Re: Re[2]: Java and ActiveX

Subject: Re: Re[2]: Java and ActiveX
From: Gillian McGarvey <gmcgarv -at- OVID -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 1997 10:47:39 -0400

To: techwrl-l @

jimpur -at- microsoft offered that he wouldn't want us to think that Java and
ActiveX are mutually exclusive technologies. I am well aware of this; this
is precisely why I put "vs." and "competing" in quotes in my original email
(in describing these technologies). And the article URL's I attached in
that original email elucidate that point. However, my goal was to urge my
colleagues not to rely on for information about these
technologies, but to look for other more objective resources.

I know this is not a tech writing issue just yet, but these technologies
will no doubt affect our lives, and I think it's in our interest to know
about them. I agree with Arlen; whether Microsoft's position w.r.t. Java
is good or bad does depend on your business philosophy. I feel that the
computer industry is entering a new era with the internet now, and the PC
won't be as sacred as it once was. It will only benefit us to stay abreast
of the current metamorphosis.

I'll say no more! :-)
Gillian McGarvey
gmcgarv -at- ovid -dot- com

Arlen Walker responded to jimpur's email:

This is more of a technical issue than a techwriting issue; both of these
technologies will be developed by programmers, not writers. Still, putting
on my techie hat:

Users of the Java Virtual Machine packaged with Microsoft
Visual J++ can use and create COM and ActiveX objects using Java.

Due to the fact that the MS verion of the Java VM contains Windows-specific
extensions, I'd be hesitant about doing any cross-platform work with their
development tools. You might have a hard time running the app or applet on
other platforms.

As far as I know, the COM-enabled Java VM is implemented only on
Windows 95 and Windows NT, but Eddon and Eddon point out
that COM is a platform-independent architecture.

The biggest problem with all object models is making them get along with
other vendors' products. COM is no exception to this.

From where I sit, it looks like MS is trying approach Java in the same
manner they apprched BASIC: taking an open language and customizing it to
the point that no one can depend upon any version of it being compatible
with any other version, and relying upon their desktop OS market share to
ensure that everyone uses their version. (Note: whether this is a criticism
or praise depends entirely upon your business philosophy. I'm merely making
the observation.)

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department

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