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Sun needs to make a change with Java?  RSS feed

 
Chris Stewart
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I have this feeling that if Java is to continue as a major player for many years that Sun needs to make a change with Swing. Most people have seen the power of Java in an enterprise environment as a backend process or on the web. This huge upper hand Java has on the enterprise market will keep us in business for awhile to come. I am concerned about the desktop market however. I have a hard time seeing Swing used on the desktop like VB/C++/.NET. I think the performance and ease of development (aside from C++'s MFC) really lacks compared to the languages mentioned above. Does anyone else feel like something huge needs to be done by Sun to give Java a presence on the desktop?
 
Fred Grott
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Originally posted by James Davis:
I have this feeling that if Java is to continue as a major player for many years that Sun needs to make a change with Swing. Most people have seen the power of Java in an enterprise environment as a backend process or on the web. This huge upper hand Java has on the enterprise market will keep us in business for awhile to come. I am concerned about the desktop market however. I have a hard time seeing Swing used on the desktop like VB/C++/.NET. I think the performance and ease of development (aside from C++'s MFC) really lacks compared to the languages mentioned above. Does anyone else feel like something huge needs to be done by Sun to give Java a presence on the desktop?

in my humble opinion I think that people will realize after they start using Light gui comonents that replace swing in mobile devices that they wil want to also use them on the desktop. However, before we start seeing that tredn.. those gui toolkits have to come down in price.. typically a light weight gui toolkit that replaces swing for us eon mobile devices costs $8,000 to license..
 
Chris Stewart
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Originally posted by Fred Grott:
in my humble opinion I think that people will realize after they start using Light gui comonents that replace swing in mobile devices that they wil want to also use them on the desktop. However, before we start seeing that tredn.. those gui toolkits have to come down in price.. typically a light weight gui toolkit that replaces swing for us eon mobile devices costs $8,000 to license..

I don't think we, as a community, can rely on 3rd party APIs to perform the job of something that should be native within the language. Sun might as well go ahead and dig Java's grave if developers must pay a licensing fee to develop the right desktop interface.
 
Randall Twede
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if Linux and Mac's gain more of a market share i believe it would help Java. one "shortcoming" of VB is it depends on Windows.
 
Ron Newman
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Mac OS X comes with Java built in, which is a very good thing. Unfortunately, it's Java 1.3.1, not 1.4.1.
There's now a VB clone for Macs, called REALbasic: http://www.realbasic.com/
 
Nathan Pruett
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Personally, I think that Swing is Java's version of MFC... it's difficult (well... less difficult than MFC ) to use but it lets you do pretty much anything you want.

I am not a VB developer, but the two things I have most often heard VB developers deriding Swing for are speed and drag-and-drop development.

I think that speed isn't really the big issue that most people make it out to be... if you take a VB app and a Swing app that perform the same function, they should pretty much be the same speed (Unless the VB app is doing something really specific to Windows). I think most of the speed issues with Swing come from bad design and threading issues that are introduced by developers. Swing does have some performance-eating features itself, but these are there for added functionality, and it is possible to make work arounds for some of them.

As far as drag-and-drop RAD development, some of the IDEs (JBuilder & Forte/Sun ONE) provide GUI builders that pretty closely approximate this. Also, if you've ever looked at the BDK (Bean Development Kit), you can develop apps even easier by just wiring JavaBeans together.

Most "easy GUI builder" approaches in Java have actually been more like GUI XML specifications rather than drag-and-drop. Check out JEasy, XMLPanel, Antheva, and Luxor.

I think that Sun hasn't placed as much emphasis on GUI technology because server-side & web-service development is so hot right now, so supporting these technologies receive more attention. But there are still lots of open-source and commercial developers working on making GUI development easier, and I wouldn't be suprised if Sun decides to include some of these technologies, either in the language itself, or the Sun ONE IDE.
 
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