Apple has released a beta version of Mac OS Runtime for Java, among the first fruits of the co-development deal signed with Sun in September.
The new technology will be released as part of the next System 7 upgrade, due for release in early 1997.
The company said it was refocusing its efforts on developing the Mac OS as a strong Internet development platform in an effort to placate its frustrated user base, which has been waiting for the now sidelined Copland environment. The new release of Mac OS will incorporate a suite of Internet tools and programs, including the much-hyped Cyberdog software. The beta version of Mac OS Runtime for Java is an implementation of Sun's Java virtual machine and runtime environment, enabling developers of Mac OS-based applications to create Java applets and full applications, and to embed Java functions into native Power PC or 68000 code.
'Java is becoming a key requirement for many of the markets in which Apple competes,' said Larry Tesler, vice president of the Applenet division.
The system includes both a high-level application programming interface and a lower level invocation API to load Java class libraries, create Java objects and call Java methods when building hybrid Mac OS/Java applications.
Apple will target the new system at Web users wanting to download Java applets; Internet and intranet developers and content authors; component software developers that want to standardise on Java and Java Beans; and developers considering the use of Java instead of C++.
The beta version is available free with the software developers kit at Apple's Web site on http://www.devtools.apple.com/mrj/.
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