Monday, June 8, 2009

Is Javaless Java reaching critical mass?

There is a lot of talk about how this is possibly the last JavaOne, as Oracle is about to buy Sun out.

However if you look at what everybody was at talking about at JavaOne you can't but help get the idea that JavaOne is an anachronism any way, this trend seems to involve:

- JavaFX.
- Groovy.
- Scala.
- JRuby.
- Honourable mentions for Clojure and Jython.

It's hard to miss the lack of Java here...

Ok so people are interested in other languages in the JVM, however interest doesn't necessarily translate into use.

This brings me to my question: have alternative JVM languages gone mainstream? can I go to my client who is still trying to get COBOL out of their system and confidently sell him on one of these alternative languages?

8 comments:

Shaun said...

I actually am turning into real-world use. I originally sold my own clients on using Scala in the occasional edge case or specialized library. In the end they saw and appreciated how quickly I was getting work done, and with how little actual code. I've sense begun to use Scala everywhere I can, system-wide, and no longer have to "sell" it (unless the client is brand new).

Additionally, I've encountered more than one local job requiring Groovy expertise.

I've never encountered any real-world (business) scenario for JavaFX though.

All-in-all, I'd say alt JVM languages are definately picking up significant steam.

Casper Bang said...

I agree with the premise, but from a very different point of view. Java (the language and part of the API's) are now migrating out of the conservative stable of Sun. Biggest examples are probably Android and GWT. The former is kicking J2ME ass while the latter is kicking J2EE ass.

Dave Newton said...

I sure don't see GWT kicking any JEE ass; while this is obviously a small sample size I know of precisely one non-Google place that's using it, compared to dozens of JEE houses.

Casper Bang said...

@Dave: You are of course entitled to your own opinion. :)

My statement is based on what colleagues and peers share with me, indeed the Java community as a whole is pretty underwhelmed by a standard JEE technologi such as JSF: http://www.dzone.com/links/jsf_sucks_compendium_of_jsf_rantsreviews.html

Casper Bang said...

@Ðave: You are of course entitled to your own opinion on the matter.

My statement is based upon own experiences as well as colleagues and peers. Indeed, in many communities where core JEE is discussed, this appears to be a shared notion: http://www.dzone.com/links/jsf_sucks_compendium_of_jsf_rantsreviews.html

I highlight GWT because it puts the "Java" back in JEE (as does Wicket).

Dean said...

GWT is used to write AJAX front ends for webapps. It is completely different from JavaEE.

Casper Bang said...

"GWT is used to write AJAX front ends for webapps It is completely different from JavaEE"

And what is JSF used for? It is a JSR standard under the EE umbrella sun is trying to push.

julian_za said...

GWT still relies on core JEE technologies in the form of Servlets, as does Spring. I'd say JEE is still very much alive and if anything the platform is actually getting better - and that is definitely thanks to projects like Spring, GWT and Wicket giving JEE a run for its money.

Consider where we are now, with Servlets 3.0, EJB3.1, JPA 2.0, REST services. These are actually fairly good technologies, (In fact before Spring 2.5 I actually much preferred working in EJB3.0 thanks to lack of XML).

Now what I'd love to see is languages such as Groovy and Scala and the rest of the lot as first class citizens of the JEE world.