Memo Criticizes Java Platform, Solaris OS

In what appears to be an internal Sun memo, Sun engineers criticize the Java platform and the Solaris OS.

In what appears to be an internal Sun Microsystems Inc. memo, Sun engineers criticize the Java platform and the Solaris operating system.

The memo, posted on the Web site and titled "The Java Problem," says in its executive summary: "While the Java language provides many advantages over C and C++, its implementation on Solaris presents barriers to the delivery of reliable applications. These barriers prevent general acceptance of Java for production software within Sun. A review of the problem indicates that these issues are not inherent to Java but instead represent implementation oversights and inconsistencies common to projects which do not communicate effectively with partners and users."

Sun did not respond to an eWEEK request for comment on the memo.

The memo also says: "We believe that our Java implementation is inappropriate for a large number of categories of software application. We do not believe these flaws are inherent in the Java platform but that they relate to difficulties in our Solaris implementation. We all agree that the Java language offers many advantages over the alternatives. We would generally prefer to deploy our applications in Java but the implementation provided for Solaris is inadequate to the task of producing supportable and reliable products."

In addition, the memo claims that many bugs filed against Java are closed as "will not fix"—to the tune of 22 percent, whereas only 7 percent for C++ bugs.

The memo also criticizes the size of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and addresses compatibility concerns.

The JRE is a key issue in Suns lawsuit against Microsoft, where a federal judge has ordered Microsoft to ship a Sun-compatible JRE with Windows. Microsoft has successfully sought a stay to that ruling while it appeals the order.