[conspire] End of an era for Java

Deirdre Saoirse Moen deirdre at deirdre.net
Wed Oct 19 16:29:30 PDT 2011

On 10/19/2011, "Nick Moffitt" <nick at zork.net> wrote:

>The joke that Java is COBOL for the 21st century certainly has legs, but
>I have come to think of Java more as the FORTRAN of the 21st century.

The reason I always maintained it was the COBOL of the 21st century was
simply that it was quite literally replacing COBOL for the same kinds of
business applications.

>And of course there's Java's famous propensity for architecture
>astronauts to read the Gang Of Four "Design Patterns" book as
>prescriptive rather than descriptive, and treat terminology as
>technique.  It's hard to avoid being the sort of cynic that saw BASIC as
>brain damage in the 1980s, and write the authors of this sort of code
>off as too far from reality to be saved.  I have a hope that the shock
>of learning something new will bring out diamonds in the rough, and the
>patternheads can keep on refactoring their
>AbstractFactoryGeneratorVisitorSingletons in legacy codebases for a
>comfortable wage well into retirement.

Not to mention their hammer factory factories. [1]

>Myself, I worry more for Python's future.  It seems that the really hip
>kids these days are all working in ruby, which is a great language to
>write in but reading code is a lot harder than in Python.

I didn't enjoy doing web programming in Python, but now there's all
kinds of cool tools. I've already endured the rails learning curves, so
I'll stick with it, especially since that's not where I'm making
money these days and thus have no compelling reason to change.

>When you bring up choice of programming language, the defenders of the
>maligned languages (PHP, Perl, etc.) will roll their eyes and say "But a
>good programmer can write good code in any language!"  To this, I always
>say: Mozart could write grand opera in German, but that doesn't mean
>it's the best language for the rest of us to work in.  It's not
>interesting that Knuth could have conceivably written TeX in readable

Even the best perl and php I've seen have been a long way from good ruby
or python.


[1] http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?joel.3.219431

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