Posted by enicholas
on August 4, 2006 at 8:23 AM PDT
It turns out that I joined Sun at a fortuitous moment -- just in time to get involved in the Dolphin (Java 7) planning process. Read on for a sneak peek at what's in store for Deployment.
I mentioned in my last entry that I have left Yahoo! and am now officially a Sun employee. After an all-too-short break between jobs, my first day with Sun was this past Monday, and it's been quite an experience so far.
As with joining any big company, most of my first week was spent trying to get someone to actually set up my access badge and email account, figuring out how to access documentation on various subjects (there is documentation, right?), and dealing with various other miscellaneous getting-started headaches. Most of that is sorted out now and I expect that I should actually be able to, you know, work starting next week.
The most exciting part so far has been the fact that I've gotten to be involved in the Dolphin planning sessions we're having this week. I've requested some deployment features in the past, including a gigantic whopper of one , and while I can't give away too many details, I can say that there is definitely some hope.
I mentioned wanting an "updatejava.exe" program which would allow you to install specific versions of Java upon request, tremendously simplifying the process of writing installers for Java programs. There's actually a very good chance of such a tool making it into Dolphin, although it would probably have a slightly different name. And lest I erroneously receive credit for this idea, I should point out that this feature was already being investigated before I even suggested it.
The "Browser Edition" I suggested in this entry is a more complex problem. When I wrote that entry, I was in the enviable position of being able to request ridiculous improvements and not having to actually write any of the code. As you can imagine, my position is quickly shifting from "Sun should add support for feature <X> right now!" to "Ummm... well... you see, that's a really hard problem and it would be a lot of work...". Regardless, I think it's okay if I reveal that there is a feature more-or-less identical to what I suggested in the infamous "Browser Edition" blog entry currently under consideration for Dolphin. This should not in any way, shape, or form be construed as a promise that we will actually do it -- in other words, don't get your hopes up -- but it's being considered. At the very least, you should be aware that Java applets are the subject of intense scrutiny around here and we are trying to figure out how to improve them, within the limitations of the time and manpower we actually have available to throw at the problem.
There's a lot of other neat stuff on the table, most of which I probably shouldn't talk about yet. Hopefully the tidbits I've tossed out so far aren't revealing anything that will get me in trouble... In any case, expect some neat stuff from Dolphin's deployment enhancements. It's also not too late to suggest things: we are definitely interested in your feedback.