On widening the market for J2EE tools Bosworth says: “I would argue that there were really only about 500,000 people who could effectively use J2EE before Workshop … And I believe we truly have made it possible for the corporate developer, the applications developer to play in that and that means there’s more like 5 million people.” He then goes on to say that’s probably half the total number of programmers in the world, which he notes is an order of magnitude less than “about 100 million people who I think can use complex abstract tools meaning build really complex spreadsheets, do Visio, use Access at all.” BEA is not targeting them, he says. So BEA is taking the opposite approach from Charles Simonyi’s Intentional Software, which I described in my last posting, Not as intended. BEA aims to make complex programming more accessible to the 10 million, whereas Intentional aims to automate it so that the 100 million can take advantage of it without having to learn program.
On the browser vs Windows he points out how easy people find it to use the browser “because it’s so self-evident what to do.” Not only is it harder to learn all the widgets in Windows, it’s also harder to maintain. “Software’s gotten better at being adaptive and self-modifying, but that cuts both ways,” he says. “I’m sick of applying my upgrades on Windows every night. And it makes me nervous that the software on my PC is constantly changing.” In his mind, the case against a traditional Windows-style thick client is settled; no one wants it: “I think in general we still want to say an app is just something you point to with a URL.” But that in turn, he goes on to say, means we want more from our browsers, including support for disconnected working.