What Lies Beneath

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I am one of those abnormal American citizens who spends next to no time watching television. In fact, my husband-to-be recently ripped all the cable wiring off our house because it wasn't aesthetically pleasing. (He graciously left one feed for my cable modem. Wait until I tell him about my wireless plans.)

So I was mystified by the frenzied coverage of the American Idol finale last week, which I caught while I was in the gym last Thursday. I was even more astonished that something like 22 million people voted on the outcome, which represents roughly one-fifth of the total number of people who voted in the last presidential election. I wonder how many of those people would admit publicly to voting in the American Idol spectacle?

HEATHER CLANCY Can be reached via e-mail at hclancy@cmp.com.

My point is that what people say and what they do are sometimes diametrically opposed to each other. So, while many have been busy pooh-poohing the viability of Java and Linux within corporate America for the past several years, a strange thing has been happening,companies have been deploying applications that rely a whole lot on one or the other of these technologies. Or both.

This point was brought home for me earlier this month during a presentation by Mercury Interactive, which recently released a J2EE version of its Optane application delivery and management suite. Executives for Mercury,which, by the way, is a profitable public company,said the release was a nod to the growing acceptance of J2EE among corporate developers.

This was just the latest indication, of course, that Java has taken on a life of its own, due in part to the efforts of BEA Systems and IBM to provide tools that strip it of some of its complexity. Of course, we have a long, long way to go.

Sun's next challenge is to win the hearts and minds of what Java creator James Gosling refers to as the Visual Basic crowd. Why is this group of application developers,largely overlooked in the Java revolution,important? Mainly because they have expertise in business processes, which is so important for the next wave of IT adoption, even if they aren't heavily into complex programming regimes.

Get ready for a battle royale for the hearts and minds of these application developers,many of whom are employed by your own staffs.

Which side are you on? HEATHER CLANCY, Editor at CRN, appreciates letters and reader feedback at hclancy@cmp.com.

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