The long death of fat clients

Web development and open standards have triumphed, while the JavaFX framework is merely a last gasp

By Andrew Oliver, InfoWorld |  Software, JavaFX, Microsoft

With Adobe's divestment of Flex and mobile Flash and Microsoft's move from Silverlight to Metro, Oracle now seems all alone in believing that a fat client framework -- in the form of JavaFX -- is a worthwhile investment.

Fewer and fewer options exist for developing purely fat client desktop applications and fewer still for RAD applications with Web-based delivery (aka, "thick clients"). We are on the verge of a purely HTML/JavaScript client world.

[ Also on InfoWorld: Paul Krill considers Oracle's latest JavaFX move to be too little, too late. | Learn how to work smarter, not harder with InfoWorld's roundup of all the tips and trends programmers need to know in the Developers' Survival Guide. Download the PDF today! | Keep up with the latest developer news with InfoWorld's Developer World newsletter. ]

Or we would be, if it weren't for mobile pushing us back to client-side development. If you'd asked me a decade ago whether Objective-C would come back from the grave, I would've waited for the punch line to the joke. Meanwhile, Google decided to follow suit with its own slimmed fork of Java and an XML UI definition language.

Tools like PhoneGap didn't make quite the splash they might have because users came to expect that native look and feel. A new niche was created with tools like Appcelerator Titanium that gave a look and feel without making you code in Objective-C, but they were too slow to develop to keep the faux-nativeness going.

Yet HTML5 is starting to come on strong in the mobile world, at least in terms of video and other functionality. Increasingly, developers trying to target both Android and iPhone are going this direction, a choice made easier by the dinosaurs RIM and Nokia continuing their long march into extinction.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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