No Java on ChromeOS, What the heck!?

  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

So, my wife is going back to school and we were toying with the idea of getting her a chromebook. I told her that when I was in school all I used was google apps for all my docs which was nice because I didn't need to carry a thumbdrive and always had the latest versions no matter which computer lab I was in on campus. Her university uses blackboard which requires java and it seems Google officially reports Java is not available and that VNC or someother browser-based chrome webstore plugin would be required to run legacy-apps and it read kinda like Google is not making a big deal out of this like my wife knows the first thing about remote access and remote to what - we are a home user and this was geared towards running ChromeOS in an edu environment.

Anyway, I'm in the middle of golf and my wife emails me that ChromeOS does not support java because she checked with the university tech department and she forwarded me their reply. I thought they were idiots at her school, but I searched and official google blog says its not supported. ChromeOS is linux-based right? So, how screwed up do you have to be to not even install OpenJDK. I mean, I've gone through LFS and built every binary of an entire linux system and could pick and choose aside from the core. Why isn't Java just consider core?

Please someone weigh in on how Google missed the boat on this one. I'm almost scared to do anything Google now because they seem like they really don't know what they're doing.

Additionally, I found some other forum sites where people were talking Java is dead and that HTML5 will help kill it. What's up with that? I feel like I took a crazy-tech pill tonight or can the Ozzu community weigh in on any validity to this claim by obviously a second-rate forum. It seems ridiculous to me; not just that Java is on its way out but HTML will replace. HTML5 will be/is great. I actually even like the native drag/drop, but replacing Java. I hardly think so. Maybe, Flash but there's plenty of posts even here on Ozzu concerning that. Even so perhaps HTML5 will replace but never kill. I'm tired of all this HTML5 killing stuff like a programming language like Oak. How does a few additional markup text kill an entire library and this can't be WHY CHROMEOS DOES NOT LOAD JAVA?
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • this213
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Post 3+ Months Ago

To answer your question:
http://code.google.com/p/java-on-chromebook/

Just that ChomeOS is Linux-based doesn't really mean anything. If it's in any way standardized, you should be able to at least install tarballs on it using normal configure-make methods. Java isn't considered "core" on a wide array of Linux distros. The main reason for this is that OpenJava is a best guess for what was under the hood of Java and Java itself is indeed proprietary, owned by Oracle. Whether Google decided along these same lines I wouldn't know, but it certainly makes some sense. It's not that they missed the boat, it's that they're trying to help phase out Java and one way they do that is to make you install it manually if you really want/need it. Since most people can't or won't do this, it'll slowly die off.

As to HTML5 - yeah, it's definitely going to kill Java, Flash and Silverlight. If you think it's just a few additional markups, you should take another look at it. Aside from the fact that it can do everything these 3 can, every "modern" browser natively supports it, which means you don't have to worry about whether your end users have it installed or what version they might be running. This aside from not requiring a specialized IDE to create your applets. Yes, you'll always have your holdouts for Flash, Java, Crystal Reports, Fortran, Domino, any-other-platform-ever-made, but death is when it stops being widely used by the industry.
  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

That's good reasoning but it should not be their responsibility to try to keep things from being widely used by the industry especially when IT is already widely used by the industry. My wife's college uses online applications that require java applets. In my opinion, they did miss the boat. They shouldn't do that to say, "Hey we will be the first to go away from java". I'm also not finding really any "good" way to install it manually. Java-on-chromebook breaks after every update and needs to be reinstalled and then it also kills a boot option. I've looked at Crouton which may be the only solution. There's still just too much java widely used by the industry for Google to make that call. Otherwise, I agree start weeding out plugins but don't make it so hard to install if needed. One last note, your post was mainly geared at java applets which HTML5 would challenge but HTML5 would not challenge a native-Java application which I'm guessing Chromebooks can't run because of no interpreter.
  • this213
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Chromebooks aren't designed to run applications, they're specifically designed for using the internet and internet-based apps - so I was purposely overlooking those. The way things are going, my guess is it won't be too long before desktop applications start fading away too though with everything moving to the cloud for many of the same reasons plugins are starting to fade now. Why buy downloadable software when you can just go to some site?

I think you're going to be generally disappointed if you approach the Chromebook as just another laptop. It's not, it's specifically designed to use the browser for almost everything. Think of it more as a smart phone with a full keyboard and you won't be as disappointed.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
Why buy downloadable software when you can just go to some site?


Why produce downloadable software if it's easier to throttle piracy through a website?
  • this213
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah cloud-based software is just plain easier to manage. That goes for piracy, version control, compatibility and access management at least, but that's from a developer standpoint and I was talking from a user standpoint.

btw good to see you again - who stole your avatar?
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I like the potential for an arcade-like setup for some types of applications, online. I come across a lot of people who end up pirating software, because they only need to use it for a single project, or a couple of projects. It's just not cost effective to spend a few hundred dollars on something that's going to save $100 worth of time, once.

As for Java, I'm on the conspiracy theory boat with that. I think Oracle sat on that pile of cash and coaxed the right people into the right places to slowly kill off Java, MySQL, etc.

I like browser-based applications as much as I did 10 years ago. I skipped developing an Android application for my home automation system. I have an old P4 desktop turned into an HTTP server on the network and access control is handled by the wireless network.
  • Daemonguy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Indeed. Google is ahead of the curve, not behind it. Dump proprietary installables, for native web-based frameworks. Look at Office 365.. that's SaaS all the way. Even my company, the slow moving behemoth that it is, recognizes the need to embrace open technologies, not merely because of the buzz factor and ease of implementation, but price point. Hooray for SPSS and Apache UIMA! Requiring user intervention to get something working will push the extinction of non-native operating environments, as this213 suggested.

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