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Does an Open Java Really Matter?

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the oh-finally-an-easy-question dept.

Java 766

snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister questions the relevance of the recent opening of Java given the wealth of options open source developers enjoy today. Sure, as the first full-blooded Java implementation available under a 100 percent Free Software license, RedHat's IcedTea pushes aside open source objections to developing in Java. Yet, McAllister asks, if Java really were released today, brand-new, would it be a tool you'd choose? 'The problem, as I see it, is twofold,' he writes. 'First, as the Java platform has matured, it has become incredibly complex. Today it's possible to do anything with Java, but no one developer can do everything — there simply aren't enough hours in the day to learn it all. Second, and most important, even as Java has stretched outward to embrace more concepts and technologies — adding APIs and language features as it goes — newer, more lightweight tools have appeared that do most of what Java aims to do. And they often do it better.'" Since Java itself never mattered except to sell books, I still don't see why opening it matters.

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Java never really mattered, Taco? Ouch (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951009)

Some would say the same about Slashdot.

Re:Java never really mattered, Taco? Ouch (-1, Flamebait)

pdusen (1146399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951499)

Some would say the same about ACs.

Re:Java never really mattered, Taco? Ouch (4, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951511)

Yeah, that was a really lame comment. Does Rob think the programming world consists of Perl hackers like him? Thousands of programmers make a living writing Java code.

BTW Rob, when is the new browsing system going to handle scores correctly? I just started writing a response to a Score 0 AC post, something I never do intentionally. Maybe if you rewrote Slashdot in Java...

But here's why opening Java matters. When people talk about "opening Java" they really mean "opening Sun's implementation of Java". There have always been open-source implementations of Java, but they've had a hard time keeping up with the latest spec. So if you're distributing open-source software that depends on Java, you really want Sun's Java implementation in the bundle.

(Troll) I hate java, why does /. love it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951027)

I just don't understand why most of /. loves java and sun so much. I really really dont like it. Everything I have ever used that ran in java was horridly cludgey and just plain annoying to use. Insight please? Just what is so great about it?

Re:(Troll) I hate java, why does /. love it? (3, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951089)

Maybe you're an older coder but I think that Java gets some of the nostalgia effect that BASIC use to since it seems to be the first programming course offered. At least from what I've seen it's one of the early languages taught now-a-days. But I really don't know for sure.

It certainly seems to be a fairly easy introduction to OOP.

Re:(Troll) I hate java, why does /. love it? (5, Interesting)

3p1ph4ny (835701) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951129)

A "cludgey" app can be written in every language, Java is no exception.

Without getting in to a bunch of holy war things, here are some of the things that Slashdotters may like about Java:

1. You can get paid to write in it. A lot of us (myself included) are software developers who write stuff in primarily in Java. Sure, I know other languages like Ruby, but it's nowhere near as ubiquitous as Java. This makes employers like Java.

2. It's mature. It's been around for a long time, and the libraries are mostly stable and bug free. This is not true for some other languages. Also, the APIs for Java are huge and support everything, and the documentation is good.

3. It's fast(er). Older Java GUI stuff was not fast, and it gave people the impression that all of Java is not fast. Well, Java 1.6 is fast.

4. It's cross platform. This isn't a big deal for me so much, but it might be for some people.

Re:(Troll) I hate java, why does /. love it? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951519)

It's fast(er). Older Java GUI stuff was not fast, and it gave people the impression that all of Java is not fast. Well, Java 1.6 is fast.

That is the first time I've seen that admitted on /.! It's become so fashionable for everyone to claim that Java is slow while espousing the virtues of whatever else will give them the most geek cred.

Re:(Troll) I hate java, why does /. love it? (-1, Offtopic)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951149)

ECMAScript 2 (Javascript) has a better object model than Java. Unfortunately ECMAScript 3 is giving up a lot of the advantages in an attempt to squash problems that are at least as much the fault of embedded libraries as the object model. :(

I'd really like to see FScript opened up to more than just the Mac. That's the thing that really makes me reluctant to get into it on the Mac... I don't want to work in a language (open source or not) that isn't portable.

Re:(Troll) I hate java, why does /. love it? (2, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951407)

Javascript has a better object model?

You mean, a language without a basic stuff like namespaces (!!) has a better object model than Java?

Oh, and Java also has static typing. That's a great feature.

Re:(Troll) I hate java, why does /. love it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951569)

Care to explain how "Javascript has a better object model than Java". Are we talking about the same Javascript?

Re:(Troll) I hate java, why does /. love it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951595)


Can you give us one example of how Javascript has a better object model than Java? Just curious.

Re:(Troll) I hate java, why does /. love it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951253)

Most Java software runs on servers, where the kudgy annoying stuff is a sysadmin problem. Java is very critical to Linux's success in the server market.

I think most of /. would agree with you about java applets or desktop apps.

Re:(Troll) I hate java, why does /. love it? (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951523)

The only java app I like is jEdit. But even its author, Slava Pestov, got very frustrated with java. He's developing on factor, another language.

Re:(Troll) I hate java, why does /. love it? (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951567)

And just about every non-offical GTK+/Gnome application I've ever used. You can build crap in any language. The difference with Java is that the barrier is somewhat lower than with C/GTK+. Try downloading some earlier releases of GRIP and then watch your eyeballs bleed.

You can take this further and then look at all the pre-pubescent, putrefacting garbage out there written in PHP. The lower the technical barriers to entry, the more poorly-designed, awkward garbage gets written on it.

The truth is, most people know squat about writing reliable programs with decent, half usable UIs. Java/Swing and C/GTK+ have at least one thing in common: it's relatively easy for weekend hobby coders to push out crap, but it takes a lot more clue and skill to build stuff that's good looking and usable.

It just doesn't matter (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951035)

open source good

closed source bad! bad!!

Java never mattered (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951039)

"Since Java itself never mattered except to sell books, I still don't see why opening it matters."

What an ignorant and irresponsible editorial comment. Care to substantiate that claim, or even clarify what it means for a language to "matter?"

Re:Java never mattered (5, Insightful)

Kickersny.com (913902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951081)

I can't believe that the editor put that comment. I'm not a huge fan of Java, but that's incredibly ignorant.

Suggested tag: flamebait

Re:Java never mattered (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951257)

What do you expect from someone that still uses perl?

Re:Java never mattered (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951145)

I'm pretty sure he was being facetious. Everyone knows Java is in heavy use in various industries. Lighten up.

Re:Java never mattered (5, Funny)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951277)

Everyone knows Java is in heavy use in various industries

particularly Publishing and eCommerce :-)

Re:Java never mattered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951385)

Probably so, but I think the gp is suggesting that the comment is out of place in a story post by an editor, which is true, imo.

Re:Java never mattered (4, Funny)

Rary (566291) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951297)

"Since Java itself never mattered except to sell books, I still don't see why opening it matters."

He must be referring to Amazon's use of Java.

Re:Java never mattered (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951535)

Really? I thought that Java had the lead in the TIOBE Index: http://www.tiobe.com/tiobe_index/index.htm

Yes. (3, Informative)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951055)

Really.

How many times have you been screwed over by a vendor who thinks they know best? (Symantec / L0phtcrack anyone?)

Re:Yes. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951193)

Not to mention that Java will probably be the COBOL of our generation. Isn't it a good thing that we'll be able to configure it?

We may not be able to kill the legacy code, but we'll at least have a better chance of killing the legacy platform!

"Java never mattered"? (4, Insightful)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951069)

I find it funny that we have statements like "Java never mattered except to sell books", while I distinctly remember hordes of posters on this very site only a few years ago, rabidly arguing that Java is the best thing ever and that nobody will be using anything but Java in the future. Now, we have hordes of Ruby, Python, and what-not advocates saying the same things. I guess it's their turn. I'll just keep my C++, thank you very much, which nobody advocates these days, and everyone says is obsolete, too complicated, and inherently broken. Go ahead, mod me as flamebait! I'm used to it.

Re:"Java never mattered"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951159)

Guys! For the first time someone on /. is right [slashdot.org] !

Re:"Java never mattered"? (4, Informative)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951209)

I've used both C++ and Java, I like them both. C++ just has a lot more pitfalls that a savvy programmer knows to avoid, whereas a novice will get swallowed into the cold oblivion of core dump and seg-fault hell.
But, its also goddamned powerful.

Re:"Java never mattered"? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951221)

The problem with the whole C++ is "obsolete, too complicated, and inherently broken" and isn't advocated these days is that it remains the language of choice for real complex scientific and engineering challenges, especially time-critical/real-time systems, which the newer languages typically don't address well.

Re:"Java never mattered"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951275)

Hey, I spent the better part of the late 90s defending FORTRAN against you C++ types.

Now, go get me a glass of water Junior. ;)

Re:"Java never mattered"? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951487)

I think too many people base their judgment of a language based upon the worst implementation of any program they've seen in that language. C++ will always have a place in my heart & I'll use it when ever practical. I think Java just suffers form some really crappy libraries, all the "middleware" api's, application servers, frameworks,ect. Just ignore that and with good application design, you'll be ok.

Re:"Java never mattered"? (0)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951565)

Well Java filled a hole that as time went on never needed to be filled.
When Java first came out the Web was more of a toy or information tool. Not seriously used for Application Development. All real applications were programs that ran on your personal computer, compiled into a byte code Modern UI was the Windows Interface, however this culture created a Gap where applications will only run a system it was designed on. A windows program will only run on windows. A Solaris program will only run in Solaris... Moving from one platform to the next if the application had any complexity to it would require a major porting project that was more then just a recompile. Hense Java it was designed to help unlock the dependency of the OS and the application for most apps. For use on imbedded devices which have more OS veriety however it allowed Different Desktop OS's to run the same app. Thus its value and its popularity on slashdot as if everyone made Java Apps then you can use Linux without having to worry about finding good applications.

But what happened was the web standards grew after the browser wars Java second cousin twice removed JavaScript became widly used across web browsers, as well CSS that made your page look the way you really want it to. So today Web Applications run "good enough" compared to local programs in terms of interface that having a Java App is not that important anymore. Most apps are moving to the web even custom apps. So Javas key advantage is loss. As Python, Ruby, PHP... while are primarly considered interpreted lanaguge without the byte code (yes I know at least python you can make PYC files which are bytecode....) but because they are on the server protected with the OS Security you can make apps and do more realtime chanages to the code vs. compiling it over and over again. and not have your users mess with the design.

So the need for Java is not much of an issue. For the cases where Java is good for your are often better off with an interpreded serverside language or a OS/Platform particular app. As Java fills this middle ground that is becomming less and less popular.

If you don't beleave that the normal application is dieing check out you computer store and compare it 10 years ago. Before CompUSA went under, when it was new about 3/4 of the store was dedicated to software, then a couple years ago only 1/4 of the store is software the rest was hardware.

Back in them olden day we needed an app to do anything. CD's with encylipedias, application to connect to online services (AOL Disks) $5.00 games of cards... etc... Today if you are board and want to play a quick game just go on the web and play a flash based game or access encylipedia sites to get some info. You don't really need extra software to access companies information it is done all on the web. So the app is dieing and OS independence is getting better. Hense why Microsoft want to kill google.

surely that is a little harsh (3, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951075)

Since Java itself never mattered except to sell books, I still don't see why opening it matters. For a system that does not matter except to sell books, it sure has a large install base.

Re:surely that is a little harsh (4, Insightful)

maestro371 (762740) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951135)

Taco's just being provocative. He's smarter than that.

Re:surely that is a little harsh (0)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951169)

you're probably right.

Re:surely that is a little harsh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951273)

I've met him. I've worked with him. I've seen slashcode before it was rewritten and cleaned up.

Malda is a nice enough guy, but he can't code for shit and his understanding of compilers, languages, etc is somewhat pathetic.

Use debian? (4, Informative)

merreborn (853723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951087)

If you've ever wanted to run a Java app on a debian box, you know why this matters.

The strictly FOSS distros have historically refused to include a Java package due to its non-Free license. There's some really good Java software out there, and without a pre-built java package, it was just that much harder to access them.

Re:Use debian? (4, Interesting)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951263)

That is a good point. LAMP became a one-checkbox install because it's FOSS. LAMJ could easily have been. Except it's not a very catchy acronym.

Personally I'd like to see LAPJ: Linux, Apache, Postgres, Java.

Anyway, love it or hate it, Java has reached the critical mass to be around for a long time.

Re:Use debian? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951583)

Though, you are forgetting Python. While Java is similar-ish to Python, Python fills a niche that is needed. A language that is easy to write, understand and is cross-platform something like a better VB.... Well if VB was easy to understand.

Re:Use debian? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951585)


That is a good point. LAMP became a one-checkbox install because it's FOSS. LAMJ could easily have been. Except it's not a very catchy acronym.

Probably be something like LJAM (el jam)

Re:Use debian? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951281)

There were some really good programmers out there which happened to program their useful app in a crap language for a crap platform because they believed the hype. Luckily nobody is using Java outside of the corporate world anymore.

Re:Use debian? (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951587)

Tell me about it -- what a mess! I've never understood why us FreeBSD users have to jump through a half-dozen flaming hoops whenever java needs to be installed from the ports tree. It's such a pain in the ass that I avoid Java apps altogether, since you just can't set BATCH=YES and expect the ports to get installed. Instead, you're fed a bunch of URLs and told to fetch the files manually, and then restart your build. (BTW, do Gentoo users suffer this idiocy as well?) I think the *only* app I'm willing to put up with is Open Office, which requires Java (at least for the build. Things like FreeNET, Limewire, etc. I just never bother with due to the crap licensing restrictions Java is still stuck with.

I sincerely hope a fully open license will help in this regard.

Java doesn't matter (5, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951117)

I guess OpenOffice.org doesn't matter either then...

Re:Java doesn't matter (1)

legoman666 (1098377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951563)

Indeed, it is slow and bloated.

Programmers opinions on the language? (0, Troll)

jacks smirking reven (909048) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951119)

I am not a programmer myself, but i know a bunch, and just about every one I know or have talked languages with systematically abhor Java (the words slow and bloated come up often) and most apps written in Java I have used have felt half-hearted. Other then the cross-platform capability are there real advantages to it?

Re:Programmers opinions on the language? (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951393)

I have written a few applications in Java.
I actually like it. If you want to write a database driven application that is also multi threaded I think it is just great.
If you need to be multi-platform it is the best solution that I have found. QT is close also.
The speed argument is old and should be tossed. Swing isn't slow or nasty anymore and is pretty speedy. SWT is also pretty nice.
Try Jedit, Netbeans, or Eclipse to see what a nice java application can feel like.
If you haven't used the latest version of Java I suggest you try it.

I have even found good uses for java appletts. Yes I know they got a bad name because way to many idiots "Microsoft I am looking right at you" used them for stupid things like hover buttons.

Java is a a good free as in beer and free now free as in GPL RAD system.

As far as it not mattering? Well a lot of people make a living writing Java. I just saw a Story on slashdot about a guy running java on a Cluster to do modeling.
As far as Java being to big for anybody to use it for anything practical...
Well JEdit, Netbeans, Eclipse, OpenOffice, and thousands of cell phone programs all say BALONEY.

Re:Programmers opinions on the language? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951449)

No. Most implementations of Java aren't actually cross platform.

You end up having to tweak your code for a particular implementation to get it to work, and then it's no longer cross platform.

So you get stuck with all the downsides of overhead and bloat, and none of the promised benefit of crossplatform-ness. Sure there are some other nice features, but seriously, write-once-run-anywhere is supposed to be the biggest feature of Java, and that doesn't ever pan out.

No thanks.

Re:Programmers opinions on the language? (2, Insightful)

Rary (566291) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951475)

...(the words slow and bloated come up often) and most apps written in Java I have used have felt half-hearted.

Actually, I would guess that most apps written in Java that you've used have been quite responsive, but you weren't aware that you were using a Java app. This is because most Java apps that people use are server-side apps (eBay springs immediately to mind).

Re:Programmers opinions on the language? (1)

goltzc (1284524) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951551)

This is a real common argument people make, however it's just not true anymore. There was a time when Java apsp were slow but improvements within the language and JVM have made its performance comparable to compiled C. As far as bloat goes, a poorly configured Java application or application container in the case of web apps will certainly make Java apps appear bloated but that's only because you allocate the JVM a certain amount of memory and Java will use every last byte you give it if it needs to. On the other side of that if you force a Java application to run very lean on memory the garbage collector will do a pretty impressive job keeping your application running efficiently. That's not to say that a C/C++ doesn't give the developer a better ability to optimize performance and footprint.

That being said, I don't think there is such a thing as the perfect language. They all need to be thought of as tools in a programmers tool box where you choose the right tool for the job.

Duhnanas. (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951121)

It's not about practicality or relevance, it's about Sun setting an example and living up to saying what it would do.

Open Source Java is good for something! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951125)

Amazing Online 3D web content (-1, Troll)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951127)

Yeah it matter's. It's the future of the web. I think the new online DNF3D web demo uses Open java. DNF3D [tinyurl.com]

Re:Amazing Online 3D web content (0, Offtopic)

stevens (84346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951411)

Yay, a Rickroll, that's so new and still funny.

Re:Amazing Online 3D web content (0, Offtopic)

BiggerBadderBen (947100) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951593)

Please go fuck yourself

DO NOT CLICK (0, Offtopic)

surmak (1238244) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951599)

Mods, please mod parent down, and do not click the link. It leads to http://www.raygoldmodels.com/ [raygoldmodels.com] which is impossible to exit short of killing your web browser due to endless message popups.

(On a related note does anyone know of a way to deal with web pages that begin spewing endless modal dialogs, one after another?)

If elephants could fly... (4, Insightful)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951157)

if Java really were released today, brand-new, would it be a tool you'd choose

If Windows were released today, brand-new, would it be a tool you'd choose?

Who cares. It's not today that it's released, and the importance of availability, mind-share and already developed applications around it, gives it a clear importance, even if you have better hammers for your particular nail.

Ruby? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951161)

...the only place I ever, ever see Ruby mentioned is on Slashdot.

Surely it would be better to talk about the real world, ie php. That is, if we're talking about relevance and market share and, you know, reality.

If you want a job developing stuff (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951173)

You need to know Java.

It's that simple. It doesn't seem to matter that the typical Java app is N times larger than it's c++ counterpart or that you need a 64bit box with NGb of RAM to make it run acceptably. Corporate IT are basically only interested in hiring Java developers.

 

Re:If you want a job developing stuff (2, Interesting)

BlueZombie (913382) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951315)

Gosh, all of us .Net developers must be mass hallucinating.

Re:If you want a job developing stuff (1)

Evil Poot Cat (69870) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951389)

Parent post is true; "building and successfully pitching IT budgets" is just as much a use (if not more) than selling books.

Re:If you want a job developing stuff (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951445)

Really? I've been programming for corporate IT for 13+ years and I've only played with Java. I've never required it before interviewing other programmers, either.

Re:If you want a job developing stuff (2, Interesting)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951577)

Really? I've been programming for corporate IT for 13+ years and I've only played with Java. I've never required it before interviewing other programmers, either.
...which means...absolutely nothing. The fact that you've been in IT for 13+ years (arguably when Java was just starting) means your skill set is in other languages. Thus, your resume would reflect that. Thus, your job searches would reflect that.


Thus, you have never needed Java. However, for developers who are new to the industry, it is difficult to avoid Java.

Re:If you want a job developing stuff (2, Insightful)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951455)

Yes, obviously, because everyone I know, including myself, has only ever had dev jobs using Java.

Er, not.

That's just stupid. Likely you've been working with Java in your experience, but I know tons of people that have never touched it at their place of work, including myself.

Further, at this point, it doesn't matter that I don't 'know' Java. I do 'know' half a dozen languages and if I should ever come across a job that I can't get _because_ I don't 'know' Java, then I've simply vetted a company that I know I do not want to work for.

Languages are tools, and once you know how to use a number of tools it becomes much easier to pick up new tools.

Re:If you want a job developing stuff (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951463)

Well, I'd better tell the hundred odd people on my floor to pack up and go home then.

Re:If you want a job developing stuff (2, Informative)

Azar (56604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951559)

You need to know Java...Corporate IT are basically only interested in hiring Java developers.

That's exactly what I thought 3 years ago when I applied for my current job. I had studied up on my java, bought various books to hone my skills (java is one of my weaker languages), tested my knowledge with free online tests, considered becoming a "Sun Certified Java Developer", etc, etc.

Then I interviewed.

They hired me with a salary that was 27% more than what I had been asking. But not to program in Java. They hired me because I was very strong in C and Perl of which they had a very large code base and fewer developers to maintain (and expand) it. We process credit card transactions and all of our backend code is in C, with the less critical stuff in Perl. Java runs a lot of the web services and a number of front-ends for customers, but it isn't difficult to find a good Java developer. Finding a knowledgeable C developer is becoming harder and harder.

I don't mean to say everyone should rush out and (re)learn C and try to find a job using it, but you can make just as good of a living not programming in Java as you can programming in it. Java is definitely a good tool to have on your belt, but don't confuse it with being the tool.

Never mattered? (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951175)

Since Java itself never mattered except to sell books, I still don't see why opening it matters.

Isn't that a bit of a flamebait now...?

Java is hugely complex but saying it never mattered is a bit extreme methinks? There is, after all, a huge amount of Java software out there. And Java did do a hell of a lot to popularize virtual machines as well.

Never mattered? While we're at it we could add that the Amiga never mattered because it wasn't ultimately that successful, right?

Re:Never mattered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951295)

It matters to me, since i'm doing software for my own use in it right now.

GNAA Penis Rocket To The Moon Project (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951177)

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Re:GNAA Penis Rocket To The Moon Project (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951343)

Not Found [tiny.cc]

Regardless, here is something useful [tiny.cc] you can do with open source java

Flaming Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951187)

Since Java itself never mattered except to sell books, I still don't see why opening it matters.

Slashdot: News that matters only to CmdrTaco?

Not I... (1)

doulos05 (945501) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951219)

I am not a professional programmer, so I have the luxury of getting to choose my tools and switch whenever I want to. I have tried several times over the past to pick up Java, but each time I found it too heavy for what I intended to use it for. Kind of like hunting for deer with a M2 Browning. Personally, I use Python or Ruby for pretty much everything I do. Then again, the biggest project I've ever done was only about 1,000 lines of Python. It was a program for calculating trade between worlds in our http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/traveller/ [sjgames.com] game.

Submission needs -1 Troll (5, Interesting)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951223)

>>
Since Java itself never mattered except to sell books, I still don't see why opening it matters.
>>

The day job could buy an awful lot of books with the $X0 million worth of Big Freaking Enterprise Apps we have written in (mostly) Java. Its like any other tool: there are some places where it makes excellent sense, some where it does not, and I have my own personal tastes for when I would use it or not. (Cards on the table: I do proprietary desktop Java development in my spare time and BFEwebA at the day job, but have been mixing in a bit of Rails programming lately.)

At the end of the day, what matters is "Does Java help us make our customers happy?" It does. Despite how skull-crushingly boring writing CRUD apps can be, for our customers having the things available and working means the difference kissing their kids at 6 PM or being stuck at the office at 2 AM wondering if they will still have a job in 5 hours.

So how does opening Java matter? Well, even in an extraordinarily mature platform, you'll sometimes find weird, off the wall, how the heck did that happen issues with particular combinations of software. Enterprise Computing = combinitorially explosive numbers of possible adverse reactions. We've got at least 150 packages in the system, many of which have to interoperate with code which has not seen the light of day since the mid-90s.

You'd think the odds of actually having to touch stuff deep in the bowels of the infrastructure are pretty low, but believe it or not we have our own little fork of, e.g, Tomcat 4.1 in production use *to this day* to get around a particular classloader issue that got fixed in later releases. (We can't upgrade that particular customer at the moment. Its a long story and if you've ever worked in industry you've heard the basic gist before.) Java being open means there is one less place for issues to be totally inaccessible should we need to work around them.

Re:Submission needs -1 Troll (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951425)

Learn what "troll" means!

Concept (1)

lanevorockz (667614) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951225)

The concept matters, now java can be part of free solutions. As java being a programming language very complete and easy to learn, its a good way to put java to others uses. Making better compilers, or better tools to use java like a mono maybe.

It matters to Sun... (4, Insightful)

jfbilodeau (931293) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951241)

Sun is loosing ground to .NET, so they have to regain developer. I have to admit that Open Java is very appealing to me, since I feel that the language/platform does have something unique to offer that is not available anywhere else.

Furthermore, I don't care what anyone says about .NET/Mono. It is a closed Microsoft technology that Mono will perpetually play catch-up to. It cannot replace what (Open) Java has to offer.

Unbeliever! (1)

EriktheGreen (660160) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951243)

You mean you didn't believe that Java was the second coming of the messiah, and that we would all be programming in it just after dropping all other languages, and no one would ever write machine-specific code again? :) :)

I've considered spending time to learn java better, and knowing that the JVM is open sourced is a good thing, but Java as a whole would have benefitted from being open sourced a long time ago, when some of the community that uses it could have fed knowledge and information back into the language and VM design.

Now it's basically a niche product that's more or less complete, and we either have to accept it as is for use or break compatibility with existing code to make any major mods to it.

The major advantages java has always had are 1) Increased programmer productivity and 2) Code portability. Both of these are achieved by other platforms now in different ways, so Java is now one of many instead of the only solution.

Open sourcing it is more insurance for its users than anything else... it won't drive a Java renaissance any more than open source Solaris will, because there are already good alternatives.

Sun... producing good open source products that would have better been open sourced years ago.

Erik

Re:Unbeliever! (1)

The Psyko (11244) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951533)

Wow.

I'd like to know what world you live in where Java is a niche product.

In the real world, Java is about as niche as Linux.

If it weren't for Python, sure (5, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951245)

We're a Python shop. It does everything Java does that we need it to do, but is actually fun to write. If Python disappeared tomorrow, though, Java would be a no-brainer. It's cross-platform and wouldn't leave us beholden to the good wishes of Redmond.

MOD PARENT UP (1, Interesting)

mkcmkc (197982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951517)

That's where I'm at as well. For the 50/80/90/100% (usually 100%) of a program for which performance is not critical, Python just kills Java with respect to other factors. And for the 50/20/10% of the program for which performance is critical, Java is just too damn slow (even idiomatic C++ is often too slow). Plus, Java doesn't like to be called from other languages--it really wants to be "boss".


I've used Java from one of the first alpha releases, but it just hasn't panned out...

Java is the most used language (4, Insightful)

CarbonShell (1313583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951259)

Like it or not, Java is the no.1 language, at least claimed by an article referenced here: http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/05/29/163253 [slashdot.org] The last line of the article pretty much gives an indication of the quality of the authors knowledge.

Leave religious arguments to the zealots (1, Insightful)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951267)

The real differences between an open java and the free java implementations maintained by companies like Sun and IBM are religious in nature. That is, they only matter to zealots obsessed with their own narrow interpretations. Most of us are moderates who only want to write great software. The different is moot to us moderates.

W(h)ither Programming Languages? (4, Insightful)

david.emery (127135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951287)

So, depending on who you talk to...
    (C | C++ | Java) is the ultimate programming language.

Now we're being told that compiled languages are passe' and all you need is
    (Perl | Python | AJAX).

In the meantime, the -art- and -science- of programming language design seems to have withered away due to lack of interest from the developer community.

From what I've seen over the last 30 years:
    1. Programing Languages -DO- make a difference in both individual productivity and organizational effectiveness. And the latter is -much more important- than the former for anything bigger than a breadbox.

    2. Management doesn't believe #1. In fact, management doesn't believe in software engineering. Instead, management wants to throw bodies at problems to make impossible schedules, with little concern for quality of the product. At best, managers throw process (and SEI CMM/CMM-I) at the hoards of programmers, believing that process is a substitute for
        (a) developer talent
        (b) product quality

So I guess ( 1 & 2) together explain the demise of programming language design. And all we can pray for is increases in second-order tools such as debuggers and, if we're really good, tools like static analyzers, to make up for the sh*tty set of current (popular) programming languages. And as end users, bugs and security holes will continue to be chronic results...

dave

Re:W(h)ither Programming Languages? (5, Insightful)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951603)

I've got two major problems with your post.

1) You list AJAX along with Pearl and Python in a list to be compared against C, C++ and Java. Here's a hint:

Pick the item from the list that doesn't belong:
C
C++
Java
Pearl
Python
AJAX

2) Er, shitty set of current (popular) programming languages? We have NEVER had such a choice in programming languages as we do now. There are a LOT of popular programming languages right now. C, C++, C#, VB, VB.Net, Pearl, Python, Java, Javascript, Ruby, Eiffel, Tcl for starters.

Care to go back 15 years and provide me with the list of better, popular languages at that time?

Don't think you're flaming, but I also don't think you have a clue as to what you're talking about.

No One Can Do It All Anymore (-1, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951309)

Today it's possible to do anything with Java, but no one developer can do everything -- there simply aren't enough hours in the day to learn it all.

Yes, after all, there are several other languages with which a single developer can do everything that computers can do these days. Somehow, though, I can't think of any.

What the hell does that have to do with whether opening Java's source is useful or not? What the hell does any of those complaints have to do with opening Java?

Something, maybe. But somehow, though, I can't think of it. Maybe if I were thinking in the right language, it would come to me.

Blackdown java (1)

doas777 (1138627) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951319)

Blackdown on Linux is the most compelling reason to OSS java.

Personally I'm very pleased that they opened it. I much prefer to write my code against the same runtime that will be used to run it.

Java for Educational Purposes only. (0)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951321)

I hate going down this road.. But Java Is a crippled language these days... Its is Very very rare to find a java app that is not tied to a platform in some way... (Be it a Java app that is tied to a specific browser or OS or Version of Java).. That its simply easier and faster to find a App that was natively complied for the platform you are using.

If Java wasn't being taught in pretty much every Teaching institution I think we would not see any Java apps out there...

Java doesn't matter except where it does (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951331)

Java doesn't matter in some small circles or groups. In some others, it does. There are many application that use Java in many ways and see a great benefit.

It matters to the people who use it to get their work done. They exist in significant numbers. Open Java matters only to the subset of people who need perfect openness and use Java.

This whole topic is wrapped up in the vain need some people have that their programming language choices (of all things) be validated by some sort of public acceptance. So your personal answer to this question might have more to do about your feelings about yourself than about the world at-large. See CmdrTaco for an example.

Right... (1)

spectre_be (664735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951357)

This is total bullcrap.
Both the article author & /. editor have no clue at all & I can only pray they've never had any responsability in any project in whatever environment.
I'd write a rebuttal but it's just not worth the effort

Respect Innovation... (1)

sitarlo (792966) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951359)

Java was the first step towards complete hardware and os independence in a development platform. It's not perfect, but we should be thankful for what it represents and even more thankful to Sun for giving to the community. Even if it isn't 100% open source (because of third-party code), it is still free to use! Companies like IBM, JBoss, etc. have made $$$ on Sun's willingness to share Java. Respect Sun, respect Java.

never mattered (5, Funny)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951369)

"Slow JVMs. More syntax than C. Lame." -- CmdrTaco

An analogy (0, Troll)

BlueZombie (913382) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951397)

Java is to .Net as USSR was to USA Clunky, slow, and inefficient But providing enough threat to keep high tech development rolling along

"Java itself never mattered except to sell books" (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951423)

Coming from CmdrTaco, that's a tad harsh (flamebait?), especially in light of the fact that a LOT of Open Source activity these days centres around people building stuff in Java.

I'd go as far as to claim that a lot of know-how on how to design decent web frameworks, GUI toolkits happened in the Java world (well, TBH, there's Smalltalk too, but who, these days, is building anything substantial in Smalltalk?). The reason why we're not still stuck with crap like EJB 1.1, Topkink, etc, is because a huge army of very smart Open Source hackers are building excellent stuff, which in turn, have become defacto standards (to wit, Hibernate to EJB3, Spring, Struts 2, Seam, Tapestry).

Nine times out of ten, the Open Source alternative is faster, smaller, and more reliable. It'll be nice to finally see that happen to the JVM itself, once momentum builds behind IcedTea/ClassPath.

I work building proprietary, boring business apps in Java, however one of the big pleasures of my job is that there's just about always a very good Open Source implementation of any application server, database, library, GUI framework, whatever, that you can think of. The only missing piece that I can really see at this point standing in the way of making the entire stack 100% Open Source from top to bottom is the JVM. This is particularly important to the RMS long-hair crowd who've agonised for years about the Java Trap.

Incredibly complex (5, Insightful)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951433)

First, as the Java platform has matured, it has become incredibly complex. Today it's possible to do anything with Java, but no one developer can do everything

What developer has to do everything? We use Java to run our systems without using all the complex frameworks that you seem to be referring to. It does the job. Just because people have developed over-engineered frameworks with a language doesn't detract from the the value of that language.

Java never mattered....? (5, Insightful)

J'rathken (398269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951467)

"Since Java itself never mattered except to sell books..."

Wow...that has to be one of the most idiotic statements I've ever read from one of you guys.

I'm no Java evangelist, but saying Java itself never mattered is like saying C (or even C++) never mattered - it just smacks of total ignorance.

Java has had a HUGE impact on software development, especially in the enterprise. I won't say it's all been great...but it's certainly made a difference in a lot of areas.

If the language really never matter, there would not be such a large community of developers using Java, and Microsoft would not have bothered to change their entire development platform to be so much like it (i.e. C#/CLR/.NET).

I'd thought you Slashdot guys were smarter than this. I guess I was wrong.

blarg (2, Insightful)

DerWulf (782458) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951471)

> Since Java itself never mattered except to sell books, I still don't see why opening it matters. This is exactly what smileys are for! Anyways, I don't know what's up with all the Java hate seeing how most OSS uses it. Ruby doesn't have unicode support for christ sake! Flame that if you really need to ...

Next filler please (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951485)

A dude whines about Java. No real point regarding its Free(TM) implementation - there is no FOSS equivalent of Java.

I don't mind fillers, but boring, repetitive fillers, on the other hand...

Yes and No MHO (2, Insightful)

UseCase (939095) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951505)

I am far more fearful of an open fragmented Java than I was of closed Java.

The fact that Java had a "Sugar Daddy" to regulate it and support it with strong standard libraries made it very appealing to Corp and Gov users. I don't mind an experimental open source implementation but there has to be a stable, commercially viable alternative around that companies can depend on (read hold liable) or the whole platform slowly losses its appeal.

The "Java never mattered" thing is flamebait . We all know that it is part of the backbone of many commercial web solutions. There are also many projects that just couldn't have existed with it. The argument of validity is pretty much over.

I primarily use C/C++ professionally but I have used Java in the past as well as C# and a few Scripting languages (Perl,Python). I can say that for certain software solutions there is no better alternative to Java. I can say the same for C++,C# and Perl.

java is like an old truck (5, Interesting)

icknay (96963) | more than 6 years ago | (#23951571)

Java has its problems, but it's actually a great stable platform. I think people carp about Java's flaws because it is so popular, taking shots at the leader. In reality, Java is a huge and boring but effective ecosystem if you want to deliver a piece of software and have it just work.

It's not sexy, but jeez on linux, windows, and Mac, I've built java code and moved the .jars all all over the place, and darned if it doesn't do what it's supposed to, like an old truck that just works carts around all sorts of work.

With Java being open, we all benefit from its increased spread as an open and reliable platform -- like C. Depending on Java looked a more iffy when it was so tied to Sun. Your source code is such an expensive investment, you don't want to take weird risks (cough .net cough). With Java open ... well now it looks like a very safe, neutral choice.

You can write C code, and since it's open, you know your code would work all over. Java has a future that way too now.

C is still great for its niche, but (flame on) Java delivers 10x more capability in its libraries. C is a creature of the 1970's, so you don't get so much (I *love* C, but get a lot more done in Java). Also, the optimizations in HotSpot are awesome, making languages which run on the JVM look like the future. I hear if you want to see Java with the cruft stripped away, check out Scala.

Java was a good idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23951573)

Java was a great idea. A pure OOP language that is platform independant. However when it comes to writting business apps that run on Windows desktops, .NET is the best way to go. The .NET framework is noting but MS's version of Java and MS did a better job.

I only hope that MS opens it's eyes one day and starts either coding .net runtimes for other OS's or opening the source so others can do so. A pure .net app could run on any machine that supports MSIL. Their monolistic policies which makes them want to keep you on Windows, Window Server, and MSSQL will only lead to giving other technlogoies greater market share and cutting MS out of the loop all togather.

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