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Sun Swings and Misses Once Again with JavaFX

As soon as Sun announces something as the 'second coming' then we can be pretty much assured it won't be

Alan Williamson's Blog

It really is our own fault; we have come to expect too much of Sun. They are like that lovable uncle we have. They have the best stories at the dinner table, but if you look around at the other adults, they are all rolling their eyes and laughing politely. They always promise they are going to show up at your major event, but and if they do arrive, it's generally very late and with the most inappropriate gift.


Megan Ring and Carmen Gonzalez of SYS-CON Media with JDJ founding editor Alan Williamson at the JDJ booth during JavaOne.

In this particular instance we are talking about the much hyped and under delivered JavaFX: their answer to crack the Flash and emerging SilverLight dominance. Now we should have seen the warning signs there. As soon as Sun announces something as the "second coming," then we are can be pretty much assured it won't be. Yet, like Apple followers blindingly marching behind Steve Jobs, we too are easily seduced.

Java's biggest problem is Java - and it is one problem no one wants to talk about at Sun.

You see the JRE, the actual runtime, is horrendously bloated, ill managed, a pain to install and even more of a pain to integrate with all the different browsers on your desktop. It also has this wonderful feature of pausing your whole machine while it starts up. Booting up a platform that is over 40MB in size, does take a wee while, and to ensure the user doesn't completely panic, most times it will throw up the most god awful visual gray window letting you know it wasn't a virus that caused your browser to stutter, it was just Java!

Flash has pretty much won the browser war in terms of rich media plugins. They cracked the biggest nut and cracked it well; streaming video both in and out. Can you imagine YouTube being as successfully if everyone had to watch a video via a Java applet? Can you imagine the amount of dialogs, security warnings, configuration hacking that would be required by your user to ask permission to use their local webcam? It just was never on the cards. (continued. . .)

More Stories By Alan Williamson

Alan Williamson is widely recognized as an early expert on Cloud Computing, he is Co-Founder of aw2.0 Ltd, a software company specializing in deploying software solutions within Cloud networks. Alan is a Sun Java Champion and creator of OpenBlueDragon (an open source Java CFML runtime engine). With many books, articles and speaking engagements under his belt, Alan likes to talk passionately about what can be done TODAY and not get caught up in the marketing hype of TOMORROW. Follow his blog, http://alan.blog-city.com/ or e-mail him at cloud(at)alanwilliamson.org.

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Most Recent Comments
marco 11/21/07 05:33:34 AM EST

I totally agree with nmatrix9. You should really put some SERIOUS work on your site's usability/functionality.

nmatrix9 10/28/07 11:33:41 AM EDT

Guys your website design, layout and just plain functionality is horrible. I can't continue reading a article once I've begun. Sometimes I can't even find/read a damn article. Seriously guys, this website is ANYTHING but user friendly.

Joshua Smith 06/14/07 11:35:45 PM EDT

JavaFX isn't even out of the starting gates and you've already concluded it's a failure?! Obviously you've given up evaluating technologies on their merits and have instead resorted to stupid lovable uncle analogies. I doubt Sun could do right by you if they turned lead into gold. Your commentary is ignorant and prejudicial.

Java News 05/09/07 08:33:27 AM EDT

It really is our own fault, we have come to expect too much of Sun. They are like that lovable Uncle we have. They have the best stories at the dinner table, but if you look around at the other adults, they are all rolling their eyes and laughing politely. They always promise they are going to show up at your major event, but and if they do arrive, it's generally very late and with the most in appropriate gift.