November 6, 2003 3:52 PM PST

Father of Java joins Sun tools group

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Sun Microsystems said Thursday that James Gosling, considered the father of the Java programming language, will join Sun's Developer Platforms Group as chief technology officer.

Gosling, a vice president at Sun Labs, has been working on technology to make application code easier to manage and modify. In his new role, he will report to Richard Green, vice president of development tools at Sun, and will spearhead efforts to incorporate his research on application development into Sun's commercial development tools, the company said. A formal announcement on Gosling's new role is planned for Monday.

In related news, Sun said it will release a preview version of its highly anticipated Java development tool, code-named Project Rave, next month and a final version in the middle of next year.

During a discussion about Sun's development tools strategy with the press and analysts, Sun executives laid out its plans to deliver Project Rave, which is intended to lure Microsoft developers to Sun. The company also detailed enhancements to its Java Studio line of tools, designed to accelerate application development.

Sun will release a technology preview of Project Rave by the end of the year and an early-access testing version of the product at the beginning of 2004, said Jeff Anders, a Sun group marketing manager. The goal of these programs is to gain feedback from the application developers Sun is targeting with Rave. Sun also expects to conduct a more formal beta-testing program, executives said.

Sun has traditionally sold its development tools to companies that build large-scale, relatively complex Java applications. By contrast, Sun will try to sell Rave to the millions of developers who use tools such as Microsoft's Visual Basic to quickly construct applications. Rave is designed to create Web-based applications that use the Java Server Pages (JSP) standard, rather than the more complex Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) programming guideline.

An important feature of Rave is the ability to move code generated in Rave into Sun's Java Studio line of tools, which is aimed at more large-scale application requirements, said Joe Keller, Sun's vice president of marketing for Java Web services and tools.

Sun executives said the company added an application framework to its Java Studio Standard Edition last week. The framework is a set of tutorials and recommended programming design patterns to instruct developers on how to build applications effectively, Anders said. Sun will include the framework in a forthcoming version of Java Studio Enterprise Edition, he said.


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