James Gosling, the key architect of Java and a VP at Sun Microsystems, pledged on Tuesday that his company would fix the nagging performance issues surrounding the programming language. He acknowledged the obvious: that programs written Java just don't perform as well as those written in other languages, such as C++. The remarks came at the opening of the JavaOne conference in San Francisco.

"Over the last year, we've made really tremendous strides in getting the performance of the JVM \[Java virtual machine\] up to industrial strength," Gosling said. "This year is the year that the performance problem goes away."

Alan Baratz, the president of Sun's JavaSoft division, responded to Microsoft's attempts at creating Windows-specific extensions to Java, which was designed to be cross-platform.

"Industry titans who think they can build industry technology in a closed room these days and promise that one day it will become open, are missing the boat," he said. "What will happen is they will become overconfident, they will lose sight of what's going on around them--and losing sight can be disastrous, as we all know."

Over 14,000 developers are expected to attend JavaOne this year