Saturday, May 26, 2007

Rebranding the Applet for Web 2.1

With the exciting introduction of JavaFX script, we now have a scripting language to quickly create a GUI applications with access to Swing and the Java 2D library that can be deployed anywhere. The very easy way of specifying GUI components is very attractive and the databinding features I find very handy. So for development this is all good news, as far as I am concerned.

Now Java Web Start makes for fairly easy deployment of our applications to the desktop and downloading the required libraries doesn't seem too much of a hassle as you are starting a desktop application. But incorporating your application in web page through an applet is a different story. People expect quick and hasslefree loading of a web page. And in worst case people will have to download the complete JRE, which has grown way too large, and then deal with security warnings and so on.

Now take Flash. Very easy deployment, smooth and hasslefree for the end user. It's hard not to be a little jealous of flash developers in that regard. And Flash has succesfully matured and people accept it as a serious technology for fullblown applications.

I think there are still a lot of people out there, for whom applets are just a somewhat outdated tool to create foldout menus and images with ripple effects. And that is a problem. Ajax have dominated Web 2.0, but applets have so much to offer and could make for even more rich internet applications.

In my opinion time to rework and rebrand the applet making it an attractive alternative in the web space, that we as developers can integrate easily and our users can appreciate. Maybe we can make it in time for Web 2.1?

Friday, May 25, 2007

What's hot today? A vietnamese dress?

So, Google introduced Hot Trends a few days ago. This service will show you the current hot search terms, and how they relate to recent news and blog posts and they show of course a list of relevant search results. This is very entertaining. Now we just have to find a way to make it relevant as well. Looking at the list today, I was somewhat surprised to find that a spicy hot search term, and the second most popular term was "vietnamese dress". Imagine that!

Anyway, this Google service is definately worth looking at. Read the
Official Google Blog: What's hot today?

Monday, May 21, 2007

JavaOne - Ajax and then some

Well, JavaOne 2007 is done and over with. This was my second time attending, so this time around I had the cool "Alumni"-badge along with some additional perks. The idea of awarding you for returning to the conference is quite ok - and if you travel alone or with other alumnis, then you might actually enjoy the alumni benefits. But in my case, I travelled with a group, so my alumni experience was reduced to a nice little USB-hub with Duke's on it. Cool gadget though!

Does anyone still remember 2005? That was the year Ajax was hyped as new and cool, and we all celebrated the 10th birthday of Java. A little on the nerdy side, but ok then. That was my first JavaOne, and needless to say, that conference made quite an impression on me. So after hearing all about Ajax and the "new" possibilities to do partial page updates, I went home and played around with the technology and found some good uses for it too. All pages should have a progress bar, right?!

Since then, Ajax has matured and found its way into about a trillion different frameworks. So I was quite surprised to find sessions at JavaOne 2007, where speakers were still excited and amazed to tell the audience that with this "new" Ajax, you can update content on your web page without a complete refresh! Wow...Ok, maybe some developers going to JavaOne had never heard about Ajax. But I find that very unlikely.

Anyway, some cool projects were promoted at this JavaOne. My favorites were:
the JavaScript-wrapper project: jMaki
BD-J - Blu-ray for Java (There's a cool competition open now!)
and of course: JavaFX Script

Well, more on that later.

That's all for my first blog post.