3 Oct 2007

Air and java weight

Some time ago I had a conversation on the Java Lobby page. It was about JavaFX Script and its chances to succeed. At least it started this way. Of course, as in every conversation about RIA market and Java, Flash/Flex were brought into play. Which I think is good and bad at the same time. I myself am kind of unhappy of my posts in this conversation - I wasn't paying enough attention to get the meaning of Alex's posts. But nevertheless, even after admitting I've made some mistakes with understanding what he meant I still have to point out that Alex missed some numbers for sizes of JavaFX Script runtime.

So to make it clear: JavaFX Script runtime file javafxrt.jar is 1965kB so it is bigger than Flash, but when you pack200 it it becomes 629kB! You have to add Filters.jar (262kB, pack200ed 81kB) and swing-layout.jar (140kB, pack200ed 27kB). So, one can say that JavaFX Script adds 737kB when packed. And why shouldn't you send it packed to the client when you know that she has JRE installed?

I've seen that (scroll down to the graph at paragraph about Java Kernel) you could need just under 4MB of JRE to run day-to-day useful Swing app. I wonder how big should be the JRE to run JavaFX Script. I guess it would be around 4MB. Do you know any numbers? Comment, please.

I myself think that comparing Java applet runtime (which is full JRE right now) and Flash is like comparing whole school to arts class :). I mean you can do a lot with Flash, but you certainly can do a lot less with it than with Java. Flex ads some flexes to Flash of course, but still it is in different category.

But now, when Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) beta is out we can really compare Adobe and Sun Microsystems solutions. At least in the space of application runtime sizes.

And you certainly know how big is JRE, don't you? Well, just listen to the interview with Roman Guy at Infoq to hear that he missed some megabytes of the JRE :).
I can understand that - I would estimate that last time Roman downloaded JRE at the time when it was of the size he mentions in the interview.

AIR = 9MB, Java 6 = 13.93MB. At least comparing those is more sane then comparing JRE to Flash Player. It seems like you have to weigh a bit to be a platform of today ;).

Coming back to the Roman Guy interview. I agree with him on the size issue, but I'd like to ask average computer user (ACU for short :)) why would he/she download JRE. Is there any Java application that is a must have? I've heard there is certain interest in the Azureus, but I won't count that one, because there is too much dark buzz around bittorrent these days. I've seen Aerith and it was cool, IRIS is cool too. Don't they lack marketing? Is Aerith still developed? I wish it was. It would be nice to show friends pictures from a trip using it. And see their jaws on the floor ;)!

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