[rescue] Mozilla Firefox

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Mon Apr 26 17:17:47 CDT 2004

On Apr 26, 2004, at 4:23 PM, Jonathan C. Patschke wrote:
>>    - RS/6000 running AIX
>>    - PeeCee running Linux
>>    - PeeCee running Windows (with the exception above)
>>    - UltraSPARC running Solaris9
>>    - PPC G4 running MacOS X
> MIPS/IRIX has also gotten really good recently.  OpenVMS is supposedly
> also not bad, but my Alphas are sitting around unused until I make some
> more room, so I can't bouch for it.

   Oh yes, crap...I forgot about that one.  I ran the app under IRIX 
(1.3 JVM) and it ran fine, once I got the serial I/O working.

>   "Uhm, Dr. $prof, if Java minus the GC is faster than C, which is, for
>    all purposes, machine code, what are you proposing that the JVM is
>    written in?"
> <stunned silence>
>   $prof: "Well, I think that concludes today's lecture."

   Those who can, do...

>>    Java's major technical handicap is that Sun has tried to tie the
>> language to two concepts over the years...the first was the applet.
>> What an abysmally bad idea.
> I'm going to go out on a limb and say that they're good when you know
> exactly when to use them, and that those reasons are primarily social
> than technical:
>   1) User needs remote-access to an application from $place that thinks
>      all of "teh Intarweb" runs over port 80.
>   2) User needs access to an application from a kiosk where he can't be
>      guaranteed anything other than a web browser, an reengineering the
>      app to work with mostly-stateless HTTP would be cost-prohibitive.
> In other words, "suit bullshit", but it does happen, and Applets fill
> the role quite well.  Sure you can use servlets, but that usually
> requires quite a bit more retooling.

   Eh.  I admit that, when they first came on the scene, I thought they 
were a great idea.  But the technology stayed so immature for so long, 
I just got turned off to the whole idea.  I agree with your point about 
kiosks, but that is a pretty vertical application.

>> The second was the concept of the virtual machine.  Sure, I've found
>> it extremely useful for my last commercial Java project, but for
>> anything else (and even for that, actually) it would've been much
>> better to have the compilers generate native binary executables.
> Their major selling point (in terms of mindshare) on Java is "write
> once, run anywhere".  At least, that's how they see it.  Maybe once
> they've convinced themselves that they've won that battle, they'll
> produce a decent optimizing native-code Java compiler for Solaris.

   Yes, that's great...but (and I know you know this already) there's 
nothing preventing people from doing exactly that with ANY programming 
language.  It is hardly an exclusive feature of Java; it's just that it 
really hasn't been implemented with many other languages.  (there have 
been some...the ancient UCSD P-system comes to mind)

   I think they're making a huge mistake by trying to tie the two 
concepts (virtual machine and the Java language) together so tightly.  
Many people (indeed, MOST people, even some people here!) don't 
understand that "Java" doesn't necessarily mean "virtual machine".  
I've actually had people tell me that I don't know what I'm talking 
about when I've explained that to them.  Morons.

>>    There is nothing about the Java (the programming language) that
>> technically ties it to the use of a virtual machine.
> In both directions, actually.  The JVM has a fully-functional assembly
> language and it's possible to compile programs written in other
> languages, such that they'll run inside of it.  It's a platform in
> itself.
> Someone should make a hardware implementation of it. ;)

   Absolutely.  There have actually been many of these built.  Many are 
in use in the embedded world, and Sun has even produced one.


Dave McGuire          "PC users only know two 'solutions'...
Cape Coral, FL          reboot and upgrade."    -Jonathan Patschke

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