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Chapter 9: The Contenders

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invalidname
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Joined: 2003-06-09
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"So far, I've taken an in-depth look at one language and two application development models. I just don't have the time or will to do a comprehensive treatment of languages, but this book wouldn't be complete without at least mentioning some of the major alternatives. I'll take a longer look at what I see as the major alternatives. Then, I'll mention a few alternatives that I see as less likely."

Tate lists the major "contenders" to replace/succeed Java as:
* Ruby
* Python
* Groovy
* .NET

The minor contenders, those he sees as less likely to succeed, are:
* PHP
* Perl
* Smalltalk
* Lisp
* Functional languages

Of these, he quickly summarizes the fatal flaws: "Perl's too loose and too messy, PHP is too close to the HTML, Lisp is not accessible, and Smalltalk wasn't Java."

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Anonymous

> Unfortunately, that "space" is ill defined, except in
> the vaguest of terms, used in the same old tired
> defense.
>
> For instance, everyone reflexively throws up the
> "enterprise" argument. What are these "enterprise
> apps"? XA transactions? Interface to PeopleSoft? SAP?
>
>
> So, if 90% of my application is web based, interacts
> with one or more databases, and 5-10% of it is XA
> transactions, or ERM/CRM connectivity, then that
> 5-10% somehow makes my application an "enterprise"
> app?
>
> What exactly is the criteria for an "enterprise" app,
> anyway?

I believe "enterprise", and this is just an opinion, englobes a set of tools and code for both generating apps that are robust (won't fail miserably by silly things), easy to build and mantain and scalable.

For the enterprise thing, middleware such as J2EE app servers provides much of that.

I have seen some big Perl apps, and one might argue that dynamic language could do well, but I think the GREAT advantage of Java is the standard platform and tools, and that is unmatchable.

Changing a little bit of the subject, for ease of maintaining piece of software, I'd go for Java any time. Thank God I'm paid to think, not to type. Saving keystrokes, the same way Perl does, is not exactly the route to maintainable code.

archangel
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Joined: 2003-07-01
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I think it really depends on what *space* Tate is talking about.

For example, nobody would have ever looked at PHP and said "This is much easier than Java, I'm going to write my enterprise app in this".

However, I've known lots of people to look at PHP and say "This is much easier than Java, I'm going to knock-up the dynamic section of my website in it".

PHP has a sizable share of the total number of dynamic websites out there, but I would hazard a guess that few of them are enterprise-strength apps.

barin
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Joined: 2005-10-27
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Unfortunately, that "space" is ill defined, except in the vaguest of terms, used in the same old tired defense.

For instance, everyone reflexively throws up the "enterprise" argument. What are these "enterprise apps"? XA transactions? Interface to PeopleSoft? SAP?

So, if 90% of my application is web based, interacts with one or more databases, and 5-10% of it is XA transactions, or ERM/CRM connectivity, then that 5-10% somehow makes my application an "enterprise" app?

What exactly is the criteria for an "enterprise" app, anyway?

evickroy
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Joined: 2004-07-23
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Maybe you're blaming Java for many of the short-comings of "web development" and you long for the ease of use of CGI scripts?

Times are getting tougher to develop rich, non-ecommerce applications over the web, so countless scripting languages and frameworks "spring" up every 6 months to try and fix the inadequacies of the browser.

Maybe Java isn't really the problem, but you are just lashing out because you've just realized that what you really want is a sexier Perl with some fresh frameworks?

From what you have described here, it seems that maybe Ruby is just what "web developers" have needed all along. Please move along and let the rest of us continue to enjoy the power and flexibility of Java. ;-)

Just my 2 cents, of course...
Erik

mthornton
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Joined: 2003-06-10
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Somehow I don't think the language I will move to after Java is on your list at all. Perhaps it has yet to be invented.

Vic

Flash: ActionScript 3.0 has a better VM and layout.

.V