March 10, 1997 10:00 AM ET
Java run-time package frees browser applets
By Michael Moeller

  Java developers who were busy last week patching a security hole in the Virtual Machine can look forward to a new licensing and packaging option from JavaSoft that will make it easier to deploy applications.

To be announced at Spring Internet World in Los Angeles this week, the JRE (Java Runtime Environment) is a free package that includes the Java VM and all the new and old classes for JDK (Java Development Kit) 1.1.

The JRE excludes the Java compiler and debugger as well as sample code, all of which are not needed to run JDK 1.1 applications.

Under the new JRE plans, ISVs and developers are free to bundle the Java run-time package with their applications for deployment. Developers also will be able to deploy Java client applications that can be stored locally on the client and operate outside a browser.

Previously, application vendors had to wait for vendors to upgrade or add the proper Java run-time to operating systems in order for the applications to run.

"Now we are able to deploy our clients as stand-alone applications," said Elizabeth Statmore, vice president of sales and marketing at Sarrus Software Inc., in Burlingame, Calif., which makes a client/server Java-based calendaring system.

JavaSoft spent last week releasing the bug fix and a number of other upgrades to the Java environment (see chart below).

Crisp and clean, no caffeine

JavaSoft enhances Java

  • Java Runtime Environment -- enables deployment of stand-alone applications
  • Released JavaOS 1.0 to more than 20 licensees
  • Released the beta version of the Java WebServer
  • Released the Servelet Software Developers Toolkit
  • Fixed security hole in the Java Virtual Machine

JavaSoft corrected a flaw in Java's byte code verifier that was discovered by the company during a periodic security check, said officials. The bug in the software linking the Java VM to computer networks could be exploited by a skilled programmer to bring down the VM, officials cautioned. JavaSoft has posted a patch for the bug on its Web site,

The Mountain View, Calif., subsidiary of Sun Microsystems Inc. also shipped JavaOS to more than 20 vendors.

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