IBM Announces Open Source Access to Technology that Speeds Development of Java Applications

Future Versions of "Jikes" Compiler Software from IBM Research to Use Industry Input

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NEW YORK CITY - 07 Dec 1998: . . . IBM today announced that it is making available the source code for one of its most popular Java ** technologies , the Jikes compiler, which helps software developers speedily create applications.

As is common in the open source community, users of the Jikes technology will also be able to collaborate with IBM to make improvements to the software that will benefit the entire developer community. Jikes, developed by IBM Research, delivers superior Java byte-code compiler performance while strictly adhering to the Java language standards, ensuring that applications will run consistently across different computer systems.

"It is critical that companies that believe in the value of Java use and recommend completely compliant Java technologies," said Francis Charig, chairman and chief executive of the Tao Group Limited, a Reading, England, software development company, , which has built its own compliant clean room engine for running Java. "Tao is going down this route, and we applaud IBM for making Jikes fully compliant and available through the open source process."

Jikes is a fast, simple compiler that emphasizes strict adherence to the Java language definition. It is intended as a standalone source code to byte code compiler, in contrast to IBM's VisualAge* for Java development environment, which offers users an extensive set of packaged tools for enabling native compilation and developing large Java applications.

The Jikes compiler technology has been available to developers since April 1997 from the IBM alphaWorks Web site, alphaWorks allows users to access "as is" technology from IBM's research and development labs. Jikes has been the top Java-related software downloaded from the alphaWorks site since July, when a version was released for the Linux operating system. Jikes also runs on the IBM AIX* and OS/2* platforms, Windows 95** and NT**, and on the Solaris** operating system for Sparc** microprocessors.

"Jikes is receiving very positive feedback, and a number of developers have asked us to consider providing the source code," said David Shields, a research staff member at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, who co-developed the technology with his fellow research staff member, Philippe Charles. "Making the Jikes source code available clearly reflects our commitment to the developer community and to advancing the use of standards-based Java in the industry. We will continue to work with Sun Microsystems** and our other Java partners to support widespread adoption of compliant Java solutions."

In addition to gaining access to the Jikes source code, developers will be able to participate in a public mailing list for discussion of suggested changes to the technology. The Jikes source code and information on how to participate in the mailing list are available on the alphaWorks site. IBM will also release various test programs on the site that can be used to verify Jikes compiler compliance.

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