The meat of the announcement is this little pair of quotes:
> According to Davis: "Anyone who actually develops Internet
> applications has to know that ActiveX isn't the right technology."
> TVO's Goren agrees. "Integrating Java and ActiveX is a bad idea, and
> it's the secret to how Microsoft kills Java. Java is about portability
> and security. The moment you connect a Java applet with an ActiveX
> control, there's no point in talking about portability or security;
> it's gone," Goren says.
The "secret to how Microsoft kills Java"??? It's no secret...
On Sept. 16, a small Princeton, N.J., start-up, TVObjects Corp., will
announce the release of a new Visual Basic-to-Java source code
conversion utility. TVO's Applet Designer is a VB add-in and a
collection of ActiveX controls that work together to provide a totally
integrated Java development environment. Once installed, the program
adds nothing more than a simple toolbar to Visual Basic's development
Just as a conventional compiler translates high-level programming
languages into native machine code-- eliminating the need for
programmers to learn machine language-- TVO's Applet Designer translates
Visual Basic source directly into executable Java applets, eliminating
the need to learn Java.
But the simplicity of Applet Designer's interface belies its power. "You
can compile your VB code to an EXE or DLL, and now you can compile it to
a Java applet. Click our 'Compile' toolbar button, and it's done," says
Andy Goren, president of TVObjects.
"It's an ingenious way for someone who can program in Visual Basic to
get a Java applet up there fast," says beta tester Harold Davis,
president of Evolution Software, and author of Visual Basic programming
books, in Halifax, Vt.
TVO's Applet Designer integrates seamlessly with the Visual Basic
development environment. The Visual Basic form becomes the new metaphor
for where developers build Java components. Visual Basic's events become
Java events; such as Start, Stop, and Init. Essentially, Visual Basic
source code ends up scripting together Java components. "Nothing about
how you develop an app in VB changes," says TVO's Goren.
"It lets one use the strength of VB to provide a Java-class framework,
without someone having to know that much about Java. They can jump right
in, basically," beta tester Davis says.
But the product is not without its problems. The beta doesn't provide a
Java compiler, which would force users to buy a Java IDE (integrated
For Visual Basic developers eyeing the Internet, the ability to craft
Java applets could be a critical issue. According to Davis: "Anyone who
actually develops Internet applications has to know that ActiveX isn't
the right technology." TVO's Goren agrees. "Integrating Java and ActiveX
is a bad idea, and it's the secret to how Microsoft kills Java. Java is
about portability and security. The moment you connect a Java applet
with an ActiveX control, there's no point in talking about portability
or security; it's gone," Goren says.
TVO's Applet Designer will be priced at $97. Work is under way on adding
support for Java Database Connectivity middleware, Corba interface
description languages, and Corba object request brokers, according to
company officials. Support for the impending upgrade of Microsoft's
Visual Basic, version 5, is also promised.