Quote of the Year Re JavaScript and Java

Here's the quote of the year for me:

I think that eventually the technical debt involved with writing large (50K-100K line) Javascript-based (non-type-safe) applications will become so huge that there may be a revival in Java based client applications to reduce maintenance costs, as well as, the desire for better performance and richer, less restrictive technical capabilities.

From a commentor here on java.net.


I think they'll just coexist side-by-side. I don't think one is going to provide a powerful argument for supplanting the other. JavaScript, even for all its rich application use, is meant for a modified mainframe/terminal environment where the terminal has to be just smart enough to satisfy user requirements. Java as a language is too much for that. It excels on the mainframe side. I wouldn't see Java supplanting Javascript unless we came back to the PC days where the focus was on the individual machine rather than the networked system.

Sure, you can have JavaScript local applications (a la HTML5 apps for Windows 8 and Blackberry) and you can have RIAs for Java (applets and Web Start and whatever other variations are possible), but there doesn't seem a trend for moving one into the space of the other.

Posted by guest on August 31, 2013 at 01:58 PM PDT #

That's a very good quote. It's going to be a long time (if ever) before browsers can provide the convenience to users that a Swing/FX desktop application can provide.

But the fact remains that connecting a modern Netbeans Swing/FX Java desktop to a Java server is agonizing to attempt. RMI and JDBC are not adequate for modern Java desktop applications. We need EASY connectivity to the server containers: EJB, JPA, JMS and JavaMail in particular. It would appear that a good implementation of websockets in Netbeans client applications might go a long way toward solving that issue for Netbeans users.

Posted by Chuck Davis on August 31, 2013 at 03:35 PM PDT #

The assumption is that the browser which host these mega Javascript will remain the same

Posted by Chuk on September 01, 2013 at 05:47 PM PDT #

God bless you Gertan !!!

I wish you were right ! every company I worked, tries to push html+javascript+css mess for every project they come up with. http, (hyper TEXT transfer protocol), and no more ! please why not include java inside the browser (or any other type safe, compiled language) and drop javascript forever ???

this is not an offensive comment, just my two cents about my daily work, of course javascript is valid for some projects, but not all of them.

have a nice week !!!

Posted by Aleix on September 02, 2013 at 11:42 AM PDT #

Probably the quote sounds plausible for manually-written JavaScript. But there is a tendency to use JavaScript as low-level output format (think as "bytecode") for numerous higher-order languages. So JS will stay here for quite a while.

Posted by Valery Silaev on September 02, 2013 at 12:29 PM PDT #

I've always marveled that people look to JavaScript in a browser as a serious development platform. The language lacks the power and expressiveness of other loosely typed languages and browser compatibility issues have always been a pain.

"Web apps" are always lacking in features even when the performance issues aren't a factor.

As a simple example I give GMail. I don't want to view me emails in pages of 50 or so at a time. I want a single scrollbar that goes through the whole 3000 of them! Simple things like that come up in all sorts of situations and ruin the experience when compared to a proper desktop (or even tablet) application.

However.. I blame Sun for this situation. The failure to get a smooth deployment experience working for Java was a significant contributor. If Applets worked as well as Flash like they should have from day one, javascript as an application platform would have been far less compelling. If Java Web Start worked as smoothly as it should have, the very idea of running applications in the browser could have been avoided.

An HTML rendering application (aka. browser) is a ridiculous application platform... It is less so now only because it is being forced. What should be a simple HyperText browser is being evolved into a virtual machine. Now it's hard to even define what a web browser is supposed to be.

The JVM is a far superior platform for applications.

Posted by SWP on September 02, 2013 at 03:57 PM PDT #

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Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.


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