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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sun to Let Users Alter New Version of Java

NEW YORK -- Sun Microsystems Inc. plans to introduce an improved version of the Java programming language that lets developers write faster applications and gives them more freedom to adapt it to their individual needs.

The move by Sun will loosen its grip on the Java language in a bid to correct deficiencies that have hurt its promise as a universal code for writing software.

Java programs can be frustratingly slow, however, and some versions may work better on one operating system than another. The new Java, which will be able to work with applications written in older versions of Java, will attempt to address this, Alan Baratz, head of Sun's Java unit, said in a telephone interview last week.

Starting next month, Sun will share Java's electronic source code over the Internet, enabling developers to blend in improvements that adapt Java to their own needs. Previously, the roughly 200 developers who bought licenses to Java needed to ask Sun's permission before making changes.

"Many of the current licensees have very good ideas about how to improve the technology for use in new kinds of environments," Baratz said. "But they couldn't make modifications to the source code; they had to come back to Sunand have Sun make it if we thought it appropriate."