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Call And Answer

Posted by editor on June 18, 2008 at 6:25 AM PDT

Checking in on some of Java's most contentious debates

One of the debates that just seems not to get settled in the Java community is just how prominent Java should be to the end-user. People were surprised to find out that the Amazon Kindle is a Java ME powered device, as it had been on the market for months before this news came out.

Contrast that with the behavior of the Java Plug-In, particularly in Java 6 Update 10, which makes sure you know you're using Java by defaulting to a Java splash screen, and putting a Java toolbar item on the Windows system tray.

What's better: quiet success that does nothing to promote the Java brand? Or getting in the user's face, which got Java dinged as annoying (and which we discussed before).

This debate is the topic of today's featured Forum messages. We start with jwenting in
Re: Comments on J6 Update N.
"The reason is that end users couldn't care less whether they're running Java, Flash, or Boo and shouldn't be constantly reminded of something they don't care about. I don't see many "written in Visual C++" banners when starting applications quite obviously written in in that, yet Visual C++ programmers aren't afraid that people will pass their products by if they knew they were using that particular programming environment..."

fatbatman says it's the web developers, not the end users, who need to deal with the splash screen in the reply
Re: Comments on J6 Update N.
"The people that own websites make the decision on what technology to use, if they don't like the effect the look of the splash screen and how it damages the look and feel of the site, they won't and don't use Java in the first place. Regarding the end users, if a user has previously had their browser lock up after seeing this strange coffee cup, and eventually crashing this will make them more weary in the future if they see that a site is "powered by Java". The locking and crashing will hopefully be fixed in update 10, but peoples perception will take time to fix and should be done by stealth, not a fanfare."

jwenting is active in another thread on the topic,
Re: Please remove the toolbar installer!
"Don't force spyware and adware onto users as part of the JRE installation process. It makes Java look incredibly cheesy from the moment it's being installed, not a good start. In fact if I didn't need it for my work as a Java programmer I'd be so put off by that idiocy (and yes, you can turn it off if you look carefully at the installer screens and click the right things at the right time) that I'd cancel the installer as soon as it got to that stage and decide to never use anything written in Java again. It's unprofessional, makes your product look like some cheap piece of spyware/adware. Yes, I know you can bypass it. But you shouldn't have to."

Speaking of ongoing debates,
JavaWorld has posted a new article aimed at Understanding the closures debate, which we're featuring in the Java Today section. "With three proposals vying for inclusion in Java 7, understanding closures and the arguments for and against their inclusion in the Java language is essential. In this article Angelika Langer and Klaus Kreft give us a detailed overview of the three proposals -- BGGA, CICE, and FCM -- discussing the pros and cons of each, where they differ, and how they compare. The authors also explain the arguments against adding closures to Java 7, and conclude with their insight into where this debate will lead in the year ahead."

The Aquarium reports, "Java Champion Adam Bien has been running the following series of blogs around EJB 3 in the past few days:

Adam makes several points around the "lightweightness" of EJB's both at development time and runtime, contrasts the EJB3 approach with similar yet different technologies like Spring or Guice, and takes the upcoming EJB 3.1 improvements into account concluding that EJB's should be considered as no more than "midweight". Overall this three-part set of posts is a very nice read with fact-based opinions."

The latest edition, issue 172, of the JavaTools Community Newsleter is out, with a look ahead to Jazoon, tool-related news from around the web, announcements of projects that have joined the community, and a Tool Tip on CPU and memory profiling with VisualVM.

The latest JavaOne Community Corner Podcast is
j1-2k8-mtT13: EDR-MDS A less is more aproach to Master Data Services by Thor Henning Hetland.
"Service Oriented Architecture is all over us. There seems to be some kind of consensus that one type of SOa services are domain object repository services - and vendors are monitoring and releasing their SOA Data Server products to close the gap. By pioneering the SOA space with EDR, we quickly had to solve the Master Data challenge in SOA. This talk will discuss the main contenders for the ownership of your business objects definitions, and comment on their consequences - and then follow up with a "less is more" approach to enable companies to gain the combined advantages of all the platforms by extending the EDR pattern to also include Master Data Service features."

Today's Weblogs begin with an entry from Kito D.