A panel of 18 software vendors attended the J2EE 1.3 compatibility event in San Francisco. Companies including BEA, IBM, and Computer Associates turned up to support Sun for an event that was designed to highlight the rapid adoption of Java as an enterprise development platform. The event was also highlighted by the erruption of a debate over standards compliance and portability.
read more @ http://www.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/02/01/29/020129hnj2eeday.xml
18 Vendors Assemble at J2EE 1.3 Compliance Finish Line in San Francisco. When does the 1.4 race finish ?
How may of the 18 Vendors were showing off their latest 1.3 compliance certificates, and how many were showing off their latest tools for creating fully working applications?
The whole market seems to be focused on chasing evolving standards, and not on providing tools that help developers build fully working applications.
J2EE is fast becoming a Tower of Cards with vendors all playing compliance catch-up. However, unless your using a code generator you have to handcraft everything because the tools just create vanilla CMP's.
I can't see why anybody would think that J2EE porting would be any different from porting between SQL, Operating Systems and HTML: only a combination of them all.
Sun's new Web Services package is just a collection of old packages. Apache Axis doesn't fully support objects in wsdl. It's hardly worth implementing anything because the next set of releases will make any integration efforts worthless.
Unfortunately, so many techonologies are being thrown around if the Java Platform doesn't address them all it will be labeled as 'deficient'. If we have a recap of what has come about in the past 24 months, we have XML, JAX-P, JAX-B, SOAP, UDDI, WebServices, an evolving EJB spec, evolving Application Servers, Jini, J2ME, VolatileImage, non-blocking IO, generics (always on the drawing board) and more. Just a lot of things going on, so it is hard to refine what we have right now, and become out of date with the latest technologies passing us by. I imagine game developers feel the same way about 3d video cards...a new card comes out every 9 months, and new features are put into the DirectX api almost as often....and what's the result of that? Because DirectX is continuously adding features, it's recieving wider adoptation. Sun is hoping for the same thing with a mature Java API. I think if things settle down in the next 18 months, that could be a period of refinement so that all vendors can have some breathing room to write to a 'stable' specification.
It's also a difficult balance when one aspect of developers are saying 'support these features!' and the other aspect is saying 'refine this API!'...
From the article:
>> Wayne Parslow, vice president of global business
>> development for SilverStream Software, an application
>> server and tools vendor in Billerica, Mass., agreed that
>> this is a significant problem. "If you write a J2EE
>> application for BEA, it can take months of intensive effort
>> to port it over to IBM."
I completely disagree. This is sort of thing that you hear from Roger Sessions in his dramatised critiques of J2EE.
If the developers have made at least a token effort of writing to the J2EE standards, it takes relatively little effort to "port" the application.
I know of a very large project that spent as little as a man-week or two, to re-deploy (not port) a few of man-YEARS worth of development from Weblogic (where it was developed) to Websphere (to perform some large-scale benchmark comparisons).
I dont think that is too bad really. It certainly compares favourably to the amount of effort required for "portable" C++ (with the 1000's of #ifdefs required).