|By Jeremy Geelan||
|March 27, 2006 02:30 PM EST||
'Yes, I did say those things,' wrote James Gosling (pictured talking to SYS-CON.TV), as he blogged a detailed follow-up to the 'flamewar' that broke out after JDJ reported his answer to a question asked at a New York conference by our Enterprise Editor, Yakov Fain. According to Gosling, the problem arose only because 'there's a lot of context missing' from our account of his reply, which he called "the flippant soundbite version of what should have been a long and careful explanation that could easily mushroom into a series of PhD theses."
Gosling distances himself from the "flamage" in two ways. First, he emphasizes that he knows whereof he speaks when it comes to scripting:
"Over the years I've built quite a lot of scripting systems. I've also built a number of compilers for non-scripting languages. Given enough beer I'll even admit to having implemented a Cobol compiler for money in the deep dark past. But I've done more scripting systems than non-scripting systems."
Next, he takes issue with those who would narrow down the debate about what language is appropriate to what task to just two types.
"[T]here are all kinds of generalizations about 'scripting languages' versus 'compiled languages.' My big problem with a lot of it is simply that these two polarizing categories are a pretty poor way of capturing the distinctions between language designs. The terms are almost as goofy as 'Republican' versus 'Democrat.' Taking huge multi-dimensional spaces of choices on different issues, then combining and simplifying them all down to a brutally simple binary choice is goofy."
Leaving aside that the brief JDJ account in fact stressed how any discussion about Java "versus" PHP or Ruby or any other language is moot, according to Gosling, whom we prominently reported as saying...
"We also tried to work with all these languages, so that Java works with PHP and works with Python, so you can do the web presentation layer in PHP and the analytics in Java. Lots of people do that."
...leaving that aside, the main development since we published the report is that, even though Gosling himself said categorically that in the JDJ report "The quote is accurate," a fuller transcript has become available.
Basically what happened is that JDJ's Yakov Fain asked Gosling: "There are many different languages in the world. Some people are saying there are some other new languages coming up and Java is endangered. Do you feel this way?"
Gosling replied (in full):
"No I don't, really. Most languages that have been coming up lately have been scripting languages - things like PHP and Ruby. And these are all perfectly fine systems.
A lot of the power that they get is through specialization. So it seems to me that all the languages people are talking about as being exciting today are all ones that just generate web pages. So if all you want to do is generate web pages, they work pretty well. But none of them attempt any real serious breadth in the application domain, and they all have really serious scaling and performance problems.
In all of these dynamic languages, if you try to write something in them that has serious performance requirements, they all fall over horribly. If you write a statement a = b + c, Java versus PHP its close to a factor of 100 in performance difference. What's really nice about them is that because they're focused in that one domain, they can make a lot of programming in that one domain a lot simpler.
What we've been trying to do is get a lot of that simplicity out of the tool. Because we have this horrible balancing act. On the one hand we really need simplicity, and on the other hand we really need power. And those are evil twin brothers of each other. Building systems that have a lot of power just sort of attracts complexity. And because of the way that the world has become so interconnected, it helps hugely to have systems where you do have a framework that carries over.
So with PHP you can write stuff that does web presentation stuff pretty well. You could never write a library that does interplanetary navigation in PHP. It just doesn't work.
The other one that's out there is C# from Microsoft. At some level it is hard to criticize C# because they just copied the Java spec. There was a time when we were afraid they were going to do something really creative, and they didn't. ... And they're obviously focused on one platform.
We also try to work with all of these. We know there's lots of folks who talk about Java versus X or Java versus Y. And we work hard to make sure Java works with PHP and works with Python. So you can do the web presentation layer in PHP. Lots of people do the web presentation layer in PHP and analytics in Java, because Java's really good for doing high performance analytics."
In other words, the version that Yakov Fain published in his own popular blog wasn't far off.
The Father of Java was upset enough about being taken for task for seeming to underestimate scripting languages and overestimating Java to spend some considerable time blogging his way out of the controversy. He started by clarifying what he sees as being the distinction between the two categories:
"I'll make the generalization that 'scripting language' means one that is interpreted with dynamic runtime typing, and the other camp is languages that are compiled to machine code and have static runtime typing. This is a broad over-simplifying generalization, but it matches pretty well what goes on in common conversations."
His masterclass - one of the longest entries in his java.net blog since he began - continues:
"One of the usual arguments for scripting languages having acceptable performance is that the overhead of interpretation and dynamic typing doesn't matter. The performance of the system is dominated by other factors: typically IO and the language primitives. For example, PERL apps usually spend the majority of their time in file IO and string primitives. I've strongly made this argument in the past, and it's quite valid. But having observed developers usage patterns, the two most common things that happen to erode the argument are:
Developers start doing things that are outside of what the language primitives are good at. For example, PostScript has great primitives for rendering. So long as you're doing rendering, it flies like the wind. But then someone goes and writes a game that's heavily based on rendering, and a piece of it needs to do collision detection between missiles and targets. Physics in PostScript: a bad idea. Developers start clamoring for new primitives. Some are too specialized to be reasonable 'I want a fast collision engine,' some are rational 'object oriented programming has become the dominant style in PostScript, but the OO model is implemented in PostScript as a library and is slow.'"
What most developers seem concerned about, at this point, is not whether Gosling is right or wrong, quoted fairly or misquoted, so much as: what's best for them to learn and to use right now if they wish to eke a living our of software development.
Let us then risk further ire by giving the last word to the developer Roy Batty who wrote, in a feedback thread to one of the many discussions that the original JDJ report sparked off:
"The irony about the 'serving up web pages' statement is that Java never really made it out onto the desktop at large and the vast majority of the presentation of Java apps is done through a browser...Gosling needs to get back to the lab and think about what's beyond Java."
|Steev Coco 04/21/06 12:42:54 AM EDT|
The comments about the annoying ads on this site are right on!
This is among the worst obscenities ever placed before human people...
|Davey Jones 04/18/06 10:38:38 AM EDT|
I find it ironic that this site is writing about development and web design and is so completely ugly and filled with moving advertisements that it gives me a headache to read. Stop the madness!! The ads are an irritation.
|m 04/03/06 03:43:53 PM EDT|
I agree that the Richard Batty (whoever the heck that is) quote is useless other than being purposely inflammatory. Ignoring whether or not Java has been / is /will be viable on the desktop for rich/thick applications, the point of Gosling's comparative allusion in his comment about 'ones that just generate web pages' is validated simply by noting that Java is used to implement back end systems. A least a significant percentage (if not a majority) of Java code used in 'web applications' does not have anything to do with rendering the actual html page, but is instead performing business logic of some sort.
|Werner Keil 04/03/06 09:25:08 AM EDT|
Well, that very last quote is quite true or at least has been for a long time.
Ironic enough that Rich Client trend really went hotter than before after Eclipse launched their RCP not based on Swing or what Sun and Gosling have given to Java only...
|Infernoz 03/31/06 10:00:01 AM EST|
|Henry Rob Pont 03/29/06 09:33:36 PM EST|
"Developer" Roy Batty?
Of all the so call comments left by JDJ the one picked is the most imflamatory and useless of them. Roy Batty (AKA Dick Ford) is well known to be a troll of many different weblogs. Including one here...
What exactly is he backing? Nothing from any of his statements (only to incite and be an ass) and yet he has contributed NOTHING in the face of Gosling or Rossum...
For shame JDJ for highlighting a troll!
|Morten Christensen 03/29/06 05:47:45 PM EST|
I watched Java getting popular 10 years ago and joined the fun early on (moving on from C++ to Java). Still like Java and also do quite some C# which is more or less the same.
Observing what is happening around Ruby (and Ruby On Rails in particular) I recognize the exact same momentum/enthusiasm and also reluctantly recognize that Java is getting stale.
I think Sun would do well to embrace Ruby on the Java JVM platform in order to keep Java (the platform) relevant 10 years from now. The weakness in Ruby is the Ruby "VM" which is the chance for the Java JVM technology. By combining Ruby the language with the great Java VM + Java libraries, Sun could produce the killer technology for the next 10 years (and easily outdistance C# and .NET).
P.S There is a partial ruby implementation called JRuby that runs on the Java VM. As such, this implementation has indirect support for native threads and unicode (which is lacking in the official Ruby "VM"). However, JRuby is not the "official" version nor currently complete enough to run "ruby on rails" or other main offerings (allthough the implementers are working hard on this). Also, JRuby is currently not very fast compared to Jython or similar scripting language implementations on top of the Java VM. Still, JRuby is very promising and worth a special notice.
|Lisbeth 03/28/06 12:43:53 PM EST|
The thing that Gosling - and a lot of other people in this debate - can't seem to see is that "strongly-typed languages" and "scripting languages" are not polar opposites.
Strongly-typed languages are generally characterized as being compiled into machine code (actually Java is compiled into p-code), and having data types established at compile time.
Scripting languages are characterized as being interpretted at run time with data types established as the code runs.
These two characteristics of when code is parsed and semanticly analyzed, and when data types are determined are not the same thing. It is perfectly possible to have an interpretted language with strong typing or to have a compiled language with weak typing.
In fact there are tremendous advantages to weakly-typed, compiled languages, especially where the interfaces are weakly-typed. How much recompiling is done because the data type of a property in a library has been changed? How much of the Windows DLL nightmare would be solved by it?
It's time for people to start thinking outside their current paradyms.
|m 03/28/06 12:31:51 PM EST|
Too many people are missing Gosling's point. Specialized languages are great and often, if not usually, the best tool to solve a problem in a given problem domain. However, the world is full of many complex problems that cross multiple problem domains and there are many advantages to having a single language that will address all those domains. I'm not saying this is always preferable, but it definitely has proven by the market to be a preferable thing in a significant share.
Before you compare language / tool usage, you first need to scope whether your problem is restricted to a given problem domain or crosses multiple domains. You then need to evaluate whether you need a cross-domain tool or whether your particular scenario is better solved by using specialized tools at each point. If the former, then it is reasonable to compare Java to other tools that also cross those same domains and in this case few tools compare with well with Java. If the latter, then Java may still do well in a given specialized domain, but it may just as easily be eclipsed by a more specialized alternatives.
For example, if I want to only build a fast scientific computation, I still may be best served to use good ol' Fortran or C or, who knows, even assembler. Or I might use a scripting language like IDL that is loaded with powerful primitives designed specifically for scientific computations. I might get away with using Java but I doubt seriously I should begin to try to address that with a interpreted scripting language like Ruby that does not have the correct set of primitives for this problem domain. On the other hand, if I am building a web app, Ruby or PHP may be by far my best options, while Java is not unreasonable and Fortran drops right off the table of consideration. Now, suppose I have to build a web app that is backed up by my super fast scientific computation? That is where it gets interesting. Am I best served by creating the web app in Ruby and the back end in Fortran? Or is it better to do it all in Java? There are a wide variety of factors one has to consider here from talent resources to cost of integration to pure performance. There is no single answer. The market for the most part has leaned toward the "use Java in some form for all stages" answer so far, because Java is a reasonable solution in most all problem domains. However, there are clearly many cases where it is not sufficient or we need 'better than just reasonable' and that is why there is a ton of room for other tools and languages that are stronger in various specific domains.
Finally, it is the nature of programming languages to evolve and grow in scope. Who knows? In the future, maybe Ruby will encompase a broader scope of problem domains than Java. If that happens, I guarantee that this same conversation will be happening where someone is advocating the advantages of specialized tool over the 'beast' that Ruby will have become.
End note - a minor correction on someone else's comment that Java is also just an interpreted language. Java is not interpreted in the same way as many of the scripting languages we are talking about. Java is compiled to an optimized bytecode which is then in turn interpreted by the JVM (although in most cases large amounts of the bytecode are in turn compiled to native opcodes by either a JIT or Hotspot). This is not the same as a language that is line-interpreted from source. Drastically different.
|KevDev 03/28/06 11:20:17 AM EST|
I agree with James Gosling that he was shorted in the article. When I read the orginal article, I was disappointed with its lack of content. This time I went back with a ruler. The article amounted to only 8.4% of the entire page - 92% of the page was flashing, scrolling, blinking crap. That's a lot to wade through for a disappointing few sentences.
Of what was contained in the orginal article JDJ managed to get at least 17% of it not quite right. The first article quoted Gosling as saying C# was 'hopelessly focused' on one platform when Gosling actually said 'obviously focused'. This might seem trivial, but the misquoted version has potential implications not present in the real version.
Now in this article JDJ focuses on defending themselves.
Engineers want information - not this he-said/she-said soap-opera garbage; we have the National Enquirer for that.
|Bassam 03/28/06 10:50:11 AM EST|
I feel that James Gosling is trying really hard to avoid talking about Ruby and instead attacking PHP, PERL, and C#. He should look more into Ruby.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
Oct. 2, 2014 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,280
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Oct. 2, 2014 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,101
Disruptive macro trends in technology are impacting and dramatically changing the "art of the possible" relative to supply chain management practices through the innovative use of IoT, cloud, machine learning and Big Data to enable connected ecosystems of engagement. Enterprise informatics can now move beyond point solutions that merely monitor the past and implement integrated enterprise fabrics that enable end-to-end supply chain visibility to improve customer service delivery and optimize supplier management. Learn about enterprise architecture strategies for designing connected systems tha...
Oct. 2, 2014 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,163
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, will discuss the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. The presentation will also discuss how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics to discuss are barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold.
Oct. 1, 2014 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,836
Whether you're a startup or a 100 year old enterprise, the Internet of Things offers a variety of new capabilities for your business. IoT style solutions can help you get closer your customers, launch new product lines and take over an industry. Some companies are dipping their toes in, but many have already taken the plunge, all while dramatic new capabilities continue to emerge. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Reid Carlberg, Senior Director, Developer Evangelism at salesforce.com, to discuss real-world use cases, patterns and opportunities you can harness today.
Oct. 1, 2014 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,212
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices – computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!
Oct. 1, 2014 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,413
Noted IoT expert and researcher Joseph di Paolantonio (pictured below) has joined the @ThingsExpo faculty. Joseph, who describes himself as an “Independent Thinker” from DataArchon, will speak on the topic of “Smart Grids & Managing Big Utilities.” Over his career, Joseph di Paolantonio has worked in the energy, renewables, aerospace, telecommunications, and information technology industries. His expertise is in data analysis, system engineering, Bayesian statistics, data warehouses, business intelligence, data mining, predictive methods, and very large databases (VLDB). Prior to DataArcho...
Oct. 1, 2014 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,113
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
Sep. 30, 2014 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,614
There will be 50 billion Internet connected devices by 2020. Today, every manufacturer has a propriety protocol and an app. How do we securely integrate these "things" into our lives and businesses in a way that we can easily control and manage? Even better, how do we integrate these "things" so that they control and manage each other so our lives become more convenient or our businesses become more profitable and/or safe? We have heard that the best interface is no interface. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Co-Founder & CTO at Octoblu, Inc., will discuss how thes...
Sep. 29, 2014 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,927
Last week, while in San Francisco, I used the Uber app and service four times. All four experiences were great, although one of the drivers stopped for 30 seconds and then left as I was walking up to the car. He must have realized I was a blogger. None the less, the next car was just a minute away and I suffered no pain. In this article, my colleague, Ved Sen, Global Head, Advisory Services Social, Mobile and Sensors at Cognizant shares his experiences and insights.
Sep. 28, 2014 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,571
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) ir...
Sep. 27, 2014 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,949
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT. Attendees will learn rea...
Sep. 27, 2014 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,860
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, will share some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder ...
Sep. 27, 2014 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,323
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to create new business models as significant as those that were inspired by the Internet and the smartphone 20 and 10 years ago. What business, social and practical implications will this phenomenon bring? That's the subject of "Monetizing the Internet of Things: Perspectives from the Front Lines," an e-book released today and available free of charge from Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue management.
Sep. 27, 2014 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,546
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges.
Sep. 27, 2014 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,428
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other mach...
Sep. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,091
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Erik Lagerway, Co-founder of Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice s...
Sep. 26, 2014 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,618
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehe...
Sep. 26, 2014 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,536
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, will discuss single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example...
Sep. 26, 2014 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,349
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridsto...
Sep. 26, 2014 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,732