Write once run anywhere

Shocking news: write once run anywhere is a mirage.

… Motorola is seeking development of a broader mobile and software ecosystem for Java, with the goal of yielding “write-once, run everywhere” implementation capabilities.

… Currently, a handset maker licenses a JSR from another company and then makes changes to the reference implementation to make it work on their phone. This is done over and over again, resulting in platform variations, according to Motorola.

Or, as Carmack said last year,

Write-once-run-anywhere. Ha. Hahahahaha. We are only testing on four platforms right now, and not a single pair has the exact same quirks. All the commercial games are tweaked and compiled individually for each (often 100+) platform.

Anyway, let’s be honest: “write once run anywhere” should more accurately be, “write once run anywhere that C already runs, taking care of any portability issues.” It’s a nice goal, but the portability problem at the core has not gone away. We still need a technology to solve the portability problem, securely and reliably, and Java does not address this at all.

15 May 2006 by trevor #