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Poll Result: Why Desktop Development Receives So Little Publicity Today

Posted by editor on December 11, 2011 at 8:03 PM PST

I wasn't pleased (though I also wasn't surprised) to see that quite a lot of people think the reason Java desktop development receives so little publicity today is because sites like ignore the desktop. Well, maybe other sites do that, but I'm pretty sure that I pay close attention to desktop development. I'd have chosen a different option had I voted in the poll!

A total of 481 votes were cast in the poll. The exact poll question and results were:

Why does development for the desktop receive so little publicity today?

  • 15% (74 votes) - Because almost no development for the desktop happens today
  • 7% (32 votes) - Because desktop development and apps are uninteresting
  • 16% (76 votes) - Because desktop developers don't adequately publicize their accomplisments
  • 9% (42 votes) - Because sites like ignore the desktop
  • 30% (143 votes) - Actually, the 'desktop' has moved to smaller, mobile devices; there it receives plenty of publicity
  • 12% (57 votes) - I don't know
  • 12% (57 votes) - Other

The "outlier" in this data is the votes for "Actually, the 'desktop' has moved to smaller, mobile devices; there it receives plenty of publicity." The other options have a similar, much lower number of votes, with "Because desktop developers don't adequately publicize their accomplisments" and "Because almost no development for the desktop happens today" receiving the second and third most votes.

The state of the desktop is indeed ambiguous. What is the desktop today? Is it traditional PCs? Or does it extend to "pads" and even the more powerful "phones". Can you really call them "phones" when they're actually small computers that can also be used for traditional voice communication? I don't know if they're more phones than they are quite small desktop computers at this point. So, I can easily see the logic by which many developers selected "Actually, the 'desktop' has moved to smaller, mobile devices; there it receives plenty of publicity."

I personally find the second-place option interesting: "Because desktop developers don't adequately publicize their accomplisments." Geertjan Wielenga noted the problem of visibility of technologies as reflected in sessions presented at conferences in his recent blog relating to Devoxx '11, What is Happening vs. What is Interesting. Could it be that the Java desktop receives less publicity simply because its developers quietly do their work, not submitting papers to conferences, not blogging about their accomplishments?

This, indeed, is my answer to the 9% who selected "Because sites like ignore the desktop." I can't publicize what you're working on if you don't publicly document your efforts and accomplishments, and the important results which therein accrue. I'm not clairvoyant! You need to take the effort to publicize what you're accomplishing before I can point the broader Java developer community to it!

End of year poll: what did we accomplish in 2011?

Our new poll asks you to respond to the prompt The most important Java/JVM related happening in 2011 was... Voting will be open until Friday, December 23. Weblogs

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Regarding the answer about, I still remember ...

Regarding the answer about, I still remember the old gone days, where daily feeds in would
teach us the best way to take advantage of Swing, or how to make Java applications feel more native to their
guest environments.

This is no longer the case.

I think there are two reasons: 1) "Because desktop ...

I think there are two reasons:

1) "Because desktop developers don't adequately publicize their accomplisments".
Desktop applications are developed as private specialized applications
in firms or organizations. So they are not exposed or not described.

2) Most application are exposed on the web, developers are familiar with web
enterprise technologies, so users get intranet application reached in the
web browser and nothing is needed to instal on the workstation.

It seems if it is spoken about application you thing the web application.

If you try find applications based on Rich Client Platform frameworks (NetBeans,
Eclipse, other? e.g. Delphi) you will find more complex applications with rich UI
and huge data, images, 3D, modelling, simulations... But they are hidden because
their developers can't publish their experience? Their knowledge are shared
in specialized mailing-lists.

Survey results are collected through IT population where most of people are
working on web or mobile? The great work is been done in banks, factories, research.
It is not visible but each product must be designed, simulated, prepared.
You must order the material, estimate costs, control the production.

Many years ago I have heard the true application is on the PC. But PC got spread
slowly into enterprise and I had worked on mainframe applications at that times.

So what new ages are comming?