Re: Java and religous wars

C Matthew Curtin (cmcurtin@research.megasoft.com)
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 15:28:45 -0400 (EDT)


>>>>>> "Garance" == Garance A Drosehn <gad@eclipse.its.rpi.edu> writes:

Arvin> I know you guys think that NT and MS in general are more smoke than
Arvin> substance. I happen to think that productivity is enhanced with
Arvin> their products. But, Java code is ridiculous, I'm no great
Arvin> programmer, but I can write VB code that runs faster and is more
Arvin> stable than Java.

Garance> I don't think this list is meant to debate Java vs Visual
Garance> Basic. The fact that *you* can write code faster in VB
Garance> doesn't mean everyone must use VB.

No language is the right one for every job. Some languages aren't the
right one for any job, though. :-) Everyone has their own idea of
what that is, but I could probably give you quite a few for why BASIC
is that language.

"Beginners' All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code"

Its very name indicates the limit of its utility.

Arvin> All the Java hoopla is unfounded ... it's slow, buggy as hell, and
Arvin> conflicts with lots of existing code.

Java runtime environments with JIT compilation -- which covers almost
all of them -- aren't really that slow. Maybe between 1.5 and 2 times
as slow as C, but in a world where so much of your computer's time is
idle, what difference does it really make? Doesn't the fact that
deschall searched more than 38 quadrillion DES keys prove that?
Further, that difference doesn't make it much slower than C++, which,
by the way, lots of apps are written in today.

"Buggy as hell" is hardly a fair characterization, especially given
that you haven't cited as much as one example. If anything, some
_implementations_ are buggy. That's a fault of the vendor, not of the
language's creators. But that's the nice thing about Java, and about
every "real" language out there: if you don't like one vendor's
implementation, go get someone else's. Sun, Symantec, Borland, IBM,
and Microsoft all have Java development environments for sale. Or you
can use the Kaffe/Guava stuff, completely free. Try that with Visual
BASIC.

What exactly does "conflicts with lots of existing code" mean? Does
that mean that lots of existing code isn't written in Java? (I'll
refrain from comments that one typically makes when someone else
states something so incredibly obvious.) Guess what? A lot of code
isn't written in Visual BASIC, either.

What's the most common language in which things are currently being
implemented? Probably C++. What's the most common language, in terms
of lines of code written, or in production? Probably COBOL. What's
the most common language for web development? Perl. What's the most
common language for things that are started, but never finished? I'll
bet someone US$3.18 that it's Visual BASIC. :-)

What's the point? Language "wars" are stupid.

Languages are tools. Programmers develop software, and they don't
only do it in one (or two) languages. (What good is a carpenter who
knows how to use a hammer, but not a saw? It's no different for
developing software. If you only know how to use a hammer, pretty
soon everything will look like a nail.) Including little languages,
like regular expressions, I probably write stuff in about half a dozen
languages every week. So what? This isn't heroic; that's what
programmers do. Write code, and write it in the best language for the
job.

-- 
Matt Curtin  Chief Scientist Megasoft Online  cmcurtin@research.megasoft.com
http://www.research.megasoft.com/people/cmcurtin/    I speak only for myself
Pull AGIS.NET's plug!  DES has fallen! http://www.frii.com/~rcv/deschall.htm