Feeds

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

Following the fads

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.