• Subject: Re: Compatibility across our whole range
  • From: boldt@xxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 12:35:52 -0500

Roger wrote:
>I hope you forgot a smiley! Listen to what you're saying!
>You make it sound as though enterprise operating systems were the
>toilet paper is!
>Dr Frank already promised us that Java would provide souce compatibility
>across our whole range. Does IBM so desparately need a backup bet to that
>promise that it proposes Linux from ThinkPads to 390s as its Next Big
>Hans, you're a respectable voice of reason. Please tell us the aliens
>have you in a cocoon!
>rp (what's the emoticon for perplexed!)

No need for an emoticon - your words already express your

My comments on this subject are strictly my own opinion
and not based on any inside information, of which I know
little to begin with.

Remember SAA?  That was an attempt to define a set of
interfaces that worked across our entire hardware line.
Theoretically, it would have been possible to be able to
port S/W right across the hardware range.  It was doomed
to fail, of course, since each platform had their own
favorite API's.

I view the Linux initiative as a something like SAA.  The
difference is that this time, the standards are external
and already accepted by a large programming community.
No inter-divisional infighting can change Linux's
importance.  It is bigger than SAA.  And bigger than Java.

Look, I like Java.  I think it's a good language and I
hope it achieves success.  But face it, it hasn't
exactly changed the computing world the way Linux (and
other open-source s/w) has.  But I see the two as
complementary.  Java runs on Linux.  Java is good for big
applications.  But systems programming needs something
lower level like C.  Likewise, there are other languages
better suited to quick-and-dirty tools.  Java alone isn't
going to achieve full machine independence.

Cheers!  Hans

Hans Boldt, ILE RPG Development, IBM Toronto Lab, boldt@ca.ibm.com

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