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Comments on J6 Update N

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ivanooi
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Joined: 2005-06-27
Points: 0

Hi,

First of all, Java 6 Update N are the coolest Runtime. 1st, it have the Flash style distribution ( smaller size ) + can be add on and became some thing like Adobe AIR. A more powerful VM. BUT!

1) Any reasons the compressed Kernel VM size increased from 2.xxMB to 4.xx MB ?
2) how nice if we can customize the download dialog, some thing like what Flash able to do.
3) Standard Java classes can be download when needed. How bout users or 3rd parties libraries ? Is there anyway we can do that for our own jar files ?

Thanks

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joecole
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Joined: 2003-06-10
Points: 0

dup

mbreese
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Joined: 2007-08-17
Points: 0

> I don't see why a single tray icon should make users angry.

See, here's the thing... it's not your screen. In an era of brand new computers being crippled by manufacturers by installing all sorts of bloat ware the last thing most people want to see is another tray icon. For a lot of people, they look at the icon and think "what the? I didn't install this... kill kill kill". You don't see any other browser plugin (remember, that's what we're talking about... a plugin to another application) creating a system level tray icon. It makes no sense for it to be there... there is no technical reason - it's only poor marketing.

> After all for me its the preferred way to open the
> java-console, and I also tell this my users if they
> should send me debug-output. Its quick&dirty but
> works very well.

Again, that's for you... it's your preferred way as the programmer. If you need your users to send you debug output, there are tons of other ways (except in the event of a major exception, but in that case you have bigger issues).

> Well, but to use Programs written in Java they need
> to download and install java, as well as updating it
> from time to time - so whats bad they know about
> Java?

Nothing is bad about end-users knowing about Java. The point is that they shouldn't necessarily know when they are using it. At least they shouldn't know about it every time it is used on a web page. Regarding applets, the big competition Java is dealing with is Flash... people know that they need Flash installed. If it isn't, then they are prompted to install it in a very seamless manner. Then they never see it again. They know it is installed, but most don't know that's what is delivering their YouTube videos.

> And I guess this is what Sun tries to do, make users
> aware that they are using java, and that Java is
> great for the software they are using.

> Yes, Java has/had a bad reputation - but in order to
> correct it, users need to know that the great program
> they are using right now uses Java and its fast and
> looks cool.

I appreciate what they are trying to do. I really do. I think Sun is spot on with most of the technology aspects behind Java. It's a great language and has an even better ecosystem behind it. They have done an excellent job of getting programmers to use Java. But one place they have fallen short is on the user experience side... across the board. Sun needs to realize who their target audience is. It's not my mother-in-law (who required me to install Java for her online-banking). The target audience for Sun is developers. Keeping developers using the JVM is only thing that should matter to them.

I think that the one way to do this is to make the installation process as simple and lightweight as it can be.

linuxhippy
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Joined: 2004-01-07
Points: 0

> And this is why Java is losing (has lost) it's
> influence on the desktop and the web... it's all
> about the user.
Yes, its all abaout the user.
So if the user was waiting 15s for applet startup, or fighting with crashing browser plugins, yes, that is what users hate. I don't see why a single tray icon should make users angry.

After all for me its the preferred way to open the java-console, and I also tell this my users if they should send me debug-output. Its quick&dirty but works very well.

> The problem with the current Java tray icon and
> splash screens and WebStart in-your-face-gui is that
> Java is a language. People don't want to use Java
> the language. They want to use the program that is
> written in Java.
Well, but to use Programs written in Java they need to download and install java, as well as updating it from time to time - so whats bad they know about Java?

I know some friends which have to install java for online-banking, and know what, they don't have a problem with it. When they set-up their computer, java is a after the drivers the first thing they install.
And I guess this is what Sun tries to do, make users aware that they are using java, and that Java is great for the software they are using.
Yes, Java has/had a bad reputation - but in order to correct it, users need to know that the great program they are using right now uses Java and its fast and looks cool.

Clemens

cowwoc
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Joined: 2003-08-24
Points: 0

> > And this is why Java is losing (has lost) it's
> > influence on the desktop and the web... it's all
> > about the user.
> Yes, its all abaout the user.
> So if the user was waiting 15s for applet startup, or
> fighting with crashing browser plugins, yes, that is
> what users hate. I don't see why a single tray icon
> should make users angry.

Because no other plugin does this. The only use of the system tray (as you've mentioned below) is to bring up the debugging console but there is a better way to do that anyway.

> After all for me its the preferred way to open the
> java-console, and I also tell this my users if they
> should send me debug-output. Its quick&dirty but
> works very well.

1) How often do end-users get at debugging output? I would say extremely rarely.
2) FireFox has "Tools -> Error Console". What's wrong with that? Why couldn't people just use the pulldown menu which every other plugin in the world adds. GreaseMonkey, AdBlock, Firebug all use this, why can't Java?

> Well, but to use Programs written in Java they need
> to download and install java, as well as updating it
> from time to time - so whats bad they know about
> Java?

If they know about it you've done something wrong. If the application deployment is completely seamless (like a webapp) they won't know or care about it.

> I know some friends which have to install java for
> online-banking, and know what, they don't have a
> problem with it. When they set-up their computer,
> java is a after the drivers the first thing they
> install.
> And I guess this is what Sun tries to do, make users
> aware that they are using java, and that Java is
> great for the software they are using.
> Yes, Java has/had a bad reputation - but in order to
> correct it, users need to know that the great program
> they are using right now uses Java and its fast and
> looks cool.

The only time people have to interact with "drivers" is when something doesn't work. That means they only interact with it when something bad happens. Clearly that will never be a positive experience. The only time it makes sense for users to think about Java is when they need to install the JRE to run some application, and even that should be streamlined more and more as time goes by.

joecole
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Joined: 2003-06-10
Points: 0

Agree.

This will be the release that makes or breaks it long term. If sun are listening, please improve user experience.

Get rid of the java icon. Make splashscreens customisable. Dont install anything else. Make the installer 1 click.

Please.

jwenting
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Joined: 2003-12-02
Points: 0

> I strongly agree with all of Thierry's points.
> Particularly 3, Java just doesn't have a good
> reputation for web apps at the moment so nobody

you're confusing web apps and applets...

> wants to advertise the fact they're offering it to
> their users.
>

BS. 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
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Joined: 2004-12-24
Points: 0

> you're confusing web apps and applets...

No, I'm not.

"web app" = Web application. The best description of this is a program/service that runs entirely within a web browser and so accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. The best web applications often use a seamless combination of HTML & Flash, the user often doesn't know what is Flash and what is html/Ajax and they don't care, it's seamless to them. This is where Java falls down with it's fanfare when starting up, it breaks the user experience. If this was removed it would be a more useful option along with html and flash for creating a "web application".
Of course it's possible to create a "web application" in just Flash, or just Java but using a mixture is usually the best way to go.

> BS. 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...

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 steath, not a fanfare.

dutchiedave
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Joined: 2004-05-12
Points: 0

The fact here is that Applets are competing with Flash, and Flash is the most used technology.

Applets must behave, and the JRE must install exactly the same as Flash if you want Flash developers to move to Applets/JRE. And i mean EXACTLY THE SAME.

It really is that simple. When developers move their customers from Flash to Applets ther must be no change in the experience of their users. This means no coffee cups, no icons of toolbars etc. It must be so similar that an end user cannot tell there has been any change in the underlying technology.

If this is the case then Java Applets will have a good chance of capturing customers because you can do more with the JRE than Flash and developers will have no 'reason' to avoid using Java.

demonduck
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Joined: 2008-03-14
Points: 0

> The fact here is that Applets are competing with
> Flash, and Flash is the most used technology.
>
> Applets must behave, and the JRE must install exactly
> the same as Flash if you want Flash developers to
> move to Applets/JRE. And i mean EXACTLY THE SAME.
>

Well, if that's what it's going to take for Java to replace Flash, then
we might as well fold our tents and head out into the desert. The people
who wear the ties at SUN just don't have that kind of vision...

linuxhippy
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Joined: 2004-01-07
Points: 0

> 3) Standard Java classes can be download when needed.
> How bout users or 3rd parties libraries ? Is there
> anyway we can do that for our own jar files ?
Webstart allows this with lazy-downloading for jars...

lg Clemens

cowwoc
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Joined: 2003-08-24
Points: 0

> > 3) Standard Java classes can be download when
> needed.
> > How bout users or 3rd parties libraries ? Is there
> > anyway we can do that for our own jar files ?
> Webstart allows this with lazy-downloading for
> jars...
>
> lg Clemens

With all due respect, this isn't enough. Webstart only supports the very bare minimum required to run applications. It (still) lacks a lot of polish. Last I checked (back in 2005) Webstart wasn't being actively developed. I am hoping that with the recent rise of desktop Java this has changed.

My use-case is as follows: I have a desktop application that launches when a user logs into his account. I expect it to launch silently without displaying any splash screens, download progress bars, etc. because this would annoy the user.

If, however, the user launches the application by double clicking on its icon on the desktop then I want it to launch in non-silent mode (pop into the foreground if it's already running or launch a new instance into the foreground otherwise).

I implemented this by creating two icons for my application. The one that runs on log-on passes "-silent" as a command-line argument. The desktop icon does not.

There are three problems with using Webstart for this use-case:

1) There is no way to launch an application without getting the Webstart splash screen and/or progress bar checking whether the application needs updates.

2) There is no way to create multiple icons with different command-line arguments for the application. I believe this would require the modification of the JNLP specification.

3) Last time I checked, when a user encounters a Webstart application without a JRE installed the user experience is horrible. In an ideal world I would expect them to be told they are missing a plugin to run the application, the plugin installer would then install the JRE and launch the Webstart application automatically on exit.

When I filed RFEs for the above issues I was (for the lack of a better term) blown off by Sun's engineer. I am hoping that with Sun's new-found interest in desktop Java they are willing to re-consider this use-case. I would love to hear from them.

Thanks,
Gili

mthornton
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Joined: 2003-06-10
Points: 0

> 1) There is no way to launch an application without
> getting the Webstart splash screen and/or progress
> bar checking whether the application needs updates.

You can specify your own splash image which will be used on subsequent launches. You can also get the update check to occur in the background. This means if an update is found, it is used at the next launch. This was new with Java 6.

>
> 2) There is no way to create multiple icons with
> different command-line arguments for the application.

Not quite the same thing but "you can now specify a separate icon to be used for each association" (also as of Java 6).

cowwoc
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Joined: 2003-08-24
Points: 0

> > 1) There is no way to launch an application
> without
> > getting the Webstart splash screen and/or progress
> > bar checking whether the application needs
> updates.
>
> You can specify your own splash image which will be
> used on subsequent launches. You can also get the
> update check to occur in the background. This means
> if an update is found, it is used at the next launch.
> This was new with Java 6.

Is it possible to launch the application without any splash screen at all? Remember, my application launches every time the user logs into Windows. I don't want to display anything.

> > 2) There is no way to create multiple icons with
> > different command-line arguments for the
> application.
>
> Not quite the same thing but "you can now specify a
> separate icon to be used for each association" (also
> as of Java 6).

Can you specify a different command-line for each icon?

Thanks,
Gili

trembovetski
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Joined: 2003-12-31
Points: 0

> Is it possible to launch the application without any splash screen at all? Remember, my application launches every time the user logs into Windows. I don't want to display anything.

I don't know, but you can always create a 1x1 transparent splash image =)

Dmitri

Message was edited by: trembovetski

tmilard
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Joined: 2004-03-25
Points: 0

Yes it is true.
If we want the new java jre to be as cool as Flash for Web sevice use, it would be cool to just "not have" the java splash screen.

- 1st reason : it is not that good looking.

- 2nd reason (more imoortant): Since java start in less then 2 seconds (like Flash...) we do not need at all a "Slash screen" : Splash Screens are good to tell users "hey hey don't go away we are starting the engine !"
... Since we do not need this any more since the engine ... oh : it's already started ! Cool !

- 3rd reason (let's be clever) : java is today not hype word in web service. So best is just for now not shout loud that the web service is running java.Perhaps ok in 2 years... not yet today ;)

Thierry

fatbatman
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Joined: 2004-12-24
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I strongly agree with all of Thierry's points. Particularly 3, Java just doesn't have a good reputation for web apps at the moment so nobody wants to advertise the fact they're offering it to their users.

It reminds me of an unpopular child that make as much noise as possible to get attention, the end result being people like the child even less than before.

demonduck
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Joined: 2008-03-14
Points: 0

> I strongly agree with all of Thierry's points.
> Particularly 3, Java just doesn't have a good
> reputation for web apps at the moment so nobody
> wants to advertise the fact they're offering it to
> their users.
>
> It reminds me of an unpopular child that make as much
> noise as possible to get attention, the end result
> being people like the child even less than before.

Well people, the first thing you have to understand is that all of us trying to make a living writing Java applets or apps just don't understand the elegance of the design of the JDK.

You have to understand that we are the great unwashed masses and that the JDK development team are demi-gods of software engineering.

If you see something that -- in your ignorance -- annoys, frustrates or just confuses you, it's your lack of perspective and intelligence that is the problem. Not the JDK.

The JDK is perfect and we should just learn to accept that. Have faith in SUN. Believe in SUN for everlasting Java perfection...

linuxhippy
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Joined: 2004-01-07
Points: 0

> You have to understand that we are the great unwashed
> masses and that the JDK development team are
> demi-gods of software engineering.
blablablbalbalba ... blablaabla

I still don't get it, but don't you think Sun has to right to show all and everything they want in their splash-screen?
They fund development with millions of dollars every year, and after all many of you make their living developing java software without giving anything back (not buying sun-servers, no support contracts, nothing).
So if you're no Sun customer, well, in theory you don't even have the right to cry here and should better s***t up.

cowwoc
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Joined: 2003-08-24
Points: 0

> I still don't get it, but don't you think Sun has to
> right to show all and everything they want in their
> splash-screen?

They certainly have the right, but the question is whether this is in their best long-term interest. I'd argue that until Java usage surpasses Flash on the desktop it is counter-productive to play these games.

mbien
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Joined: 2007-04-29
Points: 0

you can customise (like already said) your branding of your java application. The only part you can't touch is the jre installation and the applet tray icon. If you want you can even make applets look like flash apps.

I really don't understand the whining...

mbreese
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Joined: 2007-08-17
Points: 0

> I really don't understand the whining...

And this is why Java is losing (has lost) it's influence on the desktop and the web... it's all about the user.

The problem with the current Java tray icon and splash screens and WebStart in-your-face-gui is that Java is a language. People don't want to use Java the language. They want to use the program that is written in Java.

Message was edited by: mbreese (typo)

mbien
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Joined: 2007-04-29
Points: 0

> People don't want to use Java
> the language. They want to use the program that is
> written in Java.
yes, and if the developers want it too they can hide java - the system tray is the lonely exception. If you want to get rid of it like me by default, vote here:
http://bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=6694710

but I really do not understand the rest of the arguments because it seems for me everyone is ignoring the fact that you can hide all splash screens...