Sweeten Java with OpenDoc!

These two breakthrough technologies need each other!


16 Apr 96 - Over 120 email messages supporting OpenDoc for Java have been sent via this page. But Sun hasn't committed to this integration yet, so they still need to hear from you!

25 Mar 96 - OpenDoc is now part of CORBA. OpenDoc-savvy Java clients for CORBA servers will enable solutions to be built from interchangable components in both client and server.

26 Feb 96 - Sun has acknowledged the call for OpenDoc in Java, and created an OpenDoc "Request for Enhancement." Sun reports that OpenDoc is now the most requested feature for Java!

The Concept:

Consider Java as a virtual platform, rather than a language or development environment. Eventually, this platform (the Java Virtual Machine) will be integrated into most real platforms. This will allow any application to embed Java applets, and enable applets to embed other applets in an OpenDoc-like way.

The best way to enable this capability is to make OpenDoc a part of Java's UI class library (the AWT). It would be a shame if Sun decided instead to implement their own component software system, duplicating the huge effort that went into OpenDoc.

I believe Apple and IBM have their hands full with OpenDoc and development tools for it. But Sun or Netscape may have the resources to port the OpenDoc API to Java... Rumor has it that Sun is discussing this possibility with CILabs! If you like the idea, please

Email JavaSoft (Sun), Netscape, CILabs and JavaWorld Magazine
to express your support!

Java - OpenDoc Synergy!

Few believe that Java will replace C, C++, Pascal, etc. But a huge number of developers now working in proprietary languages are heading towards Java. This community wants component software and compound document tools, and OpenDoc is perfect for the task, but it must be there at the beginning!

Integrated into the Java class library, OpenDoc would allow developers to create applets that:
* integrate easily and seamlessly with other applets
* can be interchanged with other applets
* create and edit data in compound documents

OpenDoc applet users would be able to:
* use a collection of applets to create a compound document
* edit any compound document on any Java-enabled platform
* send and retrieve compound documents via the Internet
* transparently obtain any applets required for a particular document via the Internet

Many folks imagine the Java runtime as an OpenDoc part editor. This idea isn't as useful as it sounds. A Java applet running in a JVM part editor would not be able to use OpenDoc services, because they would not be part of the Java "platform." The applet therefore could not edit data in compound documents, embed other applets, send high-level requests to other applets, etc. For applets to have these features, OpenDoc has to be a standard part of Java so that applets can rely on OpenDoc services.

I have been working on the design for a specialized software development toolkit, and I wanted to base the UI aspect on OpenDoc. But its market position forced me to reconsider, and I now feel that it would be a poor market strategy for this project. I still want to use a component software system, and OLE's limited funtionality just isn't worth its complexity, so I'm looking favorably at Java applets. They don't match OpenDoc part editors for flexibility, but they sure look better on a business plan! I hate to see complementary technologies become competing products.

I believe Java is OpenDoc's best potential platform, and OpenDoc would bring a whole new level of capabilities to Java developers and applet users. It would also help in the struggle against so-called standards from market monopolies. So voice your support for this pairing!

Java and OpenDoc Resources on the Web?

JavaSoft (Sun) * Newsgroups: OpenDoc & Java Mac Java
CILabs * Yahoo: OpenDoc & Java OpenDoc Revolution
OpenDoc at Apple * LANL: OpenDoc & Java OpenDoc Part Ideas
OpenDoc at IBM Gamelan Java Index Team Java
JavaWorld Magazine Java News Java Resources

by Liam Breck, Info-Mac Network Special Projects Manager
Thanx to my host, Summary.Net!