Java on Palm? (Russ goes off on Bill Day)

I responded to this *very* surprising weblog entry by Bill Day, where he lamented the fact that Java isn't an integrated part of the PalmOS. I'm completely in agreement with him, Java should've been part of PalmOS for years. But come on, he's talking like he doesn't work for Sun at a *very* high level! WHY hasn't Palm integrated Java?

Here's my comment I left:

Is it Palm or Sun's Fault?

This is an honest question, not a troll. Things looked *soooo* good in 1999 when the Palm V's were being sold at JavaOne with the KVM preinstalled. It looked like Java on the Palm was going to just keep getting better. But then, nothing.

What happened? There were two companies involved there. Was it Palm who pulled back or Sun that charged too much money or made it a non-priority? Yes, Palm went into that period where innovation stopped, but what about now with Sun's new push? Why is the new Treo 600 being launched without Java? What about the other new Palms? What happened to the PDA Profile? Palm seems like a perfect partner in the battle against MS encroachment at all levels, I can't seem to understand why there's not a happy relationship there.

Something must've happened. From 1999's JavaOne to nothing to Palm Hardware (not PalmSource) installing IBM's J9 instead of a Sun solution. You sorta make it sound like Palm didn't want to play, but like I said, there's two companies involved in getting Java on the Palm. Give us the real scoop.

To answer the question - I've moved to a Nokia 3650 and the Symbian platform in general because until just recently, it did more than any Palm out there and in part because of its support for Java. We're *all* moving to smart phones, I have no doubt, and Palm will most likely be left with a niche market in PDAs, if that. Despite that, however, I agree with you that it would rock to have Java on every Palm out there.

The quesiton in my mind is not, why hasn't PalmSource integrated Java, but why hasn't Sun made it happen?

We'll see what he says (if anything), I was the first poster, so it's not like he's going to miss it. ;-)


Update: Bill responded to my comment on his weblog:

I guess blame's one of those things that usually needs to be spread around evenly, right? :-)

Seriously, I've been privy to some of the Sun-Palm discussions over the years, but not in the loop on all of them by any means. What I can say from my perspective, however, is that when Sun has done our best to offer up first the KVM then the CLDC RI including the KVM code for Palm, Inc. to integrate, we've received a lukewarm response at best.

I attribute a lot of this to that "period where innovation stopped" as you put it...just at the time when we wanted to work with Palm to make their devices the kick butt Java PDAs (and smart phones, and...) that they ought to be, Palm was busy (not?) doing other things.

Anyway, my dos centavos. I'd love to hear other opinions from people at Palm, Sun, or elsewhere.

Interesting. Nice to see he didn't ignore the question. I think Sun should get in there and do the hard sell. And maybe Palm is waking up enough to take advantage of it... who knows. -R

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