Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Sun To Build World's Biggest App Store Around Java

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the would-you-like-apps-with-that dept.

Sun Microsystems 325

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."

cancel ×

325 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I was (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036079)

I was going to write a first post, but I got bought-out by Oracle before I could finish it.

Re:I was (5, Funny)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036237)

I was too, but I had to wait for this java slashdot browsing app to load.

Re:I was (-1, Offtopic)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036293)

I was, too. But I couldn't think of anything funny to say.

Re:I was (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036391)

I was going to write a first post, but I got high.

Re:I was (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036513)

bullshit, if you were high you wouldn't have posted at all.

Re:I was (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036535)

you must be new here.

Re:I was (1)

Kotoku (1531373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036521)

You could say this isn't the first post, but that's just, like, your opinion man.

Re:I was (1)

Scaba (183684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036649)

That didn't stop the parent and grandparent to this thread...

Re:I was (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036719)

I was too, but I got a a random IO Class error because I'm using the bastard child Mac version of Java that no one cares about.

Required sales pitch... (5, Funny)

marciot (598356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036081)

Would you like an Oracle database with that?

Re:Required sales pitch... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036497)

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.

I wonder if it'll be coded in Java... (5, Funny)

Shag (3737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036095)

...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.

Re:I wonder if it'll be coded in Java... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036137)

Yo dawg I heard you like waiting so we put Java apps in your Java store so you can wait while you wait

Re:I wonder if it'll be coded in Java... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036599)

Too bad more folks didn't appreciate that one. For what it's worth, i lolled.

Re:I wonder if it'll be coded in Java... (4, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036603)

Heheheh... nice work. :P

Honestly, how does one build "the world's biggest app store" unless one can guarantee more apps than any other store? Unless they define 'biggest' by some crazy arbitrary measure like "number of servers in the server farm" or "physical footprint of the data center". To make them come, it's no longer enough just to build it. It has to be not only as-good-as but compellingly better than the existing options for it to be competitive. I wonder what they've got that makes them think it's so much better?

Re:I wonder if it'll be coded in Java... (4, Funny)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036743)

Maybe it's defined by the aggregate amount of RAM occupied by the product line. It *is* Java, after all...

Re:I wonder if it'll be coded in Java... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036255)

1997 called, they want their jokes back.

Re:I wonder if it'll be coded in Java... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036277)

Yeah, well, they can have the joke back as soon as Java stops being a dog. 12 years later, it still is.

Re:I wonder if it'll be coded in Java... (5, Funny)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036637)

The jokes were written in Java, they just finished loading.

Go Java! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036103)

Because C++ is a dumbed-down language for pussies. Coding in C/C++ is like riding a skateboard: you will eat shit a million times for every trick you land, and even the slightest pebble will bring your entire being to a halt before derailing it.

Go powerful. Go elegant. GO JAVA!

You forgot something (1)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036139)

Go memory-hungry!

Re:You forgot something (0, Troll)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036181)

yeah, if you're stupid and don't know how to code.

Re:You forgot something (2, Informative)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036207)

It seems NetBeans authors are "stupid and don't know how to code" sadly. Because it eats about 400 MB of RAM while opening 4 KB Javascript file.

Re:You forgot something (4, Funny)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036383)

What are you complaining about? That's 200 MB less than Emacs!

ED is the standard text editor.

Re:You forgot something (1, Insightful)

caerwyn (38056) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036385)

It's not really NetBean's fault. The JVM authors seem to take the classic computer science tradeoff of memory for speed to heart.

They unfortunately don't seem to realize that memory *is* speed, especially in today's world of pervasive multitasking, and therefore end up trading off speed for... nothing at all.

Re:You forgot something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036605)

That's the cost of elegant. Or at least that's what Microsoft tried telling us with Vista.

Re:Go Java! (1)

Molochi (555357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036393)

Ollie Air in an SUV would be pretty impressive, but I've yet to see anyone try it.

Re:Go Java! (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036523)

"Go powerful. Go elegant. GO JAVA!"

Man, that's got to be the funniest sig out there...

Oh, you meant it seriously?

Oh damn, man, I'm sorry. I really am.

Re:Go Java! (5, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036609)

HHISSSSSSSSssssSSSsSssSsssSS!
Hsssshssssssssthhhhhh!!

(This message written and authorized by the Annoying Python Evangelists' Club).

Re:Go Java! (2, Informative)

kramulous (977841) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036703)

Go elegant.

I realise that java code looks elegant. That things are also easy to program. But have you ever examined the callstack? Do yourself a favour sometime and see why Java is slow as dogs balls, memory hungry and anything but elegant.

Part of what I do is manage the applications running on a couple of HPC machines and when things are really busy, guess which jobs get pushed aside for resource hogging?

Software repository... (2, Insightful)

lazy_nihilist (1220868) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036105)

This could be a software repository for all PC's.

Re:Software repository... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036151)

All the programs are written in Java. It's more like a software *suppository*....

Redundant. (1)

Mr. Conrad (1461097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036141)

I'm pretty sure most app stores are founded on java [wikipedia.org] already.

Re:Redundant. (1)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036375)

I'm pretty sure most app stores are floundered on java already.

There, fixed that blah blah blah

The problem... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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... (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036239)

It may become an incentive for dweebs to start charging for things they already offer for free online, though I would be willing to pay very small amounts for good code snippets since every Java book at Barnes and Noble dosen't seem to go very much beyond JFrames and layout managers or maybe even threading if it's a l33t book.

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

SwabTheDeck (1030520) | more than 5 years ago | (#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... (5, Insightful)

SwabTheDeck (1030520) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:The problem... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036525)

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:The problem... (2, Interesting)

ubersoldat2k7 (1557119) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036707)

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... (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036551)

Indeed. There is this cool App Store called apt-get.

I wonder how they stay in business, handing out free samples to all comers...

Re:The problem... (2, Insightful)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036631)

Just to add on, it's only a matter of time until cell phone run debian.

Re:The problem... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036563)

It doesn't matter if PC users don't want to use it... it'll still be installed on their computer.

Sun has the Java runtime distributed and installed on a massive number of computers around the world. Those runtime distributions will automatically update themselves in the future to pull in the new Java Appstore that Sun is planning.

People don't install the runtime by choice, they do so because something else they want to use relies upon it. One can assume that most people would just have to put up with whatever bloatware Sun bundles with the runtime, as they're already locked into using the platform.

There is a very good chance you'll get this Appstore whether you want it or not. Or at best, it'll be an "enabled by default" checkbox that most users won't uncheck (this would be by design).

Re:The problem... (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036669)

Most PC user don't have Java installed. I don't think I've ever run a Java app on a PC. At the very least not since the late 90s.

Make it like YUM - Easy! (3, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036597)

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:The problem... (2, Insightful)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036653)

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?

oh great.. (2, Funny)

davygrvy (868500) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036153)

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..

Taking bets now (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036155)

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.

Are there going to be parental controls/censorship (1)

jarrettwold2002 (601633) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036159)

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?

Re:Are there going to be parental controls/censors (4, Interesting)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Have they thought about the logistics of this? (2, Interesting)

HumanEmulator (1062440) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.. (4, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036249)

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:Have they thought about the logistics of this? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036275)

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 (3, Interesting)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

That is not correct (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (4, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036223)

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.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036229)

If they have an automated system to check code security, and for non-hidden functionality, they could avoid a lot of the drama that has surrounded the Apple Store. Also, this could be a very good place for indy developers to put their work. The old idea that Java is "slow" is still funny, not really that relevant any more, I'd personally rather have good solid cross platform support if its "slightly" slower than native C,etc. i use Pidgin because on every platform it looks about the same and works the same, and works well.

Re:Anonymous Coward (4, Informative)

setagllib (753300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036265)

You realise Pidgin is written in C, right?

Re:Anonymous Coward (4, Funny)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036339)

Really? Why's it use so much CPU and memory? :o

(sorry! Had to!)

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036491)

GP's point was about resource consumption vs portability.

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036671)

Hell, back in '99 I realised that a C(++) Windows program compiled for Intel was the most portable small-app format in practice. Java didn't come close. Make your friends download 25mb for the latest JRE? Or just write it in C and send them the 100kB .exe file. Yeah, that sounds good.

That's possibly slightly less true now than it used to be, but still pretty accurate - if you want something to 'just work' with no extra installs whatsoever, a web app is probably your best bet, followed by a C++ Windows app.

I see why you posted anon... (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036549)

Even now with the G1 on the rise, people still think of Java in terms that were more valid in 1999 than today.

As you say a cross platform app store that makes it easy for indy developers to sell games and small utilities - that could do pretty well. Especially for casual games.

Java.com App store (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036243)

Didn't Sun already try this in 2003 when they launched java.com?

Today it is nothing but a PR site, but in 2003 they were actively trying to sell 3rd party Java apps..... and failed.

Re:Java.com App store (3, Insightful)

TopSpin (753) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036337)

2004 called; they want their Java 'ecosystem' [eclipseplugincentral.com] back.

Meh. (4, Insightful)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Meh. (2, Funny)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036291)

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 to be one less reason for people to bother with desktop Java. As if putting a "Yes, I want to install OpenOffice" option in the JRE installer, and checked by default, wasn't a stupidest idea already...

Re:Meh. (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036449)

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.

Re:Meh. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036499)

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"

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036303)

JRE security on OS X is Apple's fault of not patching it promptly. There are still lots of users who unwittingly run Java applications. Your supposed "reluctance" is a myth.

I think there are still a great market for Java.

Re:Meh. (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036481)

I'm not doubting Apple should apply the upstream security patches. But look at the comments for the article yesterday, most would advocate turning Java off anyway. Now that may be only a cross section of Slashdot nerds but if they each tell their non-techie friends and relatives...

What on earth makes you think users are reluctant? (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Sun has trust issues (1)

cenc (1310167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036557)

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 flaky.

By comparison, my C and C++ and other languages make sense still. Yea, there are new coding standards, libraries, and so on but the fundamentals still work even many years later.

Sun did the same thing with their user level apps. When I make a decision for enterprise level technology implementation for the long term, Sun is one of the last companies that come to mind because of their track record with changing course so radically.

I hope Oracle sorts it out, or at least puts that dog out of all of our misery with both barrels and picks the corpse clean for the useful bits.

That is exactly the problem with sun. They do have useful bits, but nothing coherent from lack of leadership. Being bought out was the best thing that could have happened to save the useful technology they did produce.

Write once (0)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036251)

Run everywhere?

Run the same program exactly the same way on your phone, computer, PDA, email account, etc?

Naw Sun isn't that smart...

Re:Write once (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036347)

Not to mention that we already tried that "write once run anywhere" approach about a decade ago...

And we all know how "that" turned out.

Re:Write once (4, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036435)

>Not to mention that we already tried that "write once run anywhere" approach about a decade ago...

>And we all know how "that" turned out.

Really, really well? Better than any other portability endeavor in computing history?

Who cares? (5, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036261)

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 (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036427)

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 & running approach. But how many Java apps for that market you know?

Probably no more than a few billion different apps. Of course, I'm probably underestimating. Look at the size of the iPhone app store. Not there but growing towards it.

It's all desktop ones, remember, and Swing still looks and feels horrible on any desktop, from Windows to X to Mac.

Thus, JavaFX. Or you can probably use Swing if you like, with some care it works fine. Look at the hideous VBA stuff people have bought in the past for lots of money when it met a need.

We're in double digits for the total usable app count, at best...

Prediction for "shutdown" locked in at "a few dozen". That's going to be amusing in a year.

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?

Why Yes. [steampowered.com] Yes it does.

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.

Please tell me you are joking and not truly that dense. Every blu-ray player for example has a perfectly fine Java engine that could connect to and run items from this store...

Not to mention Microsoft, if it decides to jump on the bandwagon...

But since they are far from platform neutral in anything they do, what could they do? Steam is beating the pants off them, if they can't fight of Steam, well then.

The day to do anything but laugh loudly when the thought of Microsoft competing against a well thought out plan are long since gone. Microsoft is simply too monolithic to react in timely ways despite however many smart people they set to working at cross purposes. I suppose they might corner the online app store market for Surface, how big is THAT?

The reason it can work is the reason the App Store worked, lots of small specialized potentially well written apps that can gain enough of a hold that people come there for more apps. Who would go to a physical store for software if they could buy something more specialized for less that did what they wanted? And app writers get the boon of not caring if people are switching to the Mac or not.

Re:You will, eventually (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036487)

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 download a new JRE release. Or any other Sun product, for that matter.

Re:You will, eventually (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:You will, eventually (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036725)

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 iPhone app. And I think it's unheard of that someone would buy an iPhone because they wanted access to a service that was only available on the iPhone. Everything that an iPhone can do a Blackberry can do as well, just the interface is different (or "better," as your taste may be).

It's not like Word or Windows, where people buy Dells because they're merely the cheapest way to continue accessing their Word/Windows formatted data.

Re:Who cares? (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036689)

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 buzzword factory.

Sun was about engineering, now about marketing (5, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036269)

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...

Re:Sun was about engineering, now about marketing (3, Interesting)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036441)

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.

Re:Sun was about engineering, now about marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036457)

I agree completely. I use to love Sun and I owe it to them, their quality hardware and OSs, for a decent career in the past. Its also time for me to move on.

Re:Sun was about engineering, now about marketing (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036537)

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, Oracle swooped and it's all too late.

Works on Iphone because of monopoly (1)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036315)

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 like a google desktop app versus using google maps..it'd be nice it if was built into Windows, Linux, Mac.

What I'd rather see is MS, Apple, and the Linux community create a decent plugin infrastrute for the OS and have an easy to use "Find extensions" program. Imagine if the search in Vista's start menu could accept an address and pop to google maps via a native app. I'd like to see the usability of mobile apps ported to the desktop.

Works because it works (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036489)

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 draws in many other applications and thus more people.

But as you say, it doesn't even have to be a highlander "there can be only one" situation - there could be a few very large and well used app stores. Since Java is in a perfect place to take advantage of platform trends, I'd say they are in a damn good position to carry this off.

After 14 years Java apps are still 2nd class (5, Interesting)

putaro (235078) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036343)

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.

Re:After 14 years Java apps are still 2nd class (1)

postmortem (906676) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036519)

Default location of newer JRE releases is
C:\Program Files\Java\jre6

As for native look and feel, Swing does have several Windows look and feels in which widgets have native looks:
http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/uiswing/lookandfeel/plaf.html#available [sun.com]

Otherwise, I agree with you that Java desktop app are hard to distribute and necessary hurdle and that Sun is directly responsible for. It seems that Java desktop app platform was never given full attention.

Re:After 14 years Java apps are still 2nd class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036713)

it's because java sucks and everyone hates it.

ugh. (0, Offtopic)

deviator (92787) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036355)

[snore.]

One week from now... (4, Funny)

Speed Pour (1051122) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

too late and people whole maje Java UIs are rare (1)

postmortem (906676) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036395)

Java was brand 10 yrs ago, not anymore, today brand is Flash and PDF. Most people see Java as hurdle.

Only hard-core Java developers and users would care about this, and there's not billion of them.

Additionally, number of people who know how to (properly) use Swing in order to make user applications is very small. Number of people who use Java FX is even smaller.

Good luck to Sun, but if they have done this 10 yrs ago they would have great momentum now, and now they got nothing.

troolkore (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036401)

kill 8yself like of Jordan Hubbard

Too little, too late (1)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036421)

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 that run "Java" (a cellphone, TV and a desktop, for example), this will end up being a logistical nightmare for Sun's QA/testing (assuming they do that) and a UI nightmare for people using the store.

* Limitedness. Sun likes to claim billions of Java 'installations' because of JavaME on cell phones. By and large, those aren't upgradeable. Additionally, many of the likely millions of desktops running Java aren't going to be candidates for upgrading or installing apps on due to Nor are many of the millions of desktops running Java in corporate environments. This seems to leave primarily the consumer/individusl and 'small business' market, which is what Apple targets for iPhone stuff. But even there, Apple's only focusing on an 'app store' for one piece of hardware, not an entire ecosystem.

Likely more details will emerge in the next few weeks, but this just feels like a JavaFX announcement - a copycat 'me too' announcement which is designed to get attention but ultimately won't go anywhere fast in the next year or so.

If it was limited to *only* work for Windows XP/Vista machines, for example, or just a new breed of televisions with embedded Java, I'd actually think it'd have a much more reasonable chance of success, especially as a first iteration of an 'app store'. But somehow I see Sun attempting to cover a much larger segment of the Java world right out of the gate, and I don't see that working.

Package Management for Windows? (3, Interesting)

spandex_panda (1168381) | more than 5 years ago | (#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*.

Exactly (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036623)

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.

Too bad... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036613)

that www.bloatware.com is already taken.

Duke's pet store? (2, Funny)

Lagurz (908275) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036647)

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

Waiting to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036665)

I'm still waiting to see the details about this idea, but I'm very hopeful.

In resent years Java has seen many additions and improvements to it's libraries. Swing is more than capable of creating attractive UIs and the addition of JavaFX to the stack makes it even easier.

If the Java app store deploys apps in to a managed environment like we see with Android, problems with standardisation and security can be avoided.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?