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Q&A With James Gosling, Father of Java

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the never-tell-them-you-have-free-time dept.

Java 172

Minaloush writes to tell us that in a recent Q&A with Sun's James Gosling, the father of Java fielded questions on the GPL, security, the role of Java in the enterprise. "If you come up with a good software development tool, that makes life easier for the developers and they can get their job done quicker, then the first thing the manager says is 'oh you've got free time on your hands. Do this extra thing'."

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Uh yeah... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18404591)

When can we all forget about Java?

Re:Uh yeah... (4, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18404659)

We've already forgotten, we just haven't forgiven yet.

Re:Uh yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405087)

java does not belong in a web browser, end of story.. beyond that, it is a great language.

Re:Uh yeah... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18406087)

If the Java plugin didn't freeze the browser while downloading and run at glacier-speed, it would be decent for a browser. Java is a nice language, especially with frameworks like Echo2 [nextapp.com] (try the demos, it rocks). What hurts Java is that Swing and the plugin suck rather hard.

Re:Uh yeah... (2, Insightful)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407499)

I imagine a few years after the last piece of the staggering amount of enterprise Java code out there has been phased out.
Seeing that COBOL is still being maintained, and Java is getting taken up more and more atm, I guess that'd make it around 50 years from now.

What about Patrick Naughton? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18404611)

I thought he was also the father of Java? Whatever happened to that guy? Pretty unjust to not give him credit, right?

Re:What about Patrick Naughton? (4, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18404681)

He kind of was written out of the story after this (Wikipedia):

In September 1999, a FBI sting operation netted Naughton on charges related to the alleged solicitation of inappropriate sexual conduct with a minor. Disney immediately fired him shortly after his arrest in Santa Monica.

He got caught in one of those chat room stings, trying to set up a little get-together with some way-underage female.

Re:What about Patrick Naughton? (4, Funny)

aicrules (819392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18404761)

So what you're saying is that Java is a language of child predators...

Re:What about Patrick Naughton? (1)

AP2k (991160) | more than 7 years ago | (#18404841)

Great, I was looking for a shocking reason why I wont touch a Java program.

Re:What about Patrick Naughton? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405019)

In Soviet Russia, Java touches you!

Re:What about Patrick Naughton? (1)

NastyNate (398542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405287)

This may be the first actually funny "Soviet Russia" joke I've read on Slashdot.

Re:What about Patrick Naughton? (5, Funny)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18404895)

Hmm... Maybe I shouldn't run Java on my Reiser4 filesystem?

Re:What about Patrick Naughton? (5, Funny)

javamann (410973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405991)

Jave - Molest once, run everywhere

Re:What about Patrick Naughton? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18406033)

"So what you're saying is that Java is a language of child predators..." ...let's be fair. Just the one.

I believe there are more on the C# development team....

Another reason I can avoid Java (5, Funny)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 7 years ago | (#18404873)

I liked the additional comment:

> He later resolved the case in plea bargain with the U. S. Attorney's office in exchange for working for the FBI for a year to develop software to assist them in their online investigations.

I wonder if he is going to burry the check
if (suspect == "Patrick Naughton")
{ // do nothing
}

somebody else can make sure that is Java syntax.

Re:Another reason I can avoid Java (-1, Offtopic)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405053)

Troll? (Unfunny, probably)

"Moderators are Java Sympathizers!"

That's what a troll is.

Re:Another reason I can avoid Java (5, Insightful)

evil_Tak (964978) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405629)

Amusingly, that highlights one of Java's famous gotchas. You'll need to do something more like:

if(suspect.equals("Patrick Naughton")){ //nothing }

Re:Another reason I can avoid Java (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18406507)

if(suspect.equals("Patrick Naughton")){ //nothing }

That is of course assuming suspect was initialized.

Try this:

if("Patrick Naughton".equals(suspect)){ //nothing }

That'll avoid the possibility of a NullPointerException.

Re:Another reason I can avoid Java (1)

evil_Tak (964978) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406617)

But of course I would have checked at the beginning of the routine that suspect was non-null; else the whole thing would have been an exercise in futility.

Re:Another reason I can avoid Java (1)

newt0311 (973957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407827)

anybody notice that the ending '}' gets caught in the // line comment and thus is not recorded in the code resulting in a mess of compile errors as the bytecode compiler tries to figure out what the hell you were trying to say?

Re:Another reason I can avoid Java (2, Interesting)

zacronos (937891) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407757)

Actually, I don't believe that would compile (unless your line-breaks just got swallowed because you didn't use HTML formatting). You'll want something more like the following:

if(suspect.equals("Patrick Naughton")){ /*nothing*/ }

Re:What about Patrick Naughton? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18404901)

But as your excerpt suggests, he jumped ship almost immediately for Go while Gosling (who was always *the* Java guy anyway) stuck around at Sun, so Gosling is associated with Java much more than Naughton, arrest or not.

Re:What about Patrick Naughton? (2, Funny)

Kozz (7764) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405571)

/**
* @deprecated Use getJavaFather instead
* @see #getJavaFather
*/
public static Object getJavaFathers() {...}

Re:What about Patrick Naughton? (3, Interesting)

HungWeiLo (250320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405851)

I don't understand the extent to which Naughton has contributed to Java, but why write him out if he has made significant contributions to the development of Java? Mozart, Beethoven, et al. have all had their own improprieties, but at least no one seeks to write them out of their musical accomplishments. No one disputes that Roman Polanski is a fine filmmaker despite what he's being accused of.

Re:What about Patrick Naughton? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18406241)

immediately fired him shortly after his arrest

Now, was it immediate, or did it happen -- shortly after?

Yeah, so? (-1, Flamebait)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18404637)

"If you come up with a good software development tool, that makes life easier for the developers and they can get their job done quicker, then the first thing the manager says is 'oh you've got free time on your hands. Do this extra thing'."

Uhuh... that sounds about right to me. Unless you work for a company that's in the business of creating and selling development tools, or for a company like Google which allots employees with some percentage of free time to use as they will, by creating such a tool during company time, it seems clear you either have extra time and can be tasked to do something else, or you're slacking off. Either way, you're not doing what you're being paid for.

Re:Yeah, so? (5, Insightful)

TaleSpinner (96034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405117)

I think I must've worked for you once upon a time.


Crafting tools is not wasting time. Frequently the fastest way to accomplish s six-week project is to take a month to write the tool...which will then complete the project in under a week. Management with your attitude will a) never see tools produced that increase the department's overall productivity and b) you won't have the best people working for you. No one likes working in a hamster wheel, and your shop smells of cedar shavings from here.

Re:Yeah, so? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405599)

Crafting tools is not wasting time. Frequently the fastest way to accomplish s six-week project is to take a month to write the tool...which will then complete the project in under a week.

He's not saying not to write the tool, he's saying that you should be given another tool to write when you're done. Gosling seems to be surprised that developers aren't getting fired instead.

Re:Yeah, so? (2, Insightful)

phasm42 (588479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406183)

No one likes working in a hamster wheel, and your shop smells of cedar shavings from here.
Sigged.

Re:Yeah, so? (3, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407557)

Frequently the fastest way to accomplish s six-week project is to take a month to write the tool...which will then complete the project in under a week. Management with your attitude will a) never see tools produced that increase the department's overall productivity and b) you won't have the best people working for you.

What are you talking about? Are you saying you should be able to sit on your ass for two weeks, because you brought in something ahead of schedule? Guess what: you're being paid to work. If you bring in something ahead of schedule, you should expect a "nice job" with points that count eventual promotion and pay raise -- along with a new assignment.

Or to put it another way, when you're late with an assignment, do you pay the company back for the time you've wasted? Thought not.

Respect is a two-way street. No one like working in the hamster wheel, but no one likes managing (or working with) the prima donna who thinks he can just put in solid work when he feels like it.

Abe said it best. (1)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18408325)

Abraham Lincoln reportedly said that, given eight hours to chop down a tree, he'd spend six sharpening his axe.

Nice quote (1)

Ponga (934481) | more than 7 years ago | (#18404647)

Q: Do you believe that an open source development model is inherently better for security?
J.G.: Oh yeah.

Re:Nice quote (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405907)

Q: Do you believe that an open source development model is inherently better for security?
J.G.: Oh yeah.

All the sudden I pictured Gosling as the Kool-Aid Man, busting through my cubicle wall and shouting "Oh Yeah!" a la the 80s marketing campaign.

I'll be having nightmares about that every time I use Java, thanks to you.

Re:Nice quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18406491)

I heard Duff Man, probably because I'm a UKian and thus not exposed to Kool-Aid advertising.

"Duff Man never dies, only the actors who portray him! Oh, Yeah!"

Re:Nice quote (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407241)

Just imagine him as a giant thermos and you'll start laughing every time you use Java.

What explains Sun's change on Java? (3, Informative)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406669)

Today Gosling says the "immense amount of testing and design work" is not thought to be "anywhere near as good as having thousands of talented eyeballs just stare at it and think about it", but he didn't always say this and Sun didn't always license Java software in line with this sentiment. Gosling's claim might be true, but I think the freedom Sun's relicensing gives users is far more significant. Also important for the free software community is the lesson of free software pressure.

Not long ago, Gosling poo-pooed the idea of turning Java into an "open source project" [devx.com] : "If Java turned into an open source project, the enterprise development community would go screaming into the hills.". In the same article, author Glen Kunene described Gosling as being "ambivalent about Apache's Harmony".

Similarly, Richard Stallman once described Java as being a trap [gnu.org] because one could write free software programs in Java that depended on features only non-free Java software provided. He also wrote about what a non-event it was that Sun allowed more people to distribute its then non-free Java software [gnu.org] .

Taking all of these quotes and descriptions at face value, assuming nobody was lying, what explains the change in view? I believe that the competitive pressure created by free software Java implementations pushed Sun to stay relevant [digitalcitizen.info] . As the free software Java implementations became more functional and more likely to replace Sun's Java software, Sun saw they could free their implementation and continue to compete. In so doing, Sun also became a top contributor to the free software community and got free software luminaries (Stallman [digitalcitizen.info] and Eben Moglen [digitalcitizen.info] ) to speak in support of their relicensing.

Re:What explains Sun's change on Java? (1)

junkgui (69602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407533)

Could it have been the change of CEO?

Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18404653)

You should develop these tools, because that increases productivity ..which means more energy watts are made available for use/consumption.. which means people can have more things for less work. Work in an office instead of in a farm? Be thankful for people who invented industrialization. TV, cars, cell phones, computers, access to slashdot, OK healthcare life expectancy more than 40 yrs old, not having to deal with early deaths of loved ones etc.

Yeah, it does give you more time to bitch about how life sucks when you aren't forced to work 12 hours a day for your days bland tasting calories.

Then the best ide is .... (4, Funny)

jorgeleon (928288) | more than 7 years ago | (#18404673)

"If you come up with a good software development tool, that makes life easier for the developers and they can get their job done quicker, then the first thing the manager says is 'oh you've got free time on your hands. Do this extra thing'." ... and that is why I still program in assembler and I use notepad.

Re:Then the best ide is .... (5, Funny)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18404779)

... and that is why I still program in assembler and I use notepad.

You're such a wuss... I program in hex using vi!

Re:Then the best ide is .... (4, Funny)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405035)

Can't believe you youngsters and your "editors"

Set the switches and hit the commit button to load the opcode into memory.

Re:Then the best ide is .... (4, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405129)

Switches! Real men write software for plug-boards. And it's woman's work to actually do the plugging. How else does a geek meet women?

Re:Then the best ide is .... (3, Funny)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405477)

plug-boards? Yeh whipper snappin' kids. Back in MAH day, we had to put rocks in lines of dirt! And the gawddamn boss made us buy our own rocks!

Re:Then the best ide is .... (1)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405765)

And we were glad we had real rocks, too!

Re:Then the best ide is .... (3, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406717)

You had dirt?!

Re:Then the best ide is .... (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407273)

You existed? Damn it, I had to create myself.

Re:Then the best ide is .... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407171)

You could buy the rocks? In my days, we had to make our rocks ourselfs!

Re:Then the best ide is .... (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406983)

The oldest coder I ever actually knew actually worked with 4k production systems that read the programs off of tape. I'm not sure when they stopped the switching and plug wires.

And I was glad someone else picked up the plug boards. B)

Re:Then the best ide is .... (5, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407437)

Well, you must be pretty young, then. I've at least messed machines in the 4K range, worked professionally writing programs to fit in 16K, and I have several friends who are still working today who remember working with systems with 2K of RAM or less. Granted they're at about retirement age.

Of course you have to be careful because it wasn't until the late eighties that the industry completely standardized on the eight bit byte. Memory sizes in the late 70s and early 80s were usually specified in terms of "words", a word being the particular machine's most natural size operand for integer arithmetic. The PDP-8 came with 4KW of memory, where each word was 12 bits. Thus our 4KW of memory was in actuality a whopping 6KB of core memory. The PDP-10 had a 36 bit word; the very early versions that had "8K" memories actually had 36KB.

Bill Gates claims he never said that 640KB was all anybody would ever need. Back in 1981 he must certainly have been aware that some people needed more. You could buy a PDP-10 which could address 32 separate segments of 256KW. Since each word was 4.5 bytes, each segment amounted to 1024KB, giving a total of 36MB (36.864MB you use powers of ten instead of powers of two).

Re:Then the best ide is .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405093)

You're such a wuss... I program in hex using vi!

Feh! Real Men (tm) work in 0110 0010 0110 1001 0110 1110 0110 0001 0111 0010 0111 1001 0010 0001

Re:Then the best ide is .... (2, Funny)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405805)

Are you implyig that Notepad is more usable than VI? No way... And I use Emacs...

Re:Then the best ide is .... (1)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406211)

You're such a wuss... I program in hex using vi!
Feh. Real men use cat and od.

Why yet... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18404683)

another interpreted language?

The "write once; run anywhere" paradigm has failed yet again.(For those of you who'll argue; you haven't written a Java app.)

What do you think of the declining popularity of Java?

Re:Declining Popularity? Not quite... (5, Interesting)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405209)

What do you think of the declining popularity of Java?


Declining popularity? I remember recent studies showing that Swing is the most used UI toolkit, I believe Java is the most used language for corporate and commercial web applications, and Java programmers are in higher demand than ever. What makes you think it's declining in popularity? Maybe it's lost its "cool" factor to Ruby and Python, but not popularity.

Here's a couple of links from this year to back me up:
http://www.jasonkolb.com/weblog/2007/02/programmin g_tre.html [jasonkolb.com]
http://www.tiobe.com/tpci.htm [tiobe.com]

Re:Declining Popularity? Not quite... (1)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405625)

Declining popularity? I remember recent studies showing that Swing is the most used UI toolkit, I believe Java is the most used language for corporate and commercial web applications, and Java programmers are in higher demand than ever. What makes you think it's declining in popularity? Maybe it's lost its "cool" factor to Ruby and Python, but not popularity

My crystal ball says:
Java -> COBOL
Ruby/Python -> Pascal

There truly is a massive amount of business infrastructure being produced in Java right now that will last decades.

Re:Declining Popularity? Not quite... (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406079)

Java is in no way shape or form an analogy to COBOL. It's a fast, maintainable, highly portable language that's used to write a huge amount of new software today. .NET and C# are certainly going to give it a run for its money, but I think C and C++ are going to be the "next COBOL" before Java gets that monicker.

Re:Declining Popularity? Not quite... (3, Insightful)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407455)

Java is in no way shape or form an analogy to COBOL. It's a fast, maintainable, highly portable language that's used to write a huge amount of new software today.

Your predjudice is baseless. The reasons behind the existence of both languages have a great deal of overlap.

No language, no matter how "fast, maintainable, [or] highly portable language", can prevent an enterprise app from becoming a total maintenance nightmare after 20 years of feature creep. That's why it's analogous to COBOL. A few decades from now, extensive and current Java experience will command some nice consulting fees. I also predict Ruby/Python knowledge to become about as useful Pascal.

Perhaps "most used" means more hours (2, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407219)

After all, you have to use a Java IDE a lot longer to get a GUI layout right. Netbeans and Eclipse should catch up in ease of use in GUI development circa 1990 any day now.

Re:Why yet... (5, Informative)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405267)

Is this a joke or a troll? Declining? Java is 54% of the corporate market for enterprise applications.

The WORA 'paradigm' as you called it is alive and well. j2se6 is fast - even swing is fast.

I've been using java for 9 years, first on the client and then on the server. The frameworks like struts, spring and shale are bringing religion and consistency to Java applications - and management LOVES consistency. Outside of corporate America, j2me is in most cell phones and set-tops.

Jobs on dice.com

'java' - 16156
'c#' - 6634
'asp' - 3521
'asp.net' - 4581
'.net' - 9097 (inclusive of previous keyword)

Fatality. Rayden(Gossling) Wins.

Re:Why yet... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405375)

Java is 54% of the corporate market for enterprise applications.

What a coincedence. Many of the machines at work require 54 different JRE versions to be installed!

Re:Why yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405653)

Don't confuse us with the facts!

Re:Why yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405825)

Yeah, except most of those probably read something like "transitioning away from Java-based system to ___", so Java hits all the others.

Actually, more likely is that you'll have to interface with some POS J2EE legacy system, so you're getting hits for Java on things that have absolutely nothing to do with it.

Java is dieing, and getting replaced with superior technologies like C# or Ruby, depending on scenario.

But it still shows up in job searches, either as the legacy system to integrate with, or the system being moved to the new, superior technology.

Re:Why yet... (1)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406063)

go check for yourself instead of looking like an ass?

----->click me [dice.com]

Re:Why yet... (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406069)

I would worry since C# is getting already more than 1/3 of Java's market.

Re:Why yet... (3, Interesting)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406187)

That 1/3 is predominantly the MS shops that already were using VB, etc. .NET adoption has become stagnate proportionally over the last 18 months. People just are not moving to .NET from other platforms, just upgrading from VB....

Makes you wonder. (0, Offtopic)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406779)

VB.NET is nothing like traditional Visual Basic. Your old projects will not recompile under .NET so I have to wonder.
Why make the effort to move to another Microsoft development system after getting burned.
I doubt that Java is that much harder for a VB shop to move to than C#. Plus you are not stuck with a one vendor one OS solution.

Yes I know about Mono but I also know Mono lags behind .NET so compatibility isn't close to what it is for Java.

Re:Why yet... (1)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406253)

saying that it has 54% of the market doesn't refute a statement that it's declining unless you can show that it had 54% or less previously, unless your argument is "who cares if it's declining, it's still a lot of apps"

Re:Why yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18406987)

Ok, now lets compare the salary for these jobs.

Java programmers are a dime a dozen. No need to worry about those 'complex' issues like memory management, etc, any kid on the street can possibly learn java.

Java is fine for toys, like cell phones and set top boxes, but for real applications there is no replacement for a real programming language like C/C++ or even assembly.

Re:Why yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18407359)

HA!

i'm a java architect by day. my base is 120k USD i'm just outside of detroit.

Re:Why yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18407411)

Java is fine for toys, like cell phones

No, actually it sucks in cell phones. It's cheap for carriers to add though.

Re:Why yet... (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18408381)

I make $75-$100 an hour writing Java. That's good enough for me.

I also write C and C++ when required, but that hasn't been for a while now. You use the most appropriate language for the job, and the server side belongs to Java, period.

Isn't the old license quite a bit more restrictive (4, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18404709)

For the longest time, all of the source code for Java has been available to everyone. And until recently it came with a licence that said: 'The source is open but you can't redistribute the results of any of your changes without passing the test suite.'


Isn't the old license quite a bit more restrictive than just passing a test suite? I mean, many Linux distros have either been requiring that the J2RE and so forth be downloaded from sun.java.com or they've been requiring that you download 3rd party implementations based on the Sun source like blackdown. It doesn't sound to me like the license was ever as laisez-faire as Gosling seems to be implying here.

Yup (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#18404967)

The key is your distro is capable in some way or another of using the word Java and their logo and probably redistributing it.

Re:Isn't the old license quite a bit more restrict (4, Informative)

roscivs (923777) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407027)

Isn't the old license quite a bit more restrictive than just passing a test suite? I mean, many Linux distros have either been requiring that the J2RE and so forth be downloaded from sun.java.com or they've been requiring that you download 3rd party implementations based on the Sun source like blackdown. It doesn't sound to me like the license was ever as laisez-faire as Gosling seems to be implying here.
The old license also had a clause that said you couldn't distribute the SDK with a competitor to Sun's implementation. This was probably intended (like the test suite restriction) to avoid any Microsoft-style "embrace and extend," but there was enough worry that distributing the SDK along with gcj was against the terms of the license that just about every Linux distro opted to distribute a non-Sun Java.

He talks about Vista too (0, Redundant)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18404737)

[karmawhore]

What's your take on Vista?
I tend to stay away from Microsoft [software] because it tends to be so toxic. I'm not exactly an expert on the state of Vista. But it sure seems boring. They've put in a lot of eye candy but other than that it seems like an awful lot of money for not very much.
[/karmawhore]

Who's the mother? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18404751)

But, who's the mother? That is the more important question. Anybody can be the father... just look at what Anna Nicole Smith. So, at least lets try to figure out who the mother is... after all, some body had to give birth, right? Or, is this just asexual reproduction, as is common with the slashdot crowed?

Re:Who's the mother? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405639)

Your asexual reproduction comment must have touched a nerve with some moderators.

Expectations (2, Insightful)

Sometimes_Rational (866083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18404959)

"If you come up with a good software development tool, that makes life easier for the developers and they can get their job done quicker, then the first thing the manager says is 'oh you've got free time on your hands. Do this extra thing'.
Reminds me of somethng Winston Churchill supposedly said: "If you every day do a little more than is expected from you, it doesn't take long before people expect even more from you."

Either great minds think alike or he is stealing from the best.

GMTA (2, Interesting)

somepunk (720296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405367)

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
                                -- Winston Churchill

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others.
                                -- Berry Kercheval

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it without a sense of ironic futility.
                                -- Errol Morris

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.
                                -- Henry Spencer

Re:Expectations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405857)

Expectations
(Score:2, Insightful)
by Sometimes_Rational (866083) on Monday March 19, @03:37PM (#18404959)

"If you come up with a good software development tool, that makes life easier for the developers and they can get their job done quicker, then the first thing the manager says is 'oh you've got free time on your hands. Do this extra thing'.

Reminds me of somethng Winston Churchill supposedly said: "If you every day do a little more than is expected from you, it doesn't take long before people expect even more from you."

Either great minds think alike or he is stealing from the best.


Great minds? Actually many in the workplace recognize that not only is this true but that it can add work to others in the same or similar job description. Being the definable cause of extra work being placed on your fellow workers can and often does result in that person's fellow workers plotting their job demise. Too often it also makes their boss think they are after their job and the employee makes their hit list. This is all too true in the hourly worker jobs. However if you figure out how to do the same work in less time, with less effort, goof off while looking busy and not get caught at it you will make the hero list for some and the envy or hate list of others. While I realize that what I have said can be countered with positive effects and is just an extension of the original statement, I wanted to point out that if you said this to many blue collar workers they would just look at you and say: "No DUH" or similar while thinking "darn edjumacated idjit". The way "edjumacated idjit" is spelled and pronounced isn't a mistake by its users, its a deliberate mockery.

Questions (2, Insightful)

bendodge (998616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405181)

I'd really like to ask him what he is doing about Microsoft's efforts [edge-op.org] to poison Java.

I have been doing some peripheral help with a Java converter that converts from GML to Java, and it doesn't seem very cross-platform to me, even though it has no dependencies. The converter gives odd errors on different platforms - even on different XP machines! And the pure Java code it outputs doesn't run on Macs.

IMHO, using platform-specific dependencies (like DLL's) should be the only possible way to make Java that isn't cross-platform.

Re:Questions (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405657)

I'd really like to ask him what he is doing about Microsoft's efforts to poison Java.

You do realize that memo was ten years ago, right?

And the pure Java code it outputs doesn't run on Macs.

Anyway, as you've noticed, Sun ultimately didn't need any help poisoning Java and making it less than useful for everyday life (though, it did do better for what it was intended -- embedded apps).

Re:Questions (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407055)

You do realize that memo was ten years ago, right?
I doubt MS has changed its goals regarding Sun in the last 10 years.

I just wish there was something totally cross-platform, with a motto such as: "If x doesn't work on everything, it should work on nothing."

Re:Questions (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407247)

I doubt MS has changed its goals regarding Sun in the last 10 years.

Microsoft (and nearly the entire industry, really) stopped caring about Sun about five years ago. They are irrelevent to anything important these days.

best Gosling quote ever... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18405297)

I've read TFA, it's always interesting to see was Gosling has to say on Java...

Java is such a huge success, my favorite quote from TFA:
"...you can't send a parcel through FedEx without a bunch of Java code being involved. It's almost impossible to execute a financial transaction without a piece of Java code being involved."

So true... And GMail, and eBay. Read the enlightening paper on how Java / Spring is used at Voca (in the UK) to process real-world money, scaling at insane levels.

That said, to me, the best Gosling quote I ever read was in an Artima interview. Basically, Gosling said that he regretted not having gone "pure interface" in Java. Java could have been a much cleaner language if Gosling had gone this way: remove the "abstract" keyword/construct from the language (and hence remove the "protected" keyword too, which makes no sense once the "abstract" keywork is gone). And prevent concrete inheritance. So Java would have been a more OO language, where only inheritance of interface would have been possible. Some people (a tiny minority) program in Java in this way. Most people do not get that concept: that OO is all about ADT (Abstract Data Types) and that a concrete implementation should be a detail. To most people this is heresy, because "you've got to type more characters, you've got to create 'needless' interfaces,..." (in modern IDEs most of these problems are non-existent for you can delegate/compose using a single shortcut). Remove the abstract keyword today from the language, and you can millions of Java developers screaming and whining endlessly. It is sooo sad Gosling didn't do it before releasing Java to the public. Every single program out there today in Java would be more OO-ish and more testable.

It is interesting to note that Bjarne Stroustrup, on that very subject, has explained a great many times that "people simply don't get it". Here's a quote on the same subject by Bjarne Stroustrup:

"Since then I have consistently pointed out that one of the major ways of writing classes in C++ is without any state, that is, just an interface."

This is OO 101. And yet hardly anyone can understand this. I'm into OOA(nalysis) / OOD(esign) and it is not always trivial to do OOP using a 3GL (third generation language, like C++ or Java) but with some thinking and discipline it's possible to get close to "real OOP" using Java. Sadly this is not what 99% of the Java programming world is doing.

Re:best Gosling quote ever... (4, Interesting)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405783)

The technique you describe is useful, even powerful. Being able to think in that way is a great asset.

But if I understand you correctly, you think Java should have required us to program in that way. Quite simply, that's a very bad idea. It's just another set of chains and obstructions that a language imposes on you for no good reason.

The main thing it does is make it so that you can't have a totally abstract class, a partially abstract derived class, and a fully concrete class derived from that. For example, if I had a Vehicle class, and then Car, Truck, and Airplane classes that derived from Vehicle, and then Mustang, Aerostar, Boeing747, and F16 classes that derived from those, the problem would be that Car, Truck, and Airplane could only define new abstract methods. They couldn't implement any methods that were defined in Vehicle, but which would make sense to have all Car classes have the same implementation. Then each Car class would have to duplicate the common code. Bad idea.

Re:best Gosling quote ever... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18406993)

Unfortunately without multiple inheritance, you have to do this anyway, most of the time. Sure if you have a very simple inheritance hierarchy then you're ok with the way things are. The moment you start getting thingsa bit more complicated, and you're stuffed.

Better instead to have it all one way or the other. My personal preference is to implement MI (but apparently that was too difficult for Helsjberg and Gosling).

Re:best Gosling quote ever... (1)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407199)

Yeah, I would have preferred MI myself, though I must say that I've never actually needed it. So I think I have to disagree with your "most of the time".

One way around this is to figure out which is the "main" heirarchy and which is the "mixin" (one class dominates in terms of size, importance, number of methods, or some such). Then you have the mixin as a member of the main object, and pass the mixin object to the main object's constructor. Then you have to implement the methods that you would like to be members of the main class in the form of accessors to the same functions in the mixin class. Result: A lot of scaffolding and fooling around, but no "real" code duplicated.

But if you were to tell me that my approach is a total kludge to try to band-aid a language limitation, I really couldn't argue...

Re:best Gosling quote ever... (1)

DrFalkyn (102068) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407841)

That said, to me, the best Gosling quote I ever read was in an Artima interview. Basically, Gosling said that he regretted not having gone "pure interface" in Java. Java could have been a much cleaner language if Gosling had gone this way: remove the "abstract" keyword/construct from the language (and hence remove the "protected" keyword too, which makes no sense once the "abstract" keywork is gone). And prevent concrete inheritance. So Java would have been a more OO language, where only inheritance of interface would have been possible. Some people (a tiny minority) program in Java in this way. Most people do not get that concept: that OO is all about ADT (Abstract Data Types) and that a concrete implementation should be a detail. To most people this is heresy, because "you've got to type more characters, you've got to create 'needless' interfaces,..." (in modern IDEs most of these problems are non-existent for you can delegate/compose using a single shortcut). Remove the abstract keyword today from the language, and you can millions of Java developers screaming and whining endlessly. It is sooo sad Gosling didn't do it before releasing Java to the public. Every single program out there today in Java would be more OO-ish and more testable.

What do you gain by doing this? Allowing sublcasses of an abstract base class allows all the subclasses to share a common code base. I believe that is one of the more powerful features of OOPL. If I have code that is identical across different implementations of a base class, when I sublcass the base class I get all this code for free. Without the ability to do that, I have to do a cut and paste of the code. And that is ugly and more difficult to maintain. For example, I don't have to implement for every single FooSubClass that extends Foo( because all Foo(x, y, z) does is copy x, y and z to foo.x, foo.y and foo.z Well, I guess you do have to write it. But then all you have to do is call super(x, y, z). A simple example, but there are lots of times when subclasses share a common code base. For example, I would really like to see what say, the Swing/AWT code base would look like without the ability to do subclass from abstract base classes. Or, for that matter, what client code would look like. What would you do if you can't subclass JComponent to provide your own paintComponent() method? Should you have to duplicate every method JComponent implements from JComponenetInterface(not a real interface, but I guess thats what you would puse something like that)?

On that note to that I would add that its a shame that Java doesn't have multiple inheritance. I know it opens up cans of worms and its easily misused, but there are some times when it really comes in handy, and it makes the code base alot more clean.

Did the JRuby guys get the memo? (1)

corecaptain (135407) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405559)

"So things like Ruby and PHP are really good for generating web pages. But as soon as you go beyond that, you get into trouble. And with so many enterprise applications, the web page is sort of the skin on the outside of the real application. And mostly scripting languages don't do the high-performance, large-scale computing very well."

If this is true, then Sun might as well ditch their efforts with JRuby because no matter how
well it runs on the JVM it is only going to be good for generating web pages - and that
is more than taken care of by JSP.

But maybe, just maybe, Ruby does something java doesn't - like enable a framework like Rails
and make programming more productive and fun...

...and Stackless. (1)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 7 years ago | (#18405671)

And mostly scripting languages don't do the high-performance, large-scale computing very well.

Quick! Somebody tell CCP!

Re:Did the JRuby guys get the memo? (1)

siDDis (961791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406389)

If you want something similar to Rails for Java then you should take a look at Groovy for Grails

Re:Did the JRuby guys get the memo? (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407139)

There is quite a lot of criticism about generating web pages through JSP (I am only stating this without taking any side on this - it's is not my main expertise). Also, stating that Ruby does more than web by allowing the Rails framework?

"Rails is a full-stack framework for developing database-backed web applications according to the Model-View-Control pattern."

Uh, rails is more than web because it does web applications? Eh, color me surprised.

bit34 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18406155)

ugly child (2, Informative)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#18406831)

People should remember that Java started out as a set-top language and was released when that project failed. Then, it was supposed to turn the web into an application delivery platform, and it failed miserably at that, too (Ajax is now succeeding there).

The reason Java isn't a footnote in history is because of the enormous efforts people and companies other than Gosling and Sun have invested in fixing up its problems and turning Java into a decent platform for server-side development.

As far as I'm concerned, the main credit Gosling deserves is for saddling us with some bad design choices and some really ugly backwards compatibility problems in Java.

Re:ugly child (3, Insightful)

owlstead (636356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18407227)

"The reason Java isn't a footnote in history is because of the enormous efforts people and companies other than Gosling and Sun have invested in fixing up its problems and turning Java into a decent platform for server-side development."

Bollocks. The Java API is rather brilliant in both its usability and its extensive features, not to mention its documentation. The Java language is rather easy to learn (many, many universities use it as the first language of choice) and isn't too far from C++ to be easily learned. And it's memory protection and garbage collection make life *much* easier and safer. That is the reason why Java succeeded, and most, if not all of it (in the first years) by extensive help by Sun. And Sun is also responsible for keeping Java the clean language it is today, without pre-processor, without operator overloading, properties and all the other things that makes maintaining C++ so much *fun*.

Re:ugly child (2, Insightful)

Siker (851331) | more than 7 years ago | (#18408573)

Java is a miserable failed academic experiment. It is written for the people who enjoy a healthy dose of philosophy in their work life, yet never actually need to work on anything practical. For the developers of Java, a programming language is not a tool to solve problems. It's an exercise in philosophy.

I work with Java professionally and I spend a frightful amount of my time just fixing the underlying system. Swing, lack of closures and multiple inheritance, lousy string handling, fantastically bloated code base, and so forth, are just some of the things that threaten my sanity on a day to day basis.
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