The State of Java?

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#1 skaoth  Icon User is offline

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The State of Java?

Post icon  Posted 19 March 2009 - 01:29 AM

Can anyone help clarify the current state of java?
I've been programming in java for about a year now. The last time I touched java was
in college back in the 1.3 days. For the most part I've enjoyed it doing traditional fat client apps.
I usually would like to master the language i use, the last thing I want is to end up being is a jack of all master of none.
That being said, does Java's future seem bright, unknown or dim when doing traditional fat client apps or other development?
Java has gotten big and bloated in my opinion and swing hasn't changed much since I last used it.

I've also read some rather disapointing/gloomy things:

Kirill Grouchnikov's Blog: Sun setting down on the core Swing
http://weblogs.java....etting_dow.html

Qt Software to discontinue Qt Jambi after 4.5 release
http://www.qtsoftwar...lease-available

Ricky's technical blog: Java Just Died (no closures in Java 7)
http://rickyclarkson...-in-java-7.html

Sun In Talks To Be Acquired By IBM
http://slashdot.org/...9/03/18/1213209

Before I continue to invest time into learning the intricacies of java and the java plaform
is it still a viable platform to know the details of and make a living with in relation to
application/enterprise development? C# from a language
perspective seems to be more expressive in my opinion, is java just falling to far behind?
I would like to think yes. With MS moving the VM route via .NET, that java will only gain
more traction. Then again I could be wrong.

Any thoughts or insight from more seasoned java developers?

This post has been edited by skyhawk133: 19 March 2009 - 08:43 PM


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#2 markhazlett9  Icon User is offline

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Re: The State of Java?

Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:40 AM

I personally think if IBM took over SUN it would be an amazing move for the java community. IBM is such an amazing company that I think they would do awesome things to the java language.
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#3 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: The State of Java?

Posted 19 March 2009 - 05:44 PM

Java is alive and well. It's got another good ten years of ruling the industry. I'd hate for the JVM to disappear as my favorite languages, (Clojure and Scala) are on the JVM.
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#4 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: The State of Java?

Posted 19 March 2009 - 08:12 PM

I personally believe that IBM acquiring Sun would suck!!! While IBM has had its moments in general it is just sucks. Especially its Java division. Lets face it the WebSphere product line is a mine field (there is some wonderful work there, but there is a ton of junk surrounding it).

As for the lack of closers in Java -- well... When do changes in a language change the language? Would Java still be Java if we add all of our favorite features from other languages? Personally I would rather have closures than lambdas - but what do I know.

I think the news about QT really sucks as I really think that it is probably one of the best platforms for building GUI applications. I was glad to hear the they are passing it on to the open source community. I think in today's economic climate this move makes sense though. It is probably better for them to cut costs this way (I don't think Jambi's has really picked up the popularity it deserves).
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#5 markhazlett9  Icon User is offline

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Re: The State of Java?

Posted 19 March 2009 - 08:30 PM

Well Nick, as for the news in QT... i'm guessing you mean the cancellation of Qt Jambi? What we have to remember is it's not completely cancelled but will not be openly developed by the community. Which could of course be good or bad depending.
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#6 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: The State of Java?

Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:02 PM

Yea, as I mentioned, I am glad to see it passed on to the open source community. I personally would love to see Apache Jambi ( :) ). Personally I have been interested in the idea of a Jambi based Eclipse.
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#7 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: The State of Java?

Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:09 PM

View Postmarkhazlett9, on 19 Mar, 2009 - 10:40 AM, said:

I personally think if IBM took over SUN it would be an amazing move for the java community.

I've been a long time fan of Sun hardware. Though I know that in itself is off topic, I can say that Sun has much better on line documentation (for both hardware & software) compared to IBM. Have you ever thumbed through IBM's online documentation? I've tried to read some of their stuff on C/C++, but I've been forced to read some of their documentation for rexx. It's horrible. It's a small font, with a lot of junk piled into it. The page is CRAMMED with text, which bloats what I'm trying to read. Java's documentation is similar to PHP.net, in that "here it is, here's how to use it, here's it's syntax, & wrap it up with user submitted exampels". Simple.

IBM is a major player in the technology filed. No doubt about it. Though in my opinion, I don't think they would do Java any justice.
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#8 Tom9729  Icon User is offline

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Re: The State of Java?

Posted 19 March 2009 - 11:23 PM

View Postno2pencil, on 19 Mar, 2009 - 11:09 PM, said:

I've been a long time fan of Sun hardware. Though I know that in itself is off topic, I can say that Sun has much better on line documentation (for both hardware & software) compared to IBM. Have you ever thumbed through IBM's online documentation? I've tried to read some of their stuff on C/C++, but I've been forced to read some of their documentation for rexx. It's horrible. It's a small font, with a lot of junk piled into it. The page is CRAMMED with text, which bloats what I'm trying to read. Java's documentation is similar to PHP.net, in that "here it is, here's how to use it, here's it's syntax, & wrap it up with user submitted exampels". Simple.

IBM is a major player in the technology filed. No doubt about it. Though in my opinion, I don't think they would do Java any justice.

I actually like IBM's documentation. I agree that the text is small (and there is a lot of it), but I don't think it's possible to find a modern browser without the ability to zoom in on some text. :)

Personally I don't think Java is going to die anytime soon. IBM does a lot of work with Java, and they have made some significant contributions (Eclipse).

@skaoth, I would be interested if you could explain to me how C# is "more expressive" than Java?
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#9 skaoth  Icon User is offline

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Re: The State of Java?

Posted 20 March 2009 - 01:15 AM

I'm not sure what to think about the thought of IBM acquiring Sun.
There would need to be a bunch of consolidating going on. What
would happen to suns product?
netbeans vs. eclipse
glassfish vs. websphere
mysql vs. db2

Though let’s not make this a thread on speculation about IBM acquiring Sun. Maybe Java just left a bitter taste in my mouth e.g: xml configuration hell. I've also found that you have to know a lot about frameworks especially in the J2EE arena: Hibernate, EJB, Spring... on and on
Maybe it’s not Java’s fault per se but it sure seems more convoluted than say the .net stack.

With java itself it'd be nice to have lambda expressions and closure as this would be valuable. Come on! vb and php have or will have lambda's
I just see C#, dare I say it, innovate faster than java has lately.

@Tom9729
You have things like.
*Delegates, anonymous delegates, Events (ya ya syntatic sugar)
*Linq
*Extension methods
*Better generics support. (I hate that you can't use primitives with generics in java)
*Properties
*Lambda expressions
*struct type
*Automatic resource mangement. (C# uses the 'using keyword, c++ has destructors, and java has try/finally)

This post has been edited by skaoth: 20 March 2009 - 01:39 AM

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#10 Tom9729  Icon User is offline

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Re: The State of Java?

Posted 20 March 2009 - 12:58 PM

View Postskaoth, on 20 Mar, 2009 - 03:15 AM, said:

@Tom9729
You have things like.
*Delegates, anonymous delegates, Events (ya ya syntatic sugar)
*Linq
*Extension methods
*Better generics support. (I hate that you can't use primitives with generics in java)
*Properties
*Lambda expressions
*struct type
*Automatic resource mangement. (C# uses the 'using keyword, c++ has destructors, and java has try/finally)

Well I'm not ashamed to admit that I haven't heard of half of those up until now, so I guess it shows that I'm not a C# programmer. Some of those do sound useful.

I think the biggest thing Java has going for it right now is that Sun actually supports it on multiple platforms. I guess if you only do Windows programming though, then that's not as big of a deal. :)
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#11 polymath  Icon User is offline

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Re: The State of Java?

Posted 20 March 2009 - 01:22 PM

Personally, any software i've used in java has been slow on my machine. For example, Netbeans is a fully featured, useful IDE, but I can't use it because the memory usage is TERRIBLE. Since i develop my own linux deriviative (though i do admit the development has stalled for the time being), i often run lots of stuff through QEMU, which already uses enough memory/slows down the comp. Try running Netbeans through the VM to debug... the VM moves slower than an inchworm and I can't do much of anything on the comp in general. Syntatically, Java's fine, but not all of us have 4 gigs of ram.

Here i'll stop my rant. I do like Java in it's niche (i like embedded applets, and when you need OS independent path navigation... java's the ONLY way to go without abuse of the preprocessor), but I cannot see what drug the industry is smoking right now. Oh well, shame on me for learning an "already declining" language.

Also, i like IBM's documentation too. I'm not old enough to have gotten bad eyes from staring at a computer screen too much, yet :P . It reads fine to me. Disclaimer: I've only read the C++ doc.

This post has been edited by polymath: 20 March 2009 - 01:25 PM

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#12 LaFayette  Icon User is offline

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Re: The State of Java?

Posted 20 March 2009 - 02:03 PM

I do like that they are adding better support for dynamic typing in the JVM, but without closures yet again, java is starting to feel a bit old...

The JVM is still awesome though, and it will most likely out life the language it self!
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#13 Tom9729  Icon User is offline

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Re: The State of Java?

Posted 21 March 2009 - 10:28 PM

View PostLaFayette, on 20 Mar, 2009 - 04:03 PM, said:

I do like that they are adding better support for dynamic typing in the JVM, but without closures yet again, java is starting to feel a bit old...

The JVM is still awesome though, and it will most likely out life the language it self!

For someone who hasn't really been using C#, could you explain (in a nutshell) what closures are and why they are so desirable?

On a side note, I would like to bring up Vala. It looks like it's got all of the "good stuff" from C#, without the virtual machine and with better crossplatform support.
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#14 c0mrade  Icon User is offline

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Re: The State of Java?

Posted 22 March 2009 - 08:48 AM

View Postskaoth, on 20 Mar, 2009 - 12:15 AM, said:

I've also found that you have to know a lot about frameworks especially in the J2EE arena: Hibernate, EJB, Spring... on and on
Maybe itís not Javaís fault per se but it sure seems more convoluted than say the .net stack.

This is partly true; Java is a lot more of an open platform than the .Net stack, and there are many open source libraries and frameworks built around it. However, you should remember that there are official specifications and implementations in the java world. For example, you could use Spring, Hibernate, and Tiles to build a web application in Java. However, you could also go the Sun-endorsed route and use EJB3, JPA, and JSF. Here, the latter stack would be equivalent to the .Net stack; officially endorsed by the company behind the language and standardized. The great thing about Java is that if you don't like the 'official' way, you choose another. Also note that EJB, JPA, and JSF are specifications, not just implementations. So Hibernate, even though it is a third party solution, now complies to the official JPA specification. I also believe that Spring is working to become EJB complaint at some level.

View Postskaoth, on 20 Mar, 2009 - 12:15 AM, said:

With java itself it'd be nice to have lambda expressions and closure as this would be valuable. Come on! vb and php have or will have lambda's
I just see C#, dare I say it, innovate faster than java has lately.

@Tom9729
You have things like.
*Delegates, anonymous delegates, Events (ya ya syntatic sugar)
*Linq
*Extension methods
*Better generics support. (I hate that you can't use primitives with generics in java)
*Properties
*Lambda expressions
*struct type
*Automatic resource mangement. (C# uses the 'using keyword, c++ has destructors, and java has try/finally)

Here, you have to remember that one of the features of Java is that it tries to be simple. Historically, Java does not undergo language changes for slight (or even moderate) convenience features. I believe this is a good thing. If you want a language with all the fashionable 'features', try something like Groovy that has a java like syntax, runs on the JVM, and has full compatibility with Java code.


*Disclaimer* I work with Java a lot; mainly Java EE on the server side. I am biased towards Java, and am not focused on developing "fat client" apps on a daily basis (actually I hate fat clients, clients should be thin!!!).
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#15 doWhileSomething  Icon User is offline

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Re: The State of Java?

Posted 22 March 2009 - 04:24 PM

I have not done a lot with Java and when I can shy away from developing anything in it I will.

.Net has been ported to run on versions of Linux already (Mono) and it won't be long before it can be ported to MAC's (if not already).

My experience working with Java is somewhat limited, so my take on it Java should only be weighed as much. But.....

Java is a convoluted mess. Knowing the versions, packages, which framework, etc. is a process in and of itself. It makes it very difficult to pick up and start using after any type of "Pause". I'm not talking about typical coding logic (loops, if..else, or variable declarations), but what classes are in what version, what's new, etc..

With .Net (C#/VB) they make it so easy especially with 2.0++. I guess I am just partial to .Net, it's a lovely language and OOP to boot. The documentation available directly inside the IDE makes finding out how to do ANYTHING a sinch. Great code stubs, examples, etc.

But, the drawback are the client platforms (right now). For web applications, I don't think any language or runtime beats .Net - period.
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