Alignment: Chaotic Java

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Rants about EoD and other things

I can understand people complaining about developers rushing for the newest technology (best example here). I appreciate the writer, and I agree with him in a lot of aspects. I have the same problem at my current work place, where people rush to use the latest of the languages, systems and software. Obviously, at our system, the usability of the outcome framework is irrelevant: We don't outsource our systems. However, using a language that has a big user-base and survived some time in the open market is also an advantage, having questions and relevant answers in expert forums is one major reason for that.

However, one must also need to remember the reason for these developments. And I will leave the Java vs dotNet domain for a minute and take a look at a neighbor domain: Windows vs. *nix. Anyone with a long-term memory could give a comment about how the Unix was represented during the 90s: Archaic, command-line system with a low-user base when it came to home users. Why would there be home-users anyway? It was considered a server-only system. The main reason for the shift in server-use towards the Windows systems today, in my humble opinion, is not necessarily Microsoft's promises of a better system: It's because the users grew up on a Windows system, and they feel more comfortable with it.

What Linux brought to this equations was a generation of users who grew up on a Nix system, or potentially can grow up as these systems become more comfortable for the home-user. Sure, using a Linux is not the same as using a Solaris, but the gap is not as huge as the gap from Windows 2000 to Solaris, and being familiar with these systems would give it a better voice starting from the "ground level" to the decision maker level.

Coming back to Java: Java is mature. That is why it's so difficult to add new features, especially EoD (Ease of Development) features into the language. Just to stress out the point of how difficult this is, the JSR-201 took almost 2 years to complete. On the other hand, one needs to consider the end-users: Decision makers and technical advisors are people too. If they had a nice experience with a language A and a lesser experience with language B, when they come to choose a language for their new application or their new module or about porting an application, they will take That into consideration as well, much as any statistical report or Gartner report. The human factor is important - If you grow with a certain environment you'll end up preferring it, especially if it gave you a good experience.

I know it's not required to be a rocket scientist to know any of this, but I just wanted to add my two cents about these rants.

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