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Poll Result: 'the Cloud' Is Not an Earth-Shattering Development

Posted by editor on September 25, 2009 at 8:22 AM PDT

Many people who voted in this past week's poll think the hype surrounding 'the cloud' may be a bit overblown. The poll was submitted by Geertjan Wielenga, and it was a good one, drawing 347 votes and four thoughtful comments.

The exact poll question and results were:

What's your opinion of 'the Cloud'?

  • 13% (45 votes) - It's the future: gradually all apps will move to the Cloud.
  • 6% (21 votes) - It's great. I'm using it already.
  • 26% (91 votes) - It's an interesting development. I'll wait and see what comes of it.
  • 19% (66 votes) - It's a passing phase, like so many other things we've seen.
  • 30% (105 votes) - It's the emperor's new clothes: the Cloud is just a server, what's so new about it?
  • 5% (19 votes) - I don't know; other

So, combining the "passing phase" and "emperor's new clothes" options, 49% of the voters don't consider the Cloud to be significant or new. Add in some of the "wait and see" votes, and you can say that a majority of poll takers think the hype the Cloud is receiving is or may be overblown.

Meanwhile, 19% of voters were enthusiastic about the cloud: they are either using it already, or believe they'll be using it in the future as applications migrate to the cloud.

Only 5% selected the "I don't know; other" option, which means that people have indeed thought about the Cloud, and also that the range of response options in the poll was pretty good.

My own view of the Cloud is... Well, when I was interviewing Adam Bien for a Community Corner podcast at the last JavaOne conference, at one point I realized that what's happening in the Java EE space with respect to clients (fat is now good -- think RIA) is somewhat akin to what was happening 8-10 years ago; then, fat clients were good, because they provided an excellent user experience. But suddenly, a year or two later, fat clients were a horrible thing, because the internet and middle tier couldn't easily support them, they bogged down the entire system, so now all clients had to be thin and, ideally, stateless. Fast forward to now: today, if your application doesn't support a rich client, you're so passe! It gave us a good laugh, as Adam said you just wait ten years, and the same technology returns, only under a different name.

Yes, the Cloud is new in certain aspects, but how different is it really? You're connecting to a remote server where an application and data reside. Maybe the physical distance between your desk and that server is thousands of miles, but how different is it, really, from the days in the early 1970's when I wrote my first programs (in APL) on a teletype terminal in my high school that was connected to an IBM 360 at a university on the other side of my state? I mean, yes, there have been advances (I no longer need to store and load my program from a scroll of yellow paper tape with holes punched into it -- see Figure 1) -- but, how different is the Cloud, really?

Figure 1: tool for connecting to 'the Cloud' circa 1970

As I said, there were four interesting comments posted to the poll. aleixmr said the cloud idea is good, programming tools are obsolete, and weanon concurred. ronaldtm noted that not all apps will move to the cloud, only certain types of apps, and new types of application will be enabled by the cloud. dwalend noted that connection problems can render the cloud useless at times: if you can't get your data to the remote app, you can't do your work.

New poll: new JVM languages

Our new poll asks "What do you think about the accelerating emergence of new languages for the JVM?" Voting will be open for the coming week.

In Java Today, the Java User Groups community is highlighting this weekend's Houston Tech Fest (co-organized by the Houston JUG):

Dan Sline co-leader of the Houston JUG writes that the Houston TechFest is this weekend. Better Hurry, they have over 1300 people signed-up for the event and Pre-Registration end Wed Nite (Sep 23rd). There are great talks lined up on the Java and Scripting side: From 0 to Grails in 60 Seconds; Java FX (by Java Evangelist Sang Shin); Emerging Java Technologies (by Sang Shin); Groovy in Web Services; Data Mining in Java; Cost Effective Technical Solutions; Ruby; Scala, and many more. Pictures from the event will appear on the JUG Community Page. This event is a partnership between the local JUG, Ruby, and .NET communities who are organizing the event.

The GMVC project has as its goal expediting "Swing Application development and best practices by using Generic Views, Models and Generic Controllers":

Making Swing's MVC pattern Generic and using annotations would speed up development of complex Swing FAT client . This new approach allows Controllers to receive and sometimes send POJO selection and/or model change messages, which greatly simplifies the design of Controllers. Today's implementation is to much row index based and uses only java.lang.Object to allow it to be speudo Generic. Using this new new gmvc package would also allow support of IDE to understand what Model, View and Controller components are using annotations so that they can also generate code to connect a Controller to certain selection model(s) and/or data model(s).

Yohan Liyanage described Breaking the Singleton:

One of my colleagues at work raised a question regarding 'breaking the singleton' using Java Reflection, and asked of a way to avoid such actions. It inspired me, and started to think about a way to avoid it, and following is the outcome of it...

In today's Weblogs, I'm featuring Arun Gupta's recent post Q&A Transcript from

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