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Are Java Technologies Themselves Segmenting The Java Community?

Posted by jonathansimon on June 11, 2003 at 4:59 PM PDT

The Client Provisioning Spec is a J2EE framework for bundling and distributing applications and resources to various clients. This is a great and generally applicable idea. The problem is that there is a huge focus on J2ME -- both at this conference and in the JSRs. As a result, the focus for the Client Provisioning Spec is on distributing J2ME apps. Taking a look across the other technologies around, there are several other places this technology could be applicable; for example, JNLP and JavaWebStart. Currently, JNLP defines a spec for auto-updating and installing rich client applications. There is minimal support for conditionally downloading specific resources via a small servlet you can download. This is a clear place where there are largely compatible technologies that could really work well together. If the client provisioning specification and JavaWebStart were a unified force, we would have a complete, storing, packaging and conditionally downloading solution for thick clients.

Also, as mentioned earlier today, there is a JSR for scripting in web apps. Why not scripting in Java? What I see is JSRs existing in isolation in sorts of fiefdoms. It seems to me that to unify the community, we need to first unify the platform. If we are going to do scripting, we should look at all of the places it could be useful. If we are doing client provisioning, we should work with all of the places it could be used. But it can't just be discussed in theory. In needs to be implemented and presented to the community as a unified process.

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