From other newstickers: Miguel de Icaza, initiator of the .NET-Linuxproject Mono, is interested in this project, too.
Do you have any references for this? I wonder what made Miguel interested, since from what I read before, he didn't seem terribly interested in Java...
According to his information Guy Steele at Sun is involved in that new Sun project. (Steele is senior developer and has been involved in the Java Specification). And so on.
Will this be a "low level" Java? Or how does it fit next to Java (or Java fit to this new thing) ?
I've no idea. But here's some guesses: support for byte-codes containing profiling information to make run-time optimisation easier, better targeted and faster. ie an implementation based on this research:http://research.sun.com/techrep/2002/abstract-118.html
I've no idea how Sun will support interval arithmetic (something they're very keen on for HPC), and maybe this would require byte-code changes, unless it can be done efficiently via objects (perhaps with more efficient objects).
Probably include a way to support advanced hinting to the VM about you're preferences for floating-point accuracy vs speed.
This would all take a certain amount of research work etc. Maybe the best thing to do would have a "HPC" or games variant of Java for some bleeding edge features, which get fed back into "normal" Java once they become stable...?
Will it run on PS3? ;-)
An idea I had the other day: maybe some of this stuff came out of R&D Sun was doing with Sony over development for the PS3? If PS3 does require heavy use of threads to get maximum performance because it has many CPUs (as seems likely), then it'd be nice having a more thread friendly language for it. In addition, doing the work in Java would help cut down development costs, something the gaming industry would be keen on. However, I wouldn't expect Sony to have a full VM and dynamic optimisation and wouldn't be "pure" Java. Maybe the better thing to do is include profiling and optimisation information in the compiled byte-codes, and the byte-codes are converted to machine code as they're read of the of disk. Not the only changes that'd have to be done. As an embedded system, PS3 specific libraries could be done for graphics so you don't need to have the large separation between the VM and the OS you have on desktop systems.
Of course, that'd have to be in addition to a more normal environment - PS3 will be able to run PS2 games, and I doubt developers would want to immediately switch to a Java based solution no matter what. Maybe the Java one would be initially aimed at smaller, more cost conscious developers, and could broaden out as it becomes more proven, more optimised etc.
Sounds like a good idea to me, but if I'm right, it'd only be by accident...