Java and Mono (was Re: Managing multiple computers at home)

Bryan Sant bryan.sant at
Mon Mar 27 14:57:31 MST 2006

On 3/27/06, Michael L Torrie <torriem at> wrote:
> Looks great.  Still some issue in the screenshots with the fonts, but
> certainly a lot closer.  With this kind of UI integration Java is
> finally becoming a first-class citizen.  There will always be the small
> issue of HIG, though.  Gnome applications generally do not use frames
> (rectangular boxes with a title) anymore, although apps on Windows do.
> But that's a developer issue.  I welcome more cool java and C# apps.

The fonts have improved since then, but I don't think the Java fonts
will ever match right.  Java renders its subpixel anti-aliased fonts
with its own internal routine.  Gnome uses Pango.  The two produce
different kerning and such in the output.  I have a bug open with the
mustang team about this.  They've accepted the bug but they aren't
going to delegate font rendering to Pango in Mustang (but they will in
Dolphin -- the next, next release of Java).

> Looking around I just don't see a lot of commercial apps being shipped
> in Java or .NET (VB.NET or C#).  I didn't read anything in any of the

Nor will you ever.  Commercial "shrink wrapped" apps will always be
written in C++.

> articles referenced that backed up this claim.  So far as I know, MS
> Office, Photoshop, Acrobat, Flash, etc are all C++.  I know of no major
> commercial package (major defined as widely available and widely used by
> consumers, not niche products) that is using WinForms or Java (except
> for VS 2005 which apparently is sucking pretty bad).

Yup.  All commercial apps are C++.  This isn't going to change for
some time.  But the fact is that 90% of software written is not
commercial software.  This is the classic argument for open source
software.  Developers who complain that OSS is bad for the software
industry because it competes with commercial software and reduces or
eliminates sales (and thus software jobs) have a flawed argument.  The
truth is that 90% of all software is internally produced software that
never gets sold to anyone else.  Software gets *customized* by
corporate developers for internal use.  Rarely is software produced
from scratch with the intent to sale to others.

So if everyone used Linux and OSS software, there would still be a
booming software developer market.  People need OSS customized (just
like they need commercial software customized).  In fact, I think that
OSS creates more jobs because more businesses will have access to
sophisticated software that they want customized.  You loose the 10%
of devs making commercial software, but you grow by 50%.  More jobs in
the end.

Back to the point.  The lion's share of software produced is
corporate/internal apps.  Of those apps, there are more GUI's written
in Swing that any other technology.  So let's say that 100% of the 10%
of commercial apps are written in C++/MFC.  47% of the other 90% of
apps are written in Java/Swing.  Can you see who the winner is?

> Demand is high right now.  The impression I'm getting from the industry
> (just an impression mind you) is that despite the demand, more and more
> businesses are finding the high cost unacceptable and are finding ways
> to have their cake and eat it too.  Or in some cases businesses are
> finding the cost/benefit ratio of IT isn't as much in their favor as
> they thought.

Eh.  Ignore your impressions.  Look to  If dice has jobs
listed, then things are good.  If jobs listed are going up then there
is a positive trend.  If jobs listed are down then things are getting
worse.  It's a realtime metric of IT demand.  According to dice,
things are good and getting better.


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