December 11, 1996 2:00 PM ET
Java creator charts language's progress beyond desktops
By Charles Cooper

  NEW YORK-In the cyber equivalent of a State of the Union address, the lead engineer and key architect of Java pronounced himself satisfied-and at times surprised-with the rapid adoption of the star technology.

"It's been such a whirlwind," said James Gosling, JavaSoft's chief scientist, describing the product's progress since its launch 18 months ago, when it was oriented around applets. "The use of Java beyond desktops has really been taking off."

Gosling spoke here as part of Internet World's "Java Day."

Although Java is still predominantly featured on desktops and servers, Gosling pointed to its increasing adoption by manufacturers of smart phones intelligent pagers, embedded devices and smart cards, offering what he described as "portals into the Web."

"People have had lots of success fitting these things into a variety of vertical niches," he said.

JavaSoft plans to keep the language stable while it focuses on maintaining the quality and performance of the language, Gosling said.

"Probably the most important thing for us is to maintain interoperability among the different platforms," he said.

Although Sun has developed rigorous test suites for Java applications, Gosling said "community pressure" would ultimately determine the issue.

"There's a certain amount we can do to make sure people are honorable and build systems that are really interoperable," he said. "But it's really the developers who drive that, who go to the platform provider and say, 'Hey, you broke something. Fix this.' "

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