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Java Is So 90s 923

An anonymous reader writes "Some of you may recall last year's Java vs. LAMP Slashdot flamewar. The fight has now "brewed" (couldn't resist) into the mainstream press at BusinessWeek." From the article: "Yared says developers far and wide are creating a new generation of Internet-based applications with LAMP and related technologies rather than with Java. Can it possibly be that Java -- once the hippest of hip software -- has become a legacy technology, as old and out of style as IBM's (IBM) mainframe computers and SAP's corporate applications? Mounting evidence points to yes. Reports by Evans Data Corp., which does annual surveys of the activities of software developers, show Java use is slipping as LAMP and Microsoft's .NET technology gain traction."
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Java Is So 90s

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  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <> on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:27PM (#14249096) Homepage Journal
    When I think of the 90s, I think of my days designing in RIPterm [] and uploading and downloading warez while chatting with Bimodem while trying to figure out the best initialization string to take advantage of the V.42 modem I used.

    I definitely do not think of Java as a 90s scripting/programming language -- although I do get very frustrated when Java apps don't run properly on my PDA. I do think that Java is an outdated language that always seemed unfriendly to users and caused a lot of extra cost/headache to my customers when every software company we supported seemed to attempt to create a Java app to access their software engines.

    I think Java has (had?) some features that made it easier to program in, especially for not-so-wise programmers. The automatic garbage collection allowed my guys to make quick fixes without worrying about memory management (I am being sarcastic here, I had some real dumb asses subcontracting some of my work). The speed of Java was great too (still sarcastic), and the consistency of the output code was always a positive (yes, still sarcastic).

    I guess my big concern with LAMP is what the hell is the P? PHP? Python? Perl? They're all very powerful and they all have their own positives and negatives in regards to quick scripting solutions, but all of them still allow bad programs to churn our badly written programs. I'm guessing that is the trade-off: the more complex programs you can write, the more likely you are to see badly written programs.

    It is very hard not to be sarcastic when talking about Java. Every CEO of every company I consulted with loved to spew the big tech words, and Java haunted me for years. I'm glad I don't hear it anymore -- should I thank the dotbomb for that?

    In the long run, I think the 90s client-server systems will come back into use. Software companies have every reason to move back to controlling their applications and charging for use rather than licensing the code out to end users. I seriously believe the push for faster cable modems and DSL to the home is through the software developers (and music and video publishers) in order to just stream everything rather than offer the user the ability of unlimited copying. Once you have 2MB WiFi nation wide, there is no need to ever store your programs or your media anymore, right?
    • by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:36PM (#14249215) Journal
      I do think that Java is an outdated language that always seemed unfriendly to users and caused a lot of extra cost/headache to my customers when every software company we supported seemed to attempt to create a Java app to access their software engines.

      How can you call it an "outdated" language? what is an outdated language? Ada is an outdated language, BASIC may be another.

      I like Java (as a language) a lot, I have used it for enterprise level applications (supply chain management software) and currently I am using it to make market based simulations.

      The wrong thing about Java is the Virtual machine implementation. You can blame Sun for that. If Java is slow, grabs lots of memory and all that it is because of the virtual machine, not because of the language. A language is just a BNF diagram specification which describes the syntax of the program, and all of its reserved words.

      What Java needs is a better (less memory and faster) implementation of the libraries it has and the virtual machine to run the programs. As an example, almost everyone who has used C# or any other .NET program can see the applications run quite fast.
    • What I don't get is why it's always characterized as "LAMP vs. Java". To be correct it should either be "Perl/PHP/Python vs. Java" or "LAMP vs. LAMJ", because many Java systems are already built around Linux, Apache and MySQL.

      Invisible Fence Guide []
      • by jkauzlar ( 596349 ) * on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @04:52PM (#14250082) Homepage
        Because those oh-so-free PHP developers can't stand that sun-controlled Java can be easily lumped in with Linux and MySQL. I use only Linux and MySQL w/ Java and I'd feel severely handicapped w/o many of JSP's cool features. I still meet people (developers) who think that Java means 'applet' which only proves that the applet was the most retarded marketing mistake ever created. I don't even touch Java GUI.

        I'm not trying to flamebait, but I'd like to point out why JSP is much more attractive to me than PHP:

        1. JSP tags w/ expression language-- I barely need to code inside of a JSP page. JSP works as the ideal 'pure templating language' along w/ CSS.
        2. The webapp environment w/ web.xml-- okay, I'm not sure if PHP has a similar construct, but it's great to be able to organize an entire web application in a single file.
        3. The option to move into full-fledged J2EE (scalability)
        4. The language and libraries, while maybe not well implemented, are extremely well thought-out. The collection libraries are absolutely perfect! The 1.5 features make them even better
        5. Very standardized. Those that don't want to track the versions of all their supplementary libraries need not worry. Sun and Apache have nearly everything you'll need.
        6. Eclipse! Amazing IDE! Handles refactorings, remote revision control, builds & deployment, Javadoc tooltips and it 'knows' Java well. You'll never get compile-time errors and very few run-time errors.
    • by Concern ( 819622 ) * on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @04:20PM (#14249728) Journal
      After C/C++, Java ended a long nightmare of preprocessor abuse, ridiculous "APIs" (collections of warring header files with no-vowels function names that were never the same from computer to computer), especially GUI APIs (never failed to amaze me how someone could call Swing "stupid" and then go back to coding Win32 or Motif... Apple guys I can forgive :)... And then there was all the fun of the endless futility of "expecting" programmers to always get their own memory management right. That one really burns me.

      C/C++ never took the rap for billions upon billions of dollars in lost productivity because of all the bizarre failure modes of memory allocation failures (hey, there's garbage on the screen... or, hey... it's Tuesday, the full moon is out and the app segfaulted again... coincidence?) or having some clever sixteen year old shove 80k up your 256 byte buffer. You can't tell me wrestling with the garbage collector isn't an improvement on this, because it's ridiculous.

      Java of course is within spitting distance of C++ already in one or two benchmarks, but in reality nobody cared either way because you got things in trade that made it a good deal even when it was still quite slow. Not sure what "consistency of the output code" means, but...

      You got it right about LAMP. The problems were often that the higher level systems (well, PHP anyway) were great for making websites, but didn't enforce enough rules to be a good idea for projects above a certain size. Still and all, a great many companies in the 90's said "OK, we need 8-way oracle boxes with hot swap CPUs and a 50 disk RAID and Oracle and Weblogic, and... now, what are we going to build exactly?" Most of these places could and should have just used PHP on a few pentiums and saved themselves time and money and headaches. On the other hand, I saw plenty of places coast on a slick of Perl and human blood well past the point where they needed real "enterprise" (hate that word) software development.

      It seems like Java was only ever a victim of its own success. No one ever wrote a shitty applet or misused the VM in some way, where the whole language didn't get blamed as a result. Basically, it's another tool in the toolbox, and though it drives C/C++ guys to conniptions, it's the right choice to replace many applications programming tasks right now. Not that I wouldn't throw a party to meet its succeesor.

      Unlike many big languages past, Java is probably never going away. No one seems to have realized it yet, but as the VM-first-mover it's the ultimate langauge standard. I bet you people will be porting the Java VM long after we're dead. ;)
      • by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @04:57PM (#14250147) Homepage
        People always blame C++, but I still think that the problems with C++ come from two sources, neither of which are the language itself:
        1) lack of a single, dominant library for all the things that Java provides (like serialization, gui, etc.) and generally fugly APIs for the ones that are mainstream.
        2) coders who treated C++ as "C, with some new features" rather than treating it like "Java where you can import C functions". Use vectors, smart pointers, etc. and the language miraculously changes from fugly to pleasant.

        If Java was just a C++ library and a good free compiler, we might have dodged this whole mess. The only loss would be applets (not gonna run untrusted C++ code on the browser) - and who would miss those? Really, who uses the hardware-agnosticism of Java anyways? If the hypothetical "Java Library for C++" was created to be platform agnostic (just as Java is) then you'd have the same functionality in C++ - after all, it's pretty easy to write C++ code that will compile/run everywhere if your libraries work the same everywhere, and your compilers actually follow the standards.
        • 2) coders who treated C++ as "C, with some new features" rather than treating it like "Java where you can import C functions". Use vectors, smart pointers, etc. and the language miraculously changes from fugly to pleasant.

          If you're going to do that, you may as well use Objective-C, or as I like to refer to it, "C++ done right".
  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <> on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:27PM (#14249103) Journal
    The second sentence from the original article posted on /. Started as: "Not to start another PHP vs. Java flame war..."

    And now begins the second flame war started by said article.

    Gentlemen and nerds, prepare your flamethrowers and ectopacks [] (respectively)...


    When will I see a constructive article comparing and contrasting the two and inviting a civil conversation and an acknowledgement that there are fans on both sides?

    Come on, it's not like this is a religious argument or (possibly worse) a Star Wars vrs. Star Trek argument.
  • by CodeHog ( 666724 ) <joe,slacker&gmail,com> on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:29PM (#14249124) Homepage
    Basic is reported as "So 80s".
  • by tcopeland ( 32225 ) * <(tom) (at) (> on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:30PM (#14249135) Homepage
    ...they mean Linux Apache Middleware PostgreSQL.

    And when they say middleware, they mean Ruby []!
  • PHP vs. Java (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mysqlrocks ( 783488 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:31PM (#14249144) Homepage Journal
    Here's my take. For most web sites, use PHP. If you need enterprise level stuff, use Java but don't let anyone tell you that PHP is not scalable, that is simply not true. Don't go to .NET - nothing you can really get on .NET then you can't get with Java. Enough said. Flame On.
    • by pinkstuff ( 758732 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:55PM (#14249439)

      If PHP is so scalable, then why use Java for enterprise applications? :-)

    • Re:PHP vs. Java (Score:3, Informative)

      by supra ( 888583 )
      I don't see why it has to be a black or white issue. While websites can certainly be developed using only one or the other, it doesn't have to be that way. And I don't think it should be portrayed that way.

      I'll use [] as an example. The web site is 100% LAMP. The app (client, applet, and server) is 100% Java. They both do well for their job. They even communicate with each other. Obviously they have their own strengths and weaknesses, especially relative to each other.

      As with m
  • by bigpat ( 158134 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:32PM (#14249156)
    Problem is that Java programmers have been bought up by big companies deploying enterprise applications and they really haven't been contributing to open source projects. With all the PHP projects out there that you can just download and deploy and tinker with it is no wonder why php is all over the web now. Java should be easier to deploy as .wars and just as easy to tinker with. But it just seems like every open source J2ee app out there dies on the vine, probably because the java developers got real jobs or else they decided they could sell their software as an "enterprise" product.
  • It is to laugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msuzio ( 3104 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:32PM (#14249167) Homepage
    Oh, please.

    Java is still in incredibly heavy use in larger-scale systems and internal applications. It doesn't need to be "hip", "trendy", or "LAMP". It just needs to do a job, do it well, and be maintainable. It does that (and more), has still proven fairly easy to scale from small projects to very large, and is still a decent (though not terrific) language.

    It also plays well with many other solutions, by virtue of numerous scripting languages which target Java bytecodes, as well as native code integration if you simply cannot get by without some piece of C code (although, there goes easy portability - one of the major benefits).

    These articles are just a joke. That they would even use the term "hip" shows that this is far from a serious study.
    • I think being hip and trendy hurt Java more than it helped. People tried to use java where it wasn't appropiate. Java applets for web buttons that could be done in CSS really hurt it a lot (I can't even tell you how many websites were doing that at one point). The Java buzz is cooling off finally. It's finding its place. Java is nestled in the ranks of C and C++. You'd probably use Java in the same places you might consider C or C++. That doesn't mean Java is going away. It means people are getting their ac
  • .NET?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Progman3K ( 515744 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:33PM (#14249177)
    Can someone explain to me how .NET is so fundamentally different from Java that it could escape Java's fate?

    Isn't .NET (C# really) just a Java rip-off?

    I mean really, not long after MS dropped Java, C# "popped up"

    It's clear that C# is only a repackaging of Java, why should its fate be any different?

    What makes .NET more attractive?
    • Re:.NET?!? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ThinkFr33ly ( 902481 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:59PM (#14249482)
      Can someone explain to me how .NET is so fundamentally different from Java that it could escape Java's fate?

      Well, I'm not sure what Java's fate is, but while .NET isn't fundamentally different than Java, it has several big differences.

      As far as the CLR vs the Java runtime goes, Java byte code is fairly specific to java. It's possible to create non-Java languages that target the byte code, but it's not particularly practical. The CLR, on the other hand, was designed from the start with the idea of multiple language support [].

      It may not seem like a big deal to some, but being able to write more or less equally capable code in VB.NET, C#, J#, C++, Python, or a long list of other languages really does increase adoption.

      The CLR affords far better platform specific integration than Java. JNI is complicated and horrible. COM Interop and API invocation in .NET is fairly easy and straight forward. This is important for adoption considering the huge amount of legacy code that often needs to be interop'd with.

      The security framework built into .NET (Code Access Security) is arguably more refined and capable than the model built into Java. This doesn't really affect the current generation of applications, but for the v2.0 generation it will be very important due to ClickOnce [] deployment.

      The CLR has support better support for a variety of programming constucts, such as generics, than Java does... or, in some cases did but the latest and greatest java releases have done a pretty good job and matching .NET's language feature set.

      While both .NET and Java are free, the application servers they run on are not. For ASP.NET, IIS is the application server. For Java/J2EE, it could be Web Sphere or a variety of others. In pretty much every case a Windows license will be a lot cheaper than the license for the J2EE app server... especially Web Sphere.

      As far as language comparison goes, it's not really all that useful since the CLR supports pretty much everything you could think of, including a nearly 1 to 1 copy of Java. (J#). But if we must, here is a great, although some what dated, comparison of Java and C#.

      Isn't .NET (C# really) just a Java rip-off?

      Not really. It's an evolutionary step. They certainly looked at Java, but they looked at everything. Managed runtimes were not invented by Sun. They've been around for 30 years. Microsoft creating .NET is a step toward Windows having a 100% managed API... something that's good for everybody. 10 years from now it will be rare to see an unmanaged application on Windows, aside from some niche areas. Java could never have done that because Sun wasn't in the position Microsoft is in.
      • Re:.NET?!? (Score:5, Informative)

        by ThinkFr33ly ( 902481 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @04:03PM (#14249514)
        I forgot to post the language comparison [] between C# and Java. Sorry.
      • Re:.NET?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by richieb ( 3277 ) <[richieb] [at] []> on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @04:39PM (#14249948) Homepage Journal
        It may not seem like a big deal to some, but being able to write more or less equally capable code in VB.NET, C#, J#, C++, Python, or a long list of other languages really does increase adoption.

        Actually Jython [] runs very nicely on JVM. I know there is JRuby in the works, plus several others.

        On the other hand, Java runs on Unix and Windows. Is there a working version of .NET for Solaris?

      • Re:.NET?!? (Score:5, Informative)

        by rhedin ( 91503 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @04:45PM (#14250006)
        I can accept most of your points except:
        While both .NET and Java are free, the application servers they run on are not. For ASP.NET, IIS is the application server. For Java/J2EE, it could be Web Sphere or a variety of others. In pretty much every case a Windows license will be a lot cheaper than the license for the J2EE app server... especially Web Sphere.
        It is possible that WebSphere, WebLogic, and the like may cost more than the .NET equiv (not sure as I've not priced MS lately), but that does not consider: That are completely free of charge to both develop and deploy for production use. Support is also available if you'd like-- both free via the web and for-pay for each of these.

        Many of your points may be correct, but a price comparison is not necessarily one of them.

  • by wampus ( 1932 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:34PM (#14249189)
    LAMP? This is even worse than AJAX as far as stupid new names go. I guess that "Web-based application" doesn't sound cool anymore, nor does "dynamic web page." I suppose it doesn't matter, really. Marketing writes the press releases and we call it whatever we hear the most of, eventually.

    I will shut up and get back to coding this app in PHP, now.
  • J2EE != Java (Score:3, Insightful)

    by khrome ( 85018 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:35PM (#14249199) Homepage
    J2EE is a subset of Java, not the whole thing. Any conclusions drawn about J2EE's problems are not problems which spread to J2SE or J2ME. I work in J2SE every day, I think J2EE is overly complex with very little payoff, so I use other solutions where it would be.

    J2EE is dying, long live Java
  • by Per Abrahamsen ( 1397 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:41PM (#14249273) Homepage
    Perl significantly so, as it is from 1987 compared to Pyhton from 1990 and Java from 1991. Perl was probably the first significant "web application" programming language, so hearing it mentioned as a new breed of languages is kind of weird.

    Perl was always a programmers tool, and never had the mainstream hype that surrounded Java from the start, so I kind understand why a journalist could get it mixed up.
  • by jsailor ( 255868 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:42PM (#14249285)
    not by a long shot.
    My clients are very large financial instituions and I don't know one of them who is reducing mainframe capacity. In fact, almost all of them are increasing capacity.
    Most managers find it troubling that their mainframe-centric data centers continue to be well managed, predictable facilities while their Open Systems (UNIX, Wintel, Linux) data centers are a mess. Horribly erratic power and space consumption and many other woes that make management and planning a nightmare. Blade servers have not solved these problems - in fact, they have intensified them (powering and cooling 1000+ W/sq' is much more difficult than 50-100 W/sq').

    While style is subjective, age is not. There's nothing old about the new systems IBM recently announced. Also, if being in style leads to huge cost overruns or getting fired, many of might choose to be a little less stylish.
  • by MacGabhain ( 198888 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:46PM (#14249337)
    Java book sales from one publisher are "off 4%" while book sales of some random new technology are "up 68%". Yeh. It's a new technology. Pick something that had its first book hit the shelves around Christmas last year and you'll see it's sales shoot up well over 1000% last year to this.

    What worries me is that I teach at a community college. One of my colleagues subscribes to Business Week and takes them quite seriously. I'd rather not have to get into a curriculum battle over this. Business week just needs to STFU about technology in industry, because people who have limited contact with it (either by not interacting with the technology or not interacting with industry) will often take their ill-informed articles as Truth. (Incidentally, I left industry 4 years ago and am close friends with others still in various sectors. Even after only 4 years, I'm very suspicious of my own first thoughts on the way industry is going, and I always get first-hand input.

  • by ellem ( 147712 ) * <> on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:46PM (#14249340) Homepage Journal
    I bought Learn Java in 21 Days in like 1996 and I STILL can't program in Java. How do I get my money back?
    • Get a better book (Score:3, Informative)

      by woodsrunner ( 746751 )
      For the price, those "Learn something in (X)days" books suck. They are sort of like cheezy exercise equipment sold on late night infomercials -- they seem like a good idea, but in the end they lack the substance and you lack the will power to put up with the tedium and they end up as a clothes rack.

      It takes a lot of practice to be a proficient programmer. Get a copy of Just Java 2 by Peter Van Der Linden. It's probably the best Java book out there and a fun read at that.

      Read the book, put in the time an
  • by stuffduff ( 681819 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:52PM (#14249405) Journal
    COBOL (IMHO) was written by accountants for accountants and I distictly remember agnozing over each and every byte. I think that what will doom Java is a form of political correctness that reminds me of COBOL. In Java, there are many less right ways to do something. Java Correctness means that there must be some sort of inherent bias in the design of the language, or in the leadership of it's development. If there is one thing that I have learned is that programmers do not think alike nor do they code alike. How can one define the productivity losses imposed by a language that has a 'correct' way of doing something? By contrast, I believe that Giudo keeps python as open as humanly possible. That, in no small measure, contributes to the reality of increased productivity with python.

    So, what do you want to do today; be correct or be productive?

  • by rewt66 ( 738525 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @03:52PM (#14249411)
    Pick a language based on what is "hip". Actually, any technology - it doesn't have to just be a language.

    (Digression: "hip"? Who says "hip" any more? It's so 1960s...)
  • by TheTiminator ( 559801 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @04:23PM (#14249772) Homepage
    I've been watching the local So. California programming job market for a while. And as of earlier this year, I started keeping track of the number of jobs available for specific programming languages. Throughout the past 9 months, Java has owned the market on number of available programming job.

    Here's the spreadsheet that I put together. It's in no way scientific, but it is a good indicator that Java, C++, and Oracle own the programming jobs market. []

    If you don't believe me, then do the stats yourself. Go to HotJobs, Monster, Dice, CareerBuilder and find out for yourself. The stats don't lie!

    Timothy Trimble The ART of Software Development
    • I've never understood how job openings on a job board give any indication of how popular a programming language is. If my company posts 10 .NET Programmer openings and 10 Java Programmer openings on, and we have 6 .NET developers apply and get hired and have 2 Java developers apply and get hired; then you go out to Monster and run some sort of statistic on it, what do you see? 4 .NET openings and 8 Java openings. That must mean Java is more popular!?! Nope, just means it's harder to fill the
  • by Decaff ( 42676 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @04:25PM (#14249789)
    I can't take this seriously after Java has recently taken over from C++ as the most popular language on sourceforge: []

    Java is a popular and versatile language. Software development involves far more than the very restricted aspects covered by LAMP.

  • by ecloud ( 3022 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @04:40PM (#14249950) Homepage Journal
    By the time I seriously started playing with PHP I already knew Java, yet it felt compelling somehow. I think it's just because it seems simpler, because the default choice is to put everything right in the page, rather than writing some JSP, some servlets, some EJBs and so on.

    Writing JSP pages isn't really that much different from writing PHP pages; you can write them in a PHP style. But Java people tend to be degreed software engineers moreso than PHP hackers, so they make things complicated and build up layer upon layer of infrastructure, and you need to know a lot more to be able to deal with all those layers effectively. (And you end up needing to use struts, or EJB, for example, not because it's easy, but because management or coworkers pressure you into it.) Alternatively you can just do your database queries right in the JSP pages, which is ugly in a design sense (schema changes can be harder to propagate through the whole system) but very PHPish, and at least the whole pile of code will be smaller and more manageable if you have fewer layers to deal with.

    The myth of software engineering is "after I write this nifty abstraction layer I'm never going to think about this facet of the problem again" (whether it be hardware abstraction, dealing with the database, the GUI API, dealing with web-based transactions and user-specific "state", or anything along those lines that you don't enjoy and would like to box up and forget about). The reality is that every layer you write also requires some maintenance, so you cannot avoid having to think about any of those things again. PHP hackers are just more likely to suck it up and deal with these annoyances head-on, with as terse code as possible, rather than try to abstract them away.

    But some of the abstraction layers that have been created for Java applications are really elegant. Some much more than others.

    Another factor is that large projects, for which more people are hired than is really necessary, with too much management, tend to take the long way around, in the name of elegance and maintainability. If programmers are smart enough to invent really elegant abstractions, and they have the time to do it, most will do it. But if you're on a scrappy underfunded little project you just take the most direct path to get the job done.
  • by danharan ( 714822 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @04:49PM (#14250054) Journal
    BusinessWeek is so last year, so, so... so one-point-oh. (I kid, I kid!)

    The "hip" thing for ex-Java folks is not LAMP but Ruby on Rails. When Bruce Tate wrote Beyond Java, it seemed it was time to check it out- and after doing so I have to say he's on to something.

    Seriously, if you like the whole direction of Spring / Hibernate / JUnit, you owe it to yourself to check out RoR. The speed and joy of LAMP with the architecture and cleanliness of the best Java solutions.
  • by theAtomicFireball ( 532233 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @05:22PM (#14250440)
    This is just stupid. People are wasting their energy arguing over completely different technologies designed for different purposes, with different strengths and weaknesses. If you think any one toolset is the right solution for every problem, you don't know enough about the all the options to have a valid opinion.

    I've used most of the technologies people have mentioned here, some extensively. None of them are clearly all-around better than the others in all ways, and the statistics concerning toolset use are meaningless because technical merits are rarely the deciding factor in what tools or libraries a particular project ends up using. It's usually either the project team deciding to use what they're comfortable with (i.e. the I've-got-a-hammer-so-this-project-must-be-a-nail approach), or imposed top-down by management who were sold on the merits of one solution by a salesperson/article/more technically-savvy friend, etc.

    Hell, the closest thing to an all-around great-for-most-anything tool for building web application was NeXT's old Objective-C based WebObjects which, despite the fact that Apple let it die a painful death, was years ahead of anything else on the market, and even now after not being developed or supported for several years, is still ahead of many solutions in some respects. But I'm not about to recommend to one of my clients that they should use it, even though I might think it's technically a better solution than something else. These decisions, even when made intelligently (which is rarely), are not, and should not be, made in a vacuum.
  • Again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bill_kress ( 99356 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @06:00PM (#14250938)
    These discussions always get me.

    On one side you have a bunch of people who have never seen the kind of problems java solves so well.

    These people for some reason think it's a horrible thing and must die. This has never made sense to me. I dislike a lot of crap that fits other people's needs and I don't really feel the need to rant against them at every opportunity. What kind of inadequacy drives this crap?

    On the other side, you have a bunch of people who need it as is to get their daily jobs done. They are scratching their heads trying to understand why there is even a discussion going on.

    If you are on a project with one developer and it's a web project, Java probably isn't for you. In fact, if you are on ANY project where you are the sole developer, don't bother unless you just like Java's syntax or you have worked in groups before and prefer the consistency and clear code that Java offers.

    If you are writing a tiny app meant to run on a PC, dump java and write it in C/C++. The VM issues are kind of annoying that.

    If you are writing a large client/server app, creating your own protocols, working with a group of 5-50 people, interested in long-term reusable clean code AND willing to spend the extra design time required to make such code, you might consider Java.

    Honestly, I think most of the people complaining are trying to use "Java" to write some web app on their home computer and wondering why it's so hard. Like "Why does driving a backhoe have to be so much harder than riding my bicycle?!?!?" This is really for the hard jobs! If you don't have a hard job, if you are making a web app or something, Use your bicycle. PHP works fine.

    Java makes a lot of the traditionally difficult issues much simpler, but these little apps typically don't even HAVE difficult issues, so yeah, Java may be a little cumbersome for them. Why did they even choose it in the first place.

    My job became immensely easier and more fun by switching from C++ to Java. If you hate java, it may not be the tool for you! Backhoes are not great for tours around the lake, learn C++, VB, PHP, or whatever gets you off and enjoy. Just don't put down that funky looking, fuel guzzling backhoe unless you've tried digging a hole for a pool with your bicycle!

  • by beforewisdom ( 729725 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @06:03PM (#14250968)
    LAMP may "take over", which would be a shame because it looks like what PERL would be if it was a web language.

    Like candy, it is fast and easy. Like candy, if you use it for your meals it will make you fat and rot your teeth.

    LAMP looks a quick and dirty approach for sites, that is easy enough to use to be seductive which will lead to a huge base of hard to maintain code the way PERL did.
  • And threading? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ethank ( 443757 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2005 @07:49PM (#14251948) Homepage
    I hate the articles that proclaim one technology dead because another supplants ONE USAGE of that technology. Web frameworks for Java are cumbersome and a pain in the ass. However, Java is really good for things and can work nicely side-by-side with AJAX, Flash, PHP or whatever other front-end technology you want to use.

    The fact is, programming a stateful, multithreaded application on Java is extremely easy, and in certain circumstances, a stateful application with multithreaded capabilities comes in very handy. I'm thinking things like artificial intelligence applications, messaging, delayed database writes, etc.

    I have programmed sites that are PHP, with a Java multithreaded application used to handle certain transactions or self-organization of graph structures.

    I thought this whole Web 2.0 thing was about open interoperability?

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"