Rebooting Java Media, Act I: Setup

by Chris Adamson

This series of blog entries makes an argument for a new emphasis on dynamic media as presenting a unique opportunity for client side Java, maybe one of its last best chances. Act II will consider current Java media offerings and the ideas behind them. Act III will take the best of these to advocate a new direction for Java media, and attempt to figure out who'll pay for it.


2006-12-28 01:33:27
I really, really thank you for bringing real elements to discuss to the Java scene. I'm tired of useless discussions about closures and shortcuts and all those things that in the end are not helping anyone but maybe a bunch of hardcore programmers and tool vendors. To all those Java 7 people so active lately: Please stop answering imaginary requirements and focus on just one or two things and for starters tell me why I can't do amazingly silly small things like that flash app. Wait! Don't tell me _why_ I can't do those things, just tell me _how_ are we improving.
2006-12-30 01:54:15
Yes media-support is extremely important!

There should be a BIG opensource-project for creating a Java-mediacenter-software but independently from the GUI-technology used.

Here is an example:

Unfortunately this project uses its own Swing based plugin-framework. Building such a project on top of Eclipse-RCP or NB-RCP would be much better imho.

A common mediacenter-project could be hosted on i.e. and it should not (!) include the GUI-staff but only the drivers, native code, codecs, support for devices etc. pp.

Bryan Rieger
2006-12-31 08:46:24
A few years back there were a number of companies trying to make media important on Java (Zat/Spin, Tekadence Magic, Demicron WireFusion, etc) - but the majority of these products simply lost out to Flash. Designers understood Flash, and programmers eventually got a language/VM that met their needs. FLV/Flash video has made Flash technology even more attractive.

A couple of projects that you might be interested in:

Jared Kaplan's Bajan is essentially an re-built, open source version of Tekadence Magic that owes much of it's inspiration from an old multimedia tool called mTropolis (bought and shelved by Quark in '98). Interesting TiVO demo...

Ben Fry and Casey Reas (MIT) have built a wonderful open source media/art scripting environment called Processing. It's aimed at artists/designers looking at experimenting in the digital space - there is even a mobile variant contribute by Francis Li.

Personally, I wouldn't hold my breath for the Java community to wake up and realize how important media support is to the platform - as generic, closures, eclipse vs netbeans, applets vs ajax, yada, yada are all we ever hear about. User experience and emotion are FAR more important to technology that actual people are expected to use (client-side, not server-side).

If anything I think Microsoft stands a better chance of integrating media (and design) into it's platform with it's new Expression tools, XAML (...Java could make use of OpenLaszlo's LZX language!) and WPF/E. Media people need tools they can use - not more IDE's, frameworks or language extensions (although important). If a Java equivalent of the Flash IDE existed (think Bajan, Processing, etc evolved and polished) AND provided an end-product that resembled the output/features of Flash (audio, video, scripting, animation, interactivity, etc) then Java might have a chance to woo media/content creators to their platform.

Without these tools - forget it, Java will never have a place on the client side of things.

2007-02-19 17:45:36
very good story. Thx very much.
2007-03-19 14:18:18
hello from google...
2007-06-10 01:06:36
i love you'r show (the upside down show) i think it is funny and my whole family loves it

from pippin!

2007-06-10 01:06:41
i love you'r show (the upside down show) i think it is funny and my whole family loves it

from pippin!

Vincent van 't Zand
2007-07-03 12:12:03
How cynical that this article came headed (for me at least) by an ad for Adobe Flex 2...
2008-06-10 16:30:12
Of course, but what do you think about that?,
2008-06-15 16:53:39
If you have a little free time, read this post:,