"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Cross Platform Development -- Is Java The Loser?

From an article on silverspoon...

The outstanding question is whether Microsoft plans to offer Silverlight support for Linux. Although support for Flash for Linux lags behind Windows and Mac, Warriner noted that his company can still count on Flash Web applications running on Linux.
Yeah, but here's the other thing about cross platform internets...

I want to *develop* on other platforms than Windows. Not just deliver. (Moot point for silverspoon -- it neither delivers nor develops on Linux, apparently.)

The difference between using Windows and Linux for software development tools, etc. is *immense*. (Well, maybe *you* like futzing with cygwin to achieve a fairly lame ersatz unix.)

Although a Flex Builder tool for Eclipse on Linux would be worth trying, I sure don't miss it now. I use the SDK and a command line very well inside Emacs.

The one thing I noticed today though, is a co-worker is using Flex Builder's "suggest" capabilities and found a method on DisplayObject I was looking for. Good command line tools would help, but such is the way of the IDE these days -- use it or lose it. In lieu of really good search tools, using "suggest" only as a search tool is an option - my co-worker had his second screen set up for this.

Apollo is *clearly* the internet platform to beat at this point. Given that Adobe has also donated Flex and the Actionscript VM to open source, esp. Mozilla/Firefox, I wonder how long before Firefox becomes an open source, cross platform browser with built-in Flash/Flex and oh by the way has Apollo-ish desktop capabilities right there, USB access, OS, User Profile access, and so on. And apparently SQL in the not too distant future.

Cross platform. Virtual machine. Development tool. The works. -- Peter Fisk has interpreters running in Flash, but the Flash VM will give people access to the byte codes so they can run all kinds of languages directly ultimately.

Microsoft is not about to take their WPF-lite into the cross platform desktop domain. Competition is good - Adobe and MSFT can push each other on into the future -- fine with me.

With all this MSFT Silerspoon vs. Adobe Flex/Apollo the real loser on the desktop is *java*. Adobe is heavily into Java on the server, but Flex/Apollo works at least as well with all kinds of servers. (Flex Data Services notwithstanding -- that's not a huge enticement to me even for server-side Java.)


Barry Kelly said...

Oooh, why the egregious dig at Cygwin? Personally, I can't stand using Windows without Cygwin, and when it's running inside rxvt and when configured with appropriate ~/.bash{rc,_profile}, ~/.Xdefaults etc. it's very nice.

I've never had difficulty moving my stuff from one Cygwin install to another on a different machine - just copy my home directory and /opt - and all the scripts I've written over the years in ~/bin make my life easier, and most of them work on Linux too.

Don't diss Cygwin!

Patrick Logan said...

Surry. When I do use Windows, I *do* use cygwin. It's not cygwin's fault and I've miscommunicated that.

I would never do anything without cygwin on windows. It's just that I'd much rather not do anything on windows.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.