Golden Code's Java 1.4.1 Review

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by Carlos de Luna Saenz

About a year ago, August 2002, Innotek and Golden Code Development announced separate projects to port J2SE™ 1.4.1 to OS/2. Today both companies have reached major goals in their approaches, Innotek established ODIN as the platform they want to use. Is important to note that the first release of the Innotek approach was composed by OS/2 binaries but today we have an "add-on" for ODIN to use the Windows version inside OS/2. At this moment I want to point out that ODIN doesn't emulate Windows programs, but converts Win executables to Warp executables.

The approach taken by Golden Code Development was to make a Warp port of the J2SE™ 1.4.1 using pure Warp APIs and looking forward to the Sun certification for their products. Some of the major goals of Golden Code Development are speed, proven compatibility (Sun Certification) and stability.

Beta 2

About 2 weeks ago we received the Beta 2 of the Golden Code Development 1.4.1 J2SE. Surprise! It works, and actually did well compared with the IBM Java 1.3.1 JVM. The installation was straightforward but outdated. Since this is a beta the package was on .ZIP files and the only things I had to do was to unzip them. I also had to point the PATH to the D:\java141 directory, and modify the JAVA_HOME variable used by some programs like Tomcat, but not for the J2SE and that was it, I am sure that sometime in the future they will put a nice installer on it, or maybe they will use a .WPI WarpIN package (and I know lot of wpi programmers may want to help to get it done). After the installation I didn't want to test the examples provided by Sun, and Golden Code Development; I wanted "real" tests, so instead I used my Art of Illusion and it did great with the creation of new files and the load (and saving) of some already created files I had. After that I continued with JEdit and checked my JSPs files. Of course this was a plan, why test JEdit If you are not going to test Tomcat? I got my files corrected and ready to use them, then I opened Tomcat on a new Screen. Yes I know I could do it on Jedit, but that's my way to do it, and the compilation and exception handling was OK. After all that tests I got the impression that the Golden Code JVM 1.4.1 was faster than the IBM JVM 1.3.1 and I believe that is going to be even faster.

Why upgrade?

Golden Code Development JSE 1.4.1 runs all my applications including server apps like Tomcat or clients like JSuperChat without trouble. It seems to be faster than IBM JVM 1.3.1 on my 1.4 GHz Athlon with 256 MB RAM and accessing DB2 version 6 as database.

I have not found a bug yet (lucky of me in a beta test), but again I had just a couple of weeks with it. The installation is simple, even when is not "pretty" and you don't have to modify the CONFIG.SYS if you don't want. Since I did, I had to reboot, but some people may not want to do this.

Why not upgrade?

There are some missing parts still in the beta. Java Web Start™, the OJI plugin and WPS integration are not yet present. The first two has been developed for Golden Code Development and is on it's way for the Sun Certification, the last has been dropping on the priority list for them, but I hope they will have it soon for all of us.

Quick Conclusion

The product looks fine and I am positive about the future of it. (I would like as well to see Innotek add on as part of the ODIN project, since we could, maybe, run more applications with it). Also a bonus point to Golden Code is that the port is made to truly Warp APIs. That is, you are not attached to Microsoft's whims at all. My user vision (not super vision) tells me to support this type of development.