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Do What You Have To Do

Posted by editor on May 21, 2007 at 4:26 AM PDT

A detailed road-map for consumer-side Java

So did you ever think you'd see something so frank from Sun?

The reality is, we have several outstanding issues with Java as a consumer desktop platform, which need to be fixed soon in order to make us competitive now and in the future.

If you did, did you think it would come with a compreshensive response like this:

The good news is that we are, in fact, aware of these issues. The better news is that we're working on the problems. The best news is that we are close to solutions and intend to delilver them as an update to the SE 6 release, in a release that we call the Consumer JRE.

We're starting off today's Weblogs section by highlighting Chet Haase's remarkably thorough desktop/client/consumer-side road-map, Consumer JRE: Leaner, Meaner Java, which covers a number of different technologies to launch in this SE 6 update: faster launching for applets and applications, the "Java Kernel" to optimize downloading just the parts of JRE to get an application up and running, a deployment toolkit to detect and install the JRE, a better cross-platform look-and-feel, and improved installation, Windows graphics.

It's highly encouraging to see these issues being addressed, and with a comprehensive approach. There's a lot to cover, and Chet's blog has already kicked off a long conversation in the comments.

I also find myself drawn to the term "consumer" in the sense of these user-facing SE technologies. "Desktop" Java never seemed right to me, since SE might be running on set-top boxes or high-end phones, and "client" Java implies a server that isn't necessarily there (not every task needs to be networked; in fact, I don't want to collaborate when I'm working my finances). We'll see if this term gains traction, or if it gets people to think differently about the role and possibilities of Java SE.

Also in today's Weblogs, Max