Saturday, January 20, 1996 by Dave Winer.
He reports that Apple has compiled "Sun"'s sample "Java" applets with the Natural Intelligence's "Roaster" software and they work.
I can confirm that. I have a copy of Roaster here, and it compiles and runs most of Sun's applets on my PowerMac 8100.
The applets are just samples, programming examples to learn from.
I played tic tac toe. That was fun! The spreadsheet isn't much of a spreadsheet; it has a long way to go before people would consider using it over Excel or even the Calculator desk accessory. I think you could do a nice Solitaire in Java.
I laughed a few times, some of the applets are funny. I saw pictures of people I know. I smiled. Yo!
About Java itself. The applets can load parts from a net server. I saw some of them do this. I'm going to look for those verbs first! I want to see how they do it. My guess, right now, is that it's going to shake out as the unique capability of the Java language. That, and the ubiquity of Java. Everyone's getting on the bandwagon. As they say, the geeks are buzzed. It's twue, it's twue.
I'm going to write a few applets of my own, and then try to figure out how I can distribute them. I'm betting that there's some way to configure Roaster's Java Viewer app as a Helper App for Netscape. I'll try to get a web page up sometime in the next few days. I'll let you know.
Now for the politics...
I think it's smart for Apple to get behind Natural Intelligence because they really understand the Macintosh OS and they really understand Java. I think the Java runtime environment on the Mac can be richer because the Mac OS has so much to offer that other platforms don't. The NI guys understand this well.
It's smart for Sun to get behind Natural Intelligence because they help keep the fire lit under Netscape's butt. Macintosh resource problems at Netscape. Now they have a team. Competition is shipping. Netscape is an aggressive developer. Nuf said. They'll ship a good Java implementation soon.
Both Sun and Apple can appreciate Natural Intelligence because they're a small company that has a small company agenda -- they just want to be successful. That makes them easy to love.
I'll report back when I have more Java experience.
PS: Little-known fact. Microsoft announced that they're porting their web browser to the Macintosh. Microsoft is a Java licensee.
PPS: "Metrowerks" is a Java licensee too. When their runtime comes out people will want to be compatible with it.
PPPS: Sun has a hot team working on their own Java runtime for the Mac. Their HotJava browser will run Java applets. Of course! See what I mean about the Macintosh being an interesting Internet battleground?
PPPPS: On the other hand, just what the heck do you *do* with Java? Hmmm.
PPPPPS: 'It's twue, it's twue' is spoken by Madeline Kahn in the movie Young Frankenstein. It's a funny movie!
PPPPPPS: "PointCast" has competition! Neat!
PPPPPPPS: New technology!