Wouldn’t it be cool?

Wouldn’t it be cool if …

  • You could write a Java application that could run, without change, on cell phones, on TV set-top boxes, and on laptop and desktop computers?

  • A Java applet could start up just as quickly as a similar Flash application, and have comparable responsiveness?

  • A Java application could start up just as quickly as a similar application written in C/C++, and have a comparable memory footprint?

  • You could publish a large Java application on your web site in such a way that if an end-user’s PC or Mac doesn’t yet have a Java runtime environment (JRE) installed then it first downloads just those parts of the JRE that are needed to run your application—rather than the entire thing—and then downloads just those parts of your application that are needed to start it up—rather than the entire thing—and then starts your application while the rest of the JRE and the rest of your application are trickle-downloaded and installed in the background?

  • You could install a Java application on Linux or Solaris via the usual rpm, yum, apt-get, or pkg commands in such a way that any required Java libraries, as well as the required components of the Java runtime environment itself, would also be installed—or upgraded—if necessary?

Hey—wouldn’t it?


So I am going to bite. Doh.. yes it would be and you are hard a work making all these things real. You got a whole bunch of people on your side with these steps. You could start with packages of all Sun software for Solaris, Ubuntu and so on that are released the same day as other packages.

Posted by Manfred Moser on October 07, 2008 at 03:27 PM PDT #

The memory footprint looks like the toughest to me :)

Oh, and then there's:
\* you could write applications for JDK 6 without having to deal with customers who are still running Java 1.3 or 1.4.2

Posted by Pascal Bleser on October 07, 2008 at 03:38 PM PDT #

If I had to guess, the point by point analysis would be:

- JavaFX

- Java 6 update 10 with Quick Starter (Windows-only) for the start-up aspect. About the responsiveness, please let's not aim that low. :) According to Adobe, Flash applications that take a lot of CPU affecting the whole browser are due to bad coding, but still, the general perception is not too positive in my opinion.

- Start-up, same as previous point. I don't see how the memory aspect can be achieved in the medium term though. The MVM looked promising, but that has been shelved as far as I know.

- Java Kernel in Java 6 update 10.

- OpenJDK (and IcedTea) mean that this is mostly true now.

Posted by Ismael Juma on October 07, 2008 at 03:56 PM PDT #

Yes, it's very cool. Please keep working hard on getting this stuff out there.

Posted by Dave Gilbert on October 07, 2008 at 05:47 PM PDT #

Since we're talking applets, wouldn't it be cool if Sun's JVM for 64-bit Linux could also run them ?

Posted by Leonel on October 07, 2008 at 09:39 PM PDT #

It would be great and I hope our work (me an Roman) will help on this (trying to separate things).

There is still lot of code that is intermixed and it's not nice, not to tell the problems we have porting them to different architectures. At runtime, and for selected platforms this maybe less of an issue, but still presents some big problems to either work around or solve.

Anyway, this list is definitely great, so good luck! :)

Posted by Mario Torre on October 08, 2008 at 12:00 AM PDT #

Yes, sure, yep, indeed, and hell yeah. ;)

Posted by Dalibor Topic on October 08, 2008 at 03:24 AM PDT #

I ran across an article from developerWorks[1] that talks a bit about the AOT and shared classes support in the IBM JRE. It's a bit long, so I wrote a summary on my blog[2].

It's an area that might be worth researching at some point to help with the memory usage and start-up aspects.


[1] http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/j-sharedclasses/
[2] http://blog.juma.me.uk/2008/10/08/aot-for-java/

Posted by Ismael Juma on October 08, 2008 at 03:39 AM PDT #

A Sun Java SE (or a subset) on a phone?

Nice idea but beware Google's Java-like Dalvik VM stealing your thunder.

Posted by Pete on October 08, 2008 at 10:16 AM PDT #

Those are all cool ideas! And we are mostly there now.

What would be excellent is if all these things come to the users dynamically with all sources included for them to learn from, adapt to their needs and share with others.

Re Leonel: IcedTea contains a java webplugin and webstart that run on any architecture http://icedtea.classpath.org/

Re Pete: Java SE (subsets) on phones and other mobile devices is already there https://wiki.evolvis.org/jalimo/

Posted by Mark Wielaard on October 09, 2008 at 02:08 AM PDT #

Java is already cool ;)
It is opensource and truly multiplattform.

Check out .NET:

- Windows only (they call it multiplattform anyway)

- totally closed source

- tools cost money, OS costs money, webserver costs money ;)

The only thing in .NET which is cooler than Java, is C#. But the rest sucks.

Posted by Ivan on October 09, 2008 at 03:07 AM PDT #

I wanted to believe in the quickstarter. I really did. I went and downloaded u10 and surfed around for some test applets..

And when the machine churned and the page froze, I said, oh it's just warming the cache. The next applet will be \*just\* like flash. And I reloaded, and reloaded. But, it wasn't the same, it still, well, kinda sucked.

BUT - We have Web Start, who even needs applets! Let me go and download some of those! Hey, you over there, look at how awesome these is, I just click launch on this jnlp file and ... hmmm, well no, I don't know why it's taking so long.. Not really sure what it's doing.. But, but, don't walk away..

Sigh - I love working in java, I love the community, but, unless someone has some magical new VM out in the wings, java 'SE' is a third rate, also ran on the desktop. Makes fantastic MIDlets, powers through huge transactional workloads in the enterprise.. Just wish I didn't have to make excuses for it on the desktop..

Posted by Adam Malter on October 09, 2008 at 06:51 AM PDT #

It would simply rock if instead of all that Propery Change support and beans mumbo-jumbo, we could do something this cool with native annotations:

class blah {

@Property(Read="Public", Write="Protected")
private Integer Prop1;

@Property(Read="Protected", Write="Protected"
private String Prop2;

@Event(Property="Prop1" When="BeforeChange")
private void method1(...) { ... }


Posted by EdwinF on October 10, 2008 at 02:17 AM PDT #

It is sad to see you omitted how cool it would be if Java applications looked and behaved indistinguishable from their native counterparts on all major platforms. (Kid me not - they currently are not as good looking as native apps.)

Posted by Anand K on October 13, 2008 at 12:39 AM PDT #

Yes... glad and releaf it comes.
We waited for so long.
In my web-studio company no ones wants to hear about applets any more.
I hope this release will be the reborn of java on the client side.

Posted by Thierry on October 20, 2008 at 07:27 PM PDT #

Yes it would be cool... but for a more "short-term" vision it already would be cool if, given a Java application running in some operating systems desktop system tray, I would be able to assign some hotkey making its main window pop up and do something on every recent desktop operating system. But guess I'm still dreamin'... ;)

Posted by Kristian on October 21, 2008 at 12:10 AM PDT #

Would be nice if netbeans had an applet skeleton project.
I have to tell my beginning students to make applications instead of applets since netbeans makes it harder to do so.

Posted by Doug Holton on October 24, 2008 at 04:18 AM PDT #

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