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Dave Orme muses about functional programming, visual programming, and model-driven development.


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blog:the_client-side_seismic_shift

The Client-side Seismic Shift

Since approximately 2003, I have spent most of my time developing high-performance client-side applications using Eclipse rich client platform (RCP) as my toolkit.

Although Eclipse RCP is no longer “trendy”, it is still the best tool for most business applications that require a performant, “native” look and feel–particularly for those that must run across platforms.

However, that is changing.

In 2003, the client-side market was mainly Windows and MacOS. Today, the client-side market also includes iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile. Additionally, with the rise of single-page web applications like GMail and Google Docs, the web browser has evolved to become a capable platform for performant rich graphical applications. To add weight to this trend, as-of late 2012, Samsung's Chromebook was the fastest selling computer on Amazon.

In the past, if you wanted to “write once, run anywhere,” you had to use Java. Today, with the rise of the mobile and tablet platforms, Java no longer delivers this capability, yet with the increasing proliferation of platforms, it is needed more than ever.

However, Javascript *does* deliver this capability, both in the client (in the browser), and more recently using Node.js and V8, on the server side as well.

The transition from Java to Javascript as the enterprise language of choice will not happen quickly, but given the market forces noted above, it does appear to be inevitable.

Having noted this, projects like Eclipse's Orion and Ember.js appear to be more timely than ever.

I have set up my own Orion instance on my own cloud server and love how it lets me play with web sites and Javascript from literally anywhere. I think I can say that this truly is the future of coding.

However, on the server side, other forces are at work.

But I'll save my thoughts on that for another blog article.

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blog/the_client-side_seismic_shift.txt · Last modified: 2014/10/17 22:08 (external edit)