[rescue] Mozilla Firefox

Jonathan C. Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Mon Apr 26 13:34:46 CDT 2004

On Mon, 26 Apr 2004, Charles Shannon Hendrix wrote:

> I've always found Java to be interesting, but nothing new.  It's like an
> OO version of C.


Wow.  If I'd had made such an close-minded rant about PCs or Linux, I'd
probably be flamed off the list.

Java is a wonderful tool.  And, while it -can- be shoehorned do to
pretty-much everything, you only have to take as much functionality as
you need.  The runtime is very granular.  Also, like everything else, of
course it does some things better than others.

True, a lot of it is nothing new.  That's the point.  It looks and
(mostly) acts like C with an abstraction over pointers and memory
allocation.  The packaging system is a bit kludgy at times, but it works
well.  The idea was to take a language that almost every programmer
knows (that is, C), make it portable (by making the default platform the
JVM), and then promote code reuse (through OOP and the packaging

"Write Once, Run Everywhere" of course only applies to platforms with a
JVM.  I can't run portable Bourne shell code on my VMS or Windows
systems, either.  But, when dealing with pure Java code (as opposed to
code that heavily relies on local functionality like RMI, Java3D, AWT,
and such), it really does deliver on promise, so long as you CODE TO THE
SPECIFICATION.  If you code based on how something works on Windows,
as opposed to what the language specification and runtime library
documentation says, yeah, it might behave differently on Mac OS or Linux
in a edge-case scenario, but that's not the majority of the code.

Would I use it for extremely performance-critical software?  No.  I
mean, I don't even typically use it for server-side code.  95% of my
Java code consists of thin user-interfaces that either talk to a piece
of code written in C that runs locally or over the network to do the
real work.  That's the sort of code that really makes Java shine.

Second-best is well-written application code.  A programmer who is
mindful of how the JVM works and how OOP and the garbage collector all
interact and that has a good knowledge of algorithms, data structures,
and the proper way to use them can make code that you'd never even know
was written in Java.

Is that a tall order?  You bet!  But anyone who can't meet it has no
busy writing software for public consumption.  Blaming things like Sun's
SMC and Oracle's installer and whatever else happens to be irritating
you on Java is like blaming this on C:

int main (int c, char *v[]) { printf("%d\n", *(int *)(1)); return 0; }

Jonathan Patschke  ) "Being on the Internet is not the same as being
Elgin, TX         (   famous.  That's like calling Cheetos 'dinner'."
USA                )                                    --Metal Steve

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