Life hands Sun steaming sack of...
Lacking lemons, Schwartz makes JavaFX
Adobe Bull Boss
Even then, it's going to be a tough sell, because Sun will need to convince developers that JavaFX is worth their time. Pro tip: it's not. When it comes to RIAs, Adobe is the bull boss of the house. Flash is installed on more than 99% of internet users' computers. Even if Schwartz's bar-room boast of 100,000,000 users is accurate, if you as a developer are choosing a platform, targeting anything other than Flash is just a waste of time.
Sure, Flash may not be as capable as JavaFX, but it doesn't need to be. Remember the "engineer's approach to that business junk"? Yeah, this is where it fails.
Attacking the mobile market like this is risky business for Sun. If Flash ever comes to the iPhone, JavaFX mobile will be instantly obsoleted. With the iPhone App Store, Apple has defined what it means to develop for a mobile platform. Previously, mobile development has been a colossal pain in the balls, with service providers keeping a nuts-in-a-pair-of-vise-grips hold on the distribution channel.
Sun, it seems, is still stuck in that world, whereas Apple figured out that distribution is everything in the mobile market. With Sun's approach, to get mobile distribution for your JavaFX Mobile app, you need to use the same strategy that you would for a desktop targeted web app. The reason that people bother to develop for the iPhone, even if they have to put up with Apple's manic bullshit, is that the distribution channel is so frictionless.
If Sun is hoping that JavaFX will gain critical mass on the mobile platform and then leverage it to spread it to the desktop targeted web, then they are sorely mistaken. That market has been conquered, and no number of deals with Sony Ericsson or LG will un-conquer it. The only other option for JavaFX then is to spread like gonorrhea on the web.
That's going to be a big "if" for Sun. Since you're reading about it in a column called "Fail and You," you can probably guess where I think JavaFX is going to land. They have likely realized what they're up against, as evidenced by the JavaFX launch page for Linux. Is that a Flash video player I see? With 100,000,000 installations and video playback capability, you would think that they would, oh, I don't know, use their own fucking technology as part of the demo. This again is the disconnect between engineers and people who make the money.
I can see how this meeting went: a few JavaFX product managers talking with the marketing and web design team, spewing a bunch of nerd shit about runtimes and native code and just-in-time compilation, while the marketing team uses their Blackberries to Twitter about how bored they are. Marketing goes back to their office, and when it comes time to put some videos up on the web, they think "oh, you can play videos in Flash. Everybody has Flash."
And so yet again, good technology falls victim to introverted people skills. ®
Ted Dziuba is a co-founder at Milo.com You can read his regular Reg column, Fail and You, every other Monday.