[thelist] Is my perception correct? (J2EE & .NET)

Judah McAuley judah at wiredotter.com
Mon May 13 12:44:01 CDT 2002

Jared M. Spool wrote:
> We're writing a brief looking at the UIs that result from
> technologies like J2EE and .NET. In all of our research on the topic,
> we've concluded that, while these new technologies are a real boon
> for server-side stuff, they are very weak on the client-side. In
> particular, they are extremely weak in providing new interface tools
> for developers who want to have powerful client-side applications.

I'm assuming that because you sent this message to a web development
list and you mention .NET that you are talking about browser-based
GUI's.  If you're not confining yourself to browser-based GUI's, then
you're talking about a whole different set of issues.

For browser-based GUI's, you've got pretty much three sets of technology
to work with: DHTML (HTML,CSS,javascript), Java applets, and Flash.

I've found Java applet based GUI's to be klunky at best.  Browser/OS
support seems very hit and miss and because of that development hasn't
pushed along as far as I had originally hoped it would.

I've seen some great DHTML GUI's.  The biggest problem is
cross-browser/OS support for neat tricks of CSS and javascript.  Beyond
that, the biggest limitation is that sending/receiving data still
requires sending and receiving the entire page instead of just the data
that needs to be moved.  Good DHTML GUI's aren't easy to write and I
don't think that any development app's can write them for you but good
GUI's can be written.

Until the release of Flash MX, I didn't think much of Flash for a
web-based GUI.  Macromedia has now built in quite a few features that
make it look like it will be useful for making good GUI's.  Standardized
widgets make it easier for uniform interfaces to be built and Flash
Remoting allows data to be sent/received browser to server without
having to reload the whole page.  These two items, combined with good
cross browser/OS support make me optomistic about Flash for web-based
GUI's.  But the technology is so young (weeks old now) that I'm still
cautious since we haven't seen what the adoption by the market will be.

Note that all three of these ways to write web-based GUI's will work
with J2EE and .NET, but none of them rely upon them to work.

Hope this helps,

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