Java Deployment (was Re: JavaFX 8 Progress)

Daniel Zwolenski zonski at
Thu Jul 18 15:02:00 PDT 2013

There are definitely credible alternatives. The problem is currently the alternatives are not implemented well enough so web still ends up a contender just by being the only one able to stand up. 

And for the record I build both public facing apps and back-office apps and web deploy does not work well for either. I stopped using jfx because of deployment. I now build only webapps because of deployment. 

Credible alternatives:

1. Native bundlers, but we need:
- auto updating so people can easily release patch updates
- smaller co-bundled jre's so that the initial download and install is smooth and quick
- better build tools to make this easier to integrate into a standard build process, with some solution for cross-platform build support or to at least minimize the pain

2. App stores:
- ready to go right now for Mac but we don't have the tools and I think we need everything fully open sourced for licensing reasons (hard to say)
- need to either pick one of the unofficial win app stores for pre-win8 support (there's a few), or build our own app store
- we just need tools for building and deploying to app stores (not that hard) and cut down jre sizes again (app stores are an extension of cobundling approach). 

3. Self-hosted 'app store' for corporate settings. install a small, native client on the machine that allows that user to download and install apps from your private server, with auto-updating, etc
- we need to build one, not that hard, maybe a month or two of work to get a first working version out. I would have built one by now but because jfx packaging tools are so bad I've burnt up all my spare time just putting wrappers around these to get the most basic of maven plugins to work. 

All of the above could have been implemented by now if there was just a little bit of love in this area. One resource ticking away would have been enough to get something going. As it stands there has been zero, nada, zip changes into anything other than web/security deployment efforts over the last year. J8 due next year (!) will not include any of the above, or even any simple improvements to deployment approaches other than web, to the best of my knowledge. 

On 19/07/2013, at 7:30 AM, Mark Fortner <phidias51 at> wrote:

> I've heard the "webstart is broke, don't fix it, move on" song before from a number of people.  What I haven't heard is a credible solution to solving the very real problem of keeping an app up-to-date in a corporate setting.  For the most part, I agree that if you're in the business of selling commercial software, selling and distributing through an app store probably makes sense for you. Although I wouldn't relish having to build on all of those platforms. 
> However, posting proprietary apps to external OS-specific app stores doesn't really work for anyone in a corporate setting.  Neither does making a user re-install an application every time you post a bug fix.  In addition, many corporations limit the privileges they give users.
> Cheers,
> Mark

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