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Wicked Game

Posted by editor on July 1, 2008 at 6:42 AM PDT

Has Google backed the wrong horse in the RIA race?

You'll recall that last week in this space, we discussed the browser-versus-VM competition, spurred by an update from Artima, Rich Internet Applications: VM Runtimes or Browser Standards? It asked the question of whether RIAs can continue to build on the JavaScript/CSS/DOM/Ajax stack, if that'll hold up and not become hopelessly incompatible and complex, or if the future is a VM-based solution in which the RIA runs inside a virtual machine, as with Java (and JavaFX), Flash/Flex, and Silverlight. We noted Apple and Google's bets on the Ajax browser stack, with Apple's support of WebKit and Google's use of Ajax for so many of its apps.

But is that really the right choice for Google? Or have they become a big enough company that they're blinkered into adopting the browser stack because that's what their previous successes are built on? That's the premise of Simon Morris' latest missive, Flogging a Dead Horse:

With so many developers recruited straight out of university, one wonders how many Google engineers really remember programming before the arrival of web? Perhaps unsurprisingly Google is wedded to the web as a platform for Rich Internet Application development, yet is there any strong evidence that this is a fruitful avenue to pursue?

Sure, Gmail is used by many, but what of Google's other web-app offerings? Docs? Spreadsheet? Does anyone, aside from the occasional curious soul, seriously use these applications? I don't think so! Yet Google continues to develop and promote the likes of GWT (Google Web Toolkit) and Gears, technologies designed to smooth over or work around the obvious shortcomings in the web platform.

If I was being cruel I might wonder whether the true genius of Google lies in finding more inventive ways to flog a dead horse! When you consider the promise of Adobe's AIR, Microsoft's Silverlight, or indeed Java's own JFX, you wonder why we aren't seeing evidence of significant investment in these technologies — or at the very least in one of them. Silverlight and JavaFX may still be raw, but AIR is mature enough to start producing applications, if only exploratory beta releases.

Have times changed from when Google chose to shun the VM approach for GMail and Google Maps? Was it the right decision then, would it be right now, or is it time for Google's engineers to reacquaint themselves with JNLP or the <applet> tag?

Also in today's Weblogs, Kohsuke Kawaguchi offers tools for Building IPS package from Maven.
"I wrote a Maven plugin for building an IPS package, so that Java projects can create IPS packages more easily."

Finally, Ramesh Parthasarathy looks at
Byte Buffers in SailFin.
"Throughput, stress and longevity metrics of the SailFin SIP container depends on a few factors that can be controlled and configured by the end user, and getting the right size of the buffers used internally is one of them."

The latest Java Mobility Podcast is
Java Mobility Podcast 51: SEA Technologia, in which
Alexandre Gomes and associates talk about game development with Dino and HoHoHo and the state of mobile and embedded development in Brazil.

In Java Today,
the latest entry in Barton George's series of OpenJDK podcasts is Sun and Red Hat talk Open JDK. "At last week's Red Hat summit I grabbed Boston local and Sun employee Rich Sands and Toronto-ite/Red Hat employee Tom Fitzsimmons for a podcast.  Rich is the Sun marketing guy for OpenJDK and Tom is one of the key engineers at Red Hat who've been working on IcedTea/OpenJDK."

Roger Brinkley's latest blog announces the opening of nominations for the Mobile & Embedded Community Governance Board, which has two open positions. "Any member can nominate an active member in the Mobile & Embedded Community to serve as a Governance Board Member. All nominations will be reviewed by the current Mobile & Embedded Community Governance to verify that the nominee is interested in the position and complies with current Governance Board Member requirements.
Elections will be held July 14 through July 28 though a mechanism still yet to be determined. All members will be able to vote in the election." Further details are available from the Mobile & Embedded Community Governance page.<

The latest edition of the JavaTools Community Newsletter, issue 173, is out, with tool-related news from around the web, announcements of a large number of new projects in the community, and a Tool Tip on finding bugs on web applications with IE 8.

In today's Forums,
mnoma wants to know if anyone knows of a
signing/authenticating webservice proxy/gateway?
"I'm looking for something like an authenticating webservice proxy/gateway that takes a webservice request from a client and forwards it to a given service provider. Before forwarding the request, the webservice proxy/gateway must authenticate the request for the service provider either via HTTPS or WS-Security using a client certificate. Does anybody know of an application or library for Metro or another WS stack that implements such a behaviour or helps in implementing it in Java? Btw. the proxy/gateway must run on the client side, because every client has its own certificate."

Shai Almog addresses requests for the LWUIT source in the followup
Re: When will LWUIT source be availible? Post if you would like the same.
"Delays in the source have little to do with us, Sun has announced the source will be available this summer and as far as our team is concerned (Chen, Yoav and myself) we would have published it immediately after J1. There is a checklist and lots of people who need to give their approval for the release, this makes the process long and difficult but we are trying to push it as hard as we can. Personally we want the source code to be out more than you guys because this would reduce pressure on Chen and myself for answering all the queries in the list."

abhayani announces and explains
SVN changes in Mobicents Media Server.
"MMS is now divided into 3 main levels:

core : This has everything related to MMS and has no dependency on JAIN SLEE

controllers : This contains msc and mgcp. msc : msc resource adaptors acts as local controller for MMS. If you write SBB which is deployed in same JVN as MMS, you can use msc ra to control MMS

mgcp : mgcp contains mgcp-stack, mgcp-ra which is resource adaptor over mgcp-stack and mgcp-controller which uses mgcp-ra. You need to deploy mgcp-ra and mgcp-controller if you want to control MMS which is in remote machine. These resource adaptors are now removed from jain-slee/resources

examples : This contains mms-demo, mgcp-demo, call-controller2 and converged-demo. These examples are now removed from jain-slee/examples"

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Has Google backed the wrong horse in the RIA race?