Gluon Myth Busting
Gluon offers industry-leading solutions for Java on Mobile, on the Desktop, and in the Cloud. It is easy to make assumptions on how Gluon products work – but that isn’t good enough, we want our customers to know with much more clarity what goes on under the hood of Gluon solutions.
What Is Gluon Mobile?
Gluon Mobile is our client-side solution for building great-looking, cross-device applications. Gluon Mobile provides a UI toolkit, web service connectivity, and access to native hardware services. This means developers can write their apps in pure Java, without any platform-specific code. When you write an application with Gluon Mobile, you are avoiding the hassle of maintaining multiple applications for each platform, or even having any platform-specific code.
How does this work? Quite simply, the Gluon Mobile approach is to offer a best-of-breed API that is platform-agnostic, and at compile time, will translate your Java code into the appropriate code for the specific target platforms. This means that on iOS, Gluon Mobile compiles the Java bytecode into native iOS code, on Android the Java bytecode is compiled to the Android VM, and on desktop platforms and other platforms like the Raspberry Pi, the Java code is executed directly on a JVM.
What Is Gluon VM?
At present Gluon Mobile makes use of a general-purpose AOT compiler for iOS. For Android, Gluon has developed solutions within JavaFXPorts (which is embedded within Gluon Mobile). Moving forward, Gluon has announced the formation of the Gluon VM project, and our team is hard at work on a next-generation virtual machine designed for mobile and embedded platforms. Gluon VM will enable the use of Java 9 on mobile platforms for the first time, and will leverage the OpenJDK runtime to benefit from the decades of development effort that has been spent there. This move will bring with it the HotSpot runtime, as well as the official OpenJDK class libraries (as currently we deploy using the abandoned Apache Harmony class libraries). More details will be announced as soon as we have something to announce.
When Gluon VM is released, it will be a drop-in (and totally transparent) replacement. This change will happen ‘under the covers’, and users of Gluon Mobile will not even have to do anything to benefit from the advances in Gluon VM.
Gluon Mobile does not compromise in performance or features. It offers full-speed, hardware-accelerated, platform-agnostic deployment to iOS, Android, and other devices. It does not offer a ‘lowest common denominator’ API, or a subpar user experience. Standardizing on a highly-polished and performant Material Design UI toolkit will please users with design flourishes that are built-in. Gluon Mobile means your team can spend time working on new features, rather than simply keeping parity between multiple platforms.