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The Struggle To Keep Java Relevant

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the onions-on-your-belt dept.

Java 667

snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister questions Oracle's ability to revive interest in Java in the wake of Oracle VP Jeet Kaul's announcement at EclipseCon that he would 'like to see people with piercings doing Java programming.' 'If Kaul is hoping Java will once again attract youthful, cutting-edge developers, as it did when it debuted in 1995, [Kaul] may be in for a long wait,' McAllister writes. 'Java has evolved from a groundbreaking, revolutionary language platform to something closer to a modern-day version of Cobol.' And, as McAllister sees it, 'Nothing screams "get off my lawn" like a language controlled by Oracle, the world's largest enterprise software vendor. The chances that Java can attract the mohawks-and-tattoos set today seem slimmer than ever.'"

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Groovy (2, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | about 4 years ago | (#31712712)

THe thing that makes me think Java has a huge path forward is groovy.

in theory groovy has all the advantage python has and more. Plus unlike python it has a path forward to a statically typed quasi compiled and generally close-to-c speed when you need it without much effort.

Re:Groovy (2, Informative)

Jurily (900488) | about 4 years ago | (#31712780)

Java got drowned in four letter acronyms on top of yet another layer of XML. I say let it die.

Re:Groovy (3, Interesting)

ccarson (562931) | about 4 years ago | (#31712784)

Speed is scalable with hardware so I'm not concerned about Java there. My main concern is whether youth can overcome the environmental hurdles that comes with Java. MS got it write with .NET. Setting up MS's framework is effortless which may attract those who don't wish to fight the platform to incorporate lucene or red5 to their project.

The future of Java will depend on standardization of cross project support. It's gotta be easy like connecting legos.

Re:Groovy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712824)

Take a look at Grails and Groovy. No muss no fuss and fun to code.

Re:Groovy (2, Insightful)

FlyingGuy (989135) | about 4 years ago | (#31712924)

With syntax like this:

amPM = Calendar.getInstance().get(Calendar.AM_PM)

No thanks.

Re:Groovy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31713012)

You can write confusing code in any language.

you could just as easily have an interface that allows something like:

if(cal.isAM()) { ...

Don't blame the language for the shortcomings of the programmer.

Re:Groovy (1)

sjames (1099) | about 4 years ago | (#31712938)

One huge advantage of Python is that it's incredibly easy to incorporate C modules into it or to incorporate it into C. Then you get actually-c speed for the performance critical parts.

How is the C integration for Groovy?

Re:Groovy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31713240)

why is integration with C a good thing for anything except desktop applications? don't get me wrong, i like python. but if java is the new cobol, then c is the new assembly.

I've.never.used.groovy.so.I.have.a.question. (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 4 years ago | (#31712940)


If.so.it.might.be.exactly.what.is.needed.to.make.Java.an.appealing.language.for.programmers.with.fresh.ideas. Else.it.won't.do.the.trick.

Re:I've.never.used.groovy.so.I.have.a.question. (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 4 years ago | (#31713088)

Would you prefer not to have name spaces? C is pretty crap you know. "import" is pretty easy in Java too.

Re:I've.never.used.groovy.so.I.have.a.question. (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 4 years ago | (#31713198)

Namespaces are useful, and custom namespaces cut down on a lot of the clutter in Java, but they shouldn't be necessary for basic functionality. The way I see it (YMMV, of course) K&R C provides pretty much the functionality that any language should have as part of the core language spec; if I can do something in n characters in C but it takes me 10n characters to do it in some newer and supposedly better language, I'm hard-pressed to consider that an improvement.

Re:I've.never.used.groovy.so.I.have.a.question. (1)

youngdev (1238812) | about 4 years ago | (#31713120)

oh yeah. this problem is solved real elegantly by providing a namespace feature of classes. you simply import the class with its full package and classname and then you can use it everywhere in that class by only referencing the simple classname. come to think of it, this feature is part of java too. if you ware worried about having to type all those import statements don't sweat it. All modern IDEs have a key combo that automatically imports missing fully qualified classnames. In Eclipse, for example, the combo is ctrl + o.


Re:I've.never.used.groovy.so.I.have.a.question. (2, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 4 years ago | (#31713236)

See my reply to the previous answer to my comment; the workarounds you describe are effective, but they shouldn't be necessary. One of the main things that distinguishes a good language from a bad one, IMNSGDHO, is that the former doesn't make you feel like you're fighting the language to get things done.

Ah, pay me no attention, youngdev -- I'm just a grumpy old man, one of the get-off-my-lawn crowd that is supposedly the only group of people using Java these days. ;)

And no, I don't use Notepad for development. Or for anything. Dear God. I may be old (by /. standards, anyhow) but I'm not senile.

Re:Groovy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31713210)

I like Scala better. It's close to Erlangs scalability but a nicer syntax.

Just let it die (1, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | about 4 years ago | (#31712732)

There are some good ideas in Java, but they're drowned by the inconsistent implementation, and Oracle will most certainly not make that better.

Re:Just let it die (2, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | about 4 years ago | (#31712766)

I agree with this. Oracle will have to do some serious sucking up to the world to convince anyone they are not out to destroy everything that MS licensing was unable to touch. I'm not saying that Oracle sucks, just that their business model is not really where the world has been migrating to lately. For more or less all the reasons that MS products are not looking so good these days to many people, Oracle products (including the products they buy) will also not look good. There is reason to think this looks like a sinking ship taking on ballast weights.... IMO

Re:Just let it die (2, Interesting)

abigor (540274) | about 4 years ago | (#31712860)

Can you be specific about these inconsistencies? I'd like to hear about them.

As for "letting it die", Java is the default language of enterprise everything. Outside of the embedded world, there's probably more lines of Java currently deployed than anything else. And I have to say, Spring 3.x is actually pretty neat.

Re:Just let it die (1)

XopherMV (575514) | about 4 years ago | (#31712946)

Swing, Java3D, Vector/ArrayList, StringBuilder/StringBuffer, Date handling, etc.

Re:Just let it die (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31713028)


It's a GUI toolkit. Where's the inconsistency? If you don't like Swing, you can also use the older AWT, SWT, or Qt...


It's a 3D API. Where's the inconsistency?

Vector/ArrayList, StringBuilder/StringBuffer,

In both cases, one of these is synchronized and one is not. Their naming scheme could have been more consistent, but otherwise that seems fine to me.

Date handling, etc.

I'll give you that date handling in Java is a pain the ass, but on the other hand, I've yet to find a programming language that didn't do something related to dates that seriously frustrated me. Every once in a while I think, "How hard can it be to get this right?", so I start working on my own Date implementation, and then I run into timezones, sub-nanosecond precision, string formatting, leap years, leap seconds, all while trying to make it reasonably fast...

Re:Just let it die (2, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | about 4 years ago | (#31712974)

As for "letting it die", Java is the default language of enterprise everything.

He's just part of the Java backlash because it's popular. It's like the people 15 years ago saying "Let C die" because there's C++ or Java now. An essentially useless comment and nothing more than a troll.

Re:Just let it die (2, Interesting)

visualight (468005) | about 4 years ago | (#31713008)

You're mostly right. Back in the 90's Sun was so successful in hyping Java I remember VC's funding software companies _just_ because they were focusing on Java. Got it into a lot of (maybe all?) schools too. So damn near every young developer knows Java now and as a result that language gets chosen over others.

So yeah, letting it die might not work, we'll have to be more proactive.

good riddance (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712736)

java can FOAD, as can the lecturers around the world who bought into sun's bullshit.

for academics there's haskell, for professionals there's C++, and everyone else can suck my dong

the best programmers? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712750)

Maybe he's barking up the wrong tree. The best young programmers I know don't have any piercings or tattoos that I can see.

I have no data to support this, but I have always thought the best of the tech crowd were too busy being into their tech to get into the body modification scene. I don't think this is different now than it was 30 years ago.

On the other hand, there's a lot I can't see (and in many cases, thank goodness!)

Re:the best programmers? (2, Insightful)

Unoti (731964) | about 4 years ago | (#31712776)

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that you don't live or work in the San Francisco area.

Re:the best programmers? (2, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | about 4 years ago | (#31713114)

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that you don't live or work in the San Francisco area.

I do, and STILL the best programmers I know have neither piercings nor tattoos.
Attention whores with dubious amount of talent, on the other hand...

Re:the best programmers? (2, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about 4 years ago | (#31713132)

I do, and don't see much of that from top coders. If you go to cultural events like SuperHappyDevHouse, meetups at the Hacker Dojo, etc., there are a handful of mohawked/pierced types, but not many. Maybe up in SF proper (as opposed to Silicon Valley) there are more, but I haven't seen 'em.

Now if you're talking web designers, yeah, there's lots of those.

Re:the best programmers? (5, Insightful)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | about 4 years ago | (#31712900)

I have tattoos, and I used to have piercings. I'm also a damn good coder. I seriously doubt the two are related.

CmdrTaco is heavily involved in the BM scene (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31713106)

Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda is a 29-year old white male with a stocky build and a goatee. He responded to my ad to be interviewed for this article wearing only leather pants, leather boots and a leather vest. I could see that both of his nipples were pierced with large-gauge silver rings.

Questioner: I hope you won't be offended if I ask you to prove to me that you're a nullo. Just so that my readers will know that this isn't a fake.

CmdrTaco: Sure, no problem. (stands and unbuckles pants and drops them to his ankles, revealing a smooth, shaven crotch with only a thin scar to show where his genitals once were).

Q: Thank you. That's a remarkable sight.

(laughs and pulls pants back up). Most people think so.

Q: What made you decide to become a nullo?

(pauses). Well, it really wasn't entirely my decision.

Q: Excuse me?

The idea wasn't mine. It was my lover's idea.

Q: Please explain what you mean.

Okay, it's a long story. You have to understand my relationship with Hemos before you'll know what happened.

Q: We have plenty of time. Please go on.

Both of us were into the leather lifestyle when we met through a personal ad. Hemos's ad was very specific: he was looking for someone to completely dominate and modify to his pleasure. In other word, a slave.

The ad intrigued me. I had been in a number of B&D scenes and also some S&M, but I found them unsatisfying because they were all temporary. After the fun was over, everybody went on with life as usual.

I was looking for a complete life change. I wanted to meet someone who would be part of my life forever. Someone who would control me and change me at his whim.

Q: In other words, you're a true masochist.

Oh yes, no doubt about that. I've always been totally passive in my sexual relationships.

Anyway, we met and there was instant chemistry. Hemos is about my age and is a complete loser. Our personalities meshed totally. He's very dominant.

I went back to his place after drinks and had the best sex of my life. That's when I knew I was going to be with Hemos for a long, long time.

Q: What sort of things did you two do?

It was very heavy right away. He restrained me and whipped me for quite awhile. He put clamps on my nipples and a ball gag in my mouth. And he hung a ball bag on my sack with some very heavy weights. That bag really bounced around when Hemos fucked me from behind.

Q: Ouch.

(laughs) Yeah, no kidding. At first I didn't think I could take the pain, but Hemos worked me through it and after awhile I was flying. I was sorry when it was over.

Hemos enjoyed it as much as I did. Afterwards he talked about what kind of a commitment I'd have to make if I wanted to stay with him.

Q: What did he say exactly?

Well, besides agreeing to be his slave in every way, I'd have to be ready to be modified. To have my body modified.

Q: Did he explain what he meant by that?

Not specifically, but I got the general idea. I guessed that something like castration might be part of it.

Q: How did that make you feel?

(laughs) I think it would make any guy a little hesitant.

Q: But it didn't stop you from agreeing to Hemos's terms?

No it didn't. I was totally hooked on this man. I knew that I was willing to pay any price to be with him.

Anyway, a few days later I moved in with Hemos. He gave me the rules right away: I'd have to be naked at all times while we were indoors, except for a leather dog collar that I could never take off. I had to keep my balls shaved. And I had to wear a butt plug except when I needed to take a shit or when we were having sex.

I had to sleep on the floor next to his bed. I ate all my food on the floor, too.

The next day he took me to a piercing parlor where he had my nipples done, and a Prince Albert put into the head of my cock.

Q: Heavy stuff.

Yeah, and it got heavier. He used me as a toilet, pissing in my mouth. I had to lick his asshole clean after he took a shit, too. It was all part of a process to break down any sense of individuality I had. After awhile, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything he asked.

Q: Did the sex get rougher?

Oh God, yeah. He started fisting me every time we had sex. But he really started concentrating on my cock and balls, working them over for hours at a time.

He put pins into the head of my cock and into my sack. He attached clothespins up and down my cock and around my sack. The pain was pretty bad. He had to gag me to keep me from screaming.

Q: When did the idea of nullification come up?

Well, it wasn't nullification at first. He started talking about how I needed to make a greater commitment to him, to do something to show that I was dedicated to him for life.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that he wanted to take my balls.

Q: How did you respond?

Not very well at first. I told him that I liked being a man and didn't want to become a eunuch. But he kept at me, and wore me down. He reminded me that I agreed to be modified according to his wishes, and this is what he wanted for me. Anything less would show that I wasn't really committed to the relationship. And besides, I was a total bottom and didn't really need my balls.

It took about a week before I agreed to be castrated. But I wasn't happy about it, believe me.

Q: How did he castrate you?

Hemos had a friend, Zonk, who was into the eunuch scene. One night he came over with his bag of toys, and Hemos told me that this was it. I was gonna lose my nuts then and there.

Q: Did you think of resisting?

I did for a minute, but deep down I knew there was no way. I just didn't want to lose Hemos. I'd rather lose my balls.

Zonk restrained me on the living room floor while Hemos videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

Q: That must have really hurt.

Hell yeah. It's liked getting kicked in the balls over and over again. I screamed for him to cut the band off, but he just kept on going, putting more bands on me. I had four bands around my sack when he finished.

I was rolling around on the floor screaming, while Hemos just videotaped me. Eventually, my sack got numb and the pain subsided. I looked between my legs and could see my sack was a dark purple. I knew my balls were dying inside.

Hemos and his friend left the room and turned out the light. I lay there for hours, crying because I was turning into a eunuch and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Q: What happened then?

Eventually I fell asleep from exhaustion. Then the light switched on and I could see Hemos's friend kneeling between my legs, touching my sack. I heard him tell Hemos that my balls were dead.

Q: How did Hemos react?

Very pleased. He bent down and felt around my sack. He said that it felt cold.

Zonk told me that I needed to keep the bands on. He said that eventually my balls and sack would dry up and fall off. I just nodded. What else could I do at that point?

Q: Did it happen just like Zonk said?

Yeah, a week or so later my package just fell off. Hemos put it in a jar of alcohol to preserve it. It's on the table next to his bed.

Q: How did things go after that?

Hemos was really loving to me. He kept saying how proud he was of me, how grateful that I had made the commitment to him. He even let me sleep in his bed.

Q: What about the sex?

We waited awhile after my castration, and then took it easy until I was completely healed. At first I was able to get hard, but as the weeks went by my erections began to disappear.

That pleased Hemos. He liked fucking me and feeling my limp cock. It made his dominance over me even greater.

Q: When did he start talking about making you a nullo?

A couple of months after he took my nuts. Our sex had gotten to be just as rough as before the castration. He really got off on torturing my cock. Then he started saying stuff like, "Why do you even need this anymore?"

That freaked me out. I always thought that he might someday take my balls, but I never imagined that he'd go all the way. I told him that I wanted to keep my dick.

Q: How did he react to that?

At first he didn't say much. But he kept pushing. Hemos said I would look so nice being smooth between my legs. He said my dick was small and never got hard anymore, so what was the point of having it.

But I still resisted. I wanted to keep my cock. I felt like I wouldn't be a man anymore without it.

Q: So how did he get you to agree?

He didn't. He took it against my will.

Q: How did that happen?

We were having sex in the basement, and I was tied up and bent over this wooden bench as he fucked me. Then I heard the doorbell ring. Hemos answered it, and he brought this guy into the room.

At first I couldn't see anything because of the way I was tied. But then I felt these hands lift me up and put me on my back. And I could see it was Zonk, the guy who took my nuts.

Q: How did you react?

I started screaming and crying, but the guy just gagged me. The two of them dragged me to the other side of the room where they tied me spread eagled on the floor.

Zonk snaked a catheter up my dick, and gave me a shot to numb my crotch. I was grateful for that, at least. I remember how bad it hurt to lose my balls.

Q: What was Hemos doing at this time?

He was kneeling next to me talking quietly. He said I'd be happy that they were doing this. That it would make our relationship better. That kind of calmed me down. I thought, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad."

Q: How long did the penectomy take?

It took awhile. Some of the penis is inside the body, so he had to dig inside to get all of it. There was a lot of stitching up and stuff. He put my cock in the same jar with my balls. You can even see the Prince Albert sticking out of the head.

Then they made me a new pisshole. It's between my asshole and where my sack used to be. So now I have to squat to piss.

Q: What has life been like since you were nullified?

After I got over the surgery and my anger, things got better. When I healed up, I began to like my smooth look. Hemos brought friends over and they all admired it, saying how pretty I looked. It made me feel good that Hemos was proud of me.

Q: Do you have any sexual feeling anymore?

Yes, my prostate still responds when Hemos fucks me or uses the buttplug. And my nipples are quite sensitive. If Hemos plays with them while fucking me, I have a kind of orgasm. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely an orgasm.

Sometimes Hemos says he's gonna have my prostate and nipples removed, but he's just kidding around. He's happy with what he's done to me.

Q: So are you glad Hemos had you nullified?

Well, I wouldn't say I'm glad. If I could, I'd like to have my cock and balls back. But I know that I'm a nullo forever. So I'm making the best of it.

Hemos and I are very happy. I know that he'll take care of me and we'll be together always. I guess losing my manhood was worth it to make that happen for us.

Cutting edge == Johnny Rotten? (5, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | about 4 years ago | (#31712794)

Someone emulating the punk movement of 40 years ago is "cutting edge"? If that's his idea of "cutting edge, hot talent", he needs to stop thinking he's in the movie "hackers" and he's looking for Angelina Jolie. Associating dress or style with talent is stupid no matter if it's "you wear a suit, you're smart" or "you've got 3 piercings and drive a crotch rocket you're the next big thing"

Demanding innovation never works. Innovation just happens from a need, not a demand from some Oracle guy who desires it and thinks it'll be good for marketing. There are interesting things happening in Java. Scala is certainly interesting. I haven't used it myself, but I'd love to try it if I had a good project to use it in.

Re:Cutting edge == Johnny Rotten? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712890)

Doesn't an oracle forsee the future?

Re:Cutting edge == Johnny Rotten? (1)

mooingyak (720677) | about 4 years ago | (#31713110)

Someone emulating the punk movement of 40 years ago is "cutting edge"? If that's his idea of "cutting edge, hot talent", he needs to stop thinking he's in the movie "hackers" and he's looking for Angelina Jolie. Associating dress or style with talent is stupid no matter if it's "you wear a suit, you're smart" or "you've got 3 piercings and drive a crotch rocket you're the next big thing"

Valid points, but I think you're taking him more literally than he meant it. He wanted to convey the idea of 'cutting edge', and to be honest it seems like both you and I understood what he meant even if his example is a bit cliche.

the cutting edge itself has moved on (4, Interesting)

anomalous cohort (704239) | about 4 years ago | (#31713126)

It's no longer language constructs, data structures, or algorithms that are cutting edge. Innovation has moved on to more fertile pastures. Yes, those who build software tools, libraries, IDEs, and compilers will continue to innovate. They have and will continue to come up with some brilliant stuff. But cutting edge developers don't pick a shop because they write in groovy or whatever the language-de-jeur is. Cutting edge developers go where they believe the next killer app is going to be born.

The best developers are multi-lingual. They don't identify with a single programming language. They're not VB developers or Java developers or even Rails developers. They can pick up any language/library/environment quickly. They don't really get off on curly braces versus colons. What feeds the best developers is the challenge of world domination through innovation.

Change the world, right?

Re:Cutting edge == Johnny Rotten? (1)

ponraul (1233704) | about 4 years ago | (#31713188)

I doubt that he remembers using Java or things written in it fifteen years ago when kids with mohawks routinely brought computers to a halt with their buggy AWT GUIs and applets.

Personally, I prefer my software to come from disciplined engineers and not some caricature listening to a Prodigy mix-tape, chugging Jolt Cola straight out of a two-liter bottle and admiring the reflection of his cyan colored hair in the flicker of his amber terminal that he salvaged from an unsecured dumpster in an industrial park.

Re:Cutting edge == Johnny Rotten? (1)

zanewatts (1755070) | about 4 years ago | (#31713216)

With the global economy in a downturn comes reduced profits for Oracle being able to see a growth in their core products. If anything there will be a larger than normal downturn in core customers in the near future for their RDBMS and RAC as less expensive solutions become more and more available. Java has a long future though in many fronts. Like anything, there is the good,bad and ugly. The ugly being this cheap marketing ploy. Silly

What is out there right now? (1)

ipquickly (1562169) | about 4 years ago | (#31712800)

"I would like to see people with piercings doing Java programming,"

So what do people with piercings do now?

wow (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#31712802)

When did "youthful, cutting edge developers" become equated with "the mohawks-and-tattoos set?" All I can think about when I see a mohawk these days is the 80s and Mr T.

um (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712806)

um google app engine? spring? android? gwt? groovy?

Please it's evolving and even finding new uses.

All those "java is going to die" people are silly and not grounded in reality. Plenty of talented developers see its power and use it.

Re:um (2, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | about 4 years ago | (#31712830)

All those "COBOL is going to die" people are silly and not grounded in reality. Plenty of talented developers see its power and use it.

Re:um (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712880)

I know you php programmers are good at copy and pasting. ;)

On the other hand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712816)

Google's new python-like language "Go" is set to attract all the coders that Oracle wants. BAWWWWWW

tattooed love boys program? (2, Insightful)

skyler_fox (1444329) | about 4 years ago | (#31712836)

let me get this straight... Java needs tattooed programmers to be relevant? Snarky comments about Cobol aside, Java is the current programming workhorse. It provides the greatest infrastructure and options for scalability. Since when does fashion dictate what technology is best for the job?

good coders will follow the money (5, Informative)

ilmdba (84076) | about 4 years ago | (#31712844)

piercings and mohawks somehow make someone 'cutting edge' or a better coder?  i think not.

good developers will follow the jobs.

i'll save you the trip to monster.com, here are some search results from there:

search  results
------  -------
java    5000+
.net    4581
c++     3706
c#      3369
perl    2569
python  1035
ruby    547
cobol   286

- 5000 is apparently the limit for the number of results a query can provide at monster.com (weak) so there are most likely far more that 5000 java jobs in their database
- couldn't figure out how to search for C reliably, but it's probably up over 5000 as well.

Re:good coders will follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712908)

if ASP was up there at the top would you suddenly consider it a good language? popularity is one of the worst ways to measure something like this.

Re:good coders will follow the money (2, Insightful)

abigor (540274) | about 4 years ago | (#31712968)

Popularity isn't a good measure of relevancy?

Re:good coders will follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31713044)

it's a good measure of mediocrity.. that's about it. popularity itself is not necessarily a positive attribute. java works and it's easy to code for, that's why it's popular. does it encourage lean design? no. does it perform well relative to native code? no. is it good for this era where power consumption is becoming an increasing concern? no. but it sure is easy to slap shit together that impresses pointy haired techno-twits.

We already have the OS. we don't need any more abstractions. Libraries? yes. vms? no.. a modern stack looks like this: hardware|EXS/Xen|VMs|Protected mode OS|.NET/Java ..and now we're talking about adding more languages that run inside JVM?? seriously? seriously?! I think it's time we jumped off the mid 90s 'more virtualization = better' bandwagon. it's just a shitty hack to get around security problems in bad code...and/or give vendors additional shots at lock-in.

Re:good coders will follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31713078)

Popularity isn't a good measure of relevancy?

Miley Cyrus

Jersey Shore


Re:good coders will follow the money (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | about 4 years ago | (#31713086)

piercings and mohawks somehow make someone 'cutting edge' or a better coder?

Youth makes one a cheaper coder, which in the eyes of management is better.

Re:good coders will follow the money (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 4 years ago | (#31713244)

Actually, if you look at smaller data sets (regional ones), and data from other job sites that have language categories, you will notice, that Java tops out even C by a good bit.

Java still quite relevant and popular (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712854)

This post seems a bit biased. While there is valid concern for how Oracle will manage Java, numerous statistics indicate Java continues to be very relevant (cite http://langpop.com/)

With piercings...? (1)

Kozz (7764) | about 4 years ago | (#31712856)

I thought that having excessive piercings (plus mohawks, tattoos) was the way to tell the world, "I don't ever want to be someone's boss."

Re:With piercings...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712986)

I thought that having excessive piercings (plus mohawks, tattoos) was the way to tell the world, "I don't ever want to be someone's boss."

You haven't stumbled into the BDSM world during your adventures across the WWW have you? ;)

Re:With piercings...? (1)

penguinboy (35085) | about 4 years ago | (#31713136)

You say that as if it's a bad message to send. Some people like getting things done, not pushing paper in management.

Maybe it's because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712862)

Java is slow? Could it be?

Re:Maybe it's because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31713238)

Java isn't slow.

JVM keeping it alive (5, Interesting)

godofredo (198906) | about 4 years ago | (#31712864)

Java will remain relevant because of the large number of languages being built for the JVM: scala, erjang, clojure, groovy etc. Thus writing libraries in java has significant appeal.


Nothing screams get off my lawn like this comment (3, Funny)

jason.sweet (1272826) | about 4 years ago | (#31712870)

like to see people with piercings doing Java programming.

The amount of drugs involved in the decision to get said piercings is not conducive to good software engineering.

Drown already. (0, Troll)

trajik2600 (944364) | about 4 years ago | (#31712884)

.NET beat you years ago. Sorry.
--- Signed: The pierced and tattooed crowd.

Re:Drown already. (1)

cduffy (652) | about 4 years ago | (#31713048)

Dunno -- the cutting-edge people I know are digging on Clojure pretty hard.

Yes, Java-the-language sucks hard. Yes, it took them waaay too long to get better bytecode-level support for languages that don't conform to their typing model (see JSR 292). Even with these things being true, there are some cutting-edge languages that target the Java platform, so I'm not about to call it dead to me yet.

(Other cutting-edge people I interact with are targeting things like OCaml -- but I'm maybe a little too pragmatic to go there just yet myself).

Re:Drown already. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31713150)

Cutting edge != /r/programming freshmen college students.

Here's how to make Java again (5, Funny)

grepya (67436) | about 4 years ago | (#31712898)

The problem with Java today is... it's syntax looks too much like C. And as everybody knows, C is for geezers. Can't we write java code as follows:

<if_block>walkFaster </if_block>

  Once the java manufacturing association fixes the syntax to my satisfaction, I'd give up on my 10 GL super auto functional metaprogrammers language (Saufml) and start writing java code. Until then, I'll keep working on my latest NoSql data-store for my soon to be mobile-social-media-empire (leveraging P2P crowd-sourcing) in my beloved Saufml.

Re:Here's how to make Java again (3, Funny)

travisb828 (1002754) | about 4 years ago | (#31713128)

To get buy in from the geezers, you should get in the habit of formatting your code. It makes things easier to read, and it just looks more professional. CamelCase also is helpful in improving readability, and to enforce proper code formatting you should make formatting part of the syntax.

Doesn't this look so much nicer? I almost forgot. You will need a declaration.

<?saufml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
        <Method name="Run">
                                <If_Block>walkFaster </If_Block>
        <Method name="trot" />
        <Method name="gallop" />

Re:Here's how to make Java again (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 4 years ago | (#31713202)

I was with you up to the camel casing. Camel case is a fad I could have done without, not only is walkFaster less clear than walk_faster, it is also more error prone to type.

Oracle has some work to do (4, Interesting)

hedrick (701605) | about 4 years ago | (#31712910)

Java isn't about to become irrelevant. There's no chance it's going to be the latest thing, because that opportunity only comes once. But if you want a language for doing major projects with long lifetimes, there's really Java, .NET and C++. For a lot of things, Java or .NET makes more sense, and realistically .NET limits you to Windows. For that class of things, the limiting factor in Java now is that Sun does't support the same range of APIs that MS does. Particularly desktop APIs needed for things like multimedia and games. If I wanted to make Java as useful as possible I'd put some manpower into that, and find ways to put some of the newer interpreted languages on top of the Java JVM. That would give them access to a good compiler and to the range of packages available in Java. (Despite a more limited set of APIs than .NET, there's still more than a newer language would otherwise have available.)

Tempest, meet teacup... (5, Insightful)

neiras (723124) | about 4 years ago | (#31712922)

I make a lot of money working with Java. I have piercings. I've been known to have hair in a primary color.

Seriously though. Android applications. Eclipse. Adsense, GMail, Wave - in fact, just about every big Google web application (yes, even the client side stuff is written in Java and translated to Javascript [google.com] ). Openfire XMPP. Tomcat. Geronimo. ActiveMQ. Azureus.

You can badmouth Java all you want, but performance and tooling are excellent and there seems to be an infinite supply of libraries and sample code. It runs in lots of different places. There are 100% open source implementations. You can compile it to native code. You can run it in the CLR.

I know it's trendy to play with Ruby and Python, and that's fine. I'm a big fan of Scala, which runs on the JVM. I believe Twitter's backend is at least partially built on Scala [theregister.co.uk] . El Reg, I know, I know.

Anyone who thinks Java is fossilizing needs to give their head a shake. It's everywhere, and it's being used in very diverse ways.

If that doesn't excite this mythical "pierced programmer", then said idiot is too busy practicing the Hipster Doctrine - studied disinterest.

Re:Tempest, meet teacup... (5, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 years ago | (#31713140)

I just recently got a job at an all-Java shop. I might, if I feel the need, write a shell script or two. From what I can tell, Java's still accepted in the "real world", but it doesn't have the hype it used to.

Java's Big Thing was its ability to be written once, and run on VMs on any platform. That advantage was promptly killed by the rise of AJAX and all its cross-platform happiness. The same buzz Java once enjoyed is now held by cloud computing, for much the same reason: it allows programmers to write something once, and not worry about the future as much. As languages have progressed, we've consistently moved away from hardware-specific details. Today, I see Java as a sort of middle ground between using the "edgy but immature" languages like Python, and the "old but crusty" languages like C and C++. It has enough libraries and tie-in packages that any modern technology can be easily implemented.

Programmers today don't want to (and shouldn't need to) deal with memory allocation, pointers math, or any such arcane matters. They also don't want to have to refactor as their chosen language tries to stabilize itself. This is why C rose to such prominence. It allowed programmers to stay away from the processor. Java currently allows programmers to stay away from the operating system. Eventually, I expect we'll move toward even more abstract languages, where we just need to specify what we want, and the compiler (or something) will figure out the steps needed to reach that goal. It'll be an automatic software engineer, just as compilers are automatic replacements for the grad students who used to translate programs into machine code.

Here's to the future, where I, too, will be obsolete.

Re:Tempest, meet teacup... (1)

noSignal (997337) | about 4 years ago | (#31713158)

You're exactly right. Anyone who feels that java needs help staying relevant doesn't write software for a living.

Re:Tempest, meet teacup... (1)

Logic and Reason (952833) | about 4 years ago | (#31713170)

Seriously though. Android applications. Eclipse. Adsense, GMail, Wave - in fact, just about every big Google web application (yes, even the client side stuff is written in Java and translated to Javascript). Openfire XMPP. Tomcat. Geronimo. ActiveMQ. Azureus.

You're missing the point. Nobody denies that Java is used everywhere; the point is that it is no longer (if it ever was) a cutting-edge language, the kind that "pierced programmers" get excited about.

I know it's trendy to play with Ruby and Python, and that's fine.

Using the word "play" shows that you have no idea just how much real work is being done in these languages. And they're growing in popularity precisely because they are exciting to use. After all, if the kinds of "practical" concerns you mentioned (ubiquity, performance, libraries) were the only things that mattered then we'd all still be using FORTRAN, COBOL, or C.

Re:Tempest, meet teacup... (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 4 years ago | (#31713222)

"but performance and tooling are excellent"

Did you really just claim that java performance is excellent?

WTF?! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 4 years ago | (#31712926)

What planet do these people live on? Worse yet, Timothy, my man, for fuck's sake, are there any "editors" with some programming experience? About the only one seems to be ScuttleMoney, you know, the one we piled tons of flak back in the days.

I guess nothing good last forever.

Java the Pig (0)

kilodelta (843627) | about 4 years ago | (#31712930)

There are a couple of social web sites I visit that go overboard with thread trackers etc. They haven't figured out RSS yet. I watch Java just hang my entire machine sometimes when I visit those sites.

It is in its current incarnation a bloated pig.

Re:Java the Pig (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712992)

Uneducated silly /.ers....java would be running server side. I guess you don't use Google... or amazon... or ebay......

Or do you mean applet? Do you know what you're talking about? Do you barely understand what a variable is?

Re:Java the Pig (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712994)

Agreed that starting up the JVM on a desktop in a browser is a horrible experience. However, in reference to the article, Oracle is about the server-side. The client doesn't figure into this - it doesn't matter.

Well this is awkward (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 4 years ago | (#31712942)

I'm currently in a CS class that uses Java to teach software design; although the emphasis is made that the principles involved are applicable to most other software languages.

So what are considered the "write your own ticket in this job market" languages if you know them backwards, forwards, and sideways?

Re:Well this is awkward (1)

Shados (741919) | about 4 years ago | (#31713038)

.NET, Java, PHP and C++, each with their own specialty fields, so which one you end up using depend greatly on what you end up doing.

Re:Well this is awkward (5, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | about 4 years ago | (#31713076)

None. Learn algorithms, data structures, and theory. You can and will change languages a half dozen or more times in your career. Theory works for everything. And the good employers know that.

Re:Well this is awkward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31713180)

First, learning Java won't kill you.

You're only a "Javaschool victim" if you let it happen. You owe it to yourself to spend just a little time tinkering with assembly, just to appreciate what HLLs give you. Don't spend a lot of time writing in assembly, just do a few quick experiments and appreciate the whole concept of low-level instructions.

Then, learn Lisp. It's at the opposite end of the spectrum in some ways. Similarly, don't spend too much time trying to actually create practical apps in Lisp. It can be done, but you probably won't find a job doing it.

Finally, learn C. Not C++. If you know Java, you know a lot of C++. C++ is, to a certain degree, Java with the ability to crash harder. Study and use some common libraries like zlib, libjpeg, etc. You'll understand how non-revolutionary the portability aspects of Java are, and what can be accomplished without OOP built in. More importantly, you'll see the C in other languages. All the popular scripting languages use C libraries, and if you know C and are familiar with how it works you always feel a bit like you're looking through a cloudy window when you use those languages. Try messing around with, for example, a PCRE lib. Write your own grep as an exercise.

C arguably stands in the middle of the extremes of Lisp and Assembly, and it turns up everywhere because of this practicality. I haven't looked, but I wager there's more lines of C in the implementation of most Javas than there is Java, if you include the libraries. If you know C, you'll be able to contribute to a lot of OSS/Free projects, including the Linux kernel.

If you are at least passably familiar with the 3 mentioned languages, and you understand the language-indpendant concepts (data structures, boolean operations, etc.) you're on your way. If you're curious and always learning, no lousy school or poorly designed course will stand in your way.

JMHO and $0.02, not claiming this is "the one true response", and by all means, if you've inferred something ridiculous from this post, you're doing it wrong.

The VM is decent. The language sucks. (4, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 4 years ago | (#31712956)

I remember taking a long, hard look at the state of various VMs awhile back, and here's what I came up with: .NET isn't a bad design, but it's entirely controlled by Microsoft.
Rotor doesn't change that at all.
Mono changes it a little, but Mono (at least back then) wasn't really a great platform in its own right -- not enough tools, not enough reason to use it, always playing catch-up. Plus, there's the whole patent issue.
On top of all of that, it was never really designed to be cross-platform, and instead seems to be primarily aimed at creating native apps.

The various "scripting" languages have been moving towards VM architectures, and some are quite good, but none that I know of actually feature any kind of ahead-of-time compilation, even to bytecode. That includes Perl, Python, Ruby, JavaScript, and plenty of others.

Lisps are better, but they generally don't compile to an intermediate form -- if they compile at all, it's to something platform-specific, likely machine code.

Smalltalk is interesting, but is even more closed off than Java, and basically requires an entirely different set of tools for working with. It's not really designed to work as a text-based language.

The closest would seem to be Erlang, but it's radically different. While I know of at least one other language trying to target the Erlang VM, it's something that's really designed to work with Erlang. I'm also not entirely sure if the performance is there.

LLVM looks very, very good, but very few languages actually target it, beyond, say, C. It seems to be targeting runtime optimizations, not portability.

I probably looked at a few others I'm forgetting now...

Basically, the top two are still Java and .NET. Both present a VM that supports multiple real languages. In Java, this is by accident, it's hackish, but there are plenty of robust, mature languages other than Java which target it -- Scala, Groovy, Clojure, JRuby... In .NET, this is by design, but the more interesting other languages targeting it seem to be in an alpha state.

So Java is pretty much it. And it means we can take our fun, dynamic languages, and (eventually) compile them to Java bytecode, and create entirely cross-platform apps with no local dependencies other than Java. It means we get much of the work that's been put into optimizing Java for free -- for example, the Java garbage collector. It also means that even when designing a native app, well, Ruby just got threads in 1.9, and there's still a GIL, so no support for multicore. Python has and probably will always have a GIL. JRuby has had real, native Java threads almost as long as it's existed. Ruby has plenty of options for concurrency, but if you want to take advantage of multicore, your options are either JRuby or a unix fork(), and Ruby's GC is not COW-friendly, so fork() is potentially much more expensive than in other languages.

I don't know if Java is the way forward. I hope someone builds something cool on top of LLVM. I certainly hope Java the language dies. But the JVM is about the best we have in terms of open-source, cross-platform, compile-once-run-anywhere VMs.

Re:The VM is decent. The language sucks. (3, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | about 4 years ago | (#31713108)

I don't get it, why you want the java language to die? I programming Java now for 4 years and the only thing I'm missing are closures.

The core of Java is very robust, you have class, enums and interfaces. Generics are do what they are suppose to do (and they are backwards compatible). Threading is integrated in the Java with synchronized and the threading API. In addition, Java have neat features like annotations and anonymous classes.

Reflection is very easy to use, but the exception model is perhaps debatable.

The tools and the libraries are top class. Maven is my favorite killer-tool for Java.

If Java get closures, what are you missing in Java? It's maybe not the future but Java is a very robust and consistent language.

Re:The VM is decent. The language sucks. (1)

fatwilbur (1098563) | about 4 years ago | (#31713112)

Good analysis, I agree with most of your points. I've also lead a few different development teams at large organizations. I'd like to point out that the cross-platform capability of Java is usually a very insignificant aspect; for business software, 99% of it has migrated to the web so it doesn't really matter what we run in the back end, we control it. Developing business software is a bit more fully functional (windows desktop integration) and easier (cheaper).

Re:The VM is decent. The language sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31713204)

The various "scripting" languages have been moving towards VM architectures, and some are quite good, but none that I know of actually feature any kind of ahead-of-time compilation, even to bytecode. That includes Perl, Python, Ruby, JavaScript, and plenty of others.

Python normally caches the compiled bytecode of imported modules in .pyc files and only recompiles them as necessary. It also provides modules for doing this beforehand, which can also be used like programs with python -m, which most distros will do when packages with Python code are installed, because you won't have write access to /usr/lib (or wherever) as a normal user. It is also capable of directly running bytecode even without a corresponding source file. I don't know about Perl and Ruby, not being particularly familiar with them, but I wouldn't be surprised if they could do something similar. JavaScript can't really be compared to any of the others, as the language doesn't have any standard implementation, de facto or otherwise, and thus one cannot sensibly speak of the features of "its implementation".

And while being able to use the same source code for many platforms is certainly useful, being able to use the same binary for many platforms is of questionable utility. You are going to have to provide different packages for all the different platforms you wish to support, and thus using the same binary for all of them really only saves you compilation time, which is a rather small benefit in exchange for missing out on all the advantages of using a native binary.

Re:The VM is decent. The language sucks. (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 4 years ago | (#31713230)

The .NET VM is no less "hackish" than other languages targeted to Java. They both essentially follow the same model for their bytecode. If anything, the blatant Windows-isms make the CLR far more clunky.

Not relevent? Maybe one day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712976)

However, in the meantime Java is still the most widely used language:

http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html [tiobe.com]

Java is also about the JVM - which is increasingly useful for other languages such as Scala, Python, and Ruby. Have a read about why the JRuby [jruby.org] guys like the JVM:

http://www.engineyard.com/blog/2009/j-is-for-jvm-why-the-j-in-jruby/ [engineyard.com]

Java and the JVM are going to be around for a long while yet.

Android and Blackberry anyone? (1)

Envy Life (993972) | about 4 years ago | (#31712988)

Considering mobile applications are the hottest thing going and that Both Android and Blackberry use Java APIs, the author brushes over this fact by stating they are non-standard custom API's and JVMs... but what open source language/standards-based API has strict across-the-board standards? Apple? proprietary. Ruby? laughable. Python? no. .Net? proprietary...though good point about Mono being more popular than Java on Linux, a topic for another discussion.

That being said, I was disappointed Android has only a Java API... It would have been interesting if Google could have made Python the de facto API for Android, based on their support of the language, but probably felt Java was...well...better for the task at hand.

Re:Android and Blackberry anyone? (1)

backspaces (747193) | about 4 years ago | (#31713138)

Kinda interesting that Google limits themselves to 4 languages:
http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2007/06/rhino-on-rails.html [blogspot.com]
"One of the (hundreds of) cool things about working for Google is that they let teams experiment, as long as it's done within certain broad and well-defined boundaries. One of the fences in this big playground is your choice of programming language. You have to play inside the fence defined by C++, Java, Python, and JavaScript."

And for GAE, JavaScript and Java/Rhino look great.

I think JavaScript is due for a huge burst of popularity as soon as folks "get it". JS on the server and on the client, and JSON for data/ajax. Brilliant. But it takes a lot to understand JS .. the Good Parts.

TFA misses the point about Java (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712996)

Java is described in TFA as a cutting edge language from the 90's having somewhat lost its edge since them. Java was never cutting edge. It's always been technology from the 70's - mostly a Smalltalk derivative. Java always has been about been about compromise between being more advanced than its mainstream predecessors (C, Delphi/Pascal...) and keeping accessible to the average programmer.

If anything, in the last 10 years Java has succeeded, turning from a questionable language for client-side applets to a stable and widely used environment for serious server-side apps. Unless Oracle are totally braindead they will keep it moving in the same direction, slowly moving forward and not confusing the average programmer with too much Haskell/Lisp/Perl-like complicated stuff.

If you have to struggle to keep it relevant... (1)

xdancergirlx (872890) | about 4 years ago | (#31713006)

maybe it's not worth the fight. Why not just use a language that IS relevant rather than "struggling" to make relevant people use one that isn't?

SmallTalk (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31713018)

Java was brain-dead at birth. SmallTalk is the cleanest of object-oriented programming languages with a simple, clean syntax. A good programmer can develop an interpreter for a language using SmallTalk in a weekend. Try that in Java and your head will explode due to the inherent complexities of the language. Java, at best, is C with bytecode execution rather than native machine code.

Oh, now what the hell is this? (3, Interesting)

Marrow (195242) | about 4 years ago | (#31713036)

Ok, so they want to get the love back and show that java is still relevant. Maybe they want some people to expand their skillsets and add java to their toolbox. Well I thought, lets see how heavy this thing has become. I found the necessary magic words to install it on ubuntu from apt. And then: SPLAT! Upon trying to install it, I get this very unfriendly looking licensing message during the install!

Sun is willing to let you install this under the condition that you accept the terms of this 15 PAGE! licensing agreement! In order to install, you must accept the terms, do you accept the DLJ license terms? YES or NO?

If you say NO, then the installation -crashes- and you get prompted again, in a loop asking you to accept the terms again! Ok, after 3 declines, it bails out completely.

You know what? I dont remember that kind of love when I installed PYTHON. Maybe this is what they mean by tough love.

Re:Oh, now what the hell is this? (1, Informative)

Vellmont (569020) | about 4 years ago | (#31713122)

Well I thought, lets see how heavy this thing has become. I found the necessary magic words to install it on ubuntu from apt. And then: SPLAT! Upon trying to install it, I get this very unfriendly looking licensing message during the install!

You've identified a problem that was largely solved when Sun opened up the Java licensing scheme about 3 1/2 years ago. If you want to avoid all the silly licensing that Sun makes you go through, just use the openJDK http://openjdk.java.net/ [java.net] . You likely tried to install the Sun JVM.

I haven't used it myself, so I can't say how mature it is.

I know how *not* to make it more relevant (4, Insightful)

hedrick (701605) | about 4 years ago | (#31713104)

What they had better NOT do: treat it like Solaris. You're only allowed to use it in production if you have support, and the only support they sell is a site license which costs $25 * the number of people in your company + the number of users for your application.

I'm not being entirely silly. I have an application for which I would have been willing to pay for Java support. But the only support Sun would sell us (late 2009, when they had already started Oraclizing) was an unreasonably expensive site-wide support contract.

Who cares? (2, Insightful)

Foredecker (161844) | about 4 years ago | (#31713144)

This question is ask as if Java is somehow imporant in and of itself. It isnt. Neither is perl, or PHP, Phython or gasp - C++ or even C. Throw C#, F# and VB into that group as well.

These are tools. We (as in devleopers) should simply use the right tool for the job. If thats Java - then okey-dokey. If its C#, then groovy, if its C++ then thats ok to. Hey, I still use assembly language for a few things.

Do real engineering work folks! Pick the right tools for the job based on the business and technical requirements.


Oracle is cool. (1, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | about 4 years ago | (#31713178)

People that dismiss Oracle's database software are foolish. The transaction management, up time, and all the other robustness features of an Oracle database server gave me plenty of time to go look for hot girls when I was single. Meanwhile, those SQL Server guys hung in the lab.

What the... FUDFUDFUD (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 4 years ago | (#31713224)

As far as I know, pretty much every “enterprise” server software still in written in Java, and hence the developer base is gigantic. I mean just look at the job offers. 9 out of 10 say Java, the last time I looked.

What is he talking about?? Does he even know anything about what he is supposed to manage?

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