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What is SUN’s official commitment to JDNC?

6 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2004-06-27

Hello Amy, Mark and Ramesh,

Congratulations for the JDNC project – it looks very promising, and definitely fills a need!

But what is SUN’s commitment to this initiative? Is it backed up by management to become an official product or is it just a trial to see whether anyone out there is interested and whether you can build up an open-source developer community?
In practice, what are the milestones and deliverables for the next year or so? How much man power does SUN allocate to this project? Are there plans to make JDNC an official extension to the Java Platform?
I saw the Feature Summary with plans for version 0.4 and 1.0, but it does not give any date for version 1.0 and has not been updated since June (JavaOne?).

Please understand, I am not asking these questions to be polemic or so; it’s just that I need more information to make an important decision in a project I am in charge of.

I work at CERN, the European Lab for High-Energy Particle Physics located in Geneva ( We use Java to build the control systems of the new HEP installations (including the 27 km circumference ring of the new Large Hadron Collider LHC). I am in charge of a project to provide a GUI platform for the development of all new GUIs.
We’ve been using the Netbeans platform for one year now, with mixed results. It does provide a lot of functionality and it is quite mature. However, our Swing programmers find the API very complex, and the applications are clumsy to debug and to deploy. JDNC looks much more suitable for them.

From a technical point of view, I am very tempted to change to JDNC, but from a managerial standpoint, I cannot make this commitment based on the information I have so far.

Many thanks in advance for your reply,

Dr. Vito Baggiolini

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Joined: 2006-02-17

Well seeing as CERN caused this whole mess by
inventing that ghastly browser contraption - maybe they
could devote a bit of resources to helping fix the
problem (i.e. JDNC) :)

Joined: 2006-02-17

ought to clarify the above comment

by problem I mean the world is developing internet
applications using browsers (invented by Berners Lee
while a CERN) i.e. JDNC is the solution to the problem

by help fix it - I mean contribute to open source
source alternative to browsers i.e JDNC - that's
the whole point of Sun Open Sourcing stuff - so
others can contribute...

Mark Davidson

On 09/23/2004 07:26 AM, wrote:
> ought to clarify the above comment

I got it and I thought it was quite witty ;-)


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Joined: 2006-02-17


> I got it and I thought it was quite witty

Yes. Well I had concerns that across the myriad of
cultures the humour might get lost and I'd be responsible
for messing up the huge opportunity that could arise
if JDNC meets grid computing and CERN creativity...


Amy Fowler

Hello Dr. Baggiolini,

You raise a good question that faces anyone who is considering using
jdnc in a production-level project.

Since the project is fullfilling a long-existing gap in our Java
platform offerings, there are many folks out there who really want
to start using it *today*. However, I have to be honest in stating
that JDNC is still in the alpha stage of its evolution. The apis
and schema will likely change [multiple times] in incompatible
ways as we strive towards a 1.0 release. Such instability is likely
unsuitable for many projects; for others, while annoying, it's a magnet
to participate in ensuring the technology meets their project's needs.
The latter case is likely a hardcore minority :-) Early adoption
always comes with risk, no matter what company is behind the technology.

We have just finished an initial draft of a JDNC1.0 project plan which
lays out a vision, features, milestones, and will eventually include a
target schedule. We'll be posting that roadmap to get community feedback
at the end of this month. This might provide you a more concrete feel
as to our overall direction and schedule, because I admit the current
website info is 3 months stale.

Is Sun committed to this project? definitely - it's funding all the
resources behind it and will be increasing the engineering effort in the
nearterm. However, it is not yet part of a committed "product", which
I understand is the golden key you are looking for. There are definitely
portions of JDNC we are already ear-marking for eventual promotion into
J2SE. There are other parts which we consider more experimental in nature
and wouldn't likely make it into the platform without going through the
JSR process. But jdnc's open source license will enable developers to
use the technology as they see fit, regardless of how Sun decides to
incorporate it into the platform or products in the future. Obviously
that model understandably doesn't work for many customers and projects
which require a more official level of 'support' from Sun, hence your

Now I'm an engineer on the project (the danger of setting us loose on
public forums is that we respond honestly to such questions :-). I can get
you a more 'official' position from management/marketing, if that is what you
need to make your decision.

Respectfully yours,
Amy Fowler (Aim)

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Joined: 2004-06-27

Dear Amy,

Thanks a lot for this long, honest and reassuring reply. I’m looking forward to reading the JNDC 1.0 project plan, and to giving you our feedback. In the mean time, we’ll closely follow up the development and try to contribute. We’ll focus on the lower two layers (Swing Extensions and JDNC API) which I admit are more stable than the JDNC Markup Language layer.
Keep up the good work!

Best regards,
Vito Baggiolini