Feeds

Back to the future: the Java client’s second go-round

Following the fads

High performance access to file storage

During the keynote, Sun splashed demos showing screen renderings of the kinds of spinning, 3D spheres that for us rekindled memories of demos of the first multimedia PCs of the early 90s, and the finite element model renderings of CAD/CAM systems using souped-up graphics cards a few years before that. Some demos never change.

We also saw a demo of Java applets (remember them?) being dragged and dropped off the browser to the desktop, where you could persist them as a regular local app - which in its own weird way could be construed as Sun buying into Microsoft’s Software + Services vision blending the cloud with local client.

Ever since Sun hatched JavaFX a year ago, we wondered about why the world needed yet another multi-platform, rich-client framework, as Adobe would have proven a convenient multi-platform partner. But that was based on the dated perception of Sun viewing Microsoft as its primary rival. In fact, it’s much more nuanced picture, given (1) Sun’s and Microsoft’s interoperability détente; (2) the increasingly intense rivalry between NetBeans and Eclipse for Java development platforms; and (3) competition for the hearts and minds of Rich Internet Application developers and designers, where - for now - it’s: advantage Adobe.

And that’s where you get into a battle of lies, damn lies, and statistics. Adobe claims that the Flash Player reaches more than 98 per cent of internet-enabled desktops in “mature” economies (the number drops to 97 per cent when rest of world is factored in), compared to 84 per cent for Java. Sun counters that the JVM is on 90.7 per cent of all internet-connected desktops, plus virtually all smart phones produced within the last three years. Well not quite. The iPhone expressly omits Java support, and of course, there are Windows Smart Phones. Adobe has Flash Lite for mobile devices, but it hasn’t published studies showing killer penetration.

Nonetheless, when you parse the numbers and statements, it’s clear that Sun views Adobe as it main rival for the rich-internet client. JavaFX is Sun’s stake in the ground that the Java Runtime Environment is the place to do your multimedia, rather than the Flash plug-in. And that’s why Sun is trying to re-open the barn door on competing RIA development environments, after the Microsoft and Adobe horses have galloped out.

This article originally appeared in onStrategies.

Copyright © 2008, onStrategies.com

Tony Baer is the principal with analyst onStrategies. With 15 years in enterprise systems and manufacturing, Tony specializes in application development, data warehousing and business applications, and is the author of several books on Java and .NET.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.