Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Elizabeth White, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Xenia von Wedel, David Williamson, Dan Blacharski

Related Topics: Java, Virtualization

Java: Article

Java Viewpoint: "Java Is Still the Mainstream, But..."

Java Developers Need to Look to Their Laurels and Start Innovating Again

The other day I was talking to a coworker about learning Ruby. He said that as a Java programmer the hardest part of learning Ruby was not the syntax nor the dynamic typing. Oh, he could write perfectly correct Ruby, sans semicolons and variable declarations. His problem was that he found himself falling back into his same old Java habits. He felt like he was missing something because his Ruby code always ended up looking pretty much like what he would have written in Java.

This is not a problem that is unique to Java or Ruby or even programming languages. We all have a comfort zone of techniques and habits, our ‘happy place‘ where we feel productive and comfortable. The trouble with the happy place is that if you stay in your happy place too long you will be miserable. The world will move on and there you will be, eyes tight shut, hands over your ears, rocking slowly as you repeat, “I‘m happy, I‘m happy.“

Is Java dead? The buzz at the last software conference I attended, a conference previously full of Java developers and talk, was all about Ruby. The web is filling up with talk about the ‘R‘ word. Yesterday an old friend of mine IM‘ed me to say that he had a new job and his boss wants him to do this Rails thing and did I think it was for real.

Is Java dead? No. Java is still the mainstream. It is blessed with a high performance VM that is installed darn near everywhere. There is an army of experienced Java programmers out there. But the Java world has been in the same happy place for way too long. We in the Java world have been hanging out in the same statically typed, framework driven, XML configured lair for too many years.

We need to start thinking new thoughts:

  • The key to Java is not the language, it is the JVM. If it runs on the JVM it is Java, no matter what the source language was. Ruby has dynamic typing and maybe that is a good thing? Well the Java world has Jython and Groovy and Rhino and Beanshell and soon JRuby. Why aren‘t we making more use of these?

  • One of the most common reactions to the elegance of Rails is “Oh, we could do that in Java.” Well, let us do so with haste, but let us also ask ourselves: Why didn‘t we think of this?

  •  As Bruce Tate has pointed out many times, why does all data taste better in XML? If there is a byte in a forest not wrapped in angle brackets, does it still convey data? Could we Java folks at least think before reaching for the JAXP?

Java isn‘t dead, it‘s probably not even that sick. But the mid life crisis is here and we need to decide if we are going to buy a red convertible or get down to really dealing with our problems.

More Stories By Russ Olsen

Russ Olsen is a senior software engineer at FGM in Reston, VA. he blogs at http://jroller.com/page/rolsen.

Comments (5) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Maricel Nash 02/17/06 02:15:08 PM EST

Nice picture, Russ!!

JDJ News Desk 01/14/06 01:37:47 AM EST

'Is Java dead?' asks Russ Olsen. No, he answers himself; Java is still the mainstream, and blessed with a high performance VM that is installed nearly everywhere plus there is an army of experienced Java programmers out there. 'But the Java world has been in the same happy place for way too long,' Olsen contends, adding: 'We in the Java world have been hanging out in the same statically typed, framework driven, XML configured lair for too many years.'

Gary Renner 01/13/06 10:48:11 AM EST

Oh jeez, not another Java is dead story. Well, I guess the goal of any publication these days is controversy. The fact is that with an over 20% mindshare (according to tiobe.com) Java is the most popular programming language. Should we rest and get complacent? Sure, as long as we continue to build reusable libraries. The only real setback for Java has nothing to do with technology - its the feud with Microsoft. I think, with the failure of C# to gain much of a foothold, Microsoft needs Java.

What we should do is "assume" Java is the language of choice for most development and move forward confidently. The proliferation of languages and variants is too costly and distracting to indulge in. The only real alternatives at this point are c/c++ (too expensive) and vb (too proprietary and awkward) so stop the self doubt, get rid of confusion factors like XML languages or the latest special purpose languages and move on to create real usable, reliable and therefore indispensable libraries. Java isn't perfect but it has all the truly needed features and the popularity & portability to make it the low-risk choice for development. Just do it.

msuzio 01/10/06 01:58:47 PM EST

Java is still in incredibly heavy use in larger-scale systems and internal applications. It doesn't need to be "hip", "trendy", or "LAMP". It just needs to do a job, do it well, and be maintainable. It does that (and more), has still proven fairly easy to scale from small projects to very large, and is still a decent (though not terrific) language.

It also plays well with many other solutions, by virtue of numerous scripting languages which target Java bytecodes, as well as native code integration if you simply cannot get by without some piece of C code (although, there goes easy portability - one of the major benefits).

HerbertJind 01/10/06 12:51:07 PM EST

|| 'We in the Java world have been hanging out in the same statically typed, framework driven, XML configured lair for too many years.' ||

But why should frameworks be intrinsically bad?

@ThingsExpo Stories
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...