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Eric Bruno

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Java and Books

January 09, 2008

Java book sales may be down from what they were during the .com bubble, but Java-based book reader sales are up.

Amazon announced the Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FI73MA) in November of 2007. They sold out of all available units within six hours of its introduction, and then went on to sell over 88,000 copies of Kindle-compatible electronic books (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kindle for more details).

I'm personally not sold yet; I still like to thumb through physical pages, see my books on shelves in my personal library, and be able to read something during takeoffs and landings when traveling (airlines don't like the use of any electronic devices when below 10,000 feet). Never mind that I like color magazines.

However, there's one very cool feature about the Kindle that does strike me - it's based on Java. Yes, inside this little wonder is a JVM making the whole thing work. From downloading content wirelessly, to searching across your purchased books' contents, Java is inside making it all possible (http://igorsk.blogspot.com/2007/12/hacking-kindle-part-3-root-shell-and.html). Besides the fact that this means people can hack it and do all sorts of wonderful, never-before-thought-of things with it, it means that as Amazon introduces potentially new readers based on different internal hardware, their existing Java-based software will work equally as well. That's the promise and delivery of write-once-run-anywhere.

This serves as yet another example as to why Java is still very much alive and well, especially in today's world of devices and mobility, despite the issues surrounding iPhone (http://www.ddj.com/blog/javablog/archives/2007/06/the_javaless_ip.html ) and Android (http://www.ddj.com/blog/javablog/archives/2007/11/google_android.html ). If Amazon can do this much with Java in the age-old industry of book sales, what else can be done? Write in with your ideas and help to make them happen!

Happy coding!
-EJB

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