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Ruby on Rails Won't Make It in 2007 and Forget About AJAX

My 2007 Predictions

Yakov Fain's Java Blog

We are approaching 2007and  I'll try to predict what's going to happen in the IT world.

1. Open sourcing Java won't matter - it's a non-event.

2. Ruby and Ruby on Rails won't make it in 2007 either. I still do not see a compelling reason to switch.

3. AJAX hype is stronger than I thought mainly because of the life support offered by frameworks like GWT. But still, I'm not going to recommend enterprise IT shops make any serious investments in AJAX.

4. We are going to see some interesting competition in the RIA arena between Adobe's Flex and Microsoft's WPF/E. Adobe has more mature technology, while Microsoft is an established player among enterprise developers. I won't be surprised if Adobe will dramatically drop the licensing fees for their Flex Data Services.

5. Java remains the best choice for server-side enterprise development, but it won't be able to compete on the desktop.

6. IT outsourcing remains a part of our lives despite (or because of) the poor management by American corporate IT staff, and the reason is not the lower labor cost of overseas programmers, but the absence of programmers in the USA.

7. The switch from plain stateless text-based to rich Internet applications will slowly continue. But it's not that easy to get rid of  those annoying but familiar habits of dealing with one-page-at-a-time applications. The fight for the Back button on the Web browser will continue

8. I'm not going to be able to afford an early retirement. Let me go and buy this lottery ticket for tonight's mega millions...

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion (https://java-champions.java.net). He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).

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Most Recent Comments
Tom Fowler 12/30/06 01:49:29 PM EST

"Ruby and Ruby on Rails won't make it in 2007 either"

My friend, it already has. I won't preach to you but I am currently heading up a rails project for one of the world's largest telecom companies.

The system is mission critical and will be used by approximately 2000 users.

This is our first Ruby/Rails system - we currently have Java (EJB, and spring framework) and C++ systems.

Java isn't going away. But from experience there are many "sweet spots" where Java can't touch ruby/rails' productivity.

But why take my word for it...give it a try and find out for yourself....

cheers

Tom Fowler 12/30/06 01:49:14 PM EST

"Ruby and Ruby on Rails won't make it in 2007 either"

My friend, it already has. I won't preach to you but I am currently heading up a rails project for one of the world's largest telecom companies.

The system is mission critical and will be used by approximately 2000 users.

This is our first Ruby/Rails system - we currently have Java (EJB, and spring framework) and C++ systems.

Java isn't going away. But from experience there are many "sweet spots" where Java can't touch ruby/rails' productivity.

But why take my word for it...give it a try and find out for yourself....

cheers

David Small 12/20/06 09:54:14 AM EST

I would concur. I have no evidence to suggest that you "hate" JavaScript. But I didn't base my assessment of your bias on a single article. Back in "A Cup of AJAX", you wrote "AJAX applications have to rely on JavaScript, assume the expert knowledge of this not-so-interesting language." While it is not as elegant or strongly typed as Java or .NET, the more I use it, the more interesting and powerful I find the language. It really is well suited for its space in the sandbox of a browser (kissing cousin to the VM).

Next, you write "The users will be more and more demanding, and you'll be spending most of your time on adding more bells and whistles to the GUI instead of solving business problems." First, I'd love to have that kind of problem. That means we're doing something right. Second, that's life. Whether working with Struts, Swing, or ATL. Third, we're finding a huge capacity to leverage existing components (or widgets as we're calling them). We spend very little time on plumbing now that we have a framework. Most of our time is spent writing EJB3 session beans.

Lastly, the vibe of "A Cup of AJAX" came off not just anti AJAX, but pro fat client. Now, that may be your bread and butter, so it's understandable, but I certainly don't think your review is a fair assessment of what's happening in the trenches in this particular case.

That said, I always find your articles interesting. Keep kicking butt and challenging the hype machine.

Yakov Fain 12/19/06 06:48:15 PM EST

I've got this message twice today - one reader wrote that I hate JavaScript, and David goes easier on me - he says that I dislike it. Please read my answer over here: http://yakovfain.javadevelopersjournal.com/i_do_not_love_or_hate_program...

Reminder: I write about enterprise software development.

Ben Wong 12/19/06 12:07:09 PM EST

I totally agreed with your predictions. Ruby on Rails is a neat framework but it will never be adopted by the enterprise. AJAX is just a buzzword/fad geeks jump on the bandwagon for a couple of years before the next shiny thing comes along. RIA will get slowly adopted but Flex will be the tool of choice (not AJAX).

David Small 12/19/06 11:01:42 AM EST

At first read predicting the demise of AJAX while hopping on the RIA bandwagon seemed contradictory. But digging further I can tell that you are implying that Flex will win out over AJAX (at least for Java developers). While I think there is merit to perspective, I'm going to go on the record now stating that you couldn't be more wrong.

If I had to guess, your bias stems from your dislike of JavaScript. I think your bias is missplaced and many organizations are demonstrating some very powerful uses of the language. Browser incompatibilities are growing fewer and the API more extensive.

But, I would concur that 2007 will determine which direction the industry will take for the long haul.

Arnold Gregory 12/19/06 10:23:33 AM EST

There also seems to be an abcence of good proofreading as well as programming.

ng 12/16/06 01:23:33 PM EST

Open sourcing Java won't matter - it's a non-event. Ruby and Ruby on Rails won't make it in 2007 either. I still do not see a compelling reason to switch. AJAX hype is stronger than I thought mainly because of the life support offered by frameworks like GWT. But still, I'm not going to recommend enterprise IT shops make any serious investments in AJAX.