Interesting moves on the JavaVM front

Java One is turning out to be quite interesting this year. Not only has the Java license been changed to allow for easier distribution in Linux channels, but there is also a lot of buzz about coding in different languages for the JavaVM. The most tantalizing from a business perspective is Sun's commitment to get Visual Basic running within the JavaVM. Whilst it will not be practical to get Visual Basic applications written specifically for Windows frameworks running, (that is what Mono is for) it still will be interesting to see whether this significantly grows the Java (as a concept rather than a language) developer community. Even though Visual Basic may be ported across the fact it won't be tightly integrated into Windows like traditional Visual Basic it will more than likely not encourage a mass-migration of low-end, practical developers as some would hope. Still it will be nice to be able to get basic software written in by someone who only knows Visual Basic and have it able to run on any platform that supports the JavaVM.

More interesting from my perspective was the progress the JRuby project has made in getting the Ruby language ported to the JavaVM. Not only in the Ruby language over but even the Rails framework is beginning to run under Java. Admittedly it is a lot slower than the C version but from a deployment perspective it is very interesting as it would permit Ruby and Java applications to run and scale within the same JavaVM application engine.