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RE: Client-side XSLT. Re: Bad News on IE6 XML Support

On Mon, 10 Sep 2001, Max Dunn wrote:
> Someone else wrote:
> > Pushing code on clients is attractive
> > ("it's their fault, not mine"), but in reality it's
> > a nightmare. Java on the browser failed because not
> > even Netscape could keep up with whatever it was Sun
> > was up to in any given month.
> The fact that Java on the browser failed is no argument against using
> client-side code in a general sense, as there are plenty of other
> examples where client-side code has become completely commonplace.
> JavaScript in the browser, for example.

The major reason it 'failed' in the browser is because MS has already
squashed NS and didn't want to support it (Java) once it was made clear in
the courts that their _contractual license_ forbade them from "Embrace and
Extending" the language. It is hard to deploy a browser app when the only
major browser maker has shot the base language it runs in our from under
you. The 'keep up with Jones' argument is bogus because Sun distributes
_for free_ the code needed to run the current JDK. Microsoft was could
have included it in their browser at essentially no cost to itself (it
just couldn't, ah, 'enhance' it, first). They even could have continued to
ship their _current_ 1.0.x version for the next seven years.

The other argument about 'little grey boxes' is actually a symptom of
_poor practice_. There is no reason you have to have a 'little grey box'
while the applet loads for tens of seconds. That is programmer and web
page designer lazyness.  It is akin to 'white pages' that show nothing
until _every_ image has loaded (or in MSIE keeps 're-laying out' for 30 or
40 seconds as images are loaded thus making the page unreadable until it

Lastly, don't confuse 'it isn't on every web page' with 'unsuccessful'.
CGI (and other 'active server' technologies) are not on every web page,
either. Because the vast majority of web pages are generated by people who
have never written a line of code in their life. Java is a programming
language. It is _never_ going to be as ubiquitous as markup languages are.

Different tool, different job.

BTW: Java is projected to be the #1 used computer programming language for
new code by sometime next year. Not bad for an 'unsuccessful' language.

Benjamin Franz

  Programs must be written for people to read, and only
  incidentally for machines to execute.
                             ---Abelson and Sussman