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115 comments

Not entirely useful (5, Informative)

medcalf (68293) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777357)

Just to be clear, this does not allow users to run Java apps on their phones. It makes it easier for Java developers to port Java apps, though.

Re:Not entirely useful (4, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777397)

Why would you want a desktop app on a phone anyway?

Except for certain very narrow use cases, it's better to have an app written for phones.

Re:Not entirely useful (4, Insightful)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777565)

There hundreds of thousand Java apps that are not desktop apps, like e.g. every Android app. So what's your point?

Re:Not entirely useful (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777611)

Great but this won't work for Android apps since they don't use Swing.

Re:Not entirely useful (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40778149)

It will work for android. Rather than trying to run Swing on the native platform, It compiles down to whatever the native platform is. Basically in C1 you are building a meta app using their libraries. Then when it compiles, for iOS it will generate Obj-C, for Android it will generate a UI using standard Android widgets (I know Android is java, but not sure what their UI framework is called).

I'm a Java/iOS developer and have been playing around with it a bit. IMO, it has a long way to go before being useful, but it's exciting to see that what they are doing is possible. Currently their API is pretty sparse and their design tools are very primitive, so I think to match what a lot of apps are doing today, you would still end up writing a lot of native code. They have their own version of JNI that let's you do that.

I think if they keep working on it though, create a cool UI builder, add more wrappers around more core platform services (location services would be a good one to add next I think) I think they will get there.

It's neat stuff! I'm still going to do my iOS apps in Obj-C though for the time being.

Re:Not entirely useful (0)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778003)

There hundreds of thousand Java apps that are not desktop apps, like e.g. every Android app.

With the exception of those using the NDK, i.e. most of them.....

Re:Not entirely useful (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778269)

most of them

I seriously doubt that is true. Do you have a reliable source that agrees that most Android apps use the NDK?

Re:Not entirely useful (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#40779241)

most of them

I seriously doubt that is true. Do you have a reliable source that agrees that most Android apps use the NDK?

If I had to pull a number out of my stetson(I do have one, I just never wear it) I'd say that 99% of android apps don't need ndk.

however the probability that someone interested in games has some ndk app or another is nearly 99% as well(gta & etc cool tech demo type of things need it.. that's why you're seeing them ported to both ios and android but not wp currently).

technically though this particular java solution is only of interest to developers, however it seems like it's more reasonable than phonegap for example - this approach could get much better actual cross platform compatibility for complex ui's.

but still.. swing.. ugh..

Re:Not entirely useful (4, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778377)

Android applications aren't Java applications. They are written in the Java language, but they are then compiled to run on the Dalvik VM. Even if they were Java applications, you couldn't simply drop them onto any old Java VM and have them work; they need all the runtime libraries present on Android to work.

Re:Not entirely useful (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about a year and a half ago | (#40779801)

Is the release of this project an outcome of Oracle losing the lawsuit against Google for Android?

Re:Not entirely useful (3, Interesting)

owlstead (636356) | about a year and a half ago | (#40781671)

That is certainly true, but most of the libraries that are used for core functionality of applications (at least if your application is not just a GUI or Android specific) are fully compatible with the Java runtime after compilation, and almost any third party lib can be compiled and run. The only problem is that many applications are too dependent on the GUI - in other words if they are badly written.

Re:Not entirely useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40777733)

Because I want to run apps like Anathema or Hero Designer and don't want to lug a desktop around. Just shove the ipad in the bag with the game books, or better yet, not even take the game books just the ipad.

Re:Not entirely useful (4, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777811)

Why would you want a desktop app on a phone anyway?

Java is a portability option (if you are mindful). You can write a single Java based application and run it on any platform supporting the version you compiled for. This gives you instant portability to other platforms without having to wonder about ended-ness, hardware, file structure and myriad other things. Imagine writing a game on Linux and automaticaly, it would run on Windows, Mac and any other Java supported platform.

Now, all this ease does come at a cost. It takes an extra layer of software (java VM) and more CPU power and RAM than a native application but this is the tradeoff. If you are wise, you can get acceptable performance out of modern hardware.

In reality, developers haven't always coded Java with portability in mind. Some platforms (won't mention any names) have been suspect of "hobbling" the stability of Java on purpose because said platform had their own implementation to market, but that's beside the point. Java portability is a keen aspect of the language which sometimes gets overlooked. It can offer some very real benefits under favorable circumstances but is by no means the end-all many would like. It has it's drawbacks too but the portability is a big one.

Re:Not entirely useful (-1, Flamebait)

Karlt1 (231423) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778547)

"This gives you instant portability to other platforms without having to wonder about ended-ness, hardware, file structure and myriad other things. Imagine writing a game on Linux and automaticaly, it would run on Windows, Mac and any other Java supported platform."

And your application looks like crap and non-native for every platform.

And you still have to test on every platform because of different screen sizes, performance, etc.

How many high performant apps have you seen written in Java or even using Dalvik? For the most part if you want performance especially on mobile, you have to go native

"but that's beside the point. Java portability is a keen aspect of the language which sometimes gets overlooked"

You mean write once test everywhere?

Re:Not entirely useful (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year and a half ago | (#40779369)

How many high performant apps have you seen written in Java

I haven't seen many but the one I have seen [theice.com] is pretty darned impressive.

Re:Not entirely useful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40781645)

Shit loads. Mostly on the server side but there are some well performing Swing apps too.

Re:Not entirely useful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40779581)

Java portability is a keen aspect of the language which sometimes gets overlooked.

Overlooked ? It's the only damn reason it exists.

About time, more like (2)

Zocalo (252965) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777927)

So, given that tablets run pretty much the same OSs (Android, iOS) as many phones, you'd consider the potential for touch-enabled versions of the large number of Java front-ends to client server/systems on tablet PCs to be a "narrow use case"? The key phrase in there is "SaaS". Don't just think front-ends to enterprise scale client/server database systems; think Google Apps, and the many other Cloud based applications that are no doubt going to be developed for the growing tablet market.

Re:Not entirely useful (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778323)

Why would you want a desktop app on a phone anyway?

I don't know about you, but my cell phones have had stuff on them for years that say "powered by Java" (which mostly I launch by accident, and then close after waiting for the damned thing to start up).

Java is used for much more than just desktops. The Micro Edition has been around a long time.

Many many phones have Java code on them.

Re:Not entirely useful (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year and a half ago | (#40782807)

Who the fuck wants terrible J2ME apps on their smartphones?

Re:Not entirely useful (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#40783015)

I personally don't (like I said, I only ever launch them by accident and then close them) ... but for all I know thousands of actually useful apps are out there that people would be sad if went away. And, no, I have no idea of what they'd be. :-P

I was just pointing out that asking why someone would want Java on their phone is a little late since it's been there for years already. My Motorola Razr had it back in '02 or so I think, my Krazr had it, my LG phone has it.

Minecraft (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785159)

It's the number one reason random people want Java on things. Their approach of compiling to native code, however, won't work with Minecraft without violating the Minecraft licensing agreement.

Re:Not entirely useful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40778043)

From what I see it makes it easier for Java minded devs to create apps that will compile natively to all platforms.

Re:Not entirely useful (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40779681)

And have different, show stopping bugs due to JVM incompatibilities (even between minor versions) on all of them!

Re:Not entirely useful (2)

DrXym (126579) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778655)

The problem is people don't want to port Java apps, they want to port Android apps. It's not much good supplying some API which is totally different to Android including the APIs that UIs are designed with. Basically it needs to be something which compiles Dalvik byte code into LLVM byte code and links with associated runtimes.

Appcelerator? (1)

tapicer (1037792) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777375)

How is this so different from what the Appcelerator people do with Javascript? They just abstract the SDK of each platform with a common API and then compile it to target each platform/language.

Re:Appcelerator? (2)

pipeep (2106308) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777445)

It's more-or-less the same approach, the notable thing is that this time it's Java.

finally (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40777377)

The terrible performance of android, finally on ios.

Re:finally (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777537)

You'd at least think their demo video wouldn't show a sluggish looking app. If it's that sluggish on such a toy app, one can only imagine the terrible performance of anything complex.

Swing like API? (3, Funny)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777409)

Is that any API that basically doesn't work?

Re:Swing like API? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40777481)

"It is the poor musician that blames his instrument"

I was there when Swing made its first appearance (waaaay back in the Java 1.1 days) and I've never, ever had a problem with it. Except for that one mysterious button (JButton) in one app that wouldn't show but it was there, you could TAB into it, but that was when I was starting to use it. Not a single glitch since. And with Netbeans when they introduced Project Matisse for GUI editor... Loved it! (still do). I know Netbeans since before Sun bought them, it was a separate company with a product called "Netbeans developer".

Re:Swing like API? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777587)

Except there are tools and instruments that are objectively shitty. Swing was terrible and looked like shit on all platforms without having to put in way more effort than it was worth.

Re:Swing like API? (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about a year and a half ago | (#40779951)

It takes few lines of code to make it appear native on any platform. There are many third party LNFs available, some for free. What you say is stupid, lame, and untrue.

Re:Swing like API? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40782157)

Uh huh. So it was so easy that almost no one wrote these 'few lines of code'? Also what would have been the point of Standard Widget Toolkit [wikipedia.org] if Swing was so great and native looking?

Re:Swing like API? (1)

Moochman (54872) | about a year and a half ago | (#40783997)

It took them a while to catch up with SWT after SWT came out. But they did actually manage to catch up. The one exception is the Swing file dialog, which was shit. But there's nothing stopping you from calling a native file dialog using a bit of hacking.

Re:Swing like API? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777685)

When Sun won it's case against MS and MS had to include Sun's Java I thought MS should retaliate by including Swing and using it to render Sun's Logo. Image the logo rendering one pixel at a time, painfully slowly...

Re:Swing like API? (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778155)

Yeah, you don't know how to use it, so it must suck...

Re:Swing like API? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40785109)

No one knows how to use a Swing app I would like to use...

Java is dead on the desktop because of Swing...

Re:Swing like API? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40785061)

Swing is garbage. Whenever some Java clown says it is "like Swing," then I know it must suck ass.

finally (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40777431)

Now the developers of many excellent Java desktop applications can bring their awesome sauce to iOS.

Re:finally (0)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777469)

Awesome Java desktop applications? LOL good joke.

Re:finally (2)

LizardKing (5245) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778181)

I don't find Eclipse, NetBeans, SoapUI, Maple and Vuze to be jokes. In fact I use them every day and find them all to be "awesome".

Re:finally (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40778423)

Add SQuirreL to this list.

Re:finally (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40778587)

Not to mention all of the jetbrains apps (IntelliJ, PyCharm, PhpStorm, RubyMine, AppCode, etc)

Re:finally (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40779763)

You must be the product of a modern "computer science" program. You got some vocational training in Java and were sent out into the world. It's not your fault, you just don't know any better.

Re:finally (2)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40782203)

So programs that are slow to start up, eat memory like crazy and are pretty laggy and unresponsive? Yep, typical Java 'awesomeness'.

Re:finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40785153)

All of those suck. Notepad++, Vim, or Textmate are better.

Re:finally (1)

wed128 (722152) | about a year and a half ago | (#40779341)

I was thinking the same thing. Java is great for prototyping.

Unfortunately, business people rarely know the difference between a software prototype and a product.

No, thanks. (0)

jcr (53032) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777455)

Java has always sucked on mobile devices. I have no need of it on iOS, and I will avoid any apps that use it.

-jcr

Re:No, thanks. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777547)

It was usable on wince. A java version of ssh1 was my only ssh option on my iPaq before I installed linux on it.

Re:No, thanks. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40777713)

Java has always sucked on mobile devices.

Based on that quote, I am quite sure you've never tried a Galaxy S3 and an iPhone running side by side, because the user interface on the S3 (running Java/Dalvik) is silkier and smoother than any iPhone.

Re:No, thanks. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40778491)

The last side-by-side comparison I did was with the Note when it first came out, and it was far from as smooth as the 6 month old iPhone 4s. iOS gives one full core priority to handle all UI events, and you can definitely tell the difference. The touch vs. swipe detection is far better than Android as well, with a fraction of the amount of drag length required for it to "figure out" that you are dragging. In my last test, it took about 1/4" of drag on an Android phone before it actually started scrolling compared to probably 1/16" on iOS. This leaves a "jerky" feeling while swiping between pages, and I don't think any amount of hardware will fix that.

Whatever your complaints about Apple/iOS, UI is something that they have done exceptionally well at.

Re:No, thanks. (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778645)

I have used both side by side, and I dispute your claim - its smoother some of the time, its worse some of the time.

Re:No, thanks. (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40782243)

Yeah and only needed double the CPU cores more RAM to do so.

Re:No, thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40783029)

Yeah and only needed double the CPU cores more RAM to do so.

And can still do other things while handling those UI events, too.

Re:No, thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40777923)

Um.. you realize that every Android application is written in Java, and there are quite a few exceptional Android applications.

Re:No, thanks. (4, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778011)

Um.. you realize that every Android application is written in Java, and there are quite a few exceptional Android applications.

I think you'd be surprised at how many of those are written using the NDK. Download addon detector and look for yourself (its an app typically used to check an app doesn't include some dodgy notification-based ad networks, but it also shows you a load of other interesting info). 80% of the games I have on my phone are NDK based, they're the ones that are responsive and fast.

Re:No, thanks. (2)

oakgrove (845019) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778569)

I just ran Addon Detector agains all of the apps on my Xoom and you're right. Pretty much all of the well performing apps make use of the NDK. I just wonder what this means for platforms like FirefoxOS that rely on web technology for development.

Re:No, thanks. (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about a year and a half ago | (#40780175)

I'd hope that people realise that web apps are fine for LoB apps, if you're entering data and getting results, these are fine. Some javascript libraries give fine performance for this kind of stuff (network latency considered), but when it comes to game-style performance, you need something more native. I wonder if webgl can step up to give us this kind of perf, but if it cannot then any webapp will just not be suitable for low-latency, fast response applications.

Of course, this means WebGL libraries are needed to make development of these types of app practical.

Of course, it depends on the framework you're using - WPF for example is a "native" platform for UI development, but it is worse than web apps [wordpress.com] for performance especially now MS is using Direct2D for IE rendering.

Java Stack Traces (5, Funny)

doubleplusungodly (1929514) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777487)

I hope iPhone users don't freak out when their Java apps suddenly start printing 500 line stack traces.

Re:Java Stack Traces (3, Insightful)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778483)

The fact that iDevice users in general aren't accustomed to error messages whatsoever brings up a philosophical question..
If an App falls over and no one sees an error message, did it really fail?

Re:Java Stack Traces (1)

ddvlad (862846) | about a year and a half ago | (#40779267)

I hope iPhone users don't freak out when their Java apps suddenly start printing 500 line stack traces.

Of course not, they will scroll flawlessly across the retina display.

Tomorrows News: Oracle sues ex-employees.... (2)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777551)

Im sure they will come up with something to sue them over, or if it gets big enough buy them out.

Re:Tomorrows News: Oracle sues ex-employees.... (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777645)

Larry prefers the hand on approach of dressing up as a ninja and hunting them like animals.

Re:Tomorrows News: Oracle sues ex-employees.... (2)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777993)

That's almost correct, except Larry Ellison prefers to dress up like a woman and hide behind his lawyers.

And then hunt them like animals.

Compiles in the 'cloud' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40777809)

When it comes time to compile to native, it ships your code off to their servers to compile on Xcode. On one hand, that means that you can now write iOS apps on any platform. On the other hand, it means you are dead in the water if your internet goes down, their servers go down, they go out of business and if you continue to use it you will have to pay whatever they decide to charge for the service. You are adding another single point of failure.

Appcelerator (Titanium) asks me to log in when I start it up, but I can still compile if I get disconnected.

Wow! Major coverage from Forbes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40777847)

This is the same outfit that predicted a slam dunk win for SCO over IBM! They're NEVER WRONG!

Re:Wow! Major coverage from Forbes! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778669)

So based on your logic. Forbes makes a mistake so they always make a mistake?

Go back to Logic 101.

Why? (0)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#40777957)

Apple shunned other 3rd party app platforms like Flash because they wanted to lock down their walled garden, so I don't really think Apple wants Java on their platform.

Java for web is dead, period. Any website that requires Java to view is a failure, on any platform, period.

Java as a platform has been pretty much shunned by almost every other platform due to Oracle, Apple isn't going to let Java touch iOS and have them bastards hard on there case.

Java the language can live on, but Java the platform has to die.

Re:Why? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778121)

well, yes.. but they also said that they shunned 3rd party app platforms because they are almost universally crap.

Re:Why? (0)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778227)

Spoken like the truly uninformed. There's tons of applet code out there, you probably don't notice it because they don't run slow like they did 15 years ago. I play Yahoo Games hearts almost daily and their applets have been around for probably 10 years.

Simple test, disable Java in your browser to see how many Java web apps you're using that you never noticed.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40778383)

I always notice when a site requires java because I don't have it installed, and it does not prevent me browsing the web at all. Only my bank requires it, for something obscure, because the interface is all html.

Re:Why? (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778685)

I've never had Java enabled in my browser - I've not noticed anything really missing from any websites I have ever visited. No big holes in the page, no missing functionality. Where are these wonderous hidden applets that you claim should be there?

Re:Why? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#40779311)

apple doesn't care _how_ your app runs. it can have a vm bundled with it, you can develope even flash apps for ios.

what they do care is that your app isnt' a gateway to running other apps.

and thanks to my bank I have to use a horribly designed java applet every time I want to pay some bills - but even in that case the fact that it's horribly written piece of shit isn't java's fault at all, just the fucking stupid fucks who designed the system(no it doesn't add any real extra layer of security to the login process).

Re:Why? (1)

bug_hunter (32923) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785327)

Not that I agree with much of your post (each to his own) but this product translates Java to the native platforms, there is no embedded VM. So this is Java the language and not Java the platform.

Oh, wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40778049)

Do they hate iOS that much?

Judging from the video (2)

ashpool7 (18172) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778109)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkPt3jDW8Bs [youtube.com]

It's just about as slow as a translated hack. DDJ reports that they draw all their UI elements from scratch, which would explain it.

Granted, the video could be choppy because their recording software is bad or they intentionally slowed it down, but I've had an iPhone 3G (the demo is a faster 3GS) and my apps aren't this slow.

debian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40778241)

Could you please first take Java 7 license to somewhat compatible with Debian please?

I don't care about Java for the UI on iPhones (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778267)

I figure the native APIs will always rule, especially on resource limited mobile apps. Now, what I would like is the ability to link in Java libraries.

You can now (2)

codepunk (167897) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778461)

You can now experience the same poor application performance and battery life of android devices. Download Now!

Re:You can now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40782491)

Yeah, cause iPhones are well known for running days, if not weeks, on a single battery charge :rolls eyes:

Re:You can now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40785185)

Android phones don't even work for one day. Java fail.

We already have the original (2)

StefanWiesendanger (687733) | about a year and a half ago | (#40778799)

Java basically started out as a clone of OPENSTEP - i.e., the very system/API that is the ancestor of OS X and iOS or Cocoa and Cocoa Touch respectively. So, when I can have the matured original, why would I want the clone?

Re:We already have the original (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40780971)

Java a clone of OPENSTEP? Really? Please elaborate.

Re:We already have the original (2)

StefanWiesendanger (687733) | about a year and a half ago | (#40782143)

Well clone wasn't well formulated. It drew heavy inspiration from OPENSTEP and Objective-C, which at that time was used by Sun as well (OpenStep for Solaris) but then ditched in favour of Java. Let's put it that way. :)

This is all very sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40782027)

If they wanted to work on something, they could be contributing to the Mono project instead.

Mono? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40782329)

So there is already software that developers can get to port their code from desktop to Android, iOS, Windows phone. You pay for it, but it is already there with a langauge that Java developers will find familiar. In fact they had done some looking into porting the java parts of Android to C# and were claiming speedup.

yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40785551)

They're taking another swing at it!

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"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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