Sun's Gosling takes the stand for Java again

Sun Microsystems' James Gosling, the creator of Java, took to the stand Thursday for the second time, for his cross-examination at the hands of Microsoft attorneys. Today Gosling faced a barrage of questions about the legitimacy of Java and its claims for "write once, run anywhere." Tod Nielson, Microsoft's manager of developer relations told a crowd outside the courtroom Thursday that his company had first looked into the Java threat in 1996 but found out "that the promises were bigger than the facts. Today, Java and the Java platform is not a threat to Microsoft."

Microsoft says that Sun has repeatedly and purposefully overstated the capabilities of Java in an attempt to give it a better reputation as a competitor for Windows. Java is only a programming language, while Windows is an operating system, for example. And Java applications consistently run slower than native applications, years after Sun promised they would get faster.

"One of my goals in building Java was not to live through \[the\] fragmentation of \[the C programming language\] again," Gosling said, noting that Sun was working to make Java run identically on all platforms. "One of the main reasons why we started our lawsuit in San Jose was to make sure that this problem got better, not worse."

Microsoft is involved in a separate lawsuit with Sun Microsystems, which recently won an injunction against the Redmond software giant, forcing it to remove its proprietary version of Java from all of its products.

"This issue of compatibility is a function of time. It is getting better," Gosling said

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