Sun Microsystems is considering including some Apple-written code in a Sun Java Virtual machine to boost performance, a Sun official has confirmed.

Apple has developed virtual machine improvements that it has made available to Sun, said the official, Kenneth Tallman, Sun Java program manager. "They have given us some code; apparently it's in the resource-sharing area." Tallman said.

"We are currently evaluating it to determine its usefulness. And if in fact it does turn out to be useful, we will look into incorporating it into the product," said Tallman.

Apple, according to Apple Java Product Manager Alan Denison, has modified Sun's Java HotSpot VM to boost loading speed and reduce memory consumption. The modified VM is part of Apple's Mac OS X, Denison said. Modifications involve improvements to shared system libraries.

Fastest on Macs "We've optimized the amount of space that those system libraries take up by mapping them into memory at run time," Denison said. This "reduces the amount of time [required] to load those applications in," he said.

Java applications load faster on Macs than on other computers, said Denison.

An analyst said Java could benefit from loading and memory usage improvements.

"It's always been an issue because Java as a layer on top of the OS has always raised performance concerns," said analyst Dwight Davis, vice president of Summit Strategies.

Improvements to Java from third-party companies such as Apple is the way the Java process is supposed to work, Davis said. "I don't know how earth-shattering it is in that Sun has been generally open to taking best practices from any source possible, other than Microsoft, perhaps," Davis said.