Java News from Sunday, October 3, 2004

Cox Communications has posted the early draft review specification of Java Specification Request 242, Digital Set Top Box Profile - "On Ramp to OCAP". According to the executive summary,

In the North American cable market, the current landscape of set top boxes consists of a mix of non-standard, incompatible APIs and development environments, resulting in expensive application development, and thus ultimately restricting the types and number of applications available on legacy set top box platforms. At the same time, there are currently only a few distinct classes of set top boxes deployed, and the majority of these set top box platforms have been proven capable of running a Java Virtual Machine.

OCAP defines a standardized, interoperable, Java-based middleware specification that developers can use to produce compelling content for a comprehensive range of set top box hardware. Unfortunately, it requires set tops to have greater capabilities (CPU, RAM, ROM, etc) than is available in the vast bulk of those currently deployed.

OnRamp provides a solution for these existing set tops. By modeling this API as a subset of OCAP, OnRamp provides a clear migration path to the OCAP environment.

Comments are due by October 31.