Java in ZDNet.co.uk's "Rogues Gallery" of annoying software

3 views
Skip to first unread message

Chris Adamson

unread,
May 20, 2008, 12:29:33 PM5/20/08
to java...@googlegroups.com
From the article "Annoying Software: A Rogues' Gallery" <http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000001048,39419834,00.htm>, comes this slam of Java's desktop behavior <http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000001048,39419834-6,00.htm>:


Java
Java doesn't do anything by itself. It's a programming language. Programming languages are like sewage plants: if the average user becomes aware of them, something's gone wrong.

Java doesn't know this. Java wants to be in your face. Java wants to be updated. Java wants to tell you the good news about Sun. Have you heard about Sun? Here's a nice picture of our logo. And fancy a copy of OpenOffice? No? Well, never mind. Java's installed a copy of Yahoo Toolbar in your browser instead. Because that's what programming languages are there to do, right?

Joshua Marinacci

unread,
May 20, 2008, 12:36:22 PM5/20/08
to java...@googlegroups.com
Look at some of the other examples too. Good stuff. I especially like Apple's, the bastion of user centered design, who tries to shove a webbrowser down to you along with the huge download that is iTunes. And I still can't figure out why the Acrobat reader is twice the size of the full JRE, since all it does is view PDFs.  :)

-j

Alexey Zinger

unread,
May 20, 2008, 12:51:55 PM5/20/08
to java...@googlegroups.com
Good stuff.  Reminds me of Top Gear humor.

Alexey
2001 Honda CBR600F4i (CCS)
1992 Kawasaki EX500
http://azinger.blogspot.com
http://bsheet.sourceforge.net
http://wcollage.sourceforge.net


--- On Tue, 5/20/08, Joshua Marinacci <jos...@gmail.com> wrote:

Chris Adamson

unread,
May 20, 2008, 1:29:59 PM5/20/08
to The Java Posse
Apple has also married QuickTime and iTunes at the hip for Windows
users, though I don't know if you actually have to have QT to watch
iTunes movies and TV shows or not, so there might be a legitimate
coupling there. Still, it's weird to go the other way, downloading
QuickTime and getting iTunes, whether or not you wanted it.

--Chris

Vince O'Sullivan

unread,
May 21, 2008, 3:21:07 AM5/21/08
to The Java Posse
On May 20, 5:29 pm, Chris Adamson <invalidn...@gmail.com> wrote:
>  From the article "Annoying Software: A Rogues' Gallery" <http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000001048,39419834,00.htm
>  >, comes this slam of Java's desktop behavior <http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000001048,39419834-6,00.htm

It's a good article and a good demonstration that no matter how 'good'
any corporation will pretend to be, eventually they're all only about
selling you stuff, nothing more.

Lars Westergren

unread,
May 21, 2008, 3:43:51 AM5/21/08
to java...@googlegroups.com
I think Java was the least offender on that list. Even on Slashdot,
where people normally never passes up a chance to slam Java, the
agreement seems to be that it isn't that bad from an annoyance
perspective.
http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=558646&cid=23476568

Casper Bang

unread,
May 22, 2008, 11:12:04 AM5/22/08
to The Java Posse
A minor correction, it's Google Toolbar and not Yahoo Toolbar which is
annoyingly bundled (and checked to be installed by default). Anyway,
the topic brings to mind similar comments made by Joe regarding Java
needing to get "out of the face" of the user.

/Casper

Christian Catchpole

unread,
May 22, 2008, 7:54:54 PM5/22/08
to The Java Posse
On May 21, 5:21 pm, "Vince O'Sullivan" <vjosulli...@gmail.com> wrote:
> It's a good article and a good demonstration that no matter how 'good'
> any corporation will pretend to be, eventually they're all only about
> selling you stuff, nothing more.

Exactly - at some point users seemed to think a corporation could be
any different. Perhaps its because we have so much invested in what
they supply us. And dispite all the good intentions on both sides of
the fence, marketing people somehow think they have a right to invade
our souls and shareholders must be kept happy somehow. But don't get
me started my thoughts on share roulette and IPOs... :)

Martin OConnor

unread,
May 23, 2008, 4:22:45 AM5/23/08
to The Java Posse
Here is the announcement regarding the google toolbar from 2005
http://weblogs.java.net/blog/kgh/archive/2005/10/java_se_and_the.html

Casper Bang

unread,
May 23, 2008, 6:58:29 AM5/23/08
to The Java Posse
Thanks Martin. Funny, the text talks about a consumer JRE which appear
to be the online installer, a downloadable installer and finally a
redistributable. I wasn't aware that there were a redistributable
without the toolbar and am unable to find it on their website, but I
suspect they refer to the OEM version which is out of reach to most.

Judging by the comments back then, the toolbar was a bad move and one
wonders why it's still in place here 3 years later, one suspect
monetary reasons. The good news is that the u10 does not appear to
have anything bundled, let's hope it stays that way.

/Casper

On May 23, 10:22 am, Martin OConnor <marti...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Here is the announcement regarding the google toolbar from 2005http://weblogs.java.net/blog/kgh/archive/2005/10/java_se_and_the.html

Michael Neale

unread,
May 23, 2008, 8:46:26 PM5/23/08
to The Java Posse
I think the phrase was "pissing all over their brand" - (as in the
brand of the software you are using, not java). (no, "piss" is not a
swear word, it is in old versions of the bible ;).

But I don't think its entirely necessary that the javabrand has to be
hidden - I remember someone describing the java brand as being like
"dolby" (now I am showing my age !) where people didn't really know
what it was exactly, but it was something good that any hardware had
to support.

BUT, as a programming language and platform, of course it should be
silent and invisible, any more then VC++ or GCC logos (do they even
have one? ) shoudl pop up in someones system tray when they run some
random app that was compiled with them.

Christian Catchpole

unread,
May 27, 2008, 12:33:07 AM5/27/08
to The Java Posse
When I was on my way to the Sun Tech Days, the cab driver asked what
the conference was about, to which I responded, "Nerdy programming
stuff called Java". To which he replied "Games on mobile phones
right?" and started to badger me to get him some for free. I tried to
expain it was enterprise but I think I could see his thought bubble of
a server rack full of mobile phones.
> > /Casper- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Dick Wall

unread,
May 27, 2008, 8:38:48 PM5/27/08
to The Java Posse
Hi Casper, I thought so too, until I tried to download Java for a
fresh windows install on a laptop the other day. Sure enough, it's
Yahoo toolbar now, I wonder when that changed, it has certainly been
very quiet.

Cheers

Dick

Casper Bang

unread,
May 27, 2008, 9:32:58 PM5/27/08
to The Java Posse
Oh really? Ok I stand corrected, when I did a flash demo 3 month ago
it was Google toolbar for sure. Gotta say, of the two, I'd take Google
toolbar over the Yahoo one.

/Casper

robogeek

unread,
May 28, 2008, 8:13:45 AM5/28/08
to The Java Posse

On May 21, 12:21 am, "Vince O'Sullivan" <vjosulli...@gmail.com> wrote:
> It's a good article and a good demonstration that no matter how 'good'
> any corporation will pretend to be, eventually they're all only about
> selling you stuff, nothing more.

Well, hmm, I like to bash big corporations too. You can say a lot
about how any size corporation doesn't have humanity's best interest
at heart.. instead capitalism is really an embodiment of greed, so by
making capitalism the primary principle driving our society it says
we're putting greed above all the other motivating interests which
could be driving society. What of the other motivating interests ..
the desire to do good, the desire for love, etc.. what of them?
They're all devalued in our society, right?

That said... in the current paradigm corporations have as a primary
duty to make money and grow. That's what shareholders want and
ultimately that requirement by shareholders filters down through
management into the actions taken by the corporation.

We've gotten a lot of criticism for not monetizing the Java platform,
right? In terms of corporate comparisons I'm sure y'all could think
of other makers of software development platforms who charge out the
wazoo for tools and SDK's and whatnot. But we give ours away for
free.

In the world of free software there are several understood models for
monetizing free software. One of those models is to couple it with
advertising ... right? Think of how Eudora a few years ago made this
bold (for then) move of delivering a 'free' (zero cost) email client
that ran advertising in the screen. It was a rotating banner advert.

Bill K

unread,
May 28, 2008, 9:44:48 PM5/28/08
to The Java Posse
I love java but can't defend this.

I absolutely despise things that try to install the Yahoo toolbar.
You have to be careful to very deliberately disable it before the
install--it often feels like disabling a time bomb. I admit that it
might have gotten better--I've been YToolbar free for years now, but
this is one horrendous piece of software that really stinks up your
browser.

Also, they are right about the updates. Throw in with some other
updater, but don't get into the business yourself unless you are
actually trying to install something. And don't do the toolbar icon.

Imagine if every language on your PC did this. PERL, Ruby, Python, C,
C++, C#, Visual Basic, ... You'd have daily updates and a launch bar
with no room left for applications. By default it should be exactly
as visible as any other language on your PC..

It's just not right--and it's never felt right,.

Christian Catchpole

unread,
May 28, 2008, 9:59:42 PM5/28/08
to The Java Posse
I am wondering the reasoning for the tray icon. Perhaps it's a
promotional thing. I do though think platforms like Java should be
thought of like special effects in movies. They work best when you
don't realize they are there.

This is an example of something that has bugged me from day 1 about
Java. As much as I love it, it's not very pure. The features in the
JVM are a double edged sword. I had high hopes that GCJ would allow
us to target Java source to just about anything. Sure, it needs a GC
- but GCJ also has to support class loading and interpreted mode.
That's a little bit insane.

I know the JVM rocks but it never felt right that I can't compile to
native, even if there's generally no reason to do so.
> > > programming languages are there to do, right?- Hide quoted text -

Jess Holle

unread,
May 29, 2008, 7:16:16 AM5/29/08
to java...@googlegroups.com
Christian Catchpole wrote:
> I am wondering the reasoning for the tray icon. Perhaps it's a
> promotional thing. I do though think platforms like Java should be
> thought of like special effects in movies. They work best when you
> don't realize they are there.
>
> This is an example of something that has bugged me from day 1 about
> Java. As much as I love it, it's not very pure. The features in the
> JVM are a double edged sword. I had high hopes that GCJ would allow
> us to target Java source to just about anything. Sure, it needs a GC
> - but GCJ also has to support class loading and interpreted mode.
> That's a little bit insane.
>
> I know the JVM rocks but it never felt right that I can't compile to
> native, even if there's generally no reason to do so.
>
Look at the Maxine stuff. That seems (directionally vs. current status)
to be much closer to the JVM done right than today's JVM.

--
Jess Holle

Casper Bang

unread,
May 29, 2008, 8:06:44 AM5/29/08
to The Java Posse
> Look at the Maxine stuff.  That seems (directionally vs. current status)
> to be much closer to the JVM done right than today's JVM.

But it's written in Java 6. I never understood how another VM in a JVM
solves any problems, the lowest common denominator (which is too high
in the JVM) is still there no?!

/Casper

Ben Schulz

unread,
May 29, 2008, 8:38:48 AM5/29/08
to The Java Posse
I thought Maxine gets bootstrapped and then runs within itself
(whatever that means.. ;).

I think it's a brilliant idea, because it can then (aggressively)
optimize itself with the same optimizer it uses for client code.

With kind regards
Ben

Jess Holle

unread,
May 29, 2008, 8:44:25 AM5/29/08
to java...@googlegroups.com
It's similar to a cross-compiler in some respects.  It uses another JVM to create an image of its core implementation and then that's what's launched from thereon out.

If what you're saying is that its only as modular as the JVM -- sure, that's a separate problem.  It crosses into a single Java space as quickly as possible, though and tries to do everything just once.  Thus adding a feature to the JVM should be much, much simpler than today -- where one has to muck with native code, GC demarcation on native objects, interpretted mode, JIT/compiled mode, etc, to get much of anything of substance done.

It would seem to me that the current architectural complexity throttles JVM innovation as much as any compatibility constraint.

--
Jess Holle

Jess Holle

unread,
May 29, 2008, 8:46:25 AM5/29/08
to java...@googlegroups.com
Ben Schulz wrote:
> I thought Maxine gets bootstrapped and then runs within itself
> (whatever that means.. ;).
>
> I think it's a brilliant idea, because it can then (aggressively)
> optimize itself with the same optimizer it uses for client code.
>
Yup -- all the way down to calls to the OS / external libraries.

--
Jess Holle

Christian Catchpole

unread,
May 29, 2008, 8:24:07 PM5/29/08
to The Java Posse
Wow. Thats pretty special. But as per our super.super thread, you
might have to be careful of wormhole situations.
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages