Java One Day 0

by Robert Cooper

So, the big kickoff for JavaOne. I guess there was news. Solaris on EC2, which is fine. More JavaFX demos. Expected that. Other than that, what?

So one thing that really struck me: Project Hydrazine. Can someone tell me what the hell that is? Listening to people talk it sounds like yet-another JINI style initiative, but nobody seems able to give me a straight answer. "Service discovery and auditing on the cloud" is no nebulous it might as well be a cloud.

Of course, getting a decent codec in the JRE is something that you would have though was obvious sometime around when, oh, YouTube fetched billions of Google dollars. At the end of the day, getting the On2 codec stack is the same as using Ogg anyway, no?

If there was one thing that really made me pay attention today, it was the tools demo at the end of the TechNote. Thank God someone at Sun found a clue on this one. Basically, the story is this: Sun has plugins for Photoshop and Illustrator that let you (read: your graphic designer) export to a JavaFX file with assets and appropriate names. This is a huge one. Whether it is GWT or Flex, the process story between design and code has been a rough one. Microsoft has Expression, which I think is a really amazing tool, but they are never going to be able to sell it to designers. The artsy side of this business is definitely filled with creatures of habit. They don't change tools nearly as easily as the nerdier side. Adobe Thermo is promising, and they at least have a brand in that arty space. This is the first clearly smart thing I have seen do in a long time.

As for sessions, if you missed the Fortress session with Christine Flood, you missed something great. Fortress really excites me as a technology and she was a really great presenter. Will Pugh can certainly pack a room. The big session hall was standing room only for his Defective Java session. The multi-touch interface session was cool, but disappointing. Given that we are talking about Java on the iPhone, and multi-touch seems to be becoming more popular, I was hoping we would see something more like a new JSR for working with it. It was really DIY session on stuff I have seen a number of times now.

I also just have to mention I went to a Q&A with Schwartz and Green. Honestly, I hear stuff about Sun poking at people they want to work with -- Apple, Google, etc -- but Rich Green couldn't seem to utter three sentences without making some seriously passive aggressive aside. Speaking on Android he noted, "They call it an open platform, I don't know how many people have seen the code." Well hell Rich. Sun calls JavaFX a product, I don't know how many people have actually gotten their hands on it. Say what you want about Google source release strategy, they have an emulator, IDE support and first class docs available. And JavaFX has...

Seriously, though. What the hell kind of leader even makes that kind of comment. In the grand scheme of things, working with Google and Apple is in Sun's interest. Why they would poke a badger with a pencil is beyond me.


2008-05-07 12:27:02
Why would they "poke a badger?" Sun is getting pissy because they have this great product (Java) and for the past 10-ish years they have been able to squander it making mildly incremental improvements (or just rely on the community to provide the innovative stuff).

Community innovation is hitting the boundaries of what's possible on Java/JVM and it's becoming obvious. So people are complaining enough and/or just going to other platforms (.NET, Flex, etc) that are actually innovative. And Sun will have none of it. Lack of anything revolutionary or even interesting at their flagship conference just seems to be making this ever the more apparent.

Shashank Tiwari
2008-05-07 13:07:12
Sun has been playing catch up for a while. .Net and C# is making it revise Java as a language. Ruby is questioning its statically typed existence. Flex is making it scream JavaFX. Then there is Google and Apple giving it stomach ache. The question is can they start chasing and for a change start thinking and creating their own story ?

Sun created Java but never made it what it is today. The community and its participants especially IBM, BEA, JBoss, SpringSource and many many more made it what it is today. The problem is their current hasty and unplanned behavior will kill it for sure. I don't think they need the badger to bite them in such a situation :)