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Wednesday
Jun032009

Project Vector? You mean like “attack” vector?

It’s been a few years since I’ve done any appreciable amount of work in Java, and I’m sure JavaFX is as secure a technology as any other mass-code-deployment-scheme out there, but I had something of a visceral reaction to a post I ran across on Jonathan Schwartz’s blog regarding the upcoming Java Store (codename “Project Vector”):

“Remember, when apps are distributed through the Java Store, they're distributed directly to the desktop - JavaFX enables developers, businesses and content owners to bypass potentially hostile browsers.”

Now, I happen to agree with Schwartz when it comes to being able to deliver a much better user experience with a smartly-deployed desktop application over a typical AJAX web application, and real “desktop” applications are surely a lot easier to maintain, debug, test and assure the quality thereof (in my humble opinion), but something about this statement makes me nervous. Rich Internet Applications, whatever your development platform of choice, still rely on a platform, and the browser is still just a platform in this respect.

As far as I’m concerned, the Browser/JVM/CLR had better be hostile to any code that could potentially compromise the security of my customer’s client machines, otherwise I’m not going to be able to sell them software, because they won’t trust it.

And while we’re on the subject, I hope that the Java Store won’t bug me constantly to download the latest New Shiny Thing – my system tray is already lit up like a Christmas tree, thanks very much.

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