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  Indies and Java  (Read 6261 times)
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Offline cfmdobbie

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« Reply #30 - Posted 2003-10-14 18:34:57 »

Quote
There are actually users who want to know what is installed on their machines, if it's a larger app. It gets difficult to completely hide the process, because an internet connection and some time is required.

Oh, absolutely.  You'd never get rid of the main JRE download process.  This is just a way of leeching technology over bit by bit.

I used to think I was in the majority as someone who cares about what gets installed, but actually people like us are very much in the minority.  There are a huge number of people out there who don't care what the machine does as long as it works, will acquire the next version of something just because it's got a bigger number, and trust the computer implicitly.  Users are very, very naive.

Quote
And what do you do if the user starts an other Java app locally? It probably won't work, because parts of the JRE are missing.

But if they hadn't got any part of the JRE it wouldn't have worked anyway?

Treat it like a library dependency.  The core app loads and works out a component is missing, so goes to get it.  If there's no Internet connection it posts a "need update" message and asks the user whether to proceed - users have seen this all over their browsers and should be familiar with the process.  All the way through it provides the user with the alternative of getting the whole damn thing instead, which will enable them to do lots of funky things, run all these amazing apps etc.

I dunno, I think it'd work.

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline Jens

Senior Member




Java for games!


« Reply #31 - Posted 2003-10-14 19:23:36 »

Quote
I used to think I was in the majority as someone who cares about what gets installed, but actually people like us are very much in the minority.  There are a huge number of people out there who don't care what the machine does as long as it works, will acquire the next version of something just because it's got a bigger number, and trust the computer implicitly.  Users are very, very naive.


This may be true, especially in the world of Windows. ;-)

Quote
But if they hadn't got any part of the JRE it wouldn't have worked anyway?


Surely, but it wouldn't confuse the user. The user actually has to know that Java is not fully installed to fix this issue or the app has to be invoked on each call to Java (see below).

Quote
Treat it like a library dependency.  The core app loads and works out a component is missing, so goes to get it.  If there's no Internet connection it posts a "need update" message and asks the user whether to proceed - users have seen this all over their browsers and should be familiar with the process.  All the way through it provides the user with the alternative of getting the whole damn thing instead, which will enable them to do lots of funky things, run all these amazing apps etc.


In this case all calls to "java" must be directed to the app, so it can decide if something is missing. It would be a thin layer above the JRE. Actually I don't know if it's possible (with a moderate effort) to have only the source and say: "this app needs Swing version x.y, AWT version x.z etc.". Additionally it requires that the JRE can be broken into several independant pieces.

Quote
I dunno, I think it'd work.


It's a nice idea, but I still see too much problems. Besides the large download for the JRE I think Java is easy to install on Windows, isn't it?

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Offline princec

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« Reply #32 - Posted 2003-10-14 20:51:16 »

All it needs is a manifest and a boostrap classloader that checks the manifest. In fact it's pretty bloody trivial to implement. "Oh, this app is asking for java.awt.Window. Quick look in manifest... requires awt_1_1_1.. haven't got it yet, but it's available at http://blah/.. ... download... done." This way the JRE can be very, very easily downloaded in tiny chunks.

Cas Smiley

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Offline cfmdobbie

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« Reply #33 - Posted 2003-10-14 21:26:37 »

Quote
Surely, but it wouldn't confuse the user. The user actually has to know that Java is not fully installed to fix this issue or the app has to be invoked on each call to Java (see below).

Re: "not fully installed", that depends on the user's point of view - is it a single app that isn't fully installed, or a technology framework with many parts, some of which that aren't present? Wink

Anyway, why not check on each invocation of the JRE?  I would rather expect that's exactly how it would work - no point in doing the clever bit once, then just throwing errors at the user.  We're not installing a broken JVM, we're only installing what's needed at that particular time.


Quote
[...] Actually I don't know if it's possible (with a moderate effort) to have only the source and say: "this app needs Swing version x.y, AWT version x.z etc.". Additionally it requires that the JRE can be broken into several independant pieces. [...]

Yeah, this is the big problem.  As I say, there needs to be some thought given to library versioning - it probably requires some dependency information in manifest.mf and expanding of javac's understanding of the libraries it's compiling against, or something?  Probably best to tag individual classes as well.

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline cfmdobbie

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« Reply #34 - Posted 2003-10-14 21:32:43 »

Heh, and Cas beat me to a reply by half an hour.  Teach me to leave the interesting topics until last. Roll Eyes

I seriously suggest that anyone thinking about this kind of technology should look at Maven - on the library dependency side it does all this already.  And it's very impressive to watch! Grin

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
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