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Filthy rotten questions (3)  RSS feed

 
Charles McGuire
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I have several questions:

1. Do you find a resurgence of interest in rich client apps? A year ago everyone was writing off rich clients as dead in favor of web apps, but lately there seems to be (from my anecdotal observation) renewed interest. A copy of the book was given away for free at the JUG meeting the other day, and a lot of folks were drooling to get the copy.

2. Does the book touch on SWT vs Swing, and if not, what is your opinion?

3. In another thread you mentioned Java Web Start. Does your book discuss that at all, specifically why hasn't it gained more traction?

 
Chet Haase
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1. Do you find a resurgence of interest in rich client apps? A year ago everyone was writing off rich clients as dead in favor of web apps, but lately there seems to be (from my anecdotal observation) renewed interest. A copy of the book was given away for free at the JUG meeting the other day, and a lot of folks were drooling to get the copy.


My anecdotal (and quite possibly biased) information is the same; there seems to be a resurgence in rich clients. I think that there's a pendumlum here that swung toward rich clients way back when, then swung toward plain HTML. Then people realized that, amazingly, HTML produces some pretty awful UI experiences, so development is shifting back to platforms that can provide much better user interaction models. Even in the web-apps space, there's a definite shift toward richer experiences, with Ajax and the host of richer graphics and animation effects you now see. But these platforms have their limits (in terms of performance, local access, networking capabilities, etc.), so there's still a clear market for apps that are full-on (one might say "filthy") rich.

2. Does the book touch on SWT vs Swing, and if not, what is your opinion?


Nope, it doesn't touch the subject with a ten footnote pole. There are pros and cons to all toolkits, Swing and SWT included. My take is that the genesis of SWT came about when there were serious deficiencies in Swing in terms of both performance and native fidelity. Swing has since gone a long way toward addressing those areas and we no longer get those complaints.

3. In another thread you mentioned Java Web Start. Does your book discuss that at all, specifically why hasn't it gained more traction?


We don't discuss deployment at all (nor a host of other capabilities of a platform entirely too large to document in one single book on how to write cool looking apps). Web Start is actually used quite heavily in some sectors - the people that use it tend to love it. I think it hasn't gained widespread (especially web-spread) traction due to lack of marketing and polish - we didn't do a big push with Web Start like other deployment offerings from competitive platforms, and some of the early UI experiences with it (including the splash screen, dialogs, etc.) lacked the polish that
would have made mass consumers more comfy with the applications. The UI issues have been addressed one by one and are much better. I still think we could do with more marketing around it "Hey, it's cool kids! Try it out!"

Chet.
 
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