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I was testing a pal's piece of software a few days ago, and it wanted Sun's JRE (Java Runtime Environment), so I installed it. Today it popped up a little box saying there was a new version available and that it'd like to install it. I told it to proceed. After popping up a progress box for a few seconds, it told me that my Java was all updated and hunky-dory.

Being justifiably suspicious about how Java does things, I checked the Java directory. Sure enough, there was shiny new "Java JRE 5.0 update 2". It was right next to the "Java JRE 5.0 update 1" folder. That's right, it installed 128 meg of updated JRE and left 128 meg of the previous JRE right there to sit unused forever.

The Java people are the most brilliant I've ever seen at shooting themselves in the foot. Every time they decide to embrace a feature that everybody seems to be doing nowadays (like making software automatically check for updates and update itself) they do it in a boneheaded way which will get fixed for the next major revision in two years.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Sun screwed up Java royally. They grabbed everyone's attention early on with web page applet scripting technology that was literally years ahead of everyone else. They could've owned the friggin' market for web applets, and they totally blew it with unfriendly installs, runtime versioning nightmares, and general stuff that's gone completely against everything that made applets promising --applications that are seamlessly cross platform, are easy to maintain, and are trivial to administer.

Zero outta three ain't bad. Oh wait, yes it is.
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You make a good point. I always felt as if Sun were afraid to fully commit with the platform compared to say, Microsoft, who are almost betting their entire company on the success of .NET.

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evolutional - I don't think the problems was commitment to the platform, it was inept execution for the things like John was outlining and pushing it for inappropriate tasks. We could not get Sun to shut up about Java.

For the last 5 years the various Sun reps that came to our company refused to acknowledge that that there is anything other than Java and anything that was not Java need to be rewritten in Java (at least the user interface part). When we mentioned that this was non-trivial (over 100 applications written in C/C++ written using X/Motif) they told us that we needed to get started converting now.

They also refused to acknowledge that the "write once run everywhere" was not really true. They admitted that there were some minor bumps but for the most part they were inconsequential.

After a while many of us stopped taking them seriously.

I got the impression from them that they believed that they had Microsoft's clout even though the did not.

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