Posted by jhook
on August 7, 2008 at 11:50 AM PDT
Innovation is a hard thing to accomplish without risk. Sun is trying to grow their customer base with JavaFX, but may have introduced too much risk in not tethering to the needs of existing customers.
Sun has a large customer base which has historically focused on [enterprise] application development. Yes, we hear about desktop development and phone development, but it seems the most involved and critical group is the enterprise developer.
Innovation is a hard thing to accomplish and Sun is slowly delivering on the promise of JavaFX with movie playback, bubble animations, and static widgets. Not to offend, that's neat, but they are touting aspects of innovation with the highest risk as it relates to their existing customer base.
Traditionally, you reduce innovation risk by creating solutions for your existing customer base and build out of that. Sun's obviously trying to capture a larger customer base, but is running out of the gates, ignoring customers
who run Linux over something as ridiculous as video playback.
Focusing back on their existing customers vs. gaining new customers, obviously JavaFX has the opportunity to cannibalize existing solutions in the market, but trying to take a bite out of Flash is out right ridiculous at this point and I can't think of how JavaFX could hurt anyone's existing investment in Swing. Again, not releasing a Linux SDK probably
due to video playback only shows that Sun isn't in the right mindset here.
As others have spoken, Sun should be providing a clearer product migration path for their existing customers to increase and grow adoption within
A good example of this working was when at JavaOne 2006(?) and they were demo'ing JRuby. At the time, I couldn't give a care over JRuby, but Tor showed JPA
being used with Ruby On Rails within NetBeans and I was like, "Wow, that's actually cool" -- and pertinent to me
as an average Java programmer.
Bubblemark, flying boxes, and static widgets aren't applicable to me. I see an obvious need to move to RIA in the market, but floating bubbles doesn't provide me with a clear migration from my existing knowledge base and interest.
In conclusion, Sun, please concentrate on marketing applications for JavaFX based on existing customer's scope of knowledge and experience. You'll reduce innovation risk and end up with a much faster rate of adoption with customers who already eat out of your hand. Appealing to the Flash market will come later and will quickly approach with such a vibrant community. But let's get the community that's already yours interested and involved with compelling and familiar applications to them.
I should clarify that this blog is plea to Sun management and marketing to vest more focus on a clear path for JavaFX adoption by existing customers. I don't know how many people were at the JavaOne 2007 night party where they had battlebots. The big climactic moment was that they were going to have 'special' guests come take the controls. To my surprise, it was guys from Sun Marketing/PR who once at the controls, only succeeded in pinning their bots in the corners and not doing anything for 5 minutes. Was I the only one who appreciated the irony in this?