Posted by johnreynolds
on October 20, 2005 at 9:06 AM PDT
I've yet to read Bruce Tate's new book, but I think I get the point.
Bruce Tate's views on Java are always noteworthy. Bruce has a low tolerance for things that don't quite make sense, and he's adept at capturing the essence of the problem in a clever phrase or analogy... I always think of Bruce when I am in a restaraunt and see Elephant on the menu ;-)
I've yet to read Bruce Tate's new book, Beyond Java , but I think that I already get the point from reading articles that have accompanied the release.
Java and web development grew up together, but Java has never really been tailored for web development. It's a general purpose language that is good for many things, but not particularly great for generating browser-based applications.
This puts Java at a distinct disadvantage in terms of ease-of-use when compared to web-UI-only languages such as PHP. Not really a big surprise.
The big surprise is that nobody (that I know of) has built a web-domain-specific language on top of the JVM. Perhaps JSP was a step in that direction, but when you compare it with Ruby on Rails it's just not in the same league.
Java's web-based-ui impedance mismatch is mirrored on the desktop front. Hans Muller shared with us the good news that Swing is now the Dominant GUI Toolkit , but the blog also pointed out that WinForms was the previous king-of-the-hill.
WinForms is a domain-specific toolkit for building form-based applications. Form-based applications aren't sexy or exciting, but they are what most businesses need, so it's no surprise that a form-base toolkit was the reigning number one.