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Thread: Recommending a technology

  1. #16
    Joe \Nuke Me Xemu\ Foster Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology

    "Michael Gautier" <gautier_michael@hotmail.com> wrote in message <news:3d77ec0f$1@10.1.10.29>...

    > I guess I am looking for a fallback position that would be mutually
    > advantageous to the client and myself. The client needs something developed
    > rather quickly, we have all this .NET stuff developed (cost money in hourly
    > wages) and most of my experience is with Windows/Web based technologies. I
    > have skills and techniques in picking up new technologies (fast), but I
    > guess I am trying to figure out the best direction, dump .NET after doing
    > for such a while or do Java regardless of the decisions? Personally, my
    > manager is leaning towards Flash (he's hooked).


    Java and .NET aren't all that different. Compare Visual J++ and J#...
    However, you'll be just drifting in the middle of the ocean until you
    can all decide which continent you want to sail to and make it stick!

    --
    Joe Foster <mailto:jlfoster%40znet.com> "Regged" again? <http://www.xenu.net/>
    WARNING: I cannot be held responsible for the above They're coming to
    because my cats have apparently learned to type. take me away, ha ha!



  2. #17
    MarkN Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology


    >Java and .NET aren't all that different. Compare Visual J++ and J#...

    ... And then compare them to Java.

  3. #18
    Joe \Nuke Me Xemu\ Foster Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology

    "MarkN" <m@n.com> wrote in message <news:3d789442$1@10.1.10.29>...

    > >Java and .NET aren't all that different. Compare Visual J++ and J#...


    > .. And then compare them to Java.


    Yet none of the above have real destructors, unlike even Visual Basic 4.0!

    URL:http://www-106.ibm.com/developerwork...-jtc0319a.html

    That also applies to DONTNET, as do these:

    URL:http://cookcomputing.com/blog/archives/000078.html

    URL:http://cookcomputing.com/blog/archives/000080.html

    Just *** have they been smoking up there in Redmond, anyway?

    --
    Joe Foster <mailto:jlfoster%40znet.com> Sacrament R2-45 <http://www.xenu.net/>
    WARNING: I cannot be held responsible for the above They're coming to
    because my cats have apparently learned to type. take me away, ha ha!



  4. #19
    Markn Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology


    >What is the typical development tactic for Swing (or SWT)? Do you open a
    >Java Editor and start drag and drop or are the Swing forms and element
    >composed non visually?


    I [usually] use a Visual editor and build components. I use MVC so my view
    only contains view logic. Many others don't use one.

    >
    >What are the best tools for Java Client development and what are the
    >tradeoffs?
    >


    Pick your tool. I like Visual for Java and now WSAD(which it is replacing).
    There are quite a few out there and many like each. Any trade off is that
    usually the 'code' (or xml,etc) to display the GUI in the editor is specific
    to the tool. The GUI can be used and run in any tool - it may not be able
    to be visually edited. Some tools will let you convert from other tools.
    One reason some swear off Visual editors. The same problem will occur in
    .Net if any viable tools other than VS.Net appear for it.

    A free IDE that has a Swing editor is NetBeans.


  5. #20
    MarkN Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology


    We all have our biases. .Net is a good technology. So is Java. They each
    have their issues and FUD and it can be difficult to wade through them.


    I understand your investment in MS products. Unless you are going to try
    to convert them to .Net (not rewrite) I don't think moving into .Net will
    be much easier. Not if you want to use it well. .Net (and Java and C++)
    OO is much different than VB.

    No matter what the first implementation is (batch, web, whatever) the main
    logic is still the same. So if some things will run server-side (like batch)
    then what will the server enviroment be or possibly be? If it is anything
    but Windows then your choice excludes any Windows specific technology (and
    .Net is and will be for a while - Yeah I know about Mono). Any 'user inferface',
    which I include Browsers (HTML, FLASH, APPLET, etc), Heavy Clients (WinForms,
    Swing App, etc.) other Systems (batch, messaging system), Reports and whatever,
    should all use the same business logic and peristance. There might be different
    ways to connect to the 'main logic'. What do you want to deal with? Is
    it worth doing everything as a web service just so .Net can be used on the
    'client' and Java on the server (cause you have mainframes)? I would say
    not.

    As for Flash - it is cool but it has its own issues. You will be using two
    different technologies for client and server. So a translation will have
    to occur. And things always 'get lost in the translation'.

    Mark



  6. #21
    Guy Smith Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology


    "Michael Gautier" <gautier_michael@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >What is the typical development tactic for Swing (or SWT)? Do you open a
    >Java Editor and start drag and drop or are the Swing forms and element
    >composed non visually?
    >
    >What are the best tools for Java Client development and what are the
    >tradeoffs?


    Java, unlike VB, uses code to build the UI. Each widget is manually placed
    and layered on the display. Most IDEs automate this, allowing a form of
    drag and drop. I have used a few versions of Oracle's JDeveloper which is
    the same as Borland JBuilder (or other way around). When dragging and dropping,
    in behind the scenes, the IDE is building code that represents the selected
    UI widgets. This code is typically ugly and is extremely fragile as the
    IDE needs to be able to parse it, in order to display it. Make any changes
    to the auto-generated code and the parser will likely get confused. Once
    confused, the drag and drop features no longer work and the IDE's UI display
    no longer works. In the end, development is reduced to manually creating
    the UI layout and running the app to see what has been made. Other IDEs
    might not have this problem, but I doubt it. Java lacks in the IDE camp,
    although it has come a LONG way in the last few years. IMHO the IDEs are
    now to the level of being "acceptable".

    Guy

  7. #22
    Guy Smith Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology


    >If the applet can be configured to work offline, how would your delivery
    >mechanism work?


    Applets update when the user browses to the main site. If a newer applet
    exists it is auto-downloaded (if the browser is set to do so). You cannot
    control the browser settings however so, if the user changes them, your application
    will not update as expected.

    The method I presented is meant to work with desktop Java (non-applet) applications.

    >I suspect that offlining an application delivered via a browser (Flash or
    >Applet) would mean using a static html page and having the user enable the
    >page to be viewed offline via browser options. Does anyone know if this

    is
    >the correct assumption (trying to get a heads up before full research
    >begins).


    This is what I was refering to with applets. Note that I have not done this
    before (with applets), but I see no reason for it not to work. To test *for
    sure* find a page with a self contained applets somewhere and try it.

    An web-page will not be off-lined properly if if it uses ASP, as the browser
    can only cache whatever it can freely download.

    I did some digging on the Sun site and found the app that I was talking about.
    It auto-deploys client side applications (same method as I was trying to
    explain). It is called "Web Start". Looks as though it has been integrated
    into the standard Java 2 platform as of version 1.4. Here is an article:


    http://developer.java.sun.com/develo...gramming/jnlp/

    Why roll your own when one already exists! Nice solution to most deployment
    problems and web vs app discussions. I am suprised it doesn't get more recognition.
    If you every to use Web Start, I'd love to hear your experience with it.

    Guy



  8. #23
    Alan Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology


    If this is a complicated data entry GUI, then this applies. If it's ten lines
    and two buttons, what's the big deal?

    I ran into this with a product I implemented for a large EDI translator vendor.
    Their solution was ActiveX controls which limited both the server and client
    platforms to Microsoft. The ability to quickly modify the code for customer
    specific data entry screens made the product work somewhat along with the
    ability to enter data off-line, but it eventually failed due to the complexity
    of the application issues at that time (about three years ago ActiveX controls
    over the web, YECH!).

    Their second attempt at a solution was an XML based application that utilized
    JavaScript and XSLT transforms. This provided the "thin client", but required
    that the client stay connected to a web server. We all know the problems
    that surround this, so I won't go into it here.

    I have also had experience with Java solutions for the very task before you.
    Those solutions suffered from the same issues that have plagued Java from
    the start. Many of these issues have been addressed in the past few years,
    however. Your ramp up time will more than blow out the three months of development
    time you have. Without a debugger and working from a VB background you will
    be lost and the code will be filled with logic errors like you wouldn't believe.

    My point is this: Many compaines (big companies) have tried to do what you
    have been asked to do and failed. These companies had many years and big
    budgets. You have neither the time nor I'll venture to guess the money.


    You stated that this was a mainframe only shop until recently when it went
    client server. I see this project being the same mistake that many other
    mainframe shops have made before them. They have no real idea what is involved
    in attempting such a distributed project, they have not talked to anyone
    who has attempted such a project and you get the "Pointy Haired Boss" line
    "Anything I don't understand must therefore be trivial." moving into play.

    Platform independence is a pie in the sky desire. Java, for all it's greatness,
    does not delive true platform independance because the VM's out there are
    not all the same. I come from many years of experience with Java across
    platforms when I make this statement.

    Save yourself and your company quite a bit of frustration. Wait until you
    have a better handle on the only technologies that are going to come close
    to being what the project requires in my opinion, Flash and Adobe. There
    are to many pitfalls with the other choices.

  9. #24
    MarkN Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology


    <Q>
    Platform independence is a pie in the sky desire. Java, for all it's greatness,
    does not delive true platform independance because the VM's out there are
    not all the same. I come from many years of experience with Java across
    platforms when I make this statement.
    </Q>

    Many others have and are successfully accomplishing this goal. It is not
    alway 100% (i.e. CICS on PCs?). Java platform independence is over-hyped
    but it is not pie in the sky. You do have to plan for it. And it is better
    than nothing at all. While Flash is cool and creates cool interfaces, it
    brings up alot of other issues (Single vendor, etc.).

  10. #25
    Someone Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology


    "MarkN" <m@n.com> wrote:
    >
    ><Q>
    >Platform independence is a pie in the sky desire. Java, for all it's greatness,
    >does not delive true platform independance because the VM's out there are
    >not all the same. I come from many years of experience with Java across
    >platforms when I make this statement.
    ></Q>
    >
    >Many others have and are successfully accomplishing this goal. It is not
    >alway 100% (i.e. CICS on PCs?). Java platform independence is over-hyped
    >but it is not pie in the sky. You do have to plan for it. And it is better
    >than nothing at all. While Flash is cool and creates cool interfaces, it
    >brings up alot of other issues (Single vendor, etc.).


    I'm afraid you're going to need to be a wee more specific than that. Single
    Vendor? Technically Java is single vendor as well. Sun. If you're talking
    about libraries and such, there is an ever-growing supply of third party
    movies out there to use as objects within your flash application.

    The technology is certainly "different" from conventional application development,
    but they are taking steps to present Flash in a manner where "programming"
    can be applied to create web applications. Though it isn't a tool that you
    would use alone, something has to be on the back end to provide the functionality
    for retrieving data, etc. (Java, ASP, etc.)

    Someone

  11. #26
    MarkN Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology


    >I'm afraid you're going to need to be a wee more specific than that.

    Why? Look around. Others and I have defined this many times. No one really
    seems to listen anyway.

    >Single Vendor? Technically Java is single vendor as well. Sun.

    Not really. Sun really has token control of Java. The current implementation
    was the result of many companies (IBM, etc.). Those who have token knowledge
    of Java think Java==Sun. This hasn't been true for years.

    >Though it isn't a tool that you
    >would use alone, something has to be on the back end to provide the functionality
    >for retrieving data, etc. (Java, ASP, etc.)

    Yep. And that usually means using at least two different languages and dealing
    with the differences and how to connect them and not duplicate too much code/logic.


  12. #27
    Michael Gautier Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology

    We've already completed the Batch Application, and it is written in .NET.
    Many hours of my time (I am the only implementer/technical designer,
    mainframe oriented partner couldn't adapt), getting this application right,
    so forth and so on. So do you rewrite the server applications in Java so
    that the client would be the same or do you continue to leverage your hard
    earned expertise in .NET for web services and isolate your weaknesses to the
    client only?

    They say they can't lend anymore resources to the project (this is a company
    wide phenomenon) so I am all they got. My contract ends in December but is
    likely to be extended under normal circumstances, but I was wondering if I
    should bow out so they could get someone more technically experienced (in
    Java) to better handle this application or do I just suck it up and slide
    into the open source world.

    The majority of the application development managers want to stay
    Microsoft/Mainframe. The infrastructure guys (help desk, network operations,
    data center, dbas) who control the budget want to go Java/Linux and put
    WebSphere on the Mainframe. I have a feeling that I am on the one project
    that will decide the technology direction for an entire organization.
    Everyone was moving (slowly) towards .NET because of the trail I blazed, but
    if this turns into a Java application, the infrastructure guys will finally
    gain the momemtum necessary to influence everyone else. Applications says
    that the Microsoft developers (mostly VB) can't adapt to Linux/Java. If I do
    it, the infrastructure guys will once again tell applications what
    technology they should use. I always thought programmers were in control,
    obviously not. So my managers went and proposed the choices (Java, C++, and
    Flash) to the infrastructure guys for approval (budget thing). My boss's
    boss decided in favor of Flash (I had no recommendation, because of the risk
    of the wrong choice in the case) because of the .NET remoting. The
    infrastructure guys said why not use Java. They are just ready. First we
    could use SQL Server, had to use Oracle, period. Now, once they push
    everyone into Java there will never be any Windows, period (because they
    want to migrate the desktops too).

    Short term, my productivity will be shot to **** and the only choice this
    company will have is to replace those that can't adapt right away and start
    over. There are dozens of Microsoft developers here and thousands, upon
    thousands of lines of COM code. I don't care about all of that, I can pick
    up Java and I have run Linux, but I do worry that I will have to start over
    in a sense as I don't understand all things Java or all things Linux/Open
    Source.

    Thanks for your input though, while the cold reality is somewhat ominous to
    me, I beginning to understand more.




    "MarkN" <m@n.com> wrote in message news:3d791492$1@10.1.10.29...
    >
    > We all have our biases. .Net is a good technology. So is Java. They

    each
    > have their issues and FUD and it can be difficult to wade through them.
    >
    >
    > I understand your investment in MS products. Unless you are going to try
    > to convert them to .Net (not rewrite) I don't think moving into .Net will
    > be much easier. Not if you want to use it well. .Net (and Java and C++)
    > OO is much different than VB.
    >
    > No matter what the first implementation is (batch, web, whatever) the main
    > logic is still the same. So if some things will run server-side (like

    batch)
    > then what will the server enviroment be or possibly be? If it is anything
    > but Windows then your choice excludes any Windows specific technology (and
    > Net is and will be for a while - Yeah I know about Mono). Any 'user

    inferface',
    > which I include Browsers (HTML, FLASH, APPLET, etc), Heavy Clients

    (WinForms,
    > Swing App, etc.) other Systems (batch, messaging system), Reports and

    whatever,
    > should all use the same business logic and peristance. There might be

    different
    > ways to connect to the 'main logic'. What do you want to deal with? Is
    > it worth doing everything as a web service just so .Net can be used on the
    > 'client' and Java on the server (cause you have mainframes)? I would say
    > not.
    >
    > As for Flash - it is cool but it has its own issues. You will be using

    two
    > different technologies for client and server. So a translation will have
    > to occur. And things always 'get lost in the translation'.
    >
    > Mark
    >
    >




  13. #28
    Michael Gautier Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology

    MVC makes sense and it is the pattern I use. I think patterns in general are
    a preferred design mechanism over reinvention. Anyway, have you tried,
    JBuilder 7, because I downloaded trial and could find the visual stuff at
    all. I used to play with JBuilder back in 1998-1999 and found the Visual
    Forms designer much more accessible than it appears now. I will try it
    again. I will probably try and get a copy of JDeveloper and WSAD. The
    infrastructure I am with is very partial to IBM and Oracle so the tools from
    them will be the way. I imagine JDeveloper integrates with Oracle better
    than WSAD, but WSAD may be better for a wider range of developments. If
    JDeveloper makes writing Java Stored Procedures easier it may be better for
    data centric development and might be even better if it visual forms
    designer holds up well. WSAD gears you towards the mainframe and my bosses
    have a greater interest in that direction. So if they ask me for a tool
    recommendation, what would you think?


    "Markn" <m@n.com> wrote in message news:3d791077$1@10.1.10.29...
    >
    > >What is the typical development tactic for Swing (or SWT)? Do you open a
    > >Java Editor and start drag and drop or are the Swing forms and element
    > >composed non visually?

    >
    > I [usually] use a Visual editor and build components. I use MVC so my

    view
    > only contains view logic. Many others don't use one.
    >
    > >
    > >What are the best tools for Java Client development and what are the
    > >tradeoffs?
    > >

    >
    > Pick your tool. I like Visual for Java and now WSAD(which it is

    replacing).
    > There are quite a few out there and many like each. Any trade off is

    that
    > usually the 'code' (or xml,etc) to display the GUI in the editor is

    specific
    > to the tool. The GUI can be used and run in any tool - it may not be able
    > to be visually edited. Some tools will let you convert from other tools.
    > One reason some swear off Visual editors. The same problem will occur in
    > Net if any viable tools other than VS.Net appear for it.
    >
    > A free IDE that has a Swing editor is NetBeans.
    >




  14. #29
    Michael Gautier Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology

    What would you say is the best editor for Swing? What's the deal with this
    Eclipse SWT library. Is it better than Swing?

    Should one stay away from Eclipse and go with a commercial implementation or
    would the open source Eclipse do?


    "Guy Smith" <no@email.kk> wrote in message news:3d7cbd15$1@10.1.10.29...
    >
    > "Michael Gautier" <gautier_michael@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > >What is the typical development tactic for Swing (or SWT)? Do you open a
    > >Java Editor and start drag and drop or are the Swing forms and element
    > >composed non visually?
    > >
    > >What are the best tools for Java Client development and what are the
    > >tradeoffs?

    >
    > Java, unlike VB, uses code to build the UI. Each widget is manually

    placed
    > and layered on the display. Most IDEs automate this, allowing a form of
    > drag and drop. I have used a few versions of Oracle's JDeveloper which is
    > the same as Borland JBuilder (or other way around). When dragging and

    dropping,
    > in behind the scenes, the IDE is building code that represents the

    selected
    > UI widgets. This code is typically ugly and is extremely fragile as the
    > IDE needs to be able to parse it, in order to display it. Make any

    changes
    > to the auto-generated code and the parser will likely get confused. Once
    > confused, the drag and drop features no longer work and the IDE's UI

    display
    > no longer works. In the end, development is reduced to manually creating
    > the UI layout and running the app to see what has been made. Other IDEs
    > might not have this problem, but I doubt it. Java lacks in the IDE camp,
    > although it has come a LONG way in the last few years. IMHO the IDEs are
    > now to the level of being "acceptable".
    >
    > Guy




  15. #30
    Michael Gautier Guest

    Re: Recommending a technology

    What is better, to have a rich UI and overcome the development (coding)
    inconveniences or to have robust coding, but traditional UI?


    "Steve" <stevepyn@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:3d77cce4$1@10.1.10.29...
    >
    > Flash MX is developing into a very powerful tool.
    >
    > One problem with using Java applets/plugins is that they can tend to be a
    > bit sluggish, and in a nutshell, they don't have much "flash". ;]
    >
    > Flash has much closer ties to XML now for handling data access. This is an
    > arena that I am just getting started with, but you can do just about

    anything
    > you'd ever want from a data-meets-user application in Flash as you can in
    > other platforms. It is fully object oriented, but be prepared for a

    *completely*
    > different programming experience. For a starter, Flash does *no* syntax

    checking,
    > so if you're a relatively undisciplined coder you could be in for a pretty
    > rough ride. Flash won't give you compiler errors, or even run-time errors,
    > it just skips whatever it doesn't understand. Your first project should be
    > an in-movie debugger window.
    >
    > Basically everything you'll need to know about developing "applications"
    > in Flash is covered very well in two books published by Macromedia.

    Beginner
    > and Advanced Flash.
    >
    > Benefits: *Very* rich user interface. Completely portable with a

    ridiculously
    > small runtime plug-in that installs in seconds. Can be hosted on a local
    > machine using a couple different techniques.
    >
    > Risks: Often times obtuse & unforgiving development environment.
    >
    > Steve.
    >




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