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The Future of Java?

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the probably-our-last-link-to-salon.com dept.

Java 624

Todd AvErth writes "Judge Motz recently ordered Microsoft to distribute Sun's JVM with every Windows product. Salon decided to pipe up about it with an editorial musing about whether or not it's too late. Most of it isn't all that interesting, but some of the comments from Ximian developer, Miguel de Icaza point to the advantage of being able to compile from multiple languages. Anyone know of any projects to compile JVM bytecode from other languages?" Update: 01/23 16:00 GMT by M : Comments were disallowed when this story was originally posted; fixed now. My mistake (although KDE3's stupid mouseover-activates-form-elements user interface, now finally fixed in the latest versions, has to take some blame too).

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FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143326)

Pwned~

Poor Micheal (-1, Offtopic)

Graspee_Leemoor (302316) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143330)

He marked the story "friends only" and no-one could post to it...

graspee

Re:Poor Micheal (0, Offtopic)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143337)

Heh... yeah, and the worst part is that he had no friends.

On Slashdot, that is. ;)

Re:Poor Micheal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143350)

This discussion was created by michael (4716) as friends only. Offer them a bribe and maybe they will let you post.

I have a feeling he did that on purpose, I mean no one could be that stupid, right? He must just be getting tired of people flaming him non-stop.

What a moron.

Re:Poor Micheal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143359)

Did anyone get a screen capture of the "friends only" status?

Re:Poor Micheal (-1, Offtopic)

DrFrasierCrane (609981) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143409)

The funniest part? The hundreds of /. trolls out there who couldn't post "First post!"

Re:Poor Micheal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143530)

Personally, I like how the same link answering the stupid question at the end was posted 9 times within 10 minutes.

Re:Poor Micheal (-1, Offtopic)

jonathan_ingram (30440) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143411)

Be careful, or he might slap down your comment and all replies to the land of -1 -- just like the thread I point to in my signature (which contains what must be the most moderated comment in Slashdot history).

A pooor workman always blames his tools. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143417)

'Woops, my fault. But KDE3 is really the problem.'

Nice Michael. Funny, not only don't you have any friends, you also don't have many fans.

toolbelt java (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143332)

michael has no friends.

Is it just me... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143333)

Or should an article that has been posted for 45 minutes have more than one post?

Languages for the Java VM... (5, Informative)

The Wookie (31006) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143340)

can be found here [tu-berlin.de] .

It doesn't mention SmartEiffel, though, which does generate byte codes. There are probably many others as well.

Re:Languages for the Java VM... (2, Interesting)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143372)

So where are the processors that Sun promissed that would run Java bytecode natively?

Who knows. The important thing.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143499)

...is to blame their shortcomings on Microsoft. It HAS to be their fault.

Re:Who knows. The important thing.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143528)

Yep. As the judge pointed out, it IS their fault.

Other languages (0, Redundant)

RDW (41497) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143341)

Anyone know of any projects to compile JVM bytecode from other languages?
[tu-berlin.de]
One or two...

a lot (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143344)


see http://grunge.cs.tu-berlin.de/~tolk/vmlanguages.ht ml

That's a joke, right? (1)

Curt Cox (199406) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143346)

Anyone know of any projects to compile JVM bytecode from other languages? [tu-berlin.de]

Other languages which use the JVM (-1, Redundant)

turgid (580780) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143347)

He asks if anyone knows of any other languages that compile down to Java byte code (i.e. run on the JVM). Here's a list of 160 implementations of various languages [tu-berlin.de] for starters. Google rules.

Ada (3, Funny)

mgaiman (151782) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143349)

Ada has a bytecode generator. See here [adahome.com]

So does that mean that my forced ada classes [gwu.edu] in college were useful?

Re:Ada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143480)

So does that mean that my forced ada classes in college were useful?

Nope, sorry.

Re: Ada (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143481)


> So does that mean that my forced ada classes in college were useful?

Did it make a better programmer out of you?

Re:Ada (1)

Captain Rotundo (165816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143514)

I loved those Ada classes at GW. Prof. Feldman almost turned me into an Ada lover! But alas I haven't even seen a line of Ada since I left GW. Talk about dodging a bullet, I'd probably prefer to take up self-mutilation instead at this point.

Re:Ada (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143545)

A little more rescent link on JGNAT...

ftp://cs.nyu.edu/pub/gnat/jgnat

Programming Languages for the Java Virtual Machine (0, Redundant)

Augusto (12068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143351)

Anyone know of any projects to compile JVM bytecode from other languages?"

Yes, there's a bunch.

Programming Languages for the Java Virtual Machine [tu-berlin.de]

Jython (5, Informative)

russianspy (523929) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143358)

www.jython.org [jython.org]

Allows to write programs in python and compile into java bytecode. Access to awt for sure. I think there is also a port where you can write Tkinter applications in jython as well.

Finally.... (1)

Yoda2 (522522) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143365)

I've been waiting 10 minutes to make my stupid comment...

If only APL [acm.org] could compile to Java ByteCode.....people still wouldn't use it.

Re:Finally.... (1)

Ark42 (522144) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143432)

Don't you need a special keyboard to program in APL? Or at least a bunch of stickers or a cheatsheet to do mapping to all the symbols it uses.

Geez... (1, Funny)

mschoolbus (627182) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143369)

I thought for a second /. was just gonna repost the story anyways and just let us write our comments in that one instead...

Microsoft Appeal (2, Informative)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143371)

It's been . [msnbc.com]

Re:Microsoft Appeal (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143402)

Damn - shoulda used preview.

Link [msnbc.com]

Ada 95 to Java bytecodes (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143373)

http://www.appletmagic.com/

The Future of Java? Even Brighter!! (3, Interesting)

smd4985 (203677) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143374)

I like the article, and I think it is easy to see that Java is going to continue to be a force.

On the server side it has always been a great solution (great for building complex applications, no performance degradation with 'backend' code, and very stable and safe).

On the client side, the MS/Sun ruling will be a huge boon to the applications side - of course developers will start building client side apps! "If the JVM is there, they will come" :) Sure Swing is a little sluggish, but when everyone is running a p4 2GHz, it really doesn't matter....

Re:The Future of Java? Even Brighter!! (2, Interesting)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143428)

Sure Swing is a little sluggish, but when everyone is running a p4 2GHz, it really doesn't matter....


At the rate of PC sales, I think it's gong to be quite some time before that happens.

Re:The Future of Java? Even Brighter!! (5, Informative)

mooZENDog (567187) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143513)

I agree completely with your comments on the future of Java as a server side solution. JSP, servlets, and J2EE are all fantastic.

Sure Swing is a little sluggish, but when everyone is running a p4 2GHz, it really doesn't matter....

But it does matter, if other programming languages still run relatively faster than Java. I agree that it's not as clunky as it was a few years ago though... *shudder*

Two things I feel you've left out are:
1 - The embedded systems market. When I was at Uni this was being touted as the next best thing. I don't have any real statistics for you, but I'm sure Java is doing well in this field.
2 - The mobile phone market. Pretty similar to my first point, the KVM (Kilobyte VM - a cut-down version of JVM) and related APIs in J2ME are a big player in the mobile phone business. The company I work for is developing mobile phone games, and Java has got the support of the handset manufacturers, which will give it superiority over other technologies that havn't had as good an uptake.

Google Search (4, Informative)

jaaron (551839) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143377)

Well now that I can finally post...

Here's [tu-berlin.de] a nice list of languages that work within the Java VM. I'd like to point out that its a very long list.

Also, Java on the desktop has always had issues. Everytime someone brings up the "future" of java, they tend to forget that Java's current strength is on the server side where the average user doesn't see it and doesn't know about it. Java's competition is .Net, PHP, and Python (Zope) on the server.

Cross-platform drivers? (1)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143527)

Neat stuff in that list. For example, Jasmine takes assembler and converts it to Java assembler.

Linux in a JVM, anyone? Slow, but the thought of running Linux on anything that can interperet Java bytecode appeals to me. It might lead to another alternative for running Linux under Windows (aside from loadlin, VMWare, and Cygwin.), or even under platforms that VMWare hasn't been ported to yet. (Like...IA64? Alpha?)

GCC? (2, Interesting)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143379)

Wasn't there work a while back that would allow you to mix and match gcc language modules with target architecture modules? What ever happened to that?

Jython compiles Python to Java bytecode (1)

.tom. (25103) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143380)


http://www.jython.org/docs/whatis.html

and it is not the only one...

http://grunge.cs.tu-berlin.de/~tolk/vmlanguages. ht ml

Language popularity ranking (4, Informative)

utahjazz (177190) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143382)

The Salon article has a link to a Language popularity study [tiobe.com] , which points out Java is the most popular, but C# is the fastest growing.

I find it more fascinating that Perl is growing faster than PHP. I dig Perl, but I keep thinking I need to get on this PHP bandwagon. Apparently, it's not much of a bandwagon.

Re:Language popularity ranking (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143520)

"The Salon article has a link to a Language popularity study, which points out Java is the most popular, but C# is the fastest growing."

FWIW, I survey my CS students at the first of every semester re what languages they program in, and no one has *ever* raised their hand when I asked about C#. I would guess that I've polled 500-600 students by now.

C++ and Java are the big winners, though over half still report programming in C as well.

Some thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143384)

Every month, TIOBE Software, a Dutch company that makes developer tools, publishes a survey of the most popular programming languages in use. The company uses Google to approximate the number of engineers who are expert in the language, the availability of courses taught in it, and how many companies sell software using the language.
How do they do that, given that Google throws out punctuation characters like "++" and "#"?

de Icaza disputes such claims. "There's a lot of crack being smoked," he said. "I'm going to tell you what it is -- there are very very very hard parts in .Net, extremely hard parts to do, and those are the things that got standardized. The binary file formats for .Net applications, that got standardized. Everything else that was easy didn't get standardized, but the important parts did."
So where's the standard for the System.Windows.Forms namespace? Can't see any apps being written that'll work cross-platform until that happens.

Yeah, that crappy OSS junkware strikes again (-1, Offtopic)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143385)

>> although KDE3's stupid mouseover-activates-form-elements user interface, now finally fixed in the latest versions, has to take some blame too

What's that about the poor craftsman who blames his tools?

Re:Yeah, that crappy OSS junkware strikes again (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143495)

What's that about "if all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail?"

A good craftsman uses good tools so he doesn't need to blame them.

Java? Future? (5, Interesting)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143387)

This really perterbs me. Java's future wasn't in question when MS refused to put the JVM into the OS. Java has been successful in the IT industry THROUGH the major drought the IT industry has had.

I work as a J2EE consultant (and consulting has taken the brunt of the recession in the IT industry) and my job has not been in danger at all. J2EE is still one of the choice languages for large, complex, dynamic websites.

Most people that think its in question either do a "I haven't seen an applet/swing app in a while, so Java must be dying", or a "I heard about java in the past, but not recently so it must be dying". This is almost as sad as the "*BSD is dying troll"


I also have one side note about my sig. For those that haven't tried to comment in when the story was posted, it was posted as a new 'friends only' post for a good 20 minutes (and note, michael has no friends marked, so no one could post). This just adds to my frustration that slashdot is immature when it comes to its software lifecycle. Where's the testing build (or testing at all, for that matter)? Where's the notification when changes are coming? Shouldn't the audience know when new features are added (so at least we can test them, or can be on the watchout for bugs)?

Re:Java? Future? (0)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143447)

This was supposed to be a reply to a troll, not to the article as a whole. Wonder what happened there?

Who wants multiple languages? (3, Insightful)

HaiLHaiL (250648) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143388)

Although there are many other languages which can compile into Java bytecode (as several posters have pointed out), who would want to use multiple languages in an organization?

I mean, imagine managing a project in 5 different languages. It creates major HR and logistical issues. COBOL.NET? Gimme a break.

Re:Who wants multiple languages? (1, Informative)

jgerman (106518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143490)

Who? Real coders who realize that the best solution is to use the right tool for the job. It creates no HR or logistical issues, much less major ones.

Languages that compile to Java bytecode. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143390)

Got one word for you.

jython.

Tons (2, Informative)

Tony.Tang (164961) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143391)

There exist a whole pile of compilers for different languages that compile down to java bytecode.

This page [tu-berlin.de] links to a whole whack of projects.

To give a smattering: Forth, Ruby, Cobol, Eiffel, Prolog, Basic, Lisp, Tcl.

LOTS of languages compile to Java bytecode (3, Informative)

gidds (56397) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143393)

Anyone know of any projects to compile JVM bytecode from other languages?

This page [tu-berlin.de] lists over 150...

The original ruling. (1)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143394)

Here's a link to the original ruling, as obtained from salon.com. Sorry, Acrobat foes, but it's a .pdf. :( http://www.sun.com/lawsuit/sun_v_microsoft_opinion .pdf [sun.com]

I haven't read it yet (I hate Acrobat Reader and can't find an alternative on my Windows PC), but I wonder if the ruling specifies that is has to be a Sun Java VM. I mean, all the evidence points to Microsoft's Java VM (even sans "extensions") was faster and more stable than Sun's. Would a VM that conformed to the 1.4 API but written by Microsoft be allowable? What about other 3rd party VMs? They're usually superior to Sun's as well.

Acrobat alternative (1)

auntfloyd (18527) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143485)

(I hate Acrobat Reader and can't find an alternative on my Windows PC)

When I have to use Windows, I like to use GSView [wisc.edu] , a GUI viewing application that works with Ghostscript [wisc.edu] . Opens both PDF and PostScript documents.

Re:The original ruling. (1)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143548)

It's hard to say... you would think that anyone who conforms to a standard woulddn't have a problem with interoparability, standarsd, or anything else.

I think I remember a similar discussion about JBoss and not being certified as J2EE compliant.

A duck (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143395)

Lets see.....

Java c syntax
C# c syntax

Java VM byte code that gets compiled and executed on the fly .NET VM IL code that gets compiled and executed executed on the fly

Java single inheritance model
C# single inheritance model

Java interfaces
C# interfaces

Ahh.... If it walks like a duck, quakes like a duck and tastes like a duck, then it is a DUCK!

These arguments that .NET allows "other" languages, is pure BS. Does .NET allow IL like C++? NOPE! But so long as the language behaves like C# everything possible. Well gee DUH! The same goes in the Java world.

I like C# and I like Java, but lets leave it that they are the same darn thing! Except one was created to compete against the other!

Re:A duck (1)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143501)

I remember this argument when I was talking to an MS employee before .NET was so widely available. He would say I could write Perl, PHP, Java, C, C++, I could write anything I wanted and .NET - a new paradigm - would solve all my problems.

My response: Heh.

Re:A duck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143510)

>>Ahh.... If it walks like a duck, quakes like a duck and tastes like a duck, then it is a DUCK!
And, therefore....
SHE'S A WITCH! BURN HER!!!

Re:A duck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143525)

Does .NET allow IL like C++?

VS.NET 2003 does...

Othere JVM Langs (1)

djKing (1970) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143396)

Languages Using JVM [umn.edu] covers :
  • Scripting Languages for Java
  • Interactive Languages
  • Non-interactive Languages
The google search JVM languages [google.ca] turned up a ton of stuff. Jython [jython.org] seems to be the most popular scripting lang for the JVM. -Peace

I'm so pissed off (-1, Offtopic)

TerryAtWork (598364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143397)

After waiting for 45 minutes to make my comment, that I can't even rememebr what it is now.

Re:I'm so pissed off (1, Funny)

Malc (1751) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143430)

Maybe they were giving us time to read the links? That would be a shocker for most /.'ers though, reading the story before posting!.

Apple Cocoa (4, Informative)

MouseR (3264) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143399)

Apple's Cocoa framework, based on Objective-C, has all been exposed to Java.

Both languages share so much of the same concepts that both languages can call in each other, allowing a project to be composed of both Obj-C and java.

Given Apple's recent extensions to Obj-C, the so-called Objective-C++, you can actually mix C, C++ and Obj-C source code in the same file and interchangeably make cals to and from C++ classes and obj-C classes. Then, calling Java is nearly as trivial.

These changes are finding their way back into the GCC compiler, which is the standard compiler for the Project builder environment.

Doh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143401)

Why is it illegal to bundle IE with Windows but they are required to bundle Java with it?

Its like telling Ford to ship Mercedes parts with their cars.

Sun is just to stupid to run a business - Java isnt a Standard like C# is.

Java is NOT in danger, sun is. (3, Interesting)

zaqattack911 (532040) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143403)

I think it is important to make this distinction. Don't fall victim to Salon's BS. Granted they have a talented team, and they are good writers. But so help me I am sick an tired of their political twist on everything, and their constantly playing devils advocate on every topic. The more leftist they get.. the more they alienate many of their readers.

Heh.. ok now that my rant is over...
What if Sun goes under? This could be a good thing. What if the java platform became GPL ? I think this is an important distinction to make.

Perhaps the only thing holding back the Java platform is sun holding onto it.

I have nothing to say about .NET :)

--noodles

Sun has $5 billion and minor debt (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143500)

Sun has $5 billion cash in the bank and has very low debt. How exactly is it "going to go under"? their stock is at pre-internet hype levels, but then again, so is everyone else's.

Jython (5, Informative)

dbarry (458863) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143405)

Anyone know of any projects to compile JVM bytecode from other languages?

Jython [jython.org]
# Dynamic compilation to Java bytecodes - leads to highest possible performance without sacrificing interactivity.
# Ability to extend existing Java classes in Jython - allows effective use of abstract classes.
# Optional static compilation - allows creation of applets, servlets, beans, ...
# Bean Properties - make use of Java packages much easier.
# Python Language - combines remarkable power with very clear syntax. It also supports a full object-oriented programming model which makes it a natural fit for Java's OO design.

This is too bad (1)

Achmed Swaribabu (642441) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143407)

Programming languages are like tools. You use the proper tool for the proper job. Trying to make a one size fits all language seem to me like a great marketing strategy but for the real programmers we know better.

Java work well for many things but I don't fall for marketing material when it comes to putting the food on my table, I use the best scientific information I have.

C# PWNS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143414)

Java is on its death bed. Pull the plug already.

I Think... (4, Funny)

FireChipmunk (447917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143415)

I Think Sun are really a huge problem
I Think Garbage Collections are too much on my mind
I Think dumps have got a lot to do with why the world sucks
But what can you do?

Like a red rain, beating down on me
Like a Linus line, which won't let go of my brain
Like C#'s ass, it is in my head
Blame it on java
Blame it on java
Blame it on java

I Think slows are gonna drive us all crazy
And write once, run anywheres make me feel like a child
I Think crapyness will eventually be the downfall of civilization
But what can you do? I said what can you do?

Like a red rain, beating down on me
Like a Linus line, which won't let go of my brain
Like C#'s ass, it is in my head
Blame it on java
Blame it on java
Blame it on java

Like a red rain, beating down on me
Like C#'s smile, cruel and cold
Like Linus's ass, it is in my head
Blame it on java
Blame it on java
Blame it on java

OSDN Moves to Acquire Goatse.cx! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143424)

I'm posting this anonymously for reasons which will soon become obvious.

I work for OSDN, in an undisclosed position. Yesterday, I recieved the following memo in my Inbox in Outlook Express:


From: "Larry Augustin"
To: "Company - all"
Subject: Acquisition of latest OSDN holding

As you may be aware, our stock certificates are now unfit to even wipe our own asses in the restrooms. However, soon this will all change with our latest opensource acquisition. This is such a revolutionary paradigm shift that we have decided to coin a new term for it: "WideOpensource". The following letter was recently sent to the management of our prospect:

From: "Larry Augustin"
To: contrib@goatse.cx
Subject: Open source business opportunity

Mr. Levine,

We at OSDN are continually looking to expand our growing network of opensource-related web real estate. Through intense analysis of comment traffic on our premier site, SlashDot.org, we have determined that your site holds considerable value to the community at large. As recent IDC surveys have shown, your site is one of the 10 most popular on the Internet. That, combined with its decidedly opensource bent, makes it a prime target for OSDN banner ads, our flagship product. We would like to acquire your site and employ you as a member of our OSDN team. Please consider this carefully, you aren't likely to see an opportunity like this every day!

Love,
Larry

The delay was actually A Good Thing (1)

swordboy (472941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143425)

I think that processors were too slow for widespread adoption of some killer apps. MS killing it for a few years was a great thing for Java. Now, I can program my multi-platform apps to my heart's content and not have to worry about run-time load speeds (well... for dial-up...).

Interesting future indeed.. (4, Insightful)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143429)

when you think about it, MS is really trying to kill java... and in more ways than just the JVM stuff. If you ever visit the MSDN, you might see many items for converting your java code to C#, reasons to use C#.

Take away the business side, what are the advantages of using java versus C#? Looking at Mono it seems to marry both technologies -- correct me if I'm wrong, but they want to compile both.

MS Appealing the decision (1)

Masem (1171) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143431)

Not worth the effort for a whole new story, but MS is appealling the judge's decision in the MS vs Sun case, reported by Cnet [com.com] . MS claims that the injuction (Remember, the case has yet to be settled; the judge, though, deemed that Sun may be victorious in the case, and thus ordered the inclusion of Java as part of the injunction for Sun) would "inflict serious harm" in the various Windows products it would need to include Java in.

Mumps to JVM (1)

goodday (644125) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143435)

Anyone making a Mumps conversion system could do good business.

Re:Mumps to JVM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143506)

Bugger Mumps, I want to see someone port Mugwumps!

The Myth of the Demand for Multiple Languages (1)

smack.addict (116174) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143437)

In reality, most OO languages or languages that can support an OO paradigm can be compiled into JVM byte code. Several projects support that notion. I know, for example, that Python can be compiled to JVM byte code.

You do not, however, see a lot of demand for this. The reason is simple. Organizations do not want the complexity of managing dozens of programming languages. Ideally, they would like to hire only Java or only C# developers and have those developers be able to manage all of their code.

In the real world, of course, companies have an existing investment in multiple languages. They have old COBOL, VB, C++, C, etc. systems to maintain. This fact is used by the C# crowd as an argument for the need for a multi-language VM (which Java is in spite of their arguments to the contrary). In reality, however, it would be foolish to take a working, monolithic COBOL system and stick it in a .NET runtime environment. That's a lot of work for little benefit.

It is a much better design practice to build a facade around that system and enable interaction through that facade. When people do this, they do not end up "throwing out their investment" as Miguel suggests. They instead empower themselves to retain the investment as long as it makes sense and replace it it makes sense.

In other words, I am saying that, all else being equal, even for .NET people support for multiple languages will prove to be a non-feature. If it were, people would be using that feature of the Java platform. I know that .NET advocates make the claim that .NET bytecode better supports multiple languages. It is true that it is marginally better. Nevertheless, it still carries a bias towards C#. In other words, languages a lot like C# will be supported easily and languages much unlike C# will be harder.

Re:The Myth of the Demand for Multiple Languages (1)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143478)

It's true... managers aren't interested in all the fancy technical feets that can be accomplished. The bottom line is they want to make money, and certain buzz words will move them towards different technologies. Java, .NET, both buzzwords. My guess is that a lack of knowledge in both will yield a 'who cares, just do the work' attitude. If they have a background in one, they will probably be slanted in that direction.

Java Stays Alive Despite MS (5, Interesting)

Spencerian (465343) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143446)

It's never been too late for Java, any more than its too late for other less popular but powerful languages. Just because Perl is around doesn't make TK, or AppleScript, or Python any less useful, for instance.

I've found that Java is great for complex applications that need cross-platform ability when programmers can't spend too much time in making that compatibility happen. Mac OS X is among the strongest Java clients around, and it shows every time I download a raw JAR and just use it. YMMV, but Java has a lot of warmth left in its cup, and, if other platforms aside from MS continue to support, we'll all get free refills.

(Sorry for the many metaphors. Haven't had my cup of coffee this morning--ack, I did it again...)

Java should be alive. (1)

Captain Rotundo (165816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143448)

I personally think (and that probably isn't worth much since I've written some Java, and no C#) that java is the key to keeping .Net in check. I haven't seen any compelling reasons why .net is supperior to java, even the supposed multi-language feature has been contested. I also see no reason to believe that any non-MS version of .net will be able to keep up, or that MS will bother to let .net flurish on any non-MS OS. Since I don't run a microsoft OS this bothers me. I don't want to see all this developement go towards a platform I will never be able to fully take advantage of.

Java works now. What we need is an open standard for java, with robust open implementations. Right now I think the only stumbling block for java is the lack of non-proprietary software to run and/or develope it. While some of the free implementations are very nice they still aren't able to keep up. Sun should really be pushing to make thier java implementation 'free' enough to become a major component of free systems, otherwise in a few years they'll be protecting and holding on to java while everyone else moved on to microsofts product.

Re:Java should be alive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143546)

I haven't seen any compelling reasons why .net is supperior to java,
.NET doesn't have Swing.

Java applications I've SEEN are unimpressive... (1, Informative)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143449)

We have an OEM who delivers certain applications to us that are developed in Java. These are ordinary-looking, double-clickable Windows and Mac applications. What can I say? There's nothing TERRIBLY wrong with them, but they're slow to start up, clunky-feeling, sometimes don't refresh the screen properly, have various minor UI inconsistencies with the underlying platform, and so on. They simply do not look or feel like first-class native applications.

Yes, yes, yes, I know that theoretically these problems could all be solved, and that no doubt it's because they're not using version the latest version X.0165 of Java GUI technology flavor Y... and it's all Microsoft's fault... and so forth... ...but, still, in practice the actual cross-platform Java applications I've seen are very unimpressive and are not good advertisements for Java as a cross-platform GUI development methodology.

And I still experience a feeling of dread whenever I go to a web page and see "Applet loading..."

My preference (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143454)

Comments were disallowed when this story was originally posted; fixed now. My mistake (although KDE3's stupid mouseover-activates-form-elements user interface, now finally fixed in the latest versions, has to take some blame too).

Just what a liberal is suppose to do, blame someone/something else.

Java developer (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143459)

Our company is just about to start a big customer project and because the target system is Windows and there certain needs we were thinking to go for C#, but due to recent ruling and our own test we decided to pick Java. That makes me SO happy.
I know there are quite many companies how are just starting to accept Java as THE programming language.

perspective from a CS student (3, Interesting)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143462)

My first two programming classes were in Java. I really think we would have had more fun learning the same concepts in Python. The thing that I've come to love the most about Python is that it doesn't force you to build an entire class just to test a feature. It's a great language to encourage CS students do their own experimenting with.

I'm personally ambivalent to Java. I like it for some things, but the only real reason I want to learn it is because so many use it. I just recently discovered wxPython and think it's probably easier for me than Swing or AWT.

The best thing that could come from Java for development as a whole IMO is Javadoc. If that tool were extended to support C++, C#, VB.NET, Python, PERL, etc it would make everyone's lives easier. Seriously, has anyone seen better documentation than Sun's Javadocs from something so big and complex as Java's libraries?

I'm really excited about Mono because I really like VB.NET and C#. I think the ability to use any language you want with the same libraries is a very important strength that .NET has over Java. I know there are other languages that __can__ targe the JVM, but Sun doesn't exactly seem to be pushing that. I'll never understand why though. Java could be made into their platform's equivalent of C# and they could develop their own clone of VB for Java. Hmmmm VB-J? It'd be great if they'd build VB and ObjectPascal compilers that target the JVM.

Man, I am soooo tired of Miguel and his ego! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143463)

But de Icaza disputes such claims. "There's a lot of crack being smoked," he said. "I'm going to tell you what it is -- there are very very very hard parts in .Net, extremely hard parts to do, and those are the things that got standardized. The binary file formats for .Net applications, that got standardized. Everything else that was easy didn't get standardized, but the important parts did."

Please tell us miguel how *easy* it is to port Windows Forms to wine (which is floundering) or how *easy* it is to port all of the web services/ado.net/crystalreports/asp.net/everything _everyone_is_doing_with_.net to Mono? Time to face the music, Mono/.NET will never be a cross-platform solution unless the application developer chooses to cripple/contort herself and her code.

And when Microsoft comes down like a ton of bricks with all the patents on _NON_ECMA_ stuff you guys are doing then what will you do? How hard will it be to explain to all Ximian's customers that the next great version of Evolution will be delayed because Ximian put in a bunch of ADO.NET cruft and now has to rip it out because Microsoft wields the patent club against an Outlook competitor.

Now multiply this scenario by the size of Miguel's ego and you might begin to understand what a catastrophe this could be for FOSS. Miguel is a _weasel_ and he is star struck with Microsoft and hell bent on duplicating all the API's (for god knows what reason).

It is time for the Free Software company to recognize miguel for what he is ... a slimy underhanded guy who would like nothing better than to get desktop linux addicted to these non-ecma Microsoft API's with the irrational belief that Microsoft won't hurt him cuz he has befriended the MS.NET developers.

Re:Man, I am soooo tired of Miguel and his ego! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143521)

"It is time for the Free Software company "

You mean Ximian? Ximian isn't the only free software company you know...

I agree with the rest though. Mono is a plague and this will have consequences in the future. At least we'll have the 'I told you so' :-)

Developers aren't boneheads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143464)

Page 2 of the Salon article:

DeMichillie (ex-Microsoft) says Microsoft warned which APIs in their implementation were Windows specific

The Thomas Reardon quotes suggests that he thought that Microsoft could sneak in Win-specific APIs, and developers would use them without realizing.

IMHO both are insulting to developers. We are not such boneheads that we don't even know what APIs we are using!

There are probably lots of reasons why Java hasn't been has been successful as it could have been. But the suggestion that developers are too stupid to know which APIs they are using ain't one of them.

Universities (5, Interesting)

SnAzBaZ (572456) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143472)

I think Java's future can only get better, not because of the recent ruling against Microsoft - which to be honest I don't think is all that important. Rather, the fact that all the universities (at least over here in the UK) seem to be adopting Java as their main language for Computer Science and related courses. It won't be long before a whole generation of enthusiastic Java coders emerges.

Another issue is that as linux becomes more widely used, code that can easily be run on multiple os's becomes far more valuable. And developers may turn to Java for this reason, especially with all the cheap, fast, hardware we're all running nowadays where speed and efficiency arn't as important as they used to be in many situations.

lots (0)

Kubla Khan (36312) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143476)

Tcl
Lisp
Scheme
Basic
Prolog
Smalltalk
cobol
ada
c

For Starters

see here [tu-berlin.de]

On top of which you have gjc which allows native compilation on linux (they have eclipse running on it now).

Personally i think mono is a needless duplication of effort whose only real benificiary is microsoft. If the mono effort was aimed at the existing open source jvm's it would be a real kick in the teeth for microsoft.

Interpreted languages and .NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143479)

Before someone starts talking about .net, it should be noted it is not suited for interpreted languages (see the attempt to port python to it), and several "compiled" languages can't adapt to it. Java, OTOH, makes things clear for languages trying to compile to it.

couple of comments on that article (2, Informative)

znaps (470170) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143486)

They failed to mention the biggest advantage to using Java - a company can develop a front to back end solution completely using Java. Admittedly, this should be achievable using C# now, but I think this is what companies are interested in rather than any cross platform abilities of the code.

Also, it always irritates me when they ask only the most biased people imaginable whether such-and-such a technology is going to survive. It's like asking the Pope and the Ayatollah which is the best religion...and leaves us no clearer as to what is really going to happen...

Don't see how it will make a difference (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143487)

Just because it didn't ship with windows doesn't mean it didnt exist, or wasnt easily installable if one wanted or needed it.

I mean shockwave and adobe acrobat reader dont ship with windows but they wind up on virtually everyones machine. (I know this is apples and oranges, but for the sake of my argument it's good enough that it's all fruit).

If there were Java applications that I wanted, I'd install the JVM. Heck, bundle the JVM with the app's installer or in the case of an applet, stick a little 'click here to install java' link in.

So whats the difference? Has the java community been sitting on their hands doing nothing, waiting until the JVM ships with windows? Is there a shipload of software waiting in the wings just waiting for the updated XP disks to ship?

Or does Suns implementation just stink on ice and we needed to mandate that MSFT come in and 'get it right'? (This is a deliberately absurd rhetorical question, not flamebate)

I really see no signifigance to this at all. How java gets onto the machines is irrelevant, it's how much developer mindshare the language recieves that will decide it's level of success.

perljvm (2, Interesting)

tommck (69750) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143494)

Brad Kuhn's project, perljvm has been around for a long time. (Yes, that [fsf.org] Brad Kuhn [ebb.org] )


And, coincidentally, I went to college with him, so I have to give him a plug :-)

T

This appears to be recycled Sun press releases... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5143498)

...with no mention of the technical merits of .NET versus Java.

Why did anyone even *post* a link to Salon on a technical subject, for heaven's sake? Desperate for a java feelgood session?

Posted anonymously so I can use my karma as a FORCE FOR GOOD!

Two languages that use the JVM bytecode (3, Insightful)

cwills (200262) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143503)

Well, not quite two (1 1/2 maybe :)

NetRexx "compiles" down to java bytecode, but it does it by compiling into java first. NetRexx allows you to use any Java class.

NetRexx was developed by the IBMer who developed the Rexx programming language. It has a fairly easy syntax, provides some very powerful/easy to use string parsing facilities.

You can pick up a copy of NetRexx (available for download from http://www2.hursley.ibm.com/netrexx/)

The other language is Jcon which does compile directly to the javabyte code. Jcon is a "Java" implementation of the Icon Programming Language.

To quote the website: Icon is a high-level, general-purpose programming language with a large repertoire of features for processing data structures and character strings. Icon is an imperative, procedural language with a syntax reminiscent of C and Pascal, but with semantics at a much higher level.

If you poke around deep enough in the history of Perl, you will find references back to Icon.

Details of Jcon (and download) can be found at the Icon home page at http://www.cs.arizona.edu/icon then follow the link to Java-based "Jcon".

dotGNU! (1)

Lysol (11150) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143509)

It has facilities in its IL compiler to spit out jvm bytecode.

Quote from this [gnu.org] link: Oct 02-10-2002: Java Bytecode Output for Portable.Net

Sylvain Pasche has fixed up the Portable.Net assembler to generate the correct java bytecode. Now the C# compiler sports a nice JVM output backend. The results become really interesting when the whole pnetlib can be compiled into JVM code. Read full details here.


And, from what I know of these guys, they will go to all lengths not just to get the M$ stuff working correctly, but *all* supported languages. They're really a smart bunch.

Well, good. (1)

siphoncolder (533004) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143511)

Java is a great language, granted. Very well structured, expandable, lots of good features & functions that even MS had to copy it.

However, the problem with Java is:

Bad business execution. Garbage output performance. Attempting to be too many things to everyone and only managing to do one thing well.

For server-side execution where objects are pooled & recalled for further use in memory, it's great. But no-one, and I mean *NO-ONE*, will ever again attempt to use Java as a serious tool for a serious GUI application.

Java wasn't doomed by having a bad language model. It was doomed by everything else.

outlook for java not so good (1)

g4dget (579145) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143516)

Sun promised to deliver a small cross-platform platform for delivering applications over the web. They promised to have the system standardized through a standards body. They promised to improve numerical performance and compile-time type safety.

What Sun has given us instead is a huge server-side environment. Sun dropped out of standardization efforts twice (you may argue whether their reasons were good, but the fact is they broke their promises). The GUI toolkit and graphics systems (Swing and Java2D) are proprietary to Sun and have no third party or open source equivalents. Sun has implemented almost none of the recommendations of the JavaGrande forum. And Sun's implementation of genericity is not type-safe. And on top of all that, Sun holds patents on some core Java technologies (like the byte-code type checking).

The biggest promise of Java, easy cross-platform GUI development, has been the biggest disappointment as far as I'm concerned. Swing is a pretty neat GUI toolkit on Windows, but on Mac and Linux, it's flaky and unpredictable in my experience. And Sun's lowest-common denominator cross-platform philosophy is seriously flawed in my opinion, putting everybody into a straightjacket. wxWindows's cross-platform approach is much better: wxWindows gives you the lowest common denominator, and then it gives you convenient access to platform-specific features when you want it--that's essential for writing high-quality apps.

As far as I'm concerned, Java has stagnated and become bloated over the last few years. And I don't think Java is a good platform for open source development (since important parts of the platform are not available in open source form).

I think Mono is the best option for open source systems. Microsoft has learned from Sun's mistakes and done a (slightly) better job with language design. And Microsoft isn't afraid to fix the runtime to make things like genericity work right.

And, sad as it is, I think the legal and patent situation is better for C#/CLR than for Java/JVM: yes, like Sun, Microsoft has patents, and unlike Sun, they are even threatening to assert them, but unlike Sun's, those patents seem peripheral and easily worked around.

What's probably going to happen is that IBM takes away the rudder from Sun and pushes a Java platform built entirely around open, non-Sun standards. And projects like Mono will probably offer full Java support pretty soon. So, in some sense, Java is going to survive, but Sun and the Java2 platform will disappear. And, as far as I'm concerned, it won't be missed either.

Java won't die easily, if at all (1)

Ramss Morales (13327) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143523)

Yup, it is sad that to use the Java platform you have to code everything in Java. Yes, it is great that to code for .NET platform implementations, you will be able to work on any language.

But only in Java you'll get true "code once, run everywhere"... yes, I know that M$ standarized the core of .NET, and that you can write your own implementation, BUT, all M$ .NET developers are using .NET to use M$-only technologies, like COM and OLE. And, for example, I'm going to use MONO to write GNOME apps, and I'm sure I'll use CLR apis on MONO that will depend on libraries that are only available on Linux/GNOME (until someone ports them to windows).

My point is that, altough you can write platform independent apps on .NET, no one is going to write platform independent apps on .NET/MONO.

So Java still has one important advantage. And I think that "code once, run everywhere" is usefull in many situations.

.NET is a closed specification (1)

sigmond (88934) | more than 11 years ago | (#5143535)

With apologies to Miguel "Everything else that was easy didn't get standardized, but the important parts did." de Icaza, Microsoft has already demonstrated that they will add and extend API's in the .NET platform that are not part of the public specification. As with Wine the Mono project will _always_ be playing catch up to MSFT. This gives MSFT first mover advantage and should invalidate the claim of .NET's cross platform capabilities.

In contrast the Java Community Process (jcp.org [jcp.org] ) publicly discloses the API specifications for Java Standard Edition, Java 2 Enterprise Edition and Java Micro Edition. Anyone can join [jcp.org] the JCP. Any vendor who ships a product branded with any of these names has access to these open specifications. Any developer who programs to these specifications can deploy to any of these vendors. Thus Java is not only multiplatform it is also multi-vendor and open in a way that the .NET platform will never be.

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