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RIA & Ajax: Article

Software Executive Claims "The Love Is Gone" for Java

WaveMaker CEO Christopher Keene makes waves, recommends Sun to make Java easier

"When was the last time you heard about a cool web app that wasn't written in Rails or PHP?" asks Chris Keene (pictured), CEO of WaveMaker, in an article published today at SYS-CON.com. "OK, people still build lots of cool stuff in Java," Keene continues, "but the love is gone and it's just a day job now."

According to Keene, "After 10 years, Java remains an extremely complex development environment with nothing even approaching an easy learning curve."He continues:

"The Sun promise to put Java runtimes everywhere is meaningless if nobody wants to develop for those runtimes. Adobe and Microsoft are doing a far better job making their tools simple enough for mere mortals and focusing on the presentation layer."

Keene, who as WaveMaker CEO notes that his company has hitched its wagon to Java, offers the following recommended steps for curing what her terms "the Java flu":

  1. Fight for the low end: in modern warfare, death may come from above. In technology, death comes from below. Ten years from now, who will have more power over IT - web designers or core developers? If Microsoft and Adobe win the designers today, Java developers will be the Cobol developers of tomorrow.

  2. Make Java easier: something is wrong when very useful but also very complex code frameworks like Spring are considered the "easy" way to do Java development. Java needs to be easy enough for your mother to build her web-based phone list with it. I'm talking Hypercard/Filemaker/Access easy.

  3. Make Java prettier: just put a bullet in JavaFX and adopt something with momentum like Dojo or Ext. If you just can't stomach Javascript, then adopt GWT.

  4. Make Java fun: can't do this without doing the first three items.

For an example of one attempt to make Java easy, Keene recommends readers to check out the WaveMaker download.

As for JavaFX, one of the main announcements at JavaOne last week, Keene was not impressed:

"The world needs Sun to stand behind one of the 200+ AJAX frameworks already out there, not create yet another one."


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Ever since Google popularized a smarter, more responsive and interactive Web experience by using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for its Google Maps & Gmail applications, SYS-CON's RIA News Desk has been covering every aspect of Rich Internet Applications and those creating and deploying them. If you have breaking RIA news, please send it to RIA@sys-con.com to share your product and company news coverage with AJAXWorld readers.

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