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From Geir Magnusson Jr <g...@pobox.com>
Subject Re: Harmony and the future of Java
Date Sun, 26 Feb 2006 23:25:57 GMT

Damian Hamill wrote:

> I started to wonder if I should switch to c# .NET.  I would rather
> stick with Java but the 16MB JRE download is a killer. 

One of our goals is Java everywhere.  Literally.

  Unless Java
> Applets are as easy for the user as other technologies then they will
> be second choice for developers.  I believe there is a solution but it
> means changing the way classes are loaded, but it may take the JVM
> out of spec, I don't know.
> The problem is that before you start to run your applet you have to
> download and install everything that makes up the JRE including
> classes, programs and dlls that your applet will never use.  A better
> solution would be to download and install the core JVM and the classes
> your applet uses only.  Everything else should be downloaded on
> demand e.g.
> package javax.sql.rowset;
> public abstract class BaseRowSet implements Serializable, Cloneable {
>    public static String classSourceURL = 
> "http://www.mydistribution-server.com/cgi-bin/classServer.cgi";
>    // nothing else defined in this stub class. }
> The class loader finds a class with only the classSourceURL field and
> uses the URL in the field to download the real class passing the fully
> qualified class name as an argument.  The class server can return a
> zip file with the named class and all the classes it depends on.


This is a concern of a lot of people, especially when you see J2SE 6 
throwing everything and the kitchen sink into the JRE.  So having core 
modules and optional modules that can be downloaded on demand would be 
very cool.

However, the reason why you don't need this w/ MSFT is because it's all 
there already.  We need to achieve the same thing with java - ubiquity. 
  I'm pretty sure that MSFT won't be shipping it, but suppose we could 
get it bundled w/ Firefox? :)


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