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, 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 Novell, HP-UX, OSF/1 (including Digital UNIX), Silicon Graphics' IRIX, 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. Netscape also provides a -java switch that lets you execute Java applications (including the Java compiler) and applets and run nongraphical applications. Netscape's Web site is located at http://home.netscape.com/. Check there for information on the latest version of Netscape Navigator.