: extension

no java jokes left
April 20th
Submitted by Paul Phillips <> to Extension.

One of the greatest contributions you could make to the project would be to work hard on one of the free JVMs and get it up to snuff, make it competitive with Sun's JVM. It must be JDK 1.1 compliant and it has to work on all the platforms that Mozilla itself supports, and while this is no small task, it can and must be done.

Netscape announced in January that they are not continuing with in-house Java development, instead providing the OpenJava API for other companies to plug in compliant JVMs. Unfortunately this (in its current form) precludes truly strong integration with the rest of the web browser, and makes for some interesting difficulties with legacy Netscape capabilities. For example, LiveConnect allows Javascript functions to call Java methods, but this requires Java and Javascript to share synchronization primitives, which isn't easy to pull off when the implementations are separate self-contained modules... but I digress. LiveConnect isn't a critical Mozilla component: Java is.

Among the possible starting points are Kaffe and Japhar. To be precise, these are the only starting points save "ground zero" that I'm aware of. Kaffe is by all appearances the furthest along of the available options, but Kaffe is GPLed and this will probably keep it out of Mozilla as GPL does not seem to play nicely with MPL. Japhar is LGPLed which is more viable, so it may be a better target for Mozilla fans. Another possibility is the 0.9.2 version of Kaffe, which was released under a BSD-style license.

It's also not outside the realm of possibility that Sun would give up the java source, although based on prior experience this seems unlikely. (If you have any pull at Sun, it would be an incalculably large coup to persuade them of the many advantages a java source release would heap upon them.)

And don't stop there. JDK 1.2 is just around the corner. We should have a stable implementation of that before Sun does! Java is a big key to the puzzle. This is glorious work, comrades. Carry the Java flag proudly.