Wednesday, May 09, 2007

JavaOne 2007

I attended Community Day at JavaOne this week. A few things stood out for me:
  • Sun finally has a strategy, after years of downward drift. I also like the strategy, which is to open source all their software, and charge for services and hardware that go with their software.
  • Sun's investment in NetBeans is paying off in spades. The room where the NB talks were given was packed with 1000 developers. The IDE continues to build momentum by being better than Eclipse. I'm using Eclipse right now because my client mandates it, but it is buggy and you have to do rocket science to figure out the right combination of plugins for your given requirements. NB makes it easy by having the right bundles out of the box. Having said that, Eclipse still is better for version control.
  • Sun is entering the RIA (Rich Internet Apps) wars by announcing JavaFX. This makes sense to me, since Adobe's tools for Flash are gaining traction, and Microsoft recently announced Silverlight. To me this says that Javascript, Ajax and perhaps even HTML are transitional technologies. More and more the browser will simply be used as a frame for what looks and behaves like a desktop app. Frameworks like GWT, which enable the developer to forget about Javascript and HTML, will become the norm. (However, for the reasons I mentioned, GWT in its current form is transitional, since it generates Javascript and HTML.)
  • Ruby is gaining traction. NetBeans and the JVM now support native Ruby and JRuby. I think Sun believes Ruby will eventually replace Java.

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