Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 14th Nov 2006 19:02 UTC, submitted by Jane Walker
Java Monday, Sun did what many pundits, media personalities, developers and IT managers wanted done months ago - it opened up Java so that it could be freely distributed under the General Public License. In this interview with SearchOpenSource.com, Laurie Tolson, the vice president of Java developer products and programs, discussed this milestone for Java and what it meant for Sun, developers, IT managers.
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Java ready for OSS?
by butters on Tue 14th Nov 2006 20:45 UTC
butters
Member since:
2005-07-08

There are many metrics by which to judge application development frameworks, but you cannot forget to judge them based on the quality of the resulting applications. In the case of Java, I submit that most Java applications suck.

Java has a lot of things going for it, from the Collections API to the fact that any recent CS graduate is proficient in Java, if nothing else. But when you start a Java application, and when you interact with it, you know it's a Java application. It has that bloated, lethargic, and often fragile feel. Years of building a development community around Java have resulted in desktop applications with the performance and usability of web applications.

Java is a mature platform, and like other platforms, it has an impressive array of libraries and bindings. But when it comes to the libraries and bindings that OSS developers demand, Java has trouble competing with comparatively immature platforms. I'll take Python's GTK and Qt bindings over Java's anyday.

Say what you want about Mono, but OSS developers have demonstrated it's usefulness in rapidly developing good applications. Most Desktop Linux users only experience Java in the form of OpenOffice (90% of which is written by Sun developers), which is a less-than-impressive application by most accounts.

So let's take a step back and consider what Java has to offer to OSS. Do you see a mature, powerful, and flexible development framework, or you do instead see a bad compromise between native and web programming that isn't particularly well-suited to either?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Java ready for OSS?
by Matt Giacomini on Tue 14th Nov 2006 21:18 in reply to "Java ready for OSS?"
Matt Giacomini Member since:
2005-07-06

What does your post have to do with Java becoming open source?

If you are saying that java sucks to much to be useful to the opensource community. Then I will submit (as a Microsoft .NET developer) that mono by comparison to Microsoft implementation of .NET also sucks to much to be useful to the open source community.

Personally I don't feel that way, but I think the parallel argument best expresses the way I disagree with your post.

Edited 2006-11-14 21:22

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Java ready for OSS?
by b3timmons on Tue 14th Nov 2006 21:54 in reply to "RE: Java ready for OSS?"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

Agreed.

There is no question that Mono benefited from energetic, talented developers, but in the light of recent events, there are more viable and productive directions, IMHO. Some developers may work more directly with .NET, others may be inspired by Sun, but considering the business models and track records of the various companies involved in Java and .NET, the business proposition of Mono seemed doomed from the start and now more than ever.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Java ready for OSS?
by codehead78 on Tue 14th Nov 2006 21:24 in reply to "Java ready for OSS?"
codehead78 Member since:
2006-08-04

I don't know... Eclipse is pretty slick.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Java ready for OSS?
by g2devi on Tue 14th Nov 2006 22:14 in reply to "Java ready for OSS?"
g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

> Say what you want about Mono, but OSS developers have
> demonstrated it's usefulness in rapidly developing
> good applications.
>
Perhaps, but the same can be said about Java. Personally, I don't see much difference between Mono and Java on the desktop application's front. Both are pigs when it comes to resources and both have killer desktop applications (e.g. Java has Eclipse).

The only real weakness Java has is startup speed, since that it loads and JITs all libraries each time you load a Java program. This is actually not that difficult to fix (e.g. look at the Mac), but it needs a bit love to from the OS layer to implement the appropriate caches. Sun doesn't seem that interested in the Java desktop (the JSP area is where Java shines) and no-one else has been allowed to change "the official Java", so this part of Java has languished. But if distros are able to prepackage Java and versions of Firefox will be able to ship with Java, you can be sure that this issue will be taken care of.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Java ready for OSS?
by sbergman27 on Tue 14th Nov 2006 22:42 in reply to "RE: Java ready for OSS?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""the JSP area is where Java shines"""

Really?

http://oodt.jpl.nasa.gov/better-web-app.mov

I think a GPL'd Java is great. But I would hardly say that web development is where it shines.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Java ready for OSS?
by Budd on Tue 14th Nov 2006 23:43 in reply to "Java ready for OSS?"
Budd Member since:
2005-07-08

Not to be picky,but I have trouble even installing "correctly" Mono on my Slack box. OK,OK I'm just an intermediate user but funny thing is that I just un-archive the binary provided by Sun and I know I have java on my box.
When it comes to applications itself, well you see I have another problem: besides Beagle (which is probably the only thing I'd like to test) I can't find any mono application that can serve me right. I did mentioned that I can't install mono in 2 minutes,right?
I do agree with the fact that Java application suck compared with the mono ones. The last one basically are still delayed.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Java ready for OSS?
by Daniel Borgmann on Wed 15th Nov 2006 03:44 in reply to "Java ready for OSS?"
Daniel Borgmann Member since:
2005-07-08

butters wrote:
Years of building a development community around Java have resulted in desktop applications with the performance and usability of web applications.

I'll take Python's GTK and Qt bindings over Java's anyday.

Say what you want about Mono, but OSS developers have demonstrated it's usefulness in rapidly developing good applications.


To be fair, most evaluations of Java on the desktop are particularly _not_ based on the Java Gtk bindings (or other native bindings for that matter), which are very new and incomplete (unless you count SWT, which probably should be compared to wxWidgets). So far, using open source Java tools like gcj had the bad taste of a second-best solution. As ironic as it is, Mono felt more like the "real thing", since .NET only exists on Windows. Now that the real Java is open source, it becomes a lot more interesting. We should wait and see how this develops.

I totally agree however that the Python bindings are terrific and it remains to be seen how much value Java can really add to that. The same goes for Mono however. My guess is that we will see Mono and Java bindings mostly used in special situations in the future, with Python becoming the most popular choice for RAD and GUI prototyping, and natively compiled languages (like C++ and Vala) for everything else.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Java ready for OSS?
by tmack on Wed 15th Nov 2006 04:13 in reply to "RE: Java ready for OSS?"
tmack Member since:
2006-04-11

GTK bindings for Java are really a nonstarter when you have a windowing toolkit like SWT.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Java ready for OSS?
by marcusgreen on Wed 15th Nov 2006 12:06 in reply to "Java ready for OSS?"
marcusgreen Member since:
2006-08-21

"Most Desktop Linux users only experience Java in the form of OpenOffice (90% of which is written by Sun developers), which is a less-than-impressive application by most accounts."

I am sitting here running OpenOffice on a machine that has no trace of Java installed on it whatsoever. Are you familiar with the subject you are commenting on?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Java ready for OSS?
by kwanbis on Wed 15th Nov 2006 14:11 in reply to "Java ready for OSS?"
kwanbis Member since:
2005-07-06

You haven't tried lates Lotus Sametime (7.5), or Lotus Notes 8, or Azureous, don't you?

Reply Parent Score: 1