Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and software development
Tim Bray: What Sun should do: Sun is going through a lousy spell right now. Well, so is the worldâs economy in general and the IT business in particular, but this is about Sun. This is my opinion about what my employer should do about it.
It takes a lot of guts to write a piece like that and I'm really glad Tim did it. I'm going to walk out on the same limb and agree with pretty much everything Tim wrote. Tim wants Sun to focus like a laser on providing the best web platform around with Solaris, storage offerings, Java/Hotspot, Glassfish, MySQL and Netbeans for Java, Ruby, PHP, Groovy, etc. tooling. He writes:
Itâs easy to understand how our servers, CMT and x86, and the Solaris OS, fit into the Web Suite. All the software, including the HotSpot, GlassFish, and MySQL runtimes, needs to be obsessively tuned and optimized to run best in the context of the Suite. Obviously, the Suite will also include Ruby and Python and PHP runtimes, similarly tuned.
All of Sunâs software tooling should have a laser focus on usability, performance, and ease of adoption for the Web Suite.
I agree, but as a web geek I guess I'm pretty biased.
Tim doesn't shy away from the critical question of what Sun should stop doing. Tim says Sun should give up on the client-side, dropping JavaFX and JavaME (and OpenOffice too, I presume). Here's Tim on JavaFX:
For actual business apps, the kind that our servers spend most of their time running, the war for the desktop is over and the Web Browser won. I just totally donât believe that any combination of Flash and Silverlight and JavaFX is going to win it back.
I can't say I disagree with that either. Cutting JavaFX and JavaME would be extremely tough and painful decisions, but somebody's going to make to make some of those. Looking at things from Tim's web-platform-only point of view, they make sense. Sun needs only enough client-side software to keep Solaris attractive to developers and to support great development tools on all the platforms that web developers love.
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