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Thread: Has Sun Given Up on the Desktop?

  1. #106
    David Bayley Guest

    Re: Has Sun Given Up on the Desktop?

    Rob Abbe wrote:

    > I can sum up Microsofts "Excellent Support" of it's developers in
    > three chars... VB6


    Yeah, the Unix/Java community learnt a lot from managed VMs combined
    with simple languages such as VB! I can't imagine what sort of spin you
    are going to put on the unmitigated success of VB.

    >> So let me get this straight. Because MS wanted to use P/Invoke for
    >> platform specific native calls, instead of supporting Sun's slow and,
    >> ahem, developer unfriendly, JNI, you read this as a "blatantly
    >> obvious" strategy to build dependence on Windows?

    >
    > There was alot more to it that just JNI... RMI for example was
    > missing. This is just another example of the embrace extend and
    > eliminate that we have seen from Microsoft over the years.


    I was responding to Brad's point about calling native platform
    functions. Perhaps you can answer that?

    You're right that RMI was the other big sticking point. But it's a
    similar issue. The contract MS originally signed with Sun in order to
    implement a language and runtime, was extending beyond its scope to
    define a platform. DCOM and CORBA already provided RPC functionality,
    and these are being replaced with standard SOAP web services by the W3C.
    The problem was that RMI was limited to Java-the-language in it's
    transition to Java-the-platform, and completely controlled by Sun (still
    is now, but less so).

    Surely, with hindsight, you can understand the politics that were at
    play here when Sun maintained tight control over the Java specs? JNI
    and RMI extended the scope, effectively leaving MS as nothing but an
    implementor of Sun's design. Thankfully, MS didn't roll-over, and we
    still have a competitive development environment (.NET vs Java).

    >> I don't get it. Why did Sun introduce JNI as a required standard,
    >> if by definition, it is for making platform specific native calls.
    >> Are you saying that JNI promotes portability because it is slow and
    >> cumbersome compared to P/Invoke?!? Either you have a way to call
    >> native code or you don't!

    >
    > It was for making native calls in a common way. I agree it could
    > have been better, but that is beside the point. If it's supposed to
    > be there to bare the Java brand, then it should have been there.


    That is a tautology, not a justification.

    >> I guess we disagree on what makes a "platform". For me, Visual Basic
    >> and Smalltalk, for example, are languages, even though they also
    >> contain a VM runtime. Admittedly it is a difficult distinction to
    >> make, but given the scope of J2ME/J2SE/J2EE, and the replacement of
    >> Windows platform features under the guise of "portability", Java is
    >> effectively a platform itself that is *emulated* on the OSs it runs
    >> on.

    >
    > Java is both platform and language. Java is an abstraction of a
    > computer. It understands byte code rather than a specific machine
    > language. This is becoming the norm for software plafrorms because
    > it ensures binary compatibility of applications as long as the
    > platform has been ported to the desired CPU. You still have to
    > recompile VB applications to run on a new CPU architecture. Does
    > that clear it up?


    Nope, its wrong. Theoretically, VB byte codes could run on other
    platforms. Robert Scoble likes to remind us that Bill Gates personally
    told him that a VB VM for Mac was going to be delivered that would run
    VB byte code. It didn't happen, but it was quite feasible. Smalltalk,
    on the other hand, does have VMs for many platforms. VB and Smalltalk
    VMs pre-dated Java by years. The Delphi/Kylix CLX framework is an
    example that doesn't use a VM, and yet provides platform portability,
    albeit with a platform-specific compilation step.

    There are no doubt many more examples, but you are giving the Java
    architecture too much credit. The biggest driver for Java has been wide
    industry support on big iron, and justifiably so.

    >> No, you are missing the point. C#/CLI != .NET! C#/CLI is a standard
    >> foundational language and runtime. .NET is Microsoft's platform that
    >> implements that standard, and builds a proprietary platform on top of
    >> it. There is no distinction in Java, because Java *is* a platform in
    >> it's own right.

    >
    > No, he's hit it right on the head. Microsoft released the CLR and
    > CLI and C# to the ECMA however they control who can implement the
    > spec. To be more like Java ASP.Net would and the rest of the
    > platform would be released as well and the community would shape the
    > future of the platform. Right not Microsoft shapes that future. The
    > Java community process is far better.


    Well, the ECMA licensing terms for C#/CLI have not been announced yet
    AFAIK, but for now we can only assume that they will be "reasonable and
    non-discriminatory" as required by the ECMA. So you are wrong to say
    that MS control who can implement those specs.

    For frameworks like ASP.NET built on the C#/CLI foundation, then you are
    correct, and that is what I am saying. C#/CLI != .NET. The ECMA
    members (MS, IBM, HP, etc.), will decide what gets added to the C#/CLI
    specs..

    >> Exactly, choice is important. The standard needs to be limited in
    >> scope to foundational elements, in order to promote differentiation
    >> in the frameworks built on that foundation. For Java certification,
    >> you need to support all the frameworks like Swing and J2EE. Why
    >> impose that on implementors if they'd rather implement better
    >> alternatives. I don't know if SWT will be successful or not, but I
    >> do think that Swing being a standard bundled with every JRE will
    >> severely restrict it's adoption.

    >
    > These things are required to be in place so that you can ensure that
    > your Java application will run on a Java certified runtime. Makes
    > sense to me. If you use something nonstandard, then it's your
    > responsibility to make sure everything required is installed. I want
    > to ensure that anywhere a Java platform exists, that my program will
    > run. With Java I get this right now. Why would I want it to change.
    > If Joe Blow were allowed to create his own Java runtime with the bits
    > and pieces he wants then there is no assurance my program will run
    > unless I always use his implementation. This is the direction that
    > .Net is headed and it sucks!!!!


    And this discriminates against SWT, since Sun dictate that every
    compliant JRE must support Swing. We were talking about choice, so if I
    *choose* to use SWT then I am faced with all the same problems above
    that you claim sucks for .NET. Are you promoting choice, or are you
    arguing that choice should be limited to implementing Swing APIs?

    >> You are a developer, not an end-user. End-user focus, is ultimately
    >> more important then Developer focus.

    >
    > Huh?


    I'm amazed you didn't understand that point. Perhaps this is the
    dividing line between Java and .NET advocates. My purpose as a
    developer is to provide solutions for my end-users, not to satisfy the
    needs of my development studio that might contain Windows, Mac, and
    Linux OSs.

    >> The whole value proposition of Java is based around reducing choice
    >> by standardizing the APIs. Sure, you have vendor choice, but the
    >> platform is the same for end-users and developers. There is little
    >> room for diversity.

    >
    > This is beneficial for both the customer and the developer. Most
    > importantly the customer is not locked into one vendor and is assured
    > that their investment will live on if they change vendors. The
    > developer need only one set of APIs to leverage a large number of
    > vendors platforms. The vendors are free to perform the
    > implementation as they choose as long as the interface is compatible
    > with the spec. How is this bad? Everyone wins.


    Some customers (large enterprises) do care about being locked into one
    OS vendor. IME, most small-to-medium enterprises don't care about the
    OS vendor, they are far more concerned about being locked into the
    solution provider... you!!! Tell them you plan on using .NET/Java, and
    they'll nod patiently waiting for you to get to the point ;-)

    --
    David




  2. #107
    Jason Kaczor Guest

    Re: Has Sun Given Up on the Desktop?


    "Ovidiu Platon" <ovidiupl@microsoft-lab.pub.ro> wrote:
    >"Rob Abbe" <rabbe@mn.rr.com> wrote in message news:3d926c8c$1@10.1.10.29...
    >>
    >> Jason,
    >>
    >> Who other than Microsoft has had direct input on the direction of
    >> the .Net platform? I'm talking about the platform not the CLR or CLI.


    TC39 - Programming & Scripting Languages Committee
    Vice Chairman
    Mr. C. Lewis (Netscape)

    TC39 - C# Task Group
    Convenor
    Ms. C. Thompson (HP)

    TC39 - CLI Task Group
    Convenor
    Mr. S. Ruby (IBM)

    Feel free to look for yourself:
    http://www.ecma.ch

    And according to this, located at http://msdn.microsoft.com/net/ecma/default.asp

    <quote>
    Many of the organizations that have participated in the TC39/TG2 and TC39/TG3
    work have volunteered to mirror this site. The URLs for the mirror sites
    are:

    Fujitsu Software
    Hewlett-Packard
    Intel Corporation
    ISE
    Monash University
    </quote>

    >A whole bunch of developers who worked with Beta 1, Beta 2 and a Release


    Anyone in the beta has direct feedback, you can submit information which
    feeds directly to the product team.

    In addition univerities, research groups, partners and independant language
    vendors participated in the early betas, and will no doubt particpate in
    future ones.



  3. #108
    Jason Kaczor Guest

    Re: Has Sun Given Up on the Desktop?


    "Jason Kaczor" <jkaczor@acoupleanerds.com> wrote:
    >
    >>> the .Net platform? I'm talking about the platform not the CLR or CLI.


    Hmmm, ok, I violated your "not the CLR or CLI", but I hate to tell you, the
    Java Community Process influences the specification, not the current code-base...
    Sure, ANYONE may participate in the Java Community Process, but ultimately
    Sun has the last word, and controls the standards, and enforces compliance...
    Now, if I were a large company, and had produced development tools based
    on someone elses' owned specification, I would not be happy if that changed
    at some point in the future. Face it, ultimately Sun controls Java, and
    companies like IBM will have to "play-ball" or fork.

    While, "ANYONE" may not easily join ECMA, there is enough representation
    from competing vendors (IBM, Netscape, Sun, etc) who hold membership to converge
    a standard. As is being proven by Mono & dotGNU, a formal specification
    publicly available (ECMA) can be implented. Perhaps in upcoming years, other
    interested parties (IBM, HP) who have representatives in the TC39 ECMA group
    might influence their respective companies to implement a .NET runtime...




  4. #109
    Jason Kaczor Guest

    Re: Has Sun Given Up on the Desktop?


    >Brad O'Hearne wrote:
    >
    > land. .NET is brought to you by MS - no one else.


    There is no reason it couldn't be implemented by someone else, the specifications
    are freely available.

    Now, I wouldn't run any production code on them yet, but Mono & dotGNU are
    implementing the ECMA C#/CLI specs...

    Of course, I would have no problem if HP or IBM would donate some time/money/resources
    to either one of those, or another implementation...

    Give it time. It's been less than a year since C#/CLI was ratified, I doubt
    IBM had a Java runtime 1 year after 1.0 was available, did it?


  5. #110
    Rob Abbe Guest

    Re: Has Sun Given Up on the Desktop?


    Jason,

    .Net is not open to the extend Java is. Even though C#, the CLI and CLR
    are managed by the ECMA, Microsoft controls who can implement the spec.
    They can drop the hammer down quickly on anyone who looks like a threat.

    Also, the rest of .Net I.E. the libraries and most of the framework are the
    property of Microsoft, they can change them at any time and there is no management
    in process to determine what libraries must be included. Until this happens,
    it is unlikely that cross platform .Net will be possible.

    Rob Abbe

    "Jason Kaczor" <jkaczor@acoupleanerds.com> wrote:
    >
    >>Brad O'Hearne wrote:
    >>
    >> land. .NET is brought to you by MS - no one else.

    >
    >There is no reason it couldn't be implemented by someone else, the specifications
    >are freely available.
    >
    >Now, I wouldn't run any production code on them yet, but Mono & dotGNU are
    >implementing the ECMA C#/CLI specs...
    >
    >Of course, I would have no problem if HP or IBM would donate some time/money/resources
    >to either one of those, or another implementation...
    >
    >Give it time. It's been less than a year since C#/CLI was ratified, I doubt
    >IBM had a Java runtime 1 year after 1.0 was available, did it?
    >



  6. #111
    Jason Kaczor Guest

    Re: Has Sun Given Up on the Desktop?


    "Rob Abbe" <rabbe@mn.rr.com> wrote:
    >
    >.Net is not open to the extend Java is.


    I can agree with that to a point, however ultimately Sun still owns and controls
    the specification. It is more open about allowing participation, but ultimately
    if Sun said; "screw it, I'm taking my ball and going home", there is nothing
    anyone could do.

    >Even though C#, the CLI and CLR
    >are managed by the ECMA, Microsoft controls who can implement the spec.



    That's not my understanding of how an ECMA spec works. Anyone is free to
    implement the spec, however the spec is not guaranteed to be "patent-free",
    therefore, if an implementor encroaches on a Microsoft-patent... boom, out
    come the lawyers... However, if someone chooses not to implement Java according
    to the spec, boom... out come the lawyers...

    >Also, the rest of .Net I.E. the libraries and most of the framework are


    >the property of Microsoft, they can change them at any time and there is



    No, there is a core set of libraries that is part of the ECMA spec. here:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/net/ecma/

    Notice the "CLI Partition IV - Library", or better yet, just grab the XML
    file for all standardized classes.

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/net/ecma/All.xml

    I believe the official title is the "Common Base Class Library", and by my
    rough count includes over 650 classes & interfaces.

    >it is unlikely that cross platform .Net will be possible.


    Some included namespaces:
    System.Net.*
    System.Runtime.Serialization.*
    System.IO
    System.Console
    System.Threading
    System.Runtime.Remoting.*
    System.Xml
    System.Xml.Xsl
    System.Xml.XPath
    System.Reflection.*

    ...
    Sure, System.Data (ADO.NET), WinForms and WebForms are not available.

    Frankly, I wouldn't expect them to be, personally I'd rather see alternative
    implementations of similar, but better designed functionality, especially
    in the case of WebForms (something that actually works with current W3C standards
    regarding the DOM, XHTML, etc.), ADO.NET can certainly be improved on, WinForms
    is definately platform-specific. However, there is no reason someone can't
    implement a cross-platform swing-like rich-forms interface...(all you need
    is a handle to a base surface, platform-specific yes, but then everything
    else would be your own library)

    Cross-platform GTK# exists, and works.

    >Rob Abbe


    Regards
    Jason Kaczor

  7. #112
    Jason Kaczor Guest

    Re: Has Sun Given Up on the Desktop?


    "Rob Abbe" <rabbe@mn.rr.com> wrote:
    >
    >Who other than Microsoft has had direct input on the direction of
    >the .Net platform? I'm talking about the platform not the CLR or CLI.


    Sun. IBM. Intel. Fujitsu. HP. Netscape. (see below)

    >Take a trip out to the Sun website and look at the Java Community
    >process.


    I've decided to take you up on your offer, and re-read some of the background
    on ECMA/ISO/JCP and Java vs C#, I've posted more than my share of links.

    Personally, I love the contrast between some of the old news items at:
    http://www.cetus-links.org/oo_java.h...eral_standards

    and:

    http://www.cetus-links.org/oo_csharp...harp_standards

    notice, there are no media articles talking about how Microsoft is attempting
    to maintain control of the C#/CLI/CLR/CBL specs?

    And, I have some opinions...

    from:

    http://jcp.org/introduction/faq/
    >Q: Does it cost anything to be a JCP member? Why?
    >A: The JSPA carries a nominal fee to cover administrative costs:
    >$5000/year annual fee for commercial entities
    >$2000/year annual fee for educational, governmental or non-profit
    >organizations
    >There is no fee for Java licensees.


    Hmmm, so, the barrier to entry is about the same as the ECMA.

    On further examination, I find:
    http://jcp.org/participation/membership/

    >individuals: $100


    So, the barrier to entry is probably lower than ECMA (I could not find any
    dollar figures, except that a company must make less than "XXX-francs", easily
    do-able to small independants.

    However, looking into Suns' trademark and licensing pages confirms that they
    do indeed "own" Java. However, Microsoft "owns" the ".NET" brand, which
    is their implementation of C#/CLI/CLR/CBL (Common Base Library).

    Then, I have to laugh, when I read the following:
    "The 100 Percent Pure JavaTM Certification Program has completed the Sun
    End of Life process and is no longer supported by Sun."

    located at:

    http://java.sun.com/100percent/

    So, is it now permissible to create applications using Java, without using
    Sun's JNI constructs, instead perhaps p/invoke logic?

    To easily confirm that Sun owns Java, I surf over to IBM... Everywhere I
    see Java, I also see "TM", everytime I download it, I see Sun Java logo's.
    Oh, IBM is a Java-licensee, yep, also a member of the JCP.

    Great, but ultimately, if Sun decides to quit, they are hooped...

    > Then tell me where the Microsoft community process is.


    http://www.ecma.ch

    And, just to nail the point home, this is quoted, from the front-page of
    ECMA:

    "This web site presents all aspects of ECMA and makes available the results
    of the ECMA standardization work to all interested persons and organizations,
    free of charge and copyright. "

    Looking into the bylaws for membership does not reveal how easy, or difficult
    it is to join, but I would think, that as a non-profit agency, it would be
    straightforward.

    Searching the publications leads to C#, CLI, etc, where I also notice the
    following:
    "This Standard will be included in version 12 of the ECMA CD-ROM; scheduled
    for February 2002. The CD-ROM can be ordered, free of charge, from documents@ecma.ch."

    Hmmm, within the architecture document, I notice the following, on Page1:

    "The following have participated in the work of ECMA TC39/TG3 and their contributions
    are gratefully acknowledged:
    Fujitsu Software Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, Intel Corporation, IBM Corporation,
    ISE, Microsoft Corporation, Monash University, Netscape, Phone.Com, Plum
    Hall, Sun Microsystems"

    On page 7, note "Conformance":

    "A system claiming conformance to this ECMA Standard shall implement all
    the mandatory requirements of this standard, and shall specify the profile
    (see Partition IV) that it implements. The minimal implementation is the
    Kernel Profile (see Partition IV). A conforming implementation may also include
    additional functionality that does not prevent running code written to rely
    solely on the profile as specified in this standard. For example, it may
    provide additional classes, new methods on existing classes, or a new interface
    on a standardized class, but it shall not add methods or properties to interfaces
    specified in this standard."

    and...

    "A compiler that generates Common Intermediate Language (CIL, see Partition
    III) and claims conformance to this ECMA Standard shall produce output files
    in the format specified in this standard and the CIL it generates shall be
    valid CIL as specified in this standard. Such a compiler may also claim that
    it generates verifiable code, in which case the CIL it generates shall be
    verifiable as specified in this standard."

    Huh, nowhere do I see any licensing issues, other than conforming to the
    **** spec.



  8. #113
    Andrew Eberhard Guest

    Re: Has Sun Given Up on the Desktop?


    It's at least as bad as everyone says and probably a whole lot worse.

    I found the suggestion that Sun start a spin campaign to label everything
    made with Swing laughable. From the second (well, usually after about thirty
    of them) you launch a Swing app you know your using one: as fast as frozen
    molasses.

    The old argument, the one Sun has used time and time again, is that poor
    programming practices cause it to be slow. Who cares? If I can write quick
    and dirty code in VS.Net that runs FAST, why should I pull my hair out with
    JBuilder trying not to use even a single extra clock cycle? By the author's
    own admission, processing speeds are increasing at unprecedented rates, making
    this argument all the more ridiculous. GUI programming, unlike GUI design,
    shouldn't have to be rocket science (and indeed it isn't in VS.Net nor was
    it in VS 6).

    Frankly, I refuse to program anything in Swing out of principal: I want
    to please my users. My users are not happy when applications take forever
    to load, fail to conform to the UI standards of the operating system on which
    they are run, or resize like version 1.0b of the Netscape Navigator.


    Andrew Eberhard



    "Lori Piquet" <lpiquet@devx.com> wrote:
    >Is Swing as bad as they say? Do you avoid writing desktop apps with Swing
    >because of real or perceived performance issues? Which is it: real or
    >perceived? Do you think Sun is remiss in its support of Java on the desktop?
    >
    >(Link to come shortly.)
    >
    >Lori Piquet
    >Editor-in-chief
    >DevX
    >
    >



  9. #114
    Jason Kaczor Guest

    Re: Has Sun Given Up on the Desktop?


    "MarkN" <m@n.com> wrote:
    >
    >Really, many have seen WSAD\Eclipse and had no clue it was written in
    >Java.
    > They were shocked.


    And that, my friends is why Sun *may* have a reason to be upset with its'
    Java licensee, IBM... They are introducing, promoting and using a GUI which
    drifts from the "swing" approach... (I'd guess "swinging" is supposed to
    be something done amongst friends...)





  10. #115
    MarkN Guest

    Re: Has Sun Given Up on the Desktop?


    Well, put them on the list with all the other vendors, etc. that have APIs
    that 'compete' with 'standard' Java APIs.

    I do believe IBM provided code for Swing or at least helped with it. I know
    they've done alot for the 'standard' Java APIs.

    Also, IBM just came out with WSAD 5.0 and it came with a built-in Visual
    Component editor (previously VAJ 4.0 had to be used). It is for Swing and
    AWT. Not SWT. No mention of it. Unlike that other tool by that other licensee
    that promoted their single platform API over the 'standard' (it had no gui
    development for AWT).

    IBM seems to taking the approach of 'See, it can be done'. I think an SWT
    editor for Eclipse/WSW/WSAD will appear. I don't think it will come directly
    from IBM.

    "Jason Kaczor" <jkaczor@acoupleanerds.com> wrote:
    >
    >"MarkN" <m@n.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>Really, many have seen WSAD\Eclipse and had no clue it was written in
    >>Java.
    >> They were shocked.

    >
    >And that, my friends is why Sun *may* have a reason to be upset with its'
    >Java licensee, IBM... They are introducing, promoting and using a GUI which
    >drifts from the "swing" approach... (I'd guess "swinging" is supposed to
    >be something done amongst friends...)
    >
    >
    >
    >



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