By the time you read this book, you should have several choices for Java development environments and run-time systems. As this book goes to press, Sun's Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.1 is available for Solaris, Windows NT, and Windows 95. The JDK provides an interpreter and a compiler for building general purpose Java applications. A beta version of JDK 1.1 for the Macintosh will be available later in 1997. Visit Sun's Java web site at http://www.javasoft.com/ for more information about the JDK. There are also a number of JDK ports for various platforms. Some of the most significant platforms are NetWare, HP-UX, OSF/1 (including Digital UNIX), Silicon Graphics' IRIX, IBM's AIX (among other IBM operating systems), and Linux. For more information, see the Web pages maintained by the vendor you're interested in. JavaSoft maintains a Web page summarizing porting efforts at http://www.javasoft.com/products/jdk/jdk-ports.html. Another good source for current information is the Java FAQ from the comp.lang.java newsgroup.
There are efforts under way to produce a free clone of Java, redistributable in source form. The Java Open Language Toolkit (JOLT) Project is working to assemble a high-quality Java implementation that will pass Sun's validation tests and earn a Java stamp. The JOLT Project Web page is accessible from http://www.redhat.com/.
The Netscape Navigator Web browser comes with its own implementation of the Java run-time system that runs Java applets. Microsoft's Internet Explorer also provides support for Java and appears to be ahead in supporting Java 1.1; both browsers should support 1.1 by the end of 1997. For more information about Navigator, check Netscape's web site, http://home.netscape.com/.