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Of course it is! We covered much of this in
1998. The new things are increased frustration
and possibility that with current technology and
mindset we might actually put it to rest
Peter, I noticed recently a new trend for people who invested in Java. At
first it seems that several projects tried to develop some functionality in
Java. For example CML got its java interpreter, translating the CML document
into a three D view. But, and this is not entirely the fault of browser
environments, Java is not always running smoothly in these environments
mainly because the plug-in run-time is not running smoothly and several
version were simply buggy. We blame the browsers but in fact we should also
blame who made the plug-in.
Because of this matter of fact and because of the recent push lead by IBM of
a java only run-time incarnated by Eclipse. It seems that several projects
with vested interest in Java are moving toward the eclipse platform. In the
last month I saw at least 3 major projects moving in that direction.
So, there is a new trend now where the Java world is moving to a new
platform: Eclipse. The model is simply that you download the eclipse
platform and then download pug-ins from the web when needed. Publishers
define perspectives and the latter are used to know the requirement. See,
again the requirement thing (what is actually missing in the browser
platform to know intelligently what to do).
Pretty soon, we'll see a new movement toward XAML fro the window platform.
Because the latter includes 2 and 3D and because there will be several user
friendly tool, we can expect this will compete against Eclipse. In the case
of XAML anything like a window in the desktop to a window in IE's browser
can be the host of XAML apps. For the next years, as people will update to
the new window version tey will get this automatically installed.
Finally an evolution of AJAX or the fall of the browser as an application
platform or as a datument platform.
I can say that up to now, the community didn't try very hard to make the
browser platform to work efficiently. I saw a lot of criticism but not a lot
of concrete code. However, I was recently pleasantly surprised to see the
AJAXIANs taking a different angle and considering the browser has we would
do with any other development platform. The shift is not easy because it
means to get out of the comfort zone and explore new lands. Funny to see
that the comfort zone if full of frustrations as expressed recently in this
We'll see more and more movement of the java community toward a java
environment. Eclipse seems to fulfill the niche for now... Until its
limitations become obvious (but maybe the Eclipse team will pay attention to
the customer base and will respond by adjusting it to the new requirements).
Hopefully, AJAXIANs will continue to push the limits and offer different
engines sitting on top of the browser platforms like Javan (I just inveted
the word :-) are actually considering the different VM (IBM, SUN) and JDKs
W3C created the Myth of the standard/recommendation with different
implementation. Sun created the same myth. In both case, we noticed the
effort from vendors to not be commoditized by offering THEIR version of the
standard/recommendation. It seems that the myths are now getting busted by
The impact: for the browsers, the emergence (since a couple of years) of
portable libraries like Sarissa offering a single API on top of the
different browser platforms (doesn't remind you of a certain patters
re-emerging like a phoenix once in a while). Because W3C recommendations are
a myth or a utopia, the reality is that browser implementations are still
different (after 1more than 10 years of the web) and have different
behaviour. What is needed is:
a) get rid of the browsers and start from scratch all over. This is what
people migrating to Eclipse are doing. However, they port their actual
applets and hence, do not totally start from scratch.
b) do some layers on top of the browser platform to adapt to the different
browser platforms. This is what the AJAXIANs and your humble servant are
c) Embrace The new window generation and enjoy the efficiency of XAML.
Didier PH Martin