Avatar.js & Project Avatar - Feedback from conference talks

July 7, 2014

I've given my talk about Avatar.js and Project Avatar now several times on various tech conferences (including the big ones - JavaLand and Jax) and user groups all over Germany (and I will continue to do so!). I'm pretty excited and I really like the approach of Avatar.js and Project Avatar for accessing Java Enterprise resources and registering REST-/Push-/Socket-Services asynchronously (like Node.js or Vert.x) with JavaScript on a Java Application Server like Glassfish and/or Oracle WebLogic. Perhaps there's not yet a real-world project, but looking to the future, there might be many possibilities to get this server-side scripting thing running.

BUT (there's always a "but"): People don't understand, when and why they should switch from Java to JavaScript (in case of Java related audience) or they don't understand why they should do JavaScript on a Java platform, if they can do JavaScript on Node.js (mostly in case of JavaScript related audience). They even don't understand, that there is nor "must" for a language change, that Avatar.js/Project Avatar is only one new possibility to deal with already existing resources in the enterprise inventory.

There's still a big gap between the programmers of those two languages, it seams there is no (kind of) respect for the other language, no matter to which target group you belong. Ok, Java and JavaScript are not similar to each other (or "similar like car and carpet"), they are two complete different languages with different approaches, but there is already a co-existence of them for many, many years, as both are uses in (enterprise) web projects. And it's not uncommon to use JavaScript in Java frontend solutions (think of Ajax and others); and JavaScript frontends mostly consume backends written in Java (e.g. REST-Services implemented in Java, consumed by an AngularJS client).

People often say that Avatar.js/Project Avatar "looks nice", "decent approach", "interesting" and more things like that, but they also say everythime, that they don't know where and when to use it. I really try my very best to convince them to have a look on Avatar for a future use, that there will be use cases  for it and get ready to use it, so that you don't get behind as soon it's more than just a demo. But it seems, that people don't want to hear that. Server-side scripting with JavaScript seems in Germany (or Middle-Europe?) not to be very popular, at least within the enterprise and/or application server context.

So, Oracle: Why did you start this open source projects of Avatar.js and Project Avatar? What is your target? Who is your target group? Is it just an experiment, which will wordlessly vanish in the future? Or do you plan to invest more activities on it? What about (more) documentation and more promotion for theses projects, so that people know what it is and when/how to use? For what it's worth?

And why are there no real developing activites/commits since end of March (2014)? Did you already capitulate?

Hope to get some answers, latest on this years JavaOne, where I will give an Avatar talk, too. But it would be nice to get some statements from Oracle before!

Update: http://blog.n-k.de/2015/01/is-oracles-avatar-dead.html

Tags: glassfish javaee talk enterprise avatar weblogic oracle javascript java avatarjs