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Is Java (on the desktop) dead?

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cowwoc
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-24

I'm just wondering what's going on with java.net and Java in general during the past couple of years. It seems that we hit a climax around the time JavaFX was announced and things have been going downhill since then.

There was a time when java.net contained lots of exciting Desktop Java articles. Now all I ever see around is server-side enterprisy stuff. The same goes for javalobby.org and Oracle's direction with Java in general.

What happened to the community? We were making such great progress... Is there an actively maintained website that rallies the support of Desktop Java developers?

Gili

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gkbrown
Offline
Joined: 2007-02-22

Hi Gili,

Part of Pivot's target audience is certainly web developers. However, Pivot is not a "web" (i.e. HTML) framework - it is primarily a client-side Java framework (like Swing, it is based on Java2D).

Also, as Sandro noted, the use of XML for UI construction is entirely optional. It is just a shortcut for those who prefer to build user interfaces in markup. Just as with Swing, you can code your UI by hand using plain Java if you prefer.

Greg

Message was edited by: gkbrown

cowwoc
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-24

Hi Greg, Sandro,

Another thing I looked for in Pivot is the ability to use a native L&F. This does not seem to exist. I'm building software applications for customers who explicitly ask for a native Windows L&F. Any ideas?

Gili

gkbrown
Offline
Joined: 2007-02-22

Hi Gili,

Native L&F emulation is something we have intentionally stayed away from in Pivot. We felt that it is simply too much of a moving target. Pivot's default theme (aka L&F), called "Terra", is designed to look at home on Windows, OS X, and Linux. Both Flex and Silverlight have take a similar approach and also use their own custom L&F. Additionally, Pivot 2.0 includes OS-specific color schemes that help Terra blend in even better with native apps.

That said, it is theoretically possible to build a Pivot theme on top of Swing or SWT. This theme could be backed by actual Swing or SWT components rather than Pivot skins. This might give you a "best of both worlds" solution (though you would be limited to using Pivot components that have Swing or SWT counterparts).

Greg

cowwoc
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-24

> Native L&F emulation is something we have
> intentionally stayed away from in Pivot. We felt that
> it is simply too much of a moving target. Pivot's
> default theme (aka L&F), called "Terra", is designed
> to look at home on Windows, OS X, and Linux. Both
> Flex and Silverlight have take a similar approach and
> also use their own custom L&F. Additionally, Pivot
> 2.0 includes OS-specific color schemes that help
> Terra blend in even better with native apps.

Recent versions of Swing simply delegate to the OS to paint the native L&F. I'm sure it's not a trivial manner, but it should substantially reduce the amount of work you need to do every time Windows comes out with a new L&F.

> That said, it is theoretically possible to build a
> Pivot theme on top of Swing or SWT. This theme could
> be backed by actual Swing or SWT components rather
> than Pivot skins. This might give you a "best of both
> worlds" solution (though you would be limited to
> using Pivot components that have Swing or SWT
> counterparts).

That's all I really want anyway. I should be able to ask a Pivot component to render using the native L&F and either display it as-is or tweak it in a minor way before displaying it.

Gili

Fabrizio Giudici

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On 9/8/10 17:46 , jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:
> JSR 295 (Beans Bindings)?, JSR 296 (Application Framework)?
> JWebPane??? anybody?
>
> Think the old editors post over on
> http://weblogs.java.net/blog/editor/archive/2010/09/06/java-desktop-dead...
> hits it on the head. Fat client side applications aren't desirable
> at the moment. But hang around long enough and they'll come back
> into fashion some day, IT industry is cyclical in nature probably
> because it discards its older more experienced developers far too
> easily.
>
> I think mobiles as the new desktop is a problem for Java devs
> though. When it was first launched I though JavaFX was meant to
> fill this niche and replace j2me. It didn't, in fact the only
> toehold Java still has in the smartphone world is Android, yeah
> j2me is still around but nobody wants it to be. JavaFX 1.3 seems to
> be adding more desktop like components, is this a reaction to its
> utter failure to launch as a mobile platform? This does tread on
> Swings toes more & more, and to be fair all the new development is
> going into JavaFX and not Swing which seems limited to the odd
> bugfix and hamfisted regressions. Or does it? to this day I'm still
> confused as to what problem JavaFX is meant to fulfil, not
> traditional desktop apps that's for sure.
>
> A lot of Swing developers, including myself have had to move on,
> there just isn't enough demand for the skills these days and there
> is a definite impression wrong or otherwise Sun/Oracle washed their
> hands of Swing some years ago. Which is a real shame because for
> cross platform UI toolkits it's still the best game in town.
>
> Let us know how many new faces turn up at the SwingX BOF talk at
> JavaOne, I'd be only too happy to be wrong. [Message sent by forum
> member 'osbald']
>
>
I have to periodically call people back to reality, and that
conferences and blogs are not the core of the industry. In the largest
customers I have (multi-nationals, just to give some number) nobody of
the employees has ever attended a conference (I mean, a Java
conference, they rather attend conferences focused on their core
business topics) or read a blog (well, they started reading mine since
when I started consulting for them). One of their most important
products is made of a number of large applets, stuffed with a number
of technologies (including real time video - we made it with some
hack, because yes, Swing is still missing some fundamental parts).
Nevertheless, while in my professional history I've always made most
of my money with JEE, in the latest two years I've been doing mostly
Swing (up to the point that I'm a bit worried and I feel I need to
compensate in some way with some server side stuff ;-) So, if one
extrapolates his own experience to the whole world, dramatically
different conclusions can be drawn.

The mobile? Yes, Android is the winner and JME seems to be directed
toward a slow decline. I'm sorry of that and I've been a JavaFX Mobile
fan too. Amen. But I don't see what this has to do with the full-blown
desktop and Swing.

- --
Fabrizio Giudici - Java Architect, Project Manager
Tidalwave s.a.s. - "We make Java work. Everywhere."
java.net/blog/fabriziogiudici - www.tidalwave.it/people
Fabrizio.Giudici@tidalwave.it
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Fabrizio Giudici

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On 8/27/10 18:41 , jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:
> All the efforts are now put on JavaFX instead of improving Swing.
> Oracle should continue developing Swing to remain the best
> enterprise desktop framework.
>
> It seems they have chosen otherwise. JavaFX needs still 1 to 2
> years to be mature. A lot of good products are still using Swing:
> Limewire, Maple, SPSS, Introscope, Lightzone. A plethora of
> companies are also using it enterprise apps. Too bad Oracle choose
> not to improve Swing. [Message sent by forum member 'carcour']
There are two projects (only to mention two) that are highly
strategical at Oracle: NetBeans and JDeveloper. They are both based on
Swing. So, clearly Oracle is still supporting and will support Swing
in future. Given that, since we always say and are told that the Java
ecosystem is open, it's quite good that fundamental contributions are
also provided by the community or other companies. So, when one say
"Swing", I actually include "SwingX", which is alive and kicking as
well. My customers that produce desktop based applications think the same.

- --
Fabrizio Giudici - Java Architect, Project Manager
Tidalwave s.a.s. - "We make Java work. Everywhere."
java.net/blog/fabriziogiudici - www.tidalwave.it/people
Fabrizio.Giudici@tidalwave.it
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gkbrown
Offline
Joined: 2007-02-22

Java on the desktop is most certainly not dead. Mobile devices are great for consuming small amounts of information, but they are (in my opinion) terrible for producing or managing data. Desktop apps, because of the availability of a keyboard, mouse, and larger screen, will most likely continue to be very relevant for a long time.

Secondly, I am really, really surprised that Apache Pivot doesn't come up in these kinds of discussions more often (note - I am one of the founders of the Pivot project). We have tried really hard over the past several years to make Pivot a more modern and compelling alternative to Swing (in essence, what we think "Swing 2.0" should, or could, have been). We have always envisioned it as something along the lines of "Flex or WPF for Java". Both of these are great platforms, but the one thing they lack is...Java. We believe that we have created a platform that can help bring the best of these worlds together, and we'd really like other developers to be as excited about it as we are.

I think that part of the problem is that Java in general is not currently viewed as the "hot topic" on the client. However, I believe that there is still quite a bit of life in it, and I think it (along with the other RIA technologies) offers a much better alternative for many kinds of applications than HTML-based apps, which often have to jump through hoops to do things that are really quite simple in a "real" UI toolkit.

I myself would like to see more discussion about client-side Java on java.net. Java on the desktop is what got me (and many others) excited about the Java platform to begin with, and it is what keeps me here. There is simply no better way to build high-quality, cross-platform, enterprise-grade applications.

Greg

cowwoc
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-24

Greg,

It looks like Apache Pivot's target audience is web developers. Secondly, it looks like you must use XML configuration files.

I am looking for a solution that allows me to do everything in plain old Java code. It's great to be able to use XML for configuration, but it should be optional.

Gili

smartini
Offline
Joined: 2005-09-01

Hi,
in Pivot you CAN configure GUI components with xml but only if you want (it's the recommended way to do it because in our opinion this has many advantages over code), otherwise you can do everything by code.

And this is also valid for event listeners code, you can put it in code, or if you prefer inside xml files as a code block (like in HTML pages with Javascript).

And by "code" we means any JVM language (of course Java first), but you can use others like Scala, Groovy and JVM-interpreted Javascript.

On our (public) mailing lists there are many infos on this.

Best regards,
Sandro

osbald
Offline
Joined: 2003-06-13

JSR 295 (Beans Bindings)?, JSR 296 (Application Framework)? JWebPane??? anybody?

Think the old editors post over on http://weblogs.java.net/blog/editor/archive/2010/09/06/java-desktop-dead... hits it on the head. Fat client side applications aren't desirable at the moment. But hang around long enough and they'll come back into fashion some day, IT industry is cyclical in nature probably because it discards its older more experienced developers far too easily.

I think mobiles as the new desktop is a problem for Java devs though. When it was first launched I though JavaFX was meant to fill this niche and replace j2me. It didn't, in fact the only toehold Java still has in the smartphone world is Android, yeah j2me is still around but nobody wants it to be. JavaFX 1.3 seems to be adding more desktop like components, is this a reaction to its utter failure to launch as a mobile platform? This does tread on Swings toes more & more, and to be fair all the new development has been going into JavaFX and not Swing which seems limited to the odd bugfix. Or does it? to this day I'm still confused as to what problem JavaFX is meant to fulfil, not traditional desktop apps that's for sure.

A lot of Swing developers, including myself have had to move on, there just isn't enough demand for the skills these days and there is a definite impression wrong or otherwise Sun/Oracle washed their hands of Swing some years ago. Which is a real shame because for cross platform UI toolkits it's still the best game in town.

Let us know how many new faces turn up at the SwingX BOF talk at JavaOne, I'd be only too happy to be wrong.

Fabrizio Giudici

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 9/8/10 17:46 , jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:
> JSR 295 (Beans Bindings)?, JSR 296 (Application Framework)?
> JWebPane??? anybody?
>
> Think the old editors post over on
> http://weblogs.java.net/blog/editor/archive/2010/09/06/java-desktop-dead...
> hits it on the head. Fat client side applications aren't desirable
> at the moment. But hang around long enough and they'll come back
> into fashion some day, IT industry is cyclical in nature probably
> because it discards its older more experienced developers far too
> easily.
>
> I think mobiles as the new desktop is a problem for Java devs
> though. When it was first launched I though JavaFX was meant to
> fill this niche and replace j2me. It didn't, in fact the only
> toehold Java still has in the smartphone world is Android, yeah
> j2me is still around but nobody wants it to be. JavaFX 1.3 seems to
> be adding more desktop like components, is this a reaction to its
> utter failure to launch as a mobile platform? This does tread on
> Swings toes more & more, and to be fair all the new development is
> going into JavaFX and not Swing which seems limited to the odd
> bugfix and hamfisted regressions. Or does it? to this day I'm still
> confused as to what problem JavaFX is meant to fulfil, not
> traditional desktop apps that's for sure.
>
> A lot of Swing developers, including myself have had to move on,
> there just isn't enough demand for the skills these days and there
> is a definite impression wrong or otherwise Sun/Oracle washed their
> hands of Swing some years ago. Which is a real shame because for
> cross platform UI toolkits it's still the best game in town.
>
> Let us know how many new faces turn up at the SwingX BOF talk at
> JavaOne, I'd be only too happy to be wrong. [Message sent by forum
> member 'osbald']
>
>
I have to periodically call people back to reality, and that
conferences and blogs are not the core of the industry. In the largest
customers I have (multi-nationals, just to give some number) nobody of
the employees has ever attended a conference (I mean, a Java
conference, they rather attend conferences focused on their core
business topics) or read a blog (well, they started reading mine since
when I started consulting for them). One of their most important
products is made of a number of large applets, stuffed with a number
of technologies (including real time video - we made it with some
hack, because yes, Swing is still missing some fundamental parts).
Nevertheless, while in my professional history I've always made most
of my money with JEE, in the latest two years I've been doing mostly
Swing (up to the point that I'm a bit worried and I feel I need to
compensate in some way with some server side stuff ;-) So, if one
extrapolates his own experience to the whole world, dramatically
different conclusions can be drawn.

The mobile? Yes, Android is the winner and JME seems to be directed
toward a slow decline. I'm sorry of that and I've been a JavaFX Mobile
fan too. Amen. But I don't see what this has to do with the full-blown
desktop and Swing.

- --
Fabrizio Giudici - Java Architect, Project Manager
Tidalwave s.a.s. - "We make Java work. Everywhere."
java.net/blog/fabriziogiudici - www.tidalwave.it/people
Fabrizio.Giudici@tidalwave.it
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digz6666
Offline
Joined: 2007-05-20

Swing is not dead.

I've been using swing, swingx, substance and spring rich client heavily in my projects for 4 years and all the projects are still going well with those.

I think it's better Oracle should support swingx team more and include swingx in J2SE.

kleopatra
Offline
Joined: 2003-06-11

Gili,

a community is as vibrant as its members ;-) SwingX made some quantum jumps during the last two years - where have _you_ been during that time? No offense meant, of course, but _I_ think it a bit strange that you didn't notice and then come back with death songs ...

To make my opinion absolutely clear: Swing/X is alive and kicking and will be so for quite a while, despite death songs sung or shouted or whatever.

CU
Jeanette

ebresie
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-06

Do you consider presentation in web container / web browser a "desktop" app? This kind of blurs the line with "Rich Internet Apps".

I think in PR speak Swing is mature and needs less work to "improve it". JavaFX may be an attempt to stream line things for developers, change UI design methods, and build on lessons learned for "write once / run anywhere".

Server Side Java has JSF related UI that can get render as needed on the client side.

In the end, it still a model-controller-view environment. Whether the view is in the web or desktop is the difference.

Fabrizio Giudici

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On 8/26/10 07:11 , jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:
> I'm just wondering what's going on with java.net and Java in
> general during the past couple of years. It seems that we hit a
> climax around the time JavaFX was announced and things have been
> going downhill since then.
>
> There was a time when java.net contained lots of exciting Desktop
> Java articles. Now all I ever see around server-side enterprisy
> stuff. The same goes for javalobby.org and Oracle's direction with
> Java in general.
>
> What happened to the community? We were making such great
> progress... Is there an actively maintained website that rallies
> the support of Desktop Java developers?
>
> Gili [Message sent by forum member 'cowwoc']
>
For what I can say, there are no changes. If you only look at Geertjan
Wielenga's blog, about the NetBeans Platform (which builds upon
Swing), you'll see lots of industry testimonials. It's just a subset
of the whole Swing business.

- --
Fabrizio Giudici - Java Architect, Project Manager
Tidalwave s.a.s. - "We make Java work. Everywhere."
java.net/blog/fabriziogiudici - www.tidalwave.it/people
Fabrizio.Giudici@tidalwave.it
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Fabrizio Giudici

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Hash: SHA1

On 8/26/10 07:11 , jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:
> I'm just wondering what's going on with java.net and Java in
> general during the past couple of years. It seems that we hit a
> climax around the time JavaFX was announced and things have been
> going downhill since then.
>
> There was a time when java.net contained lots of exciting Desktop
> Java articles. Now all I ever see around server-side enterprisy
> stuff. The same goes for javalobby.org and Oracle's direction with
> Java in general.
>
> What happened to the community? We were making such great
> progress... Is there an actively maintained website that rallies
> the support of Desktop Java developers?
>
> Gili [Message sent by forum member 'cowwoc']
>
For what I can say, there are no changes. If you only look at Geertjan
Wielenga's blog, about the NetBeans Platform (which builds upon
Swing), you'll see lots of industry testimonials. It's just a subset
of the whole Swing business.

- --
Fabrizio Giudici - Java Architect, Project Manager
Tidalwave s.a.s. - "We make Java work. Everywhere."
java.net/blog/fabriziogiudici - www.tidalwave.it/people
Fabrizio.Giudici@tidalwave.it
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carcour
Offline
Joined: 2003-06-18

All the efforts are now put on JavaFX instead of improving Swing. Oracle should continue developing Swing to remain the best enterprise desktop framework.

It seems they have chosen otherwise. JavaFX still needs 1 to 2 years to be mature. A lot of good products are still using Swing: Limewire, Maple, SPSS, Introscope, Lightzone. A plethora of companies are also using it in their enterprise apps. Too bad Oracle choose not to improve Swing.

Fabrizio Giudici

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Hash: SHA1

On 8/27/10 18:41 , jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:
> All the efforts are now put on JavaFX instead of improving Swing.
> Oracle should continue developing Swing to remain the best
> enterprise desktop framework.
>
> It seems they have chosen otherwise. JavaFX needs still 1 to 2
> years to be mature. A lot of good products are still using Swing:
> Limewire, Maple, SPSS, Introscope, Lightzone. A plethora of
> companies are also using it enterprise apps. Too bad Oracle choose
> not to improve Swing. [Message sent by forum member 'carcour']
There are two projects (only to mention two) that are highly
strategical at Oracle: NetBeans and JDeveloper. They are both based on
Swing. So, clearly Oracle is still supporting and will support Swing
in future. Given that, since we always say and are told that the Java
ecosystem is open, it's quite good that fundamental contributions are
also provided by the community or other companies. So, when one say
"Swing", I actually include "SwingX", which is alive and kicking as
well. My customers that produce desktop based applications think the same.

- --
Fabrizio Giudici - Java Architect, Project Manager
Tidalwave s.a.s. - "We make Java work. Everywhere."
java.net/blog/fabriziogiudici - www.tidalwave.it/people
Fabrizio.Giudici@tidalwave.it
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lukman_jaji
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-14

I have asked myself the same question over and over again.
It seems this is a "diplomatic" way to finally kill off swing because what attracted me to this site some years back was the informative and very educative articles about JavaDesktop and Swing in general that are posted regularly.

The birth of JavaFX has instatiated a SwingMustDieGradually() method and the easiest way to do that is to give it less attention.

SwingX, which most swing programmrs thought was the future of Java on the desktop is already in heaven :D. How sad.

But there are other third party components being provided by JIDE and other companies for free. Another good idea will be for Oracle to buy off JIDE and integrate their components into the standard J2SE.

Anyway, I am still using swing for my projects and as a desktop programmer, I will only consider JavaFX once companies start to develop serious bisness applications with it (please dont mention the Winter Olympics App)....

Lukman
[i]Ramadan Mubarak[/i]

null

kschaefe
Offline
Joined: 2006-06-08

> SwingX, which most swing programmrs thought was the
> future of Java on the desktop is already in heaven
> :D. How sad.

Not sure what you mean by this, but we're here and releasing code. Uneducated comments like these give people a false sense of what is actually happening. If Java desktop is dying, then you're the one killing it when you post incorrect information. Get your facts straight.

Karl