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October 2013, Volume 1, Number 5

Will upcoming Google Web Designer fix Java pros' Android problem?

The promise of a soon-to-be-released Web app development tool kit called Google Web Designer has many in the IT industry making guesses. What kinds of sites will it create? Will it rival Adobe's Web design software? But mobile developers -- especially developers who work with Java -- are asking something else entirely: Will Google use its new tool to solve the signature Android problem, hardware fragmentation? Unfortunately, Android's success came at a cost, and that cost was fragmentation. It would be unfair to disparage Google without noting that Android has been very good for the Java community. Five years ago, few college kids were interested in coding a servlet or a browser-based Java applet. The only thing they wanted to do was write Objective-C and create iPhone apps. With no real mobile presence, developer interest in Java was fading fast. Then came Google's Android. It was free, open source, customizable -- and wildly popular. It was also practically tailor-made for a cross-platform programming language like Java. All ...

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