Java and the Web
Java, a Jack of all trades and possibly a master of none. That’s not to say that Java is always second best. In the banking world for example it’s often considered the best choice to handle transactions heavy services. The Java development community has created a rich and diverse feature set on top of Java to allow it to do this. It’s this development around the Java platform that makes it top of the bill.
With the web, Java hasn’t been much of a first class citizen. In fact it lags behind in many area’s concerning the web and is often not first choice, nor second choice for that matter.
Ever since Ellison made this bizar pitch for JavaFX at this years JavaOne I’ve been more keenly aware of Java’s awkwardness when used for web only projects.
Ellison’s brain fart is basically that they don’t like AJAX. They must hate it so much that they’d rather develop their dead-on-arrival UI technology and consequently remain desktop orientated? They’re fucking kidding, right?
For Sun to avoid native web technologies is stupid an infantile. This awkwardness resonates through all the Java based projects I’ve been working on. Also the developers are all kind of anti-web because, I suspect, that they also feel that the Java platform feels out of sorts and cumbersome when it come to web only based projects. Years ago Dan Grossman once foolishly stated of AJAX that “Applications don’t run offline”. This sums up the mindset and ignorance that still runs though the Java community today. It reeks of conservative elitism. It’s sad but thankfully not all Java developers think that way. Many ‘enterprise’ desktop applications will or have made the transition to being web only. The technology and its developers have had to follow suite, with the ensuing awkwardness and resentment as a result.
At least I’m happy to work for a Java orientated company where there are those who realise that the next decade will be increasingly web only instead of being stuck in the previous desktop orientated one. What they may not yet realise is that all web services will require an effective UI architecture because clients increasingly expect all web apps to have a rich interface.
So is it really going to be JavaFX vs. Flex vs. HTML5? I don’t think Sun stands a chance in hell against Adobe and the WHATWG. I’m I the only one who thinks that native web technologies are the only ones that will be left standing?