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Sun Microsystems Software

Sun To Build World's Biggest App Store Around Java 325

Posted by samzenpus
from the would-you-like-apps-with-that dept.
CWmike writes "Sun Micro plans to launch an App Store that could make Apple's look smaller than a 7-Eleven by comparison, CEO Jonathan Schwartz wrote on his blog this week. Schwartz indicated the Java App Store, code-named Project Vector, will focus on PC users and estimated the size of the community at 1 billion. Sun plans to allow Java application developers to submit programs to a simple Web site so the company can evaluate them for safety and content before presenting them to the Java audience. Sun will charge for distribution. The company will reveal more details at its JavaOne conference, which opens June 2 in San Francisco, Schwartz said."
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Sun To Build World's Biggest App Store Around Java

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  • I was (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:23AM (#28036079)
    I was going to write a first post, but I got bought-out by Oracle before I could finish it.
  • by marciot (598356) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:23AM (#28036081)

    Would you like an Oracle database with that?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Sun doesn't have sales pitches. They just add anything they want to promote as an extra 'feature' of their always running java updater / open office pimp.

  • by Shag (3737) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:24AM (#28036095) Homepage

    ...so I could suffer the meta-frustration of waiting for a Java applet to load so I could then buy some Java applets and wait for them to load.

  • This could be a software repository for all PC's.
  • The problem... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:35AM (#28036145)

    The problem with this idea, is that PC users already have an App Store... It's called the Internet. Or Walmart.

    Seriously, there's no incentive to use their Java App Store on an open system (home computer) which is very much unlike with the iPhone, where you have to use it in order to get apps.

    • Re:The problem... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SwabTheDeck (1030520) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:46AM (#28036501)

      The problem with this idea, is that PC users already have an App Store... It's called the Internet. Or Walmart.

      Seriously, there's no incentive to use their Java App Store on an open system (home computer) which is very much unlike with the iPhone, where you have to use it in order to get apps.

      The idea of an "App Store" is appealing, even when you're not forced into using it. It simplifies the acquisition of software by giving every product an identical and simple way of buying and installing it. This, of course, has existed for forever in the F/OSS world in the form of package managers/repositories, but this doesn't really exist on Windows, which (*gasp*) is still what the vast majority of people use.

      Right now, if you want software for your Windows box, you can go to the store and buy a CD/DVD, pop it in, click through an annoying wizard and you're done. OR you go the internet route, which can get unnecessarily complex for the average user. This involves finding the software (if you're lucky, google will point you a primary or trustworthy source), paying for it(which usually involves creating an account for every product you buy since they're all from different vendors), downloading it, decompressing it (which can involve dealing with any of the existing compression schemes, which you may or may not have software to decompress), installing it (if you're lucky, it may just be an executable and your life will be easy), and possibly authenticating it (which requires annoying hoops to jump through as well as providing personal information).

      While I'm not a fan of one company having a monopoly over software distribution, it can definitely simplify the process. You're able to find everything from a trusted source. You only have to make one account. You can then install anything you want with one click, iTunes style. This isn't something that's meant just for your grandma, either. I'd love to save the headache of sifting through all the crap to get something new up and running. It worked for Apple, it worked for Valve, and it's certainly possible that it'll work for Sun.

      • Re:The problem... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SwabTheDeck (1030520) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:51AM (#28036517)
        One more thing I forgot to add: software updates. Right now, most products have their own method of updating. You might be prompted for a new version and have the option to download it in-place. You may be redirected to a web site where you can download it form. You may have to explicitly tell the product to check for an update. Or, if you're exceptionally unlucky, the product may not have any soft of update mechanism in place, in which case it's up to you to keep on top of it. In a world where almost no software is shipped as "complete" anymore, updating is critical.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Why not just build the app store on top of apt? It's already a stable mature package management system, all you have to do is add package restriction and a payment mechanism.

        You could even call it the Apt Store!

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Actually, there are lots of great Java apps like SQuirrel or JUDE, that don't have a place on Linux distributions and this maybe an incentive for the guys behind them to continue the great work they're doing, an easier way to contract OSS services or just colaborate with them. Also, if this also means a simpler way to keep them updated, great!

        Hehehe... would you like a database with that... genius

      • Re:The problem... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by VGPowerlord (621254) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @09:36AM (#28038647) Homepage

        There are several "app stores" already for PCs, they've just concentrated on games in the past.

        Steam [steampowered.com] is a really good example of this, including automatic updates.

    • by mcrbids (148650) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @03:11AM (#28036597) Journal

      If having an open system was suffucient, then yum, apt, portage, and similar tools for *nix would be non-starters. I would argue that there doesn't exist a more 'open' environment than the free UNIX movement. Yet nobody wants to go back to the old ways of downloading tarballs and hunting deps.

      People want to get to their apps easily, they want to have confidence that the apps won't hork their systems, etc. I avoid packages that aren't in one of a few repos just because of the hassle of updates, etc.

      This isn't just a good idea, it's one that Sun shoulda done years ago and if they do it right, we'll all be talking about how Larry pulled the rug out from under MS in a few years. Seriously, I'd consider switching my company's flagship product to Java just so I could sell it on this app store if they make it actually work, and don't kill the brilliance of this idea with lameness!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by master5o1 (1068594)
      Incentive: Tested applications that are proven not to be malware. Sure, Google may offer the same thing as any software repository, but can you be sure that what you've just found isn't malware? Can you? Can you really?
    • The solution... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xest (935314) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @04:37AM (#28036897)

      Yet people use apt-get instead of just downloading the tgz's directly on Linux, why is that?

      Because if you do have a centralised app repository that is extremely easy to use and which contains quality, tested applications it's much easier to use than searching the internet for something that may or may not do what you want and may or may not be trojan infested.

    • by jhol13 (1087781)

      Unless the Java applications are run in a sandbox (like Java Web Apps are).

      Maybe people would feel safer with them and more willing to pay for them rather than to virus scanners and such.

      I do have my doubts as people are probably not educated enough to know the difference.

  • oh great.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by davygrvy (868500)

    It'll crash every other browser at random times with strange exception errors, will take 10 minutes to load a page, I'm just so for it..

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm taking bets... what's going to be slower, Sun's Java App Store or Adobe's Marketplace?

    The only upside is I'll go outside and get a life while waiting for a craptastic widget to download.

  • If they don't provide parental controls, re:apple's current retarded setup. So applications that contain cusswords, explicit lyrics, or you know rss feeds. How are they differentiating themselves from Apple

    Further, why don't they deploy this to J2ME platforms as well?

    • by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:17AM (#28036327)

      Schwartz kept mentioning JavaFX, so this in theory does mean phones too.

      While Swing is a desktop platform requiring a full Java SE, JavaFX is supposed to target different devices. Now it so happens that the desktop implementation of JavaFX runs as an abstraction over Java2D and the AWT but this needn't be the case. Today's OMAP3 smart phone is plenty powerful enough for many small screen desktop Java SE apps, RAM excepted. (you wouldn't run eclipse on it!)

      So while Swing and SWT may have too much 'bloat', the idea is to create a movement around JavaFX that has a smaller footprint so that they'll try to sell JavaFX applications that run identically on a desktop and a phone.

  • by HumanEmulator (1062440) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:49AM (#28036213)

    I think this is a great idea, but it raises a lot of questions. Like... if it takes Apple a week to make sure a calculator app is safe enough for the iPhone, how is Sun going to review desktop-size apps in any reasonable amount of time?

    • Better question.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:59AM (#28036249) Homepage Journal

      Why do they need to review it? Can't they enforce a safe subset and give the user graded security options.. I kinda remember that being the point of the Java sandbox.

      Apps that are only allowed to read/write to restricted local storage and can only access files that the user specifically selected with an Open/Save File Dialog sounds plenty secure to me. Some similar restrictions for socket access.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Actually use a managed programming language which uses technical measures to enforce restrictions on what programs are allowed to do? Like, say, Java?
  • Less is more (Score:4, Interesting)

    by presidenteloco (659168) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:50AM (#28036215)

    One thing about the iphone, love it or hate it, is that the apps on it all use the same constrained user interface, and thus many of the same ui widgets and conventions.

    This, for users, makes Apple app store apps EASY TO USE.

    Also, each one is resource constrained, and ui constrained, so it is SINGLE PURPOSE, making it trivial to explain and no fuss to use.

    People can get started using their app easily and are seldom disappointed, and NEVER confused in their attempt to use the app. It just works.

    And it costs from 0 to $5 bucks (vast majority).

    The above are REQUIREMENTS for a mass consumer software distribution infrastructure.

    I hope sun doesn't screw up by allowing freedom to put whatever the heck program you want on there, following whatever ui conventions you want, and with 100 buttons each.

    EPIC FAIL if so.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:17AM (#28036325)

      One thing about the iphone, love it or hate it, is that the apps on it all use the same constrained user interface, and thus many of the same ui widgets and conventions.

      Have you SEEN a good sampling of iPhone apps?

      While there are some conventions around things like pinching, the UI is anything but constrained and app UI's are all over the map, very few apps use the standard widgets for example without at least some tweaking or changes. I mean this in a good way, because the wide variety of ways to input or manipulate leads to some great finds.

      The only constants in the app store are the inputs for an app, not how an app might use them... people crave variety, and on that front a store that can succeed really engages people to discover different things.

      Now the ironic thing is your summary was right on target - less is more. The most successful apps have focused very narrowly and done a great job in refining the UI for that task. To the degree that is possible in Java (and it very much is) the store could succeed.

  • Geez, Mr. Ellison (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:53AM (#28036223) Homepage

    1. Probably the largest developer base short of Javascript.
    2. Unemployment is through the roof.
    3. Corporations looking for ways to cut costs.
    4. Open Source hackers continue their enjoyment of food and shelter.
    5. Oracle got Sun for pennies.

    If this was your idea, Mr. Ellison, take another sailboat out of petty cash. You've earned it.

  • Meh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:59AM (#28036245)

    Still-born hype for JavaFX, Sun's shiny new device agnostic platform.

    As we've seen with the recent article about JRE security on OS X, users are generally reluctant to run client-side Java. Swing hasn't managed much traction, with desktop consumers overwhelmingly preferring native apps. Somehow a new JavaFX facade over JNLP/Applets and an App Store will change this?

    Phones may be a different story but I suspect any JavaFX adoption would be significantly trail iPhone and Android in terms of relevance. Perhaps 3 years too late.

    What would Larry do if he were running Sun? :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      You missed the point. They aren't just going to sell Java apps there, they're going to sell all kinds of apps. And, judging by phrases like "... network service to connect companies of all sizes and types to the roughly one billion Java users all over the world", they're just going to bundle it with JRE and /or JavaFX, and then hope that the install base for the latter is enough to make people come to them looking for a distribution channel.

      I seriously doubt that will work out. If anything, it's just going

      • Maybe I did, though the only mention of non-Java apps was a google toolbar mechanism.

        If this were the case for Windows users, shareware authors might flock to repackage their stuff for the Java-Store instead of download.com

        I'll stick with apt-get.

        Anyway, as far as the JRE goes, these days most linux distros bundle their own openjdk. So it's only Windows users that have to put up with all the extra nagware and registration screens that Sun may bundle in the installer.

        • Maybe I did, though the only mention of non-Java apps was a google toolbar mechanism.

          I've already cited it in my other post, but I'll repeat it here for convenience. Straight from TFA:

          "This creates opportunity for everyone in the developer community - and specifically, for any developer (even those not using Java/JavaFX) seeking to reach beyond the browser to create a durable relationship with their customers"

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:39AM (#28036453)

      As we've seen with the recent article about JRE security on OS X, users are generally reluctant to run client-side Java.

      Eclipse alone shows just how wrong you are - if there were not also apps like Limewire as an example.

      Normal users don't even know what the hell the JRE is, nor do they care how secure it is at any moment. Give them an installer and care not at all what the app they are about to use is written in.

      Swing hasn't managed much traction, with desktop consumers overwhelmingly preferring native apps.

      Incorrect. DEVELOPERS have preferred writing native apps. But what if suddenly a lot of useful small utilities appear here, and more and more people start using the app store - people didn't get in on the iPhone app store at first either but when enough people get involved the network effect becomes a powerful force indeed.

    • The problem with sun is that their policies and buisness plan has gone any which way the wind blows, and against the wind for so many years no one trust them.

      I learned java years back, even though I am not Java programmer, and walked away from it. I went back to try and use it some time later, and most of what I thought learned in useless now because sun has been messing with it in so many ways that it is just not worth bothering with. I can not trust the technology. It is flaky, because the company is flak

    • by JAlexoi (1085785)

      As we've seen with the recent article about JRE security on OS X, users are generally reluctant to run client-side Java.

      You can really read deep between the lines. All I saw was the fact that Apple screwed up with their support for Java on OSX. You know, Apple insisted on supporting Java on OSX...

  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:01AM (#28036261) Journal

    No, seriously, who cares?

    Sun plans to allow Java application developers to submit programs to a simple Web site so the company can evaluate them for safety and content before presenting them to the Java audience. Sun will charge for distribution.

    This model is meaningful for Joe Sixpack audience, which does need that click-click-click-bought, installed & running approach. But how many Java apps for that market you know? It's all desktop ones, remember, and Swing still looks and feels horrible on any desktop, from Windows to X to Mac. We're in double digits for the total usable app count, at best...

    Server apps and development utilities/libraries? Java ecosystem there is OSS-centric a long time ago, and you aren't going to scare a Java developer with .tar.gz files, regardless of the platform - they have to learn to deal with that stuff for the most basic tools, starting from Ant/Maven, and for most handy frameworks, too. Then, of course, OSS guys aren't going to use a paid distribution service anyway.

    In fact, Schwartz seems to recognize that no-one needs this for Java, and so:

    This creates opportunity for everyone in the developer community - and specifically, for any developer (even those not using Java/JavaFX) seeking to reach beyond the browser to create a durable relationship with their customers

    Oh, great. So it's another Sun product with "Java" in name which has nothing whatsoever to do with Java, except that your next Java update will run an installer with "Install Java App Store client" checkbox set by default. Sounds familiar? [ekschi.com] Don't they ever learn?

    Schwartz goes on to boast Java market penetration, careful to mention " billions of ... mobile devices, and smartcards, millions of enterprise servers, set top boxes, Blu-Ray DVD players" - all of which, of course, having no relevance to the subject being discussed. But he has to, because if you look at figures for the desktop, it suddenly doesn't look so impressive. Frankly, I'd suspect that Google has a higher percentage of Toolbar & Search installs then desktop Java on Windows today. Not to mention Microsoft, if it decides to jump on the bandwagon... imagine an application store with Windows Update integration for purchased applications.

    • You will, eventually (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SuperKendall (25149)

      No, seriously, who cares?

      Independent application writers. They perk up a great deal any time a means of widespread distribution arises that can make what they do easier.

      That includes all the G1 developers who have a new and deeper understanding of Java and might be looking for a wider market to apply it to... the GUI frameworks are not the same but lots of people stop at the language barriers.

      This model is meaningful for Joe Sixpack audience, which does need that click-click-click-bought, installed &

      • Since all you wrote leads to this, I'm just going to respond to it:

        The reason it can work is the reason the App Store worked

        App Store worked, but it is not the only such thing, and it wasn't the first by a long measure. All other ones were abject failures. The reason why it worked in that case is because it targeted iPhone (and iPhone is locked to it), and iPhone is a sheer wonder of marketing genius by any measure. App Store is a part of that storm of success, and it is meaningless to even consider it outside of that.

        Meanwhile, I don't see people lining up to do

        • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @03:02AM (#28036569)

          and iPhone is a sheer wonder of marketing genius by any measure...

          Those who dismiss usability and design (and the network effect!!) under the gauzy umbrella of "marketing" are doomed to incorrect predictions until they learn otherwise.

          • by iluvcapra (782887)

            Where is the "network effect" of the App Store? Most of the apps on the store are network-less, or only trivially use the network to access web services, not to interact with each other. And when they DO interact with each other, it's usually pretty trifling... I've bought and downloaded a lot of iPhone apps, have owned an iPhone from the first day and am surrounded by iPhone owners, and I've never downloaded an app because I wanted to access a resource that was only available to users of a particular iP

            • Where is the "network effect" of the App Store? Most of the apps on the store are network-less, or only trivially use the network to access web services, not to interact with each other.

              The network effect in this case means the user base - the iPhone app store apps don't talk to each other either, often not even servers. But because people tell everyone about apps they got, or read about iPhone apps, or find them when searching for them - you get a lot of cross promotion from users. Especially if the Java

            • Where is the "network effect" of the App Store?

              He means "network effect" in the same sense as "word-of-mouth". A great deal of the iPhone's success is due to people seeing their friends and colleagues with the device, trying it out, and deciding to get one themselves. This is the "network effect" he's referring to.
          • usability (Score:3, Funny)

            by speedtux (1307149)

            Those who dismiss usability and design (and the network effect!!) under the gauzy umbrella of "marketing"

            You're so right; he should have pointed out that App Store succeeded despite its numerous usability problems.

      • That includes all the G1 developers who have a new and deeper understanding of Java and might be looking for a wider market to apply it to...

        As a G1 developer, I'd have to ask -- what market? This hypothetical 1 billion market is pure wishful thinking on its part. On the internet, Sun doesn't have a captive audience. Sun also doesn't have the experience of making consumer products, let alone cool or usable consumer products.

        And last, Sun couldn't have picked a worst partner for itself, by picking Joyent f

    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      Schwartz goes on to boast Java market penetration, careful to mention " billions of ... mobile devices, and smartcards, millions of enterprise servers, set top boxes, Blu-Ray DVD players"

      Reading this sentence, I get the image in my head of six space shuttles with tourism modules docking with a wagon-wheel space station (projected date of completion: 1985). They promise the moon (Write once!) and they paint a lot of pretty pictures to show elementary school assemblies, but they have no idea how to realize these things or make a business model out of these things, and really they're just trying to turn their overextended and abused niche enterprise dev environment into the next hot-shit buzz

  • by syousef (465911) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:02AM (#28036269) Journal

    I take everything Sun says these days with 10 grains of salt. They still have some great products but they are not without their problems. They talk everything up big and have grandiose plans that have sometimes proven to be vaporware.

    I was at a Sun Developer Day earlier this week. In a room full of 600+ people they took a show of hands about who was using JavaFX (almost no one) and MySQL (10%). They then proceeded to do 1.5 hour long in depth sessions on each. Then look at VirtualBox. Awesome software, and improving more quickly than VMWare - lighter weight too. Yet they insist that no one wants Parallel port virtual devices even though people are clamouring for it.

    Oh well, Sun will fade into Oracle in the near future...

    • by BikeHelmet (1437881) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:36AM (#28036441) Journal

      Parallel port passthrough (vmware terminology) is the only thing stopping me from migrating many old win9x/dos computers to Ubuntu + VirtualBox for a bunch of local businesses.

      We need it for licensing dongles!

      Sun has incredible engineers, but I don't doubt you about them losing sight of what's important. An app store... great. :P Good luck with that.

      I can tell you what they need. They need to solidify java support for OGL ES 2.0, right now. Java isn't easily usable on the iPhone (one of the most popular phones out there), so they need a wedge to make Java SE ubiquitous across this generation of smartphones.

      Some version of OpenGL ES is in every smartphone I know about, so it's fairly safe making that their wedge.

      These new phones have plenty of memory; if java gets tight bindings with OGL ES 2.0, and makes it a breeze setting up an IDE to dev for phones, java will become be the language of choice for indy game devs on non-Apple smartphones. Heck, most of these phones already have some sort of java support(perhaps Java ME), so kick it up a notch with tight and efficient bindings(to Java SE; not ME), and watch the devs flock to the platform!

      Lets face it, when making an indy game you go for whatever language cuts the dev time the most, and java is definitely ahead of languages like Objective C in that regard! Performance wise, it's not that far behind, either.

      Who knows; maybe they're already doing that, and the app store is part of their strategy?... but probably not.

    • LAMP and the internet changed the goalposts and Sun failed to adapt. Sun has open sourced everything in sight, so this seems like a last ditch attempt to save themselves. Apple turn profits from iTunes and App Store. Sun wanted to capture the non-iPhone market.

      As proof Sun developed a new device-independent abstracted Java platform called JavaFX, taking swathes of Java people off the core libraries to focus on the new platform, that as you say no one has yet adopted.

      Unfortunately the financial crisis hit, O

  • MS could do this with silverlight. Adobe withe Flex or Air...it just won't work. It works for the IPhone because Apple has a monopoly on the application. Sure you could hack on an application, but most users just won't.

    The PC doesn't have a central source of applications. There is the web, downloads.com, individual authors, etc. etc.

    What couldn't be delivered in a browser via Ajax, Silverlight, AIR/Flex that this could possibly do?

    Furthermore mobile platforms have nice little niche applications. I would lik

    • MS could do this with silverlight. Adobe withe Flex or Air...

      Any of them COULD do it. But how many ARE?

      Microsoft is out because they are too slow and never intended Silverlight to kill native Windows apps, only Flash.

      Adobe wants to run all apps from the web, they don't care as much about local apps.

      By the time a PC App Store equivalent starts working it's too late to compete against it. The network effect draws in more and more people... The App Store works, because so many people are using it that it d

  • by putaro (235078) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:19AM (#28036343) Journal

    I like Java. I do a lot of work in Java. I even ship an application written in Java that is installed on thousands of desktops worldwide. So, you can probably count me as a Java fan boi but I gotta ask:

    Why the hell is it that after 14 years of Java we still can't get a Java app that looks and feels like a native app on Windows or Linux or even Solaris for god's sake. Why does anyone trying to ship a Java app either have to make the user jump through hoops installing JRE's and JDK's and other nonsense or has to code up special installers and .exe's to launch the JVM?

    I ship an app on the Mac written in Java. Despite Apple's current pull back on their Java support, at least a Java app gets packaged up the same way as a native app and the Java runtime is installed as part of the OS.

    Now, I understand that Sun has no control over Windows, but could we at least define a standard location for the JRE? Could we have a standard Java launcher that doesn't involve command line goo?

    And as for Solaris - you still have to launch Java apps by running "java" from the shell or inside a script. Bourne shell scripts have been executables for 30 years, why the hell can't Java apps be executables as well? Solaris is Sun's OS. Java should shine and be the recommended language for everything.

    And don't even get me started on "Java Web Start". Half the browsers leave little .jnlp turds all over your download folder or desktop.

    Sun has simply fallen down with Java as a desktop platform. It's hard to deliver apps written in Java to customers, period. Swing is *still* ugly - and that's comparing it up against Windows UI's.

    And there's still not a decent GUI builder for Swing. The NeXTStep GUI builder in 1997 worked better than Netbeans does today. Every time I add a component things it's a 50-50 chance that my whole layout will be destroyed as Netbeans moves things around randomly.

    Sun, you have just failed so badly at making Java a viable desktop language. Maybe Oracle can clean up your mess but I doubt it.

    • by node159 (636992)

      I think you hit the nail on the head why Java adoption on the desktop sucks. Its as if the concept of a stand alone executable is an alien idea.

      If anybody is to blame for the failure of Java on the desktop, its not any external party but Sun itself.

    • by WankersRevenge (452399) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @10:09AM (#28039111)
      Hey Putaro, I'm also developing java apps for the mac, and I got to say that it is hard, but it can work out. First, you should google mac widgets which makes swing widgets look very very pretty on a mac. It doesn't look too bad either on Windows (kind of looks like ITunes on windows) which is fine by me. Otherwise, I think the native look and feel for swing widgets isn't so bad in Windows. And as another poster replied, there's always SWT.

      As for NetBeans, Matisse is a good tool but I can't be productive in it. I don't know the group layout very well. I don't want to know the group layout and I hate dealing with wizard generate code. In the past two months, I've discovered Mig Layout which is by far, the best layout managers for java. I now mock up my layout in photoshop, then code it in Mig. People are trying to have it included in the JRE. It's just that good. And bonus ... it works the same for Swing as well as SWT.

      Personally, I'd recommend you package your java app differently for each platform. There are a ton of open source java installers which actually download the JRE if there isn't one on the client's platform.

      Java does work for the desktop. It just takes a crapload of spit and polish. If isn't doing what you need it do, I'd work hard as hell to research a solution, and if that still doesn't work, then you need reevaluate your language choice. Personally, in terms of java desktop development, I have yet to find a barrier that I could not cross.
  • by Speed Pour (1051122) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:25AM (#28036373)
    ...Microsoft announces an app store built on .Net applications and plan on making it as Mono friendly as possible. (pretend they didn't already announce this for windows mobile)


    One year from now...
    - Sun announces closure of app store. Notable achievement: 6 popular apps

    - Microsoft announces wildfire success.
    Note: They also announce the rollout of their 3rd DRM scheme in hopes of ending the massive piracy rates on apps coming from the store.
  • This just reeks of desperation, to me. Five years ago I might have thought this a good idea, but damn if this just doesn't look like copying for copying's sake. There's already been some discussion of this around other sites, but here's a few issues off the top of my head:

    * Consistency. Apple controls the hardware and software platforms, and will even now limit apps to certain platform versions (all new apps must be iPhone OS 3.0). Given that there's not a lot of consistency between various platforms th

  • by spandex_panda (1168381) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:47AM (#28036503)

    I reckon the thing I miss the most when looking for good applications on Windows (and to some extent OSX) is package management. This method of distribution including central update management and the use of key signing to ensure software hasn't been tampered with is priceless.

    The advantage I can see in this java distribution is the ability to search one location for software, just like you do with a package manager like apt (on Debian, Ubuntu etc.). Another is that it is cross platform! Maybe this will lead people to pay just a little for OOo and to realise that it is fine for most peoples' needs.

    I say good on them. Especially if it is cross platform. But I also reckon that if it is possible, there should be an open source model created too. This way I could install apt-osx or apt-win and have a nice gui to acquire all the latest and greatest open source software from one source.

    I am totally sick of port on the mac and hunting for shitty shareware on win*.

    • I really see this as being something like a usable package manager for platforms that do not have them (or even those that do), making it easy to browse for great software. I'd be as happy to use something like this on a Mac as on Windows.

    • by speedtux (1307149)

      I reckon the thing I miss the most when looking for good applications on Windows (and to some extent OSX) is package management.

      Well, simple solution: install Ubuntu now.

      Another simple solution: wait three years. Then, Apple will introduce package management and claim to have invented it. And a year later, Microsoft will have its own version of it and Apple fanboys will claim that Microsoft stole it from Apple. And both will insist on getting full access to your credit card and wallet and allow Microsoft

  • So, Sun will finally go live with their pet store.

  • Small Margins (Score:3, Interesting)

    by randomsearch (1207102) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @04:54AM (#28036979) Journal

    Sun may have overlooked one thing: Apple don't actually make much money from the app store, at least according to this article [guardian.co.uk].

    Presumably, it makes business sense for Apple as the app store contributes to the appeal of the iPhone. Sun won't be selling the PCs that are running these apps, and as others have pointed out the expense of reviewing full applications rather than small iPhone apps will be much greater.

    Perhaps there are other benefits for Sun, but from a short-term profit-making perspective it won't work.

    Having said that, a package-manager-esque software distribution method for Windows is a no-brainer. Microsoft are probably the best company to implement that, though.

    RS

  • I use a free Java apps occasionally on the desktop, on several different platforms. They look foreign, they don't integrate well with the desktop, they're slow to start up and run, they use dysfunctional file selectors, and a bunch of keys don't work because somehow Java doesn't understand my keyboard map.

    Even on my phone, I have replaced all Java ME apps with native apps for the same reasons: they look bad, ran at the wrong resolutions, didn't integrate with the rest of the phone, and didn't understand th

  • by LaminatorX (410794) <sabotage@NosPAm.praecantator.com> on Thursday May 21, 2009 @07:19AM (#28037591) Homepage

    The Debian Project has announced the creation of an Apt Store. This exciting repository will allow users to get whatever packages they need without even touching their mice.

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