Monthly Archives: August 2007

Trading Java ?

I could not believe it when I read Jonathan Schwartz‘s (Sun CEO and President) recent post about changing the trade name for Sun Microsystems from SUNW to JAVA.
I hear that most of the comments are hostile to this. Some of them loose even time in going in the semantic of associating the slowness of Java to a rapidly declining company.
There is some summary of the most interesting entries in Sam Ruby‘s blog.

What I think of this story it is that it is just another example of abusing of addiction (see my post on gBrowser here).

  • If Java is what Java proponents always say “an open technology”, how could it become the identifier of a private company?
    This is a great mistake in my opinions. It will benefit the ones who oppose Java, such as Microsoft…
  • this move shows no respect for all the companies (and individuals) that built the success of Java.
    Java did not become widely used for anything that Sun did. Sun’s Java products are trailing everywhere and their marketshare is far from being predominant.
    The success of Java was built by the IBM and Oracle and BEA and Open Source….
  • Given this, I fear (or hope) that this move could lead to a diaspora on Java, where at this point everybody will feel free to abandon the Logo and to perfect (wow…) the platform according to its own customer needs.

So, it is very sad to see someone counting on the popularity and addiction on something … to steal the attention of the community and impose himself as the gatekeeper (or keymaster… both of them were no so nice characters in Ghostbusters, right?).

Having a pony-tail does not equate to have all the rights!

Speculations on Google Browser (GBrowser) ?

I have read this morning an article speculating on the arrival of a new Browser on the market, a Browser labelled “Google” (or Gbrowser).
The few readers of my blog can immediately imagine that this is not the kind of news that I would have liked to hear. I personally do not like this invasion of things from Google which, under the cover of being “free for everybody”, tie us to a new monopoly (see my previous post “Internet Search should be property of no one“).
I state this even if I have no problem admitting that most of the technologies that Google, in its immense altruism, offers us are very cool and really innovative and really pushing for significant progress in the Web space.
The problem is not around how cool the presents from Google are… it is about the concept of “present” itself !

Anyway, in this specific case (GBrowser… yes, you can see that the domain name has already been registered by Google!) I think that, if the speculation actually reflects a reality, it may become something very significant, and perhaps not completely bad.

If really Google will put on the market its own branded Browser, I think that :

  1. Google will finally admit that some “footprint” is required in order to properly run today’s internet applications (this will have consequences on AJAX as we see it today, I think)
  2. Google will automatically transform what they published as “contribution” into a de-facto standard (because it will be working naturally with the new browser….)
  3. Google will create a platform onto which developers will build RIA applications

Yes, in the last bullet I wrote “RIA applications“. Because, if the Browser from Google will become true, it will obviously promote the use of Google Gears and of all the other G* things that invaded the web. A couple of months ago, I wrote my first reaction to Google Gears:

[with Google Gears] Google starts to install something else than the browser in order to keep the browser relevant”

The advent of Apollo AIR (paved by Flex) and the approaching of Vista (via Silverlight) may create serious alternatives for running applications delivered over the internet (see here and here and here for a summary of my opinion on this topic); the default mean to access to applications delivered over the net, will no more be the browser, at least when some significant experience and richness of functionality will be required.

Will Google redefine what we know today as “the browser”? Will Google remove the impedance that somehow forced the two main actors in this space (IE and Firefox) to comply (at least formally) to standards?

Again, if Google will indeed go into the Browser business, all what it gave away so far could be interpreted as a way to create “addiction, so that people will find it normal that Google will also revolutionize the browser space. After all, Google is not perceived as the “bad boys in the block“, so it is likely that this move will find only few opposers.

Despite these considerations, though, I initially wrote that this may not be a bad outcome for the web. My readers know that I consider that the browser needs a big evolution in order to support the new challenges and the execution of applications delivered over the internet. So, this move may represent a shock that will benefit the whole community.

I wished Firefox and XUL could have become this shock!!!! Perhaps they will anyway (why wouldn’t the GBrowser be based on Firefox after all?)

Of course, this is all speculation at this moment….

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