It’s common knowledge among web developers and Internet professionals alike that Java is on its way out. Even the federal government is on board with the idea. In fact, recently the Department of Homeland Security recommended that all users disable Java due to its significant security vulnerabilities. The big problem is that while users can disable Java in their browsers, it’s impossible for users to disable Java within the mobile and web applications they use on a daily basis. This responsibility is on the shoulder of the web and mobile developer.
Problems with Java
- Java is one of the easiest languages for a hacker to breach. On the developer side of things it’s virtually useless due to the fact that Java applications are directly tied to specific versions of Java. Version management is out of the question for security purposes. Updating a Java application for security requires new development and testing and really creates more problems than it’s worth.
- The data management tools within Java applications are often inefficient. Multiple identical data requests slow down performance and make your server work harder than it actually needs to. The result? Sluggish apps that frustrate and alienate users. Nobody wants their work to go to waste, but that’s what happens when a program is too slow to provide a positive user experience.
Some key solutions
Web developers, kill Java already
- There’s no way around the death of Java at this point. Some developers who cut their teeth on Java may be fighting to keep it around, but most industry professionals agree that it’s time to let it go the way of the Dodo. In fact, most app markets have forged a path completely removing Java from mobile applications. Apple did this from the start with iOS. Shortly thereafter, Microsoft followed suit. So, why are developers still building Java-based applications that come with a slew of performance and security vulnerabilities?
Proper web hosting
- Some developers are hesitant to completely drop Java because the applications are fairly easy to build right out of the gate, and require less server power to deploy. Unfortunately, with all the powerful web hosting juice out there, building HTML5 mobile sites is more than possible. Basically, the idea that Java is necessary is almost completely untrue. It’s only necessary for the user if the client continues to develop these low-brow mobile sites.
The good news is that web developers — and even the federal government — are moving in the right direction. But while disabling Java is a good temporary solution, the long term solution is going to include killing off Java applications altogether. Sure, a user can disable and uninstall all Java applications. But as soon as the user visits a site or downloads an application that requires Java, they’ll be right back where they started from: having to run subpar applications that run on a slow and completely unsecure programming language. It’s time to do what’s best for the mobile web. Kill Java once and for all.