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Performance Issues with XML v Java

 
Anonymous
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Over the years, I have developed many applications, usually with an Informix RDBMS back end, using C, C++, Informix/4GL and Informix New Era (an OO language). This last is no longer supported so I am starting to re-engineer my stuff in Java, as it is platform-independent. There are attractions in XML as, being a browser-based application, it fits in with a lot of other client-side activity. However, as a lot of my work is in customer care, with agents taking notes in real time, I am concerned that the discontinuous nature of WWW connectivity might make such applications too slow. Any comments on performance ?
 
Brett Knapik
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I don't see how it could get slowed down. More and more households are getting high speed internet connections making it faster to send and recive the application.
------------------
I wish there was a button on my monitor to turn up the intellegince.
Theres a button called 'brightness' but it doesn't work
 
Marius Holm
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Hi Jim,
You say:
<B>
I am concerned that the discontinuous nature of WWW connectivity might make such applications too slow.
</B>
It seems that your concerns are about the web itself, not Java, am I right?
Well, anyway, I think you safely may port your programs to Java
Have a nice day,
Marius

[This message has been edited by Marius Holm (edited January 23, 2001).]
 
Frank Carver
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Just in case you are confused, XML really has very little to do with browsers. Just as Java was initially hyped as a language for silly little applets but has found its real home in server-side processing, XML has been hyped (by Microsoft and others) as "just" a replacement for HTML.
XML is far more than that. It's a sensible, readable, extendable, uniform way of transferring and transforming data.
By all means make the move to Java for processing and XML for data representation, they are the most portable solutions in the market right now, and becoming more so. If you are concerned about the request/response paradigm inherent in web interfaces, you can always write some client software of your own which uses XML as a transport but works in a non-HTTP way. The big win with using XML is that the client and the server don't have to be written in the same language, they just have to be able to parse and generate XML.
 
Anonymous
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Colleagues All,
Thank you for your prompt and generally helpful replies.
Brett,
With regard to Web speed, I was a civil engineer in a previous existence and our axiom with regard to arterial roads was "traffic rises to meet capacity". The intranet at my biggest client is a case in point. Also, quite a lot of our stuff will be deployed in rural areas, where capacities are not so high and where depressed incomes tend to work against people buying high-capacity connections. Of course, times change . . .
Marius,
Java is currently my platform of choice. The only worry there is the version of the JVM deployed on the clients. Still, a fairly conservative approach should be OK. I was very impressed when a developer client was asked to demonstrate his application, written in Java on a Windows platform, on a Linux box. Not only did it run perfectly wihtout any tweaking whatsoever, it even looked exactly like a Windows GUI, to his amazement. Now THAT's portability !
Frank,
Currently, my take on XML is that it has a similar function to the Unix utility yacc. That is, after creating the necessary tags and metatags, the outcome is an HTML-like application with a vastly increased number of responses, tailored to requirements. From what you say, there is some other functionality which I should look into. I have "XML Unleashed", also "Mastering Cold Fusion" but maybe a more structured text might be useful.
Once agin, many thanks, especially to Frank. Some food for thought here.
Regards,
Jim Wright.
 
Peter den Haan
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Originally posted by Jim Wright:
With regard to Web speed, I was a civil engineer in a previous existence and our axiom with regard to arterial roads was "traffic rises to meet capacity".

Excellent analogy

Java is currently my platform of choice. The only worry there is the version of the JVM deployed on the clients.

The type of applications you intend to develop is not yet entirely clear to me:
- Web based applications with server-side Java (JSP, servlet, EJB). In that case, response time is important, but client JVMs are not.
- Web based applications with Java applets. They can work well on an intranet. For the internet or over a dial-up line, their bulk often makes them effective only if you don't need to support casual use. I.e., your users will have to be willing to sit through a lengthy initial download process. You can often fix response time problems by threading, processing things locally, caching, and networking using non-HTTP protocols (watch out for firewall issues though).
- Java based applications, possibly deployed via the web. Much the same story as Java applets, except that you can afford to store information locally. You may want to look into Java Web Start ( http://java.sun.com/products/javawebstart/index.html ) which makes web deployment of full fledged Java applications almost as easy as applets.

Not only did it run perfectly wihtout any tweaking whatsoever, it even looked exactly like a Windows GUI, to his amazement. Now THAT's portability !

Actually, you can do one better and make the GUI configurable or make it look like the OS's native GUI.

Currently, my take on XML is that it has a similar function to the Unix utility yacc. That is, after creating the necessary tags and metatags, the outcome is an HTML-like application with a vastly increased number of responses, tailored to requirements. From what you say, there is some other functionality which I should look into.

I would say that XML is a portable way to represent structured data. It isn't particularly suitable for presentation -- a stylesheet and XSL processor can take care of that.
- Peter
 
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