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One of the recent stirrings to occur inside the Java industry is what has become known as "memogate." A Sun engineer wrote an internal memo to his colleagues that listed a number of problems with Java on Solaris, ranging from large VM footprints and issues with serialization to the usual salvo of complaints about Swing.

While the memo was intended to be read internally, the inevitable occurred and it ended up on the Internet ( www.internalmemos.com/memos/memodetails.php?memo_id=1321) and generated some pretty big shock waves in the computing press. The fact that it was an internal memo criticizing the implementation of Java on Solaris meant it was a double-edged whammy that attacked Sun from behind their defenses. The legal boys at Sun had nothing in their training to prepare them for this kind of situation. What were they to do?

Two days later Scott McNealy spoke at a product launch. The inevitable question about memogate was asked, and the gathered press held their breath to await the response. What pearls of wisdom, subtle diplomacy, or words of comfort could save Solaris and Java, both sunk from the same rogue imploding torpedo. "It runs Java like the wind" came the simple reply (http://news.com.com/2100-1001-984529.html?tag=fd_top). The following day the issue had literally blown away. A new manifesto had been written, a new battle cry given, a new dawn for the Californian Sun.

Exactly how fast is the wind? Is running like the wind better than running like a dog?

Back in 1806 a man called Francis Beaufort categorized wind speeds in 12 forces, each one representing a sea condition; then updated to represent a land condition as well. 0 is calm where the "smoke rises vertically." 6 is a strong breeze characterized by "large branches in motion," and 12 is hurricane force with "widespread damage." Perhaps Java needs its own scale of windy euphemisms, named the McNealy Scale in honor of the great orator himself.

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