I have to agree in part with Trevor Potts at The Register and object to VMware’s solution to the vCenter client platform problem. He got to ask VMware why they are using Flash instead of HTML5 and he runs down the list of options.
Java – too much versioning, not much customer love (ie none, actively hated by most)
Systems administrators are already inundated with Java versioning issues. A lot of the management apps we run are Java, and a good many blow up if you use anything other than the precisely tested version it shipped with. VMware did not want to add to these troubles. An additional consideration is that by developing an application requiring bleeding edge capabilities and going Java, you write off mobile devices just as they are proliferating at unprecedented levels.
Silverlight – not cross platform (and killed by Microsoft). Who cares about Silverlight anyway.
HTML 5 – not finished and not consistently deployed is true enough.
Isn’t HTML 5 supposed to be the land of faeries and unicorns, open standards and interoperability? Turns out, not so much. To build a management interface with the complexity required to meet VMware’s ambitions, they would have to code everything to the absolute bleeding edge. While core HTML 5 functionality is (mostly) gelled, the really good stuff is still a moving target that isn’t implemented properly in all browsers just yet. In the future, after the spec has settled a bit and browser vendors have pulled their fingers out, VMware would love to make an HTML5 client. It simply isn’t feasible today.
In the end, Flash is the only workable choice, that no one likes for security reasons, for a good enough interactive interface.
Here is my problem: It’s 2012 and VMware is supposed to be the king, lord and master of all things “software” and they can’t build a native client for three platforms – Windows, OSX and Linux ? They have to choose a software plugin that is clearly obsolete and despised by most people as insecure, memory intensive, and failure prone. I don’t even have Flash installed on my laptop because the security risk and performance impact (and battery ) is too high. And this is what they choose to “support” their customers.
This is Bollocks. VMware is being cheap and lame. While this new client is better than nothing it’s still nowhere near good enough. If you are a software company, then software should be easy. Right ?