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The "Return" of Java Discussed

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the off-again-on-again-languages dept.

Java 558

An anonymous reader writes "Following on from the marvelous recent James Gosling interview highlighted in Slashdot last week, it would seem that a renewed momentum is building up for his cross-platform creation, if this editorial is anything to go by. It's called 'Java is Back!' But did it ever go anywhere?"

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558 comments

Nothing to see here please move along... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956755)

Why?

Re:Nothing to see here please move along... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956789)

Yes.

I agree with that (-1, Troll)

FractalPenguin (804175) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956756)

"But did it ever go anywhere?" Really. Did it?

Re:I agree with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956758)

Yes. It was shunned by many people who would have used it because it was too slow and lacked nice visual stuff (controls etc). Now PCs are generally faster it's worth looking into again.

False arguments of past not valid (2, Insightful)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956804)

People thought it was going away because of all the stupid people saying 'Oh, c++ is much faster'
when in fact Java uses allot of native code that is actually compiled c code. Its often very fast.

Re:False arguments of past not valid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956844)

There was a time when C++ was considered bloated and slow too. (Even as recently as when Gnome was being started.)

Re:False arguments of past not valid (-1, Offtopic)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956933)

Yeah I prefer KDE to GNOME.
In fact Im thinking of seitching to something like Fluxbox

Re:False arguments of past not valid (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9957025)

People thought it was going away because of all the stupid people saying 'Oh, c++ is much faster' when in fact Java uses allot of native code that is actually compiled c code. Its often very fast.

They're hardly stupid if they're correct. Java being `ofter very fast` doesn't make it faster than C++, especially when the C++ code concerned has been written and optimized for a given CPU whereas Java has to do compilation on the fly.

Re:False arguments of past not valid (0)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957059)

A Java virtual machine IS a c++ program. The comparisons are illogical.

I usually like to make this point 2-3 times when it comes up on slashdot once per month.

Re:I agree with that (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956779)

it goes to my brain every morning. mmmm coffee!

It went to million servers and clients (4, Insightful)

struberg (757804) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956880)

and thats not bad.
Consider, that java is not only the language itself, but also the whole environment!

And thats the real big difference to mono. Java may run on any Computer since 92' till 2050, without need to take care of what Microsoft will change in 2 years.

Re:It went to million servers and clients (4, Interesting)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957046)

"And thats the real big difference to mono. Java may run on any Computer since 92' till 2050, without need to take care of what Microsoft will change in 2 years."

Let me correct you slightly. There is always the need to make changes to adapt to what MS does. Its just that with Java that responsibility falls to the JVM writers and not the application writers.

A windows JVM is just another windows c/c++ program. Many people keep forgetting that.

PLEASE HELP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956761)

URGENT ASSISTANCE - FROM USA
IMMEDIATE ATTENTION NEEDED: HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL
FROM: GEORGE WALKER BUSH 202.456.1414 / 202.456.1111 FAX: 202.456.2461

DEAR SIR / MADAM,

I AM GEORGE WALKER BUSH, SON OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH, AND CURRENTLY SERVING AS
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THIS LETTER MIGHT SURPRISE
YOU BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT MET NEITHER IN PERSON NOR BY CORRESPONDENCE. I
CAME TO KNOW OF YOU IN MY SEARCH FOR A RELIABLE AND REPUTABLE PERSON TO
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ENGAGED IN THE EXTRACTION OF PETROLEUM IN THE UNITED STATES OF
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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY.IN THE DECADE OF THE NINETEEN-EIGHTIES, MY
FATHER, THEN VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, SOUGHT TO
WORK WITH THE GOOD OFFICES OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ TO
REGAIN LOST OIL REVENUE SOURCES IN THE NEIGHBORING ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF
IRAN. THIS UNSUCCESSFUL VENTURE WAS SOON FOLLOWED BY A FALLING-OUT WITH
HIS IRAQI PARTNER, WHO SOUGHT TO ACQUIRE ADDITIONAL OIL REVENUE SOURCES
IN THE NEIGHBORING EMIRATE OF KUWAIT, A WHOLLY-OWNED U.S.-BRITISH
SUBSIDIARY.

MY FATHER RE-SECURED THE PETROLEUM ASSETS OF KUWAIT IN 1991 AT A COST OF
SIXTY-ONE BILLION U.S. DOLLARS ($61,000,000,000). OUT OF THAT
COST,THIRTY-SIX BILLION DOLLARS ($36,000,000,000) WERE SUPPLIED BY HIS
PARTNERS IN THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA AND OTHER PERSIAN GULF
MONARCHIES, AND SIXTEEN BILLION DOLLARS ($16,000,000,000) BY GERMAN AND
JAPANESE PARTNERS. BUT MY FATHER'S FORMER IRAQI BUSINESS PARTNER
REMAINED IN CONTROL OF THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ AND ITS PETROLEUM RESERVES.

MY FAMILY IS CALLING FOR YOUR URGENT ASSISTANCE IN FUNDING THE REMOVAL
OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ AND ACQUIRING THE PETROLEUM
ASSETS OF HIS COUNTRY, AS COMPENSATION FOR THE COSTS OF REMOVING HIM
FROM POWER. UNFORTUNATELY, OUR PARTNERS FROM 1991 ARE NOT WILLING TO
SHOULDER THE BURDEN OF THIS NEW VENTURE, WHICH IN ITS UPCOMING PHASE MAY
COST THE SUM OF 100 BILLION TO 200 BILLION DOLLARS ($100,000,000,000
-$200,000,000,000), BOTH IN THE INITIAL ACQUISITION AND IN LONG-TERM
MANAGEMENT. WITHOUT THE FUNDS FROM OUR 1991 PARTNERS, WE WOULD NOT BE
ABLE TO ACQUIRE THE OIL REVENUE TRAPPED WITHIN IRAQ. THAT IS WHY MY
FAMILY AND OUR COLLEAGUES ARE URGENTLY SEEKING YOUR GRACIOUS
ASSISTANCE. OUR DISTINGUISHED COLLEAGUES IN THIS BUSINESS TRANSACTION
INCLUDE THE SITTING VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
RICHARD CHENEY,WHO IS AN ORIGINAL PARTNER IN THE IRAQ VENTURE AND FORMER
HEAD OF THE HALLIBURTON OIL COMPANY, AND CONDOLEEZA RICE, WHOSE
PROFESSIONAL DEDICATION TO THE VENTURE WAS DEMONSTRATED IN THE NAMING OF
A CHEVRON OIL TANKER AFTER HER. I WOULD BESEECH YOU TO TRANSFER A SUM
EQUALING TEN TO TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT (10-25 %) OF YOUR YEARLY INCOME TO
OUR ACCOUNT TO AID IN THIS IMPORTANT VENTURE. THE INTERNAL REVENUE
SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WILL FUNCTION AS OUR TRUSTED
INTERMEDIARY. I PROPOSE THAT YOU MAKE THIS TRANSFER BEFORE THE FIFTEENTH
(15TH) OF THE MONTH OF APRIL. I KNOW THAT A TRANSACTION OF THIS
MAGNITUDE WOULD MAKE ANYONE APPREHENSIVE AND WORRIED. BUT I AM ASSURING
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NOT BE REGRETTED, I ASSURE YOU. PLEASE DO BE INFORMED THAT THIS BUSINESS
TRANSACTION IS 100% LEGAL. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO CO-OPERATE IN THIS
TRANSACTION,PLEASE CONTACT OUR INTERMEDIARY REPRESENTATIVES TO FURTHER
DISCUSS THE MATTER. I PRAY THAT YOU UNDERSTAND OUR PLIGHT. MY FAMILY
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PLEASE REPLY IN STRICT CONFIDENCE TO THE CONTACT NUMBERS
BELOW.

SINCERELY WITH WARM REGARDS, GEORGE WALKER BUSH

like a turtle (-1, Flamebait)

Arngautr (745196) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956765)

It might have left, but if you've ever watched a turtle you know they can wander off without you noticing because you got bored watching said turtle try to run.

Re:like a turtle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956932)

Huh, Turtle? I thought that was Logo...

Re:like a turtle (2, Insightful)

Donoho (788900) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956976)

got bored watching

Microsoft is a master at switching enough labels to "keep things interesting". New bells and whistles to hold your attention. (I'm a sucker for a pretty interface) Kind of makes it seem like Java isn't moving at all. Java never left and it's not going to "die". It is a young language that has survived and grown on its own merits and not through billions in marketing hype and R&D and despite it's creaters over protectiveness. It's just getting started.

Either the tool you're using allows you to get the job done or it doesn't. Either the tool improves over time to make your job easier or it doesn't. If you want to see Java thrive, use it.

Re:like a turtle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9957020)

If you want to see Java thrive, use it.

I could care less if it thrived, It seemed to fill a niche when it was created and I've written my share of apps in it but now I find other languages have begun to replace it (J2EE is an exception here as it's not the Java most users have come to know and curse)

There has been some good alternatives (3, Insightful)

after (669640) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956769)

wxWidgets (my favorite) and wx.NET
Mono
Cocoa# and Gtk# (recentely kn /.) .NET

Java is slow, obeist, and heavy.

Re:There has been some good alternatives (4, Insightful)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956799)

But how many companies do you see requiruing wxWidgets experience? Not to knock it as a cross platform development toolkit, but rightly or wrongly it's overlooked by virtually every company I've ever worked at. The exception is my current employer, where it was evaluate along with Qt and Java as a means to write cross platform GUIs. Java won, as C++ proved far too troublesome on a previous project.

.NET is actually a back handed compliment to Java. Java was so good that MicroSoft had to clone it. With Mono now at version 1.0, then perhaps C# is in a position to threaten Javas cross platform crown, although perhaps not without Windows Forms support.

And for anybody who doesn't believe... (3, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956803)

``Java is slow, obeist, and heavy.''

And anybody who doesn't believe this might want to take a look at why kast wasn't written in Java [sourceforge.net] . People have been telling me that I am the only one experiencing these issues, that I simply don't have enough experience, or that I should take a look at modern JVMs - well, here's one example of people who tried Java and were disappointed. The same happened to many LimeWire users. The list goes on.

Re:And for anybody who doesn't believe... (3, Informative)

Coppertone (10332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956811)

Well... but the number 2 most-active project on sourceforge, Azureus BitTorrent client, is written in Java and it looks real good.

If only everyone knows how to write Java properly....

Re:And for anybody who doesn't believe... (1)

after (669640) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956828)

It doesnt "look" good at all. I don't know why someone would say that. The GUI is poorly _emulated_ and does not even use the complete Win32 GUI subset, instead creates it's own litle API that you can apply themese to.

Sorry, but Azureus is pretty slow. Just try resizing it and look at all the GUI inconsistencies.

Stop moaning sweetheart (0, Flamebait)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957076)

It doesnt "look" good at all
Let the Flamebaiting begin:
Azureus is cool. What are you using Windows? You desserve what you get if you complain about it and you use Windows....You certainly sound like a Windows XP user or something. Java has its own original look and feel that is difficult for Windows buffs to accept. If you are clever you will focus on how it works not how it looks.

Re:And for anybody who doesn't believe... (0)

downbad (793562) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957085)

activity != popularity

Re:And for anybody who doesn't believe... (5, Interesting)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956824)

java applications are difficult to install - many users do not already have a copy of the java virtual machine installed on their machine. For these users, installing a java application means downloading and installing the java runtime, which is quite large and can be difficult to configure.

Well, you must be pretty hopeless not to be able to install the Java runtime. Last time I installed it on Windows, it took half a dozen mouse clicks and a couple of minutes tops.

java applications start up slowly - even the smallest java applications can take several seconds to start up, since the virtual machine needs to be loaded first.

I run Java on very low spec embedded PC's, and it's no slouch there. Even if there is a couple of seconds wait at startup, the JIT compiler means a well written app will run without being appreciably slower than a "native" app once the JVM is bootstrapped.

java applications have slow, unresponsive user interfaces--- on slower machines, using java-based user interfaces can be frustrating (resizing the application window can mean taking a coffee break).

That's strange, it must be their inability to code an interface and data models in an efficient manner. I write warehouse control software, where we are dealing with vasts amount of data that must be collated and displayed to the user. Very rarely do we have to resort to doing major grunt work on the server as opposed to doing it in the Java client.

java applications use a lot of memory - on most platforms, the virtual machine itself requires several MiB of memory, even for small applications that use very little memory. For more complicated applications, such as konspire2b, the virtual machine adds a lot of memory overhead. For example, kast currently uses about 1 MiB of memory when it's up and running. konspire 1.0 server (written using java) uses about 12 MiB. The interesting point is that konspire2b is far more complex that konspire 1.0 server (for example, the server portion of konspire 1.0 doesn't even have a user interface).

If this is really an issue for you, then you can tweak the runtimes environment. Yes, Java does requisition a lot of memeory when an untweaked JVM starts up, but the inmpact depends on the machine running the program.

java applications leak memory

This could be rephraed as "bad Java programmers leak memory". I have client-server Java applications that run 24x7 without leaking memory. Perhaps it's because I'm an unsually good Java programmer? Probably not, as I'm just an average one. What I don't do is immediately blame problems on the tools I use until I'm sure it isn't my lack of skill with the tools.

Re:And for anybody who doesn't believe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956862)

Ham? Is that you? Good seeing ya here, but don't misguide people about java based on your limited application of swing interfaces. We both know most of your warehouse is controlled by siemens PLCs, you just use the swing interfaces to send some quick messages to these PLCs.

Re:And for anybody who doesn't believe... (4, Insightful)

groomed (202061) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956980)

Well, you must be pretty hopeless not to be able to install the Java runtime. Last time I installed it on Windows, it took half a dozen mouse clicks and a couple of minutes tops.

Everything is easy when you approach it from the point of view that it doesn't actually have to work.

There are many versions of the Java environment, from different vendors, all with subtly different behaviors and ways of integrating into the environment. Not to mention that the user may be running other Java applications which depend on a particular version of the Java environment, which further complicates matters. This makes it a pain if you want to deliver an application to the user with minimal hassle.

Or, you can just mandate that the user run such-and-such version of the Java enviroment on such-and-such platform, but then you lose a large part of the write-once, run-everywhere appeal.

I run Java on very low spec embedded PC's, and it's no slouch there. Even if there is a couple of seconds wait at startup, the JIT compiler means a well written app will run without being appreciably slower than a "native" app once the JVM is bootstrapped.

Java's "slowness" has at least three components: startup time, garbage collection delays, and the huge footprint which triggers swap activity.

For server applications, none of these matter much. For interactive client applications, these factors conspire to make Java apps look very bad when compared to "native" competitors. The exception here are applications like Eclipse, which you start when you get in from work and don't quit until you're done. But for most other apps, e.g. utility apps which you just want to quickly use and close, or workflows where you switch between multiple apps frequently, Java is just not suited.

Very rarely do we have to resort to doing major grunt work on the server as opposed to doing it in the Java client.

You're missing the point royally. Java isn't slow at doing grunt work. Few people would contest that. But as a platform to write desktop applications, it is a pig. The Swing UI is slow and prone to memory leaks, data interchange facilities are poor (even the clipboard functionality integrates poorly with the surrounding environment), memory requirements are completely uncontrollable.

Yes, Java does requisition a lot of memeory when an untweaked JVM starts up, but the inmpact depends on the machine running the program.

Indeed, and that's why most Java shops pretty much only run one application on their servers.

This could be rephraed as "bad Java programmers leak memory".

The fundamental problem is that you cannot control how memory gets used. For example: the JVM allocates memory from the underlying OS in chunks which it then doles out to your app as necessary. Then at garbage collection time, the memory is reclaimed from your app and returned to the JVM. But then the JVM may or may not ever return this memory to the underlying OS. This means that even if you have a tiny application, when the user opens a mammoth 100MB document just once, the application will continue using 100MB even after the user has closed the document.

Yes, this is sort of tunable through commandline options and other properties, but then only for some versions of some implementations of the JVM. Which brings us back to the first point, that it's a hassle to deliver hassle-free Java applications. It's so troublesome in fact that some programmers choose to simply distribute a JVM along with their apps.

The bottomline is this: Java is a cool language, but it just doesn't play nice with others. It insists on reinventing everything, it insists on abstracting everything, and it insists on total control over the environment. That's fine for in-house apps or web apps, but it limits Java's adoption on the desktop.

And ultimately, I think it condemns Java to a perpetual "behind the scenes" existance, growing ever more baroque appendages in its invisible niche, until its burdensome legacy is swept away by something more open.

Re:And for anybody who doesn't believe... (3, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957010)

the huge footprint which triggers swap activity

Top 4 processes on my XP Pro machine at the moment, according to "Mem Usage" column in Task Manager:

1) JBuilderW.exe at 173,700K
2) mozilla.exe at 84,480K
3) java.exe (JXplorer, an LDAP client app) at 37,252K
4) WINWORD.EXE at 33,636K

So, with the exception of JBuilder (which is very heavyweight, there's no denying), java by no means has a "huge" footprint compared with other typical applications I use. Of course, given that I have a gig of RAM in this machine, and that RAM goes for a little more per 512MB stick than I spend on a typical Saturday night out, it really doesn't matter to me at all. But then, I do server-side stuff in Java, not client side; for that, I'd probably use C#.

Re:And for anybody who doesn't believe... (1)

groomed (202061) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957070)

Of course, given that I have a gig of RAM in this machine, and that RAM goes for a little more per 512MB stick than I spend on a typical Saturday night out, it really doesn't matter to me at all.

It's nice to know you're so well disposed, other than that I fail to see the point of your reply.

Re:And for anybody who doesn't believe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956998)

Good for you. I tried yesterday on a fresh XP SP1, and Sun's JRE 1.4.2 failed.

Re:And for anybody who doesn't believe... (4, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957004)

I am almost at the point that I'll promise not to engage in this discussion again. Ok, one more time:

``Well, you must be pretty hopeless not to be able to install the Java runtime. Last time I installed it on Windows, it took half a dozen mouse clicks and a couple of minutes tops.''

And a 20 MB download that takes dog knows how many megabytes after installation. Also, the whole process will have to be repeated at the next release, as chances are software developed on a newer version won't run on an older one.

``Even if there is a couple of seconds wait at startup, the JIT compiler means a well written app will run without being appreciably slower than a "native" app once the JVM is bootstrapped.''

Most applications don't need a lot of speed once up and running, anyway. Startup time is a huge annoyance, to me anyway. Is it really that hard to save the compiled code, so next time the JIT doesn't have to work again?

``java applications have slow, unresponsive user interfaces--- on slower machines, using java-based user interfaces can be frustrating (resizing the application window can mean taking a coffee break).

That's strange, it must be their inability to code an interface and data models in an efficient manner.''

I don't know about your systems, but on any system I have used in the past years, user interfaces in Java apps are noticeably more sluggish than in native ones. Perhaps this is perceived performance, but arguably it's the perceived performance that matters for user interfaces.

``java applications leak memory

This could be rephraed as "bad Java programmers leak memory".''

Yes, but isn't it symptomatic of defects in the language if many programs written in it leak memory? Besides, isn't Java's garbage collection supposed to take care of things? Personally, I believe that there was an issue with old JVMs (at least on Linux) leaking memory, that has now been solved. At any rate, I think that kast's author is being more bitter than rational when he says things might be better without gc. Gc is a Good Thing, after all, memory allocation and deallocation is excactly the sort of task that machines are good at and humans are not. It can even speed up programs under some circumstances.

Re:And for anybody who doesn't believe... (5, Interesting)

mcbevin (450303) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957090)

I agree with what you write in general - that the article was unduly harsh / biased against Java. However, I differ on a few details ...

Well, you must be pretty hopeless not to be able to install the Java runtime. Last time I installed it on Windows, it took half a dozen mouse clicks and a couple of minutes tops.

We're talking about the average Joe here. The average Joe just wants to double-click the installer for a program, click OK a couple of times, and have it work. I know from experience that such a requirement can be a great hinderance to adoption of a software application. I released a program with a .NET frontend, and a large portion of end-users weren't interested in downloading the .NET framework (why this wasn't made part of XP or at least XP SP1 I don't know) and would quite happily write the program off as broken despite it having informed them they need to download the .NET framework for it to run.

That's strange, it must be their inability to code an interface and data models in an efficient manner. I write warehouse control software, where we are dealing with vasts amount of data that must be collated and displayed to the user. Very rarely do we have to resort to doing major grunt work on the server as opposed to doing it in the Java client.

Swing _is_ rather unresponsive and slow unfortunately, due to it using no native widgets. This is solved by SWT, which mixes platform independence with use of native widgets where they exist. For this reason for example the popular Java IDE Eclipse (written with SWT) is much more responsive than Sun's IDE NetBeans. Swing in general is one of Java's major weaknesses (and its not 'excused' on the basis of platform independence) - not only in terms of speed but its layout managers for example are also a joke - and is the main reason why Java is used far far more for websites than application programs.

This could be rephraed as "bad Java programmers leak memory". I have client-server Java applications that run 24x7 without leaking memory.

I agree with you there, and would also add that 'very bad java programmers leak memory' while 'even pretty good C/C++ programmers leak memory. While one can leak memory in any language, Java does make it a lot easier to avoid. I have C++ programs where I've never found leaks despite a fair bit of work trying, yet I can't recall testing a single Java program for memory leaks (and I've written and tested a lot) and ever actually finding such a leak.

If this is really an issue for you, then you can tweak the runtimes environment. Yes, Java does requisition a lot of memeory when an untweaked JVM starts up, but the inmpact depends on the machine running the program.

Unfortunately for the average user with 'just' 256/512mb RAM on their machine, thrashing is almost an unavoidable consequence of using any non-trivial Java application. For development I find 1 gig RAM is a minimum for devloping with Java, whereas for .NET development I have no problems using 'just' 512 megs.

I might also add a thought relating to the actual editorial - comparing search results for 'NET' and 'Java' is hardly an accurate comparison, given that 'NET' is liable to find a lot more pages than just those relating to .NET. That said, .NET and its C# language _is_ a huge challenge for Java. I'm hoping that this competition will cause both languages to improve and thus benefit us developers. Java 1.5 (5.0) is a great start (incorporating many much needed features seen in .NET such as generics).

Difficult to install? Use Advanced Installer for J (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9957013)

That little app will generate a setup.exe that will:
1) Look for a JRE on the target machine.
2) Download and install one if necessary.

It will also create a native Java launcher, for quick splash screens, file associations, 32 bit icons, etc.

And best of all - it's a breeze to use.

http://www.advancedinstaller.com

Re:There has been some good alternatives (3, Interesting)

Coppertone (10332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956808)

Java is "slow" because Sun has give us a brain dead GUI components. If you are looking at server side running things like EJBs, JSPs and servlets it is just as competitive as .NET framework.

There are a lot of pending improvement on Java GUI front, like Eclipse Rich Client Framework using SWT and hopefully it will not be "slow" anymore

Re:There has been some good alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9957052)

This is my experience, too. Java is great for server side and some networking applications, but terrible for GUI and large-scale string manipulation.

Re:There has been some good alternatives (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956816)

Yawn. The 'Java is slow, obese and heavy' arguments are poor, out of date and largely inaccurate. Java's popularity on mobile phones suggests it is hardly a performance bottleneck, nor is it too demanding for memory.

When Java first came out, a large number of 'web hackers' and inexperienced programmers flocked to the language and produced applications that were often very weak. The easy access to such a flexible toolkit encouraged first time coders to undertake projects beyond their skills. Even experienced teams of developers found it took a while to get to grips with the issues involved in the new environment. The result was the inevitable disillusionment following the hype. Expect C# to go through a similar slump as people realise it doesn't solve all your problems.

However, Sun have done a stunning job in evolving Java, and developers who have taken the time to understand it have been producing impressive software for some time now. The latest version is powerful, fast and addresses an enormous range of requirements that make developing software very much more efficient.

There will be a lot more about Java in the news this year. Tools are being developed for everything from screensavers to MMORPGs, so why not take a second look before rehashing old predjudices?

Re:There has been some good alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956899)

"Java is slow, obeist, and heavy"

And Mono, plus wxWidgets, plus wx.NET is not?

I don't like Java any more than the next guy. However, you have to consider more than just speed and size when writing software. You have to consider what is already implelement and popular. .NET isn't there yet, Mono and all the add-ons needed to make it as good as .NET isn't there yet. With Longhorn, .NET will be a viable platform since it'll be bundled. Until then, if you want something cross-platform, Java is the only answer.

Now, even if you ignored what I said above. you still can't write all too cross-platformish applications with .NET or Mono, even with a GUI toolkit add-on and such.

With open source software, it's very different. You can use anything you want since you don't have to worry about profits.

Re:There has been some good alternatives (1)

tomee (792877) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956906)

I used to think java was slow, but used it anyway. One day a java application (a game console emulator we wrote) was running too slow, so we ported it to c++ and optimized it. The result was maybe about 30% performance gain. I think for something that java is definetely not meant for (a virtual machine on a virtual machine) that is pretty impressive. And the main reason I think that the java version is slower is that java doesn't have unsigned variables so we had to use larger variables and & them with 0xFF in every single operation.

There is something all of you should know. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956774)

This is really important, it could be monumentally important to the subject at hand. Nobody ever takes this sort of thing into consideration, so I'm asking you to please heed my words.

I have new socks on.

Thank you. That is all.

Return of Java (5, Insightful)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956775)

It's strange how so many people say "Java is dying" or now that it patently isn't, they're saying "Java's back". If you go to any of the recruitment websites in the UK, the most popular requirement is Java Enterprise experience, hardly the mark of a development system that's been in decline ... The only explanations for this misrepresentation of Java that I encounter on sites like Slashdot and Linux Today is the following:

  • A large part of the readership are students, and therefore don't really know what's going on in the software industry.
  • The prepondereance of GNU fanboys means that Java gets dissed for not being Free(tm).

Discuss ...

Re:Return of Java (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956802)

You forgot a couple:
  • despite entry level PCs now having specs along the lines of 2.5GHz processor and 256MB of RAM, lots of people on such sites are obssessed with perceived bloat
  • lots of (but by no means all) people dissing Java are actually sysadmins, rather than programmers, and do all of the coding that they do do in perl, shell script, and similar
It always amuses me when I read "Java is teh suck because it's so slow and bloated!" comments. I've been doing server-side Java development for a little over 4 years now, and we've never had a performance problem. I use a number of client-side Java apps everyday, too, and they're perfectly responsive and usable. Sure, the same thing written in C or C++ probably would be faster - but when you literally can't tell the difference, who cares? A modern PC spends almost all its time waiting on user input or IO bound anyway.

Re:Return of Java (2, Interesting)

gnovos (447128) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956851)

Sure, the same thing written in C or C++ probably would be faster - but when you literally can't tell the difference, who cares? A modern PC spends almost all its time waiting on user input or IO bound anyway.

For a long running enterprise application, it would probably be SLOWER in c/c++. No matter how good you are at programming c/c++ you can't anticipate every little bottleneck and write it in perfect assembler... but the hotspot compiler can do that rathar well.

Re:Return of Java (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957011)

For a long running enterprise application, it would probably be SLOWER in c/c++. No matter how good you are at programming c/c++ you can't anticipate every little bottleneck and write it in perfect assembler... but the hotspot compiler can do that rathar well.

The optimizing compilers for modern C/C++ compilers are pretty good. Optimized native code is likely to beat Java's JIT compilation, or has this changed in the last couple of years? I've not been keeping up with Java, not having had any need for it, though I might do soon. Care to recommend a good Java book for experienced C/VB coders?

Re:Return of Java (1, Interesting)

quigonn (80360) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957077)

> but the hotspot compiler can do that rathar well.

Unless it shows some bugs on "obsure" platforms like AIX. A sequence of a.foo(); a.bar(); a.baz(); executed foo() and baz() but not bar(). It turned out to be a serious defect of the hotspot optimizer, which simply optimized away the call to bar(). Another bug was that sometimes, threads simply disappeared into nowhere. So, we decided that, instead of letting Java drop threads, we would drop Java on AIX.

Re:Return of Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956871)

I know of a company that bought 128MB RAM laptops for their field stuff and they can't use it because the Java application needs 130MB+ and starts to swap like crazy!! It's a simple Webbanking application.

Re:Return of Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956994)

Are we really supposed to feel sorry for this company that is too stupid to size their hardware to their application requirements? It's only another $50 or RAM or so.

Also, you won't be seeing me trying to run Mozilla or OpenOffice on a 128MB machine .. and those apps are C++, not Java.

Re:Return of Java (3, Insightful)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956890)

Often, bloat just doesn't matter. It's something I wish most programmers would learn. Code has to run as fast as the job needs it to.

To generalise, a main functions of an online system needs to be optimised. But things like offline processing often doesn't. Higher priorities are maintainable and reliable code.

And what you say is right about IO. When I used to work on mainframes, our senior tech guy used to tell us to not worry about the code speed except for IO. PCs are heading that way.

Re:Return of Java (1, Flamebait)

droleary (47999) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956950)

despite entry level PCs now having specs along the lines of 2.5GHz processor and 256MB of RAM, lots of people on such sites are obssessed with perceived bloat

That's a bad argument. Firstly, you can't claim the bloat is perceived if at the same time you list relatively hefty machine requirements. Computer resources are finite. Yeah, there are more now than before, but what does Java really give you that is worth tossing all your resources into a glorified emulator?

lots of (but by no means all) people dissing Java are actually sysadmins, rather than programmers, and do all of the coding that they do do in perl, shell script, and similar

As a programmer, I can tell you you're dead wrong. A developer with any depth will look at Java and then look at the languages before (and after) it and properly judge it on what new benefits it brings to the table. Java really brings nothing new or technically interesting; you've been duped the Sun marketing department.

A modern PC spends almost all its time waiting on user input or IO bound anyway.

And yet the user also spends almost all their time waiting for computer to operate on their input. It can't go both ways. The reality is that people do burst processing. When the user is sitting idle, the machine is usually sitting idle; when the user is doing something, the machine can't finish fast enough! For what it does, Java is still a big pig and the users know it. A developer that gives a damn about their users won't force them to use a Java app. Java is not "back" because it never fulfilled the promises it originally made.

Re:Return of Java (4, Insightful)

ph1ll (587130) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957078)

I just started working at a company where user Web sessions in Orion were reaching 1 MB each.

Further investigation revealed that the code sucked. It was nothing to do with Java. A re-write brought the Web sessions down to about 100 bytes each. It is now a happy app.

Moral of the story: there is good code and bad code in any language.

(Having said that, the JVM does take an awfully long time to bootstrap...)

:-P

Re:Return of Java (4, Insightful)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956819)

It's strange how so many people say "Java is dying" or now that it patently isn't, they're saying "Java's back".

I think a lot of the people who keep saying that Java is dying say it because they wish it was true.

And of course, if you keep repeating a lie often enough, the sheep begin to believe it. Just like on CNN, turn it on and watch a "reporter" frown in mock gravitas and ask things like "A lot of people are saying that the Kerry campaign is floundering and the Democrats are beginning to feel desperate, we ask the experts 'can anything be done, or is it already too late?'"

No one had said any of those things, but since CNN keeps saying that people say it, it becomes truth...

Re:Return of Java (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956820)

I wholehartedly agree. The amount of job offers for Java programmers is overwhelming. I focus primarily on programming Java now as an independent contractor. I run though lengthy contracts and get frequent calls for new assignments.

But there will always be a turf war. Everywhere I go it's the same thing: Java vs. Perl, Java vs. PHP, Java vs. Python, Java vs. C#... yet nobody seems the realise that you should select your language after understanding your requirements first. All of these languages have a place and time. Java is already very successful in the area of business automation applications, and more recently gained industry acceptance for embedded systems (Java phones). It is regaining ground again where desktop applications are concerned.

Trust me that this technology is very much alive. The improvements keep on coming, both in terms of speed and memory usage.

Re:Return of Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956837)

The prepondereance of GNU fanboys means that Java gets dissed for not being Free(tm)

Plus Linux Fanboys and the fact that Sun was very late in getting a porting a working Java implementation to Linux. (2001?)

Plus the the fact that System V and Sun Solaris has always been GNU/Linux's Primary Target from a competitive standpoint.

Plus the UNIX Graybeard Taliban (young and old) who just want everything in C or maybe C++ and hate everything invented after 1985.

Keyword being: Enterprise (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956858)

Java is pretty popular on the server side, but client side it was always one monumental flop.

As applets go, for example, nowadays the whole program-inna-browser market is owned by Flash, followed by ActiveX. And for good reasons.

Starting with the fact that Java 1.0 was indeed a slow piece of crap for anything but the most trivial applets. Try displaying a complex table without a JIT, and you were talking about response times you could measure with a stopwatch, not with System.currentTimeMillis().

The initial lack of support for packing everything in a jar didn't help that cause either. Downloading 50 classes as separate files isn't particularly fast. And that's a very small project.

And for all the multi-platform hype, wasn't particularly portable either. If you tried running even a trivial AWT applet on different platforms, you wouldn't even get the same events. Or for something which required you to give a size in pixels on the web site, you wouldn't even get the same font sizes.

And by the time it caught up... meh. Flash is _still_ the better choice.

Not the least because of download size. Sun now includes all the crap they could think of as standard libraries. Do I need an XML parser to make a simple game applet? Not really, but Sun wants my users to download that crap anyway.

(No, it's not a made up problem. I've had modem users tell me literally "whoa, I'm on dialup. Is there some smaller version I can download?")

That's just a small slice of the many ways in which Sun started it on the wrong foot.

Re:Keyword being: Enterprise (1)

nick-less (307628) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956883)


And by the time it caught up... meh. Flash is _still_ the better choice.


ah, that must be the reason why all of my homebanking is written in flash ;-)

Re: Free(tm) (-1, Troll)

struberg (757804) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956884)

THAT is really funny ;)

Re:Return of Java (5, Informative)

latroM (652152) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956891)

The prepondereance of GNU fanboys means that Java gets dissed for not being Free(tm).

The SUN's java implementation is non-free but there are other free implementations of the java standard, look at http://www.kaffe.org/ [kaffe.org] for one.

Re:Return of Java (2, Funny)

isorox (205688) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956954)

the most popular requirement is Java Enterprise experience

Yeah, and 15 years of it

Down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956778)

the crapper along with all the other junk that eats far too many precious system resources.

Request for interview (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956780)


Do a user driven (10 questions, you know) with James Gosling. Java/Sun takes a lot of flak these days, it would be genuinely interesting to get Gosling respond to some good questions.

Embedded Java. (3, Interesting)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956783)


Java is a nice choice for embedded platforms. It runs several times faster than on PCs (it's native for the hardware, not "emulated" through JRE), the hardware is inexpensive and can perform really sophisticated jobs. I think it may be one of major reasons for Java to take up so much.

Java powered cryptographic iButton [ibutton.com] - a chip the size of your hand watch battery (stainless steel, shock-resistant, water-resistant and several other-resistant "iButton" package) with Java support.

Re:Embedded Java. (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956831)

One more interesting notice... Java as a development platform. Quite often recently I've seen Java as the language for development kits for different embedded devices. The choice is obvious: Write the kit for Windows and get yelled at by Linux community for supporting the monopoly. Write it only for Linux, you lose at least 60% of customer base. Write for both, not only you have two source trees to maintain, all the others are neglected. Write in Java - one size fits all. The speed isn't so critical in this application (how long could it take to compile 80K of C or Assembly source for a microcontroller?) and cross-platform compatibility is essential.

Hmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956902)

Mind if I recomend Inferno from Vita Nuova instead of Java for embedded applications? Can run within a megabyte of memory, is fully cross-platform (unlike Java, it really is cross-platform), and has so many other advantages. Check it out.

APIs and Libraries (5, Interesting)

tezza (539307) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956787)

CPAN was a real winner for Perl back in the early days of the web. Want SMTP? Net::SMTP. Want to format that email response? Text::AutoFormat. Easy templates? Template::Toolkit.

Java now has an astounding array of libraries to use these days. Look at for some good ones [java-source.net] .

Stupid comparison (4, Informative)

plumby (179557) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956788)

A "Googlefight" on, say, Java vs .NET tells us that all has not necessarily gone Java's way just recently. A "mere" 66 million "Java" hits...versus 388 million for "NET" - but that may all be about to change.

Not that it really matters, but this is one of the most stupid comparisons ever. The .NET search pulls back just about every site with a .net extension. Out of the first 10 pages, only one seems to be directly related to the .NET framework (the 4th entry is php.net! ), whereas all of the first 10 Java searches is relevant.

Re:Stupid comparison (1)

uid0mako (683312) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956966)

Still a stupid comparison, but:

+microsoft +.net = 6,810,000
+sun +java = 5,360,000

Re:Stupid comparison (1)

KontinMonet (737319) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956967)

Yep, reminds me of the argument Fox News used to 'prove' the BBC was anti-American. 'We did a Google search with: BBC anti American,' they said, 'and it came back with 44702 hits. That proves it!'

I wrote to Fox stating that I had entered 'BBC not anti American' and Google came back with ... 44702 hits. No reply, of course. Nuff said.

Re:Stupid comparison (1)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957002)

Google treats ".net" the same as "net". The googlefight between "java" and ".net" [googlefight.com] is the same as the googlefight between "java" and "net" [googlefight.com] .

really? (1)

raffe (28595) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956795)

Yeah, CxO talks about own technology, journalist writes about technology and VCs are investing in technology. Does it qualify as first page news?

Java and Linux is the next thing.
Come on, this isnt news.
No, we didnt read it at JDJ first. We knew it long a go.

Not intended as flame but this is just stupid.

Java has more company now (1)

Eberlin (570874) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956798)

It's not that Java left, it's all the attention it's now getting from the .NET crowds. I'm sure Mono has a few things to do with it, too. Oh, and that whole Eclipse project thing -- I must admit all the talk of Eclipse made me take another look at Java.

Maybe it's also the improvements (and lower price) of hardware that makes Java attractive again. That may compensate for any speed loss in the desktop java apps.

Then again, maybe we're just falling victim to the Sun Microsystems re-hype.

Re:Java has more company now (1)

sn0wman3030 (618319) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956852)

Unfortunatly for us, what's on /. is not representative of what's actually going on in the tech world.

Re:Java has more company now (1)

BarryNorton (778694) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956861)

I must admit all the talk of Eclipse made me take another look at Java
I'd also admit that despite being saddened to have to work with Java again - on a new project and despite having worked with a modern language (Haskell) for a long time - one thing that's impressed me has been Eclipse.

Move along, nothing to see here.. (4, Insightful)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956800)

Seriously, this was a 100% fluff article. The foundation for the article was based entirely on the assertion that a Google for "Java" brought back far fewer hits than "NET": well no shit Sherlock- perhaps if you'd tried ".NET" instead?

The major problem Java has is EJBs: everyone in Java-land seems to think that their problem requires solving using this pile of crap. A web application with persistence- ooh we'd better use EJBs then!

A secondary issue for Java is the barrier to entry is extremely high: sure you can learn the language quickly but it's Java's libraries that add the real value. And there are an awful lot of them. I've been using Java for 10 years (yeah I developed using the AWT and cursed it every day: if it hadn't been for the AWT being so awful I'd never have thought Swing was any good). Anyway, I've been using Java for 10 years and I would hate to have to learn it from scratch today.

Re:Move along, nothing to see here.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956826)

The major problem Java has is EJBs

For a while, "Java Culture" went totally apeshit with over-engineering everything and ridiclous focus on 'patterns' even when they failed to meet real world requirements. They understood the "entrprise" part, they just failed to make the environment accessible to the every day hacks (both business and programming) out there.

It seems that they're finally getting past this, and have finally realized that you don't need 7 layers, a 100K app server, two architects and 50 Indians to splat some database values on a webpage (when a single $25/hr ASP|PHP guy can do it in an hour). So now you're see realistic Java data layers and web tools coming out.

OTOH, you see some crazy stuff like integrating PHP -- its almost as if they don't want to sully Java's perfection-oriented system, but someone has to mush the HTML tags together, so let the scripting boys do it.

Re:Move along, nothing to see here.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956887)

odd, I was of the opinion that the only advantage java has is EJBs.

and you don't need to 'know' all the libraries to be productive in java and the libraries you do know. and the ones you don't know often come with these handy things called documentation.

As is the case with most languages.. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956942)

A secondary issue for Java is the barrier to entry is extremely high: sure you can learn the language quickly but it's Java's libraries that add the real value.

I did try Java. I think the main reason I didn't stick with it in retrospect is the feeling that you have to run a beast of a VM to do "Hello World!". Now I program in C++/Qt.

That is to say, I don't program in C++. I barely know pointer artihmetic, templates, exceptions, the standard library, callback functions and a host of other things. Not that I don't value their usefulness, but he high-level workings of the Qt library is a lot more valuable to my needs. And that'd take me just as long time with Qt or with Java's class library.

Worst case so far: Three long recursive function calls replaced with 7 lines of code combining several "advanced" library functions. Going back to look at old code is a horror show.

Kjella

Re:As is the case with most languages.. (3, Insightful)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957008)

You know, I can't remember the last time I was asked to deliver a product that printed "Hello World" so whether or not the JVM is too heavyweight for such an app' is moot. And even if it was: throw more hardware at it. Hardware is cheap. Maintaining code is expensive and C++ has a much higher maintenance overhead than Java does (pointers, object ownership, misused multiple inheritance - the list goes on).

Re:As is the case with most languages.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9957061)

You know, I can't remember the last time I was asked to deliver a product that printed "Hello World"

Keep in mind that a high % of slashdot readers are CS101 students that ARE asked to deliver Hello World products.

Re:As is the case with most languages.. (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957045)

I did try Java. I think the main reason I didn't stick with it in retrospect is the feeling that you have to run a beast of a VM to do "Hello World!". Now I program in C++/Qt.

If all of your programming has the complexity of "Hello World", then you made the right decision to steer well clear of Java. But some of us are writing real world programs, where the "overhead" and startup time of the JVM is insignificant.

Re:Move along, nothing to see here.. (2, Informative)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956955)

Seriously, this was a 100% fluff article. The foundation for the article was based entirely on the assertion that a Google for "Java" brought back far fewer hits than "NET": well no shit Sherlock- perhaps if you'd tried ".NET" instead?
You'd get the same results. The '.', used in a Google search, is a shortcut for searching for a string--you can either use '"i want to find this string"' or 'i.want.to.find.this.string'. Hence, ".NET" will search for a string consisting of the word "NET" and should return the exact same results as a search for "NET".

Re:Move along, nothing to see here.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9957039)

The major problem Java has is EJBs: everyone in Java-land seems to think that their problem requires solving using this pile of crap. A web application with persistence- ooh we'd better use EJBs then!

So help us change that perception, switch to Spring [springframework.org] and tell everyone about it.

Re:Move along, nothing to see here.. (1)

Pastis (145655) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957048)

10 years Java development? I tought that the first release of Java was in March 1995...

Source critique (4, Insightful)

Kingpin (40003) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956812)


One of the first things I was taught in college, was to be critic of the sources I based research on.

In the world of WWW, it seems that each and every article and blog entry can be used as reliable fact. "He wrote it, it must be true". If some nerd posts that language X is the best, and those who use it are really really smart (case in point Paul Graham/Pythong) - that really doesn't make it come true. Same goes for Java "dead or alive" etc. etc. (Naturally, we all know that BSD is in fact dying - this is the exception).

Is there a Sun campaign going on? (4, Funny)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956813)

For quite a while, when Sun was mentioned here, it was often in the context of "they're dying, no new research, no future, no idea of how to compete with Linux", and things like that. I think the height of that was this article [slashdot.org] , which actually talks about who caused "the fall of Sun".

Now in the last two weeks, we see a steady flow of Sun-related articles. Java is being promoted (this article, and this [slashdot.org] two weeks back), there is news on Solaris ("Linux apps on Solaris" [slashdot.org] , "Solaris coming to Power architecture" [slashdot.org] ), there have been bits about their cool Sun Rays on Linux [slashdot.org] , their R&D with the chips without connectors [slashdot.org] , and rumours that they could buy a key player, Novell [slashdot.org] . There's also Looking Glass [slashdot.org] .

All in 11 days or so. It seems someone is screaming "Hey Slashdot, we're really alive!". You'd almost expect them to sue SCO next week just for the attention...

Java 1.5 should help things. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9956825)

Java is a great language that people avoid because it's a pain in the ass.

Java 1.5 goes a long way to help that, what with iterators, autoboxing and such.

Re:Java 1.5 should help things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9957016)

Pain in the ass? In what way? Setting up a Java dev environment is no more difficult than setting up an env. for any other language and it comes with a huge and useful library. This is especially nice for writing those small useful utilities. Like my own version of grep I wrote once to help me solve crosswords. It would have been a pain in the ass if I did it in C. Unfortunately the standard dictionary in Linux was not large enough :(

For those who haven't been looking at Java lately (2, Informative)

Coppertone (10332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956830)

Azureus: http://sourceforge.net/projects/azureus/
Eclipse project: http://www.eclipse.org

Re:For those who haven't been looking at Java late (1)

mikera (98932) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956876)

I second that..... been using Eclipse for my open source Java game [sourceforge.net] and it's superb.

First time I've ever felt that I had a decent free software IDE as a developer.

Java keeps quiet (2, Interesting)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956842)

One problem is, no-one much hears about it. Sun rarely seem to trumpet what they are doing with it.

I don't do Java, but from what I've seen, it doesn't change much, and where it does, it adds to what was there before. That is IMO a good thing, that developers aren't sitting around poring over documentation, but are productive instead.

(One reason for not doing Java is the small number of companies doing Tomcat hosting).

Java is not back. (2, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956863)

It's just a marketing.

Java language has stagnated in about 1999 with the release of J2SE 1.2 (dubbed Java 2); new J2SE 1.5 (Java 5) is just a cosmetic change of language (yes, I consider current implementation of generics/annotations to be 'cosmetic').

It's quite OK to be conservative, but you can't conquer the world of IT being conservative. Java's position on server-side is still pretty firm, but desktop apps in Java (apart from Java IDEs) are non-existant.

And Microsoft's position on server-side is strengthening. So Microsoft will prevail if nothing changes in the recent future :(

Re:Java is not back. (4, Informative)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956962)

Java language has stagnated in about 1999 with the release of J2SE 1.2 (dubbed Java 2)

Oh, what BS. Like that is the only thing that has changed .Java has become big enough to come in three different version, enterprise, standard and micro edition. The micro edition is extremely common in mobile phones, enterprise very common in banking etc.

Some of the new things in Java 1.3:
Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI), 20% faster RMI serialization, improvements in AWT/Swing/JavaSound, security enhancements, HotSpot optimization of client and server VMs.

In Java 1.4:
Secure Sockets and HTTPS, IPv6, cryptography extensions, LinkedHashMap, NIO (FileChannel, Non blocking IO), builtin regexp and logging (though there are even better open source libraries for those), assertions, XML processing, hardware acceleration of Java2D, image I/O framework, java Web start, Unicode 3.0 Support, Currency class, Accessibility improvements, Math improvments, Itanium support

In Java 1.5:
Generics, enhanced for Loop (for each), autoboxing/unboxing, typesafe enums, varargs, metadata annotations, class data sharing (improved VM startup time), launching apps under inetd in unix/linux, loads of security enhancements [sun.com] , Unicode 4 support, hyperbolic transcendental functions (sinh, cosh, tanh), cube root, base 10 logarithm, AMD Opteron support....

Sun is not letting MS win without a fight.

Re:Java is not back. (2, Interesting)

flibberdi (800264) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957062)

I wont complain too much regarding the j2ee (or even j2se), but j2me..... I am telling you, I have 2 phones, and I can tell U it's not easy to find working java application for them. It's not like, "down load this if you have a java phone", it's more like "if you have this phone, download this, if you have that phone, download that, this application doesn't work with those phones bla bla bla. I have to spend to much time trying to find the right download for my phones. How the developers feels... I found an informative blog [russellbeattie.com] which sums it up.

Re:Java is not back. (4, Interesting)

Baki (72515) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956964)

No it won't. Server-side programming (i.e. "enterprise") means backwards compatability is very important. MSFT cannot afford to break it in .NET either.

SUN has done an amazing job in extending Java even to include generics without breaking backwards compatability. Yes it did not lead to the solution that is technically and internally the most efficient (it would have required changes to the JVM), but the developer is not affected. Internally it is solved by typecasts, but who cares? The compiler, it cares and verifies and tat is what matters. .NET is years behind and plans to bring similar features only in 2007 (generics). It remains to be seen if they can do it without breaking backwards compatability. They already have a very hard time to convince their current developers to switch to .NET, they cannot afford to make their developers have to migrate once more in the next 10 years. .NET being so poorly designed I truely wonder if they can improve it without disturbing compatability. I cannot see it being a threat.

I work in a large company, and all new development is done 100% in Java (except the mainframe parts, in PL/1 but that is declining rapidly). .NET would only be considered for fat client GUI's which used to be done in MFC. So even if .NET becomes a success, it will only replace parts that were already done in MSFT technology before, it has zero chance on the server side.

Re:Java is not back. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9957031)

.NET's solution to backward compatibility is for you to install every version of the runtime side-by-side. In other words, it isn't binary back-compatible and doesn't pretend to be.

In practice Java's upwards-compatibility doesn't really work despite the hoops Sun has jumped through to maintain it -- for example, trying to run an application developed against 1.5 on a 1.2 JVM is probably not going to work. Sun should just get over it and extend the bytecode when useful to do so (generics) and have the users download the correct JVM.

I'll called my platform ".COM" (5, Interesting)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956892)

I'd win hands down. .NET
(386 000 000 results)

versus .COM
(1940 000 000 results)

This writer is into amateurish journalism (4, Insightful)

nysus (162232) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956948)

He bases part of his argument that Java is less popular than .NET by doing a Google fight between "java" and "net"???

Java can be a coffee or an island in the Indonesia. Net is a device to ensnare animals and is a verb as well.

And he cites a blog item from a Sun executive as proof that Java is back? Please. The article is nonsensical.

Catching up to the hype... (1)

ChangeOnInstall (589099) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956978)

All good but overhyped technologies do this. It works like this: The sponsor of a technology hits a home run in the media with hype, and everyone jumps on board thinking it's the silver bullet they've been waiting for. Then reality shows up, and all those who bought the unrealistic expectations generated by the hype jump ship, and the media reports on the mass exodus from the technology as though the technology has failed. Meanwhile the technology is still growing steadily as the real users find it suits their needs well. Its capabilities expand and it matures, and then it starts to become widely adopted. And then finally it's good enough to live up to the former hype, and everyone thinks "it's back!"

It's not living up to the expactations we have for it five years from now today: it's dead.
It's finally living up to those expectations after five yerars: it's back.

Java, Linux-on-the-desktop, XML, and many more fit this pattern.

why bother arguing (2, Insightful)

thebdj (768618) | more than 9 years ago | (#9956995)

This is another one of those horrible things that happens every once in a while on slashdot. This argument is about as big as MS v. Linux or AMD v. Intel or ATI v. nVidia (for those who care).

The fact is you have some people who are super java fan boys and will stand by it until the day they die and most of them probably haven't programmed enough in other languages to say anything but the few bad experiences they did have.

Don't think I am letting the C/C++ programmers off either. I am one of them and I will be the first to admit I have hardly ever used java, but I have also had enough first-hand bad experience to not want to use it.

The fact is that people will stick with they know best and odds are whichever you learned first (java or c++) that will more than likely be the one you spend the majority of your time working with. So half the people can continue to rip on java now and the rest of you can praise it. I do digital design so I don't care enough about code to get into this argument.

--
"The same thing we do every night Pinky; Try to take over the world!"

Java is NOT slow (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 9 years ago | (#9957007)

How come whenever Java is mentioned people think of Swing and Web Applets?
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