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Java Developer : Article

Blackdown Develops Java For Linux

Blackdown Develops Java For Linux

Blackdown is a small international community of volunteer developers dedicated to the professional development of the Java platform for Linux. Blackdown started developing Java technology for Linux at the time of the Java Software Development Kit 1.0.2 release, years before commercial vendors even thought about supporting Linux. The project began because we felt the combination of the Java programming language and Linux would make a powerful platform for development and deployment. This feeling and the lack of commercial support provided the right ingredients to get the project started. 

The noncommercial nature of Blackdown reduces the impact of commercial constraints that other Java technology development groups face, freeing Blackdown to focus only on the technology and bug-fixes. In contrast to commercial vendors like Sun or IBM, Blackdown doesn't limit its Java support to Linux on the Intel architecture. It also supports other popular architectures that run Linux, like Power PC, Sparc, S/390, ARM, and Motorola 68k. Our primary goal is to provide the best Java solution for Linux regardless of the architecture. The fact that Blackdown isn't a commercial entity doesn't mean that we don't provide support for our products. On the contrary, we treat every bug report or problem seriously, regardless of whether it was reported by a company, a single developer, or an academic user.

Our work has been made possible by Sun, which has granted Blackdown a special noncommercial license. While our relationship with Sun hasn't always been easy, it's getting better and better since early 2000. We're now working more closely with Sun than ever before.

Since Blackdown isn't formally funded, all work is done by volunteers, so we're always looking for qualified new team members.

By codeveloping Java for Linux, Blackdown's activities should be viewed as a complement to Sun's. Blackdown offers an experienced developer group working on enhancing and tuning Java for Linux while remaining vendor-independent.

In addition to the Java platform Standard Edition, Blackdown provides Linux versions of essential optional packages for the Java 2 platform.

  • Java 3D 1.2 gives developers high-level constructs for creating and manipulating 3D geometry, and tools for constructing the structures to render that geometry. This enables you to write stand-alone 3D graphics applications or web-based 3D applets. It's currently available for Linux on Intel, PowerPC, and Sparc.
  • The Java Advanced Imaging API 1.0.2 is available for Linux on Intel and Sparc. The JAI API extends the Java 2 platform by allowing sophisticated, high-performance image processing to be incorporated into Java applets and applications.
  • The Java Media Framework 2.1 was tuned for use on Linux in a cooperative effort with Sun. The Java Media Framework is an API for incorporating audio, video, and other time-based media into Java applications and applets.
Blackdown will continue to collaborate closely with Sun to provide further versions of the Java 2 platform and optional packages for Linux. We're also working with Caldera, which joined the Java-Linux community recently and represents the Linux/Open Source world in the Java Community Process program.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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