Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sun opens Java under the GPL license

Finally, the day has come.
Yesterday, in a historic move, Sun opened the Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE), Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME), and Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE) —under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2).

Friday, November 10, 2006

What is a thin client, really ?

Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz wrote on his blog this definition about thin clients:

Industry convention says that apps written to browsers are defined to be "thin." But by that definition, thin really equates to "using someone else's runtime environment" -- in that the browser itself has to be present for the service to be rendered. And last I checked, browsers require operating systems and windowing environments. Not exactly thin. So in my book, it's inaccurate to say Google or YouTube are "thin clients" -- they're services that leverage someone else's thick client. A browser.

This is really true and seems to reflect a feeling that I've had already.

Why do people call thin client a small computer which has an operating system (Windows CE, XPe, or Linux, it doesn't matter) installed in a local media, perhaps a flash memory ?
And think that it's not only an operating system, but applications too.
Like the web browser.

Do they call it thin client because the disk usually doesn't spin ?
Because the upgrades are much more difficult and tedious than upgrading a fat client disk ?
Because the operating system and applications fits in only 64 or 128 MB of flash ?
So, the desktop PCs from sime time ago, when disks were much smaller, were thin client too.
And we didn't know it !

Real thin clients boot off the network. Stop.