[rescue] Java, language abuse, WWW apps

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Mon May 3 00:50:36 CDT 2004

Moving to geeks...

Mon, 26 Apr 2004 @ 23:35 -0500, Jonathan C. Patschke said:

> Well, maybe it's just that you've experienced something wholly different
> than I have with Java, but it sounded for all the world like you'd never
> used it, because what you were saying sounded so foreign.

I felt the same way, as your experiences are quite foreign to me
as well.  

To me Java (the whole deal, not the language alone) is being forced
on the industry for all the wrong reasons.  Most shops moving to it
couldn't give you a valid reason why if their life depended on it.
That's bad regardless of what you are moving to.

I find its libraries largely redundant with what comes with systems.  Of
course, that's a problem with all of the UNIX world's highly redundant
widgets.  Java just happens to have one of almost everything, which I
suppose makes it appear worse.

That's why I kind of like the idea of Java as a pure language, using
local system libraries instead of its own.  Yes, I realize that goes the
fundamental idea behind the unified jvm.  I'm still thinking this one

It would be interesting to see a pure Java machine, where all code was
in Java.  That makes more sense to me than running a jvm on some other
platform.  Sun didn't do well with the Javastation, but now they have
that Java thing in Wal-Mart.  Anyone know if it is selling?

It also seems to me that some of Java's advantages have become less
important over the years.  The concept is not quite the advantage it was
ten years ago.

Finally, Java seems to have an overabundance of slobbering cheerleaders
around it, perhaps more than Amiga and Linux even.

All languages have bad programmers, but the ratio seems to be far worse
in the ranks of Java programmers than with any other language.

Yes, I know that's not Java's fault, but it is often hard to disconnect
a language from the people you commonly see using it, and the code you
see written with it.

C++ has some of the same problem.  Originally created to make complex
C programs simpler and easier to manage, it is usually used to do the

"Superhighway Effect" explains some of that I suppose.

> > This is especially bad in most WWW programming.  It makes changes to
> > either UI or application messy.
> Oh, man, don't get me started.  I've been trying to get away from
> WWW development for about 9 years now, but everyone wants to port
> everything "to the web".

Have you noticed that non-WWW Internet application projects and
development has all but stopped?

Someone has written "internet == WWW" into the collective mindset and
its stuck there.

> > My favorite WWW project was one where I wrote the application in C as a
> > long-running process.  The WWW code had nothing but the UI, and there
> > were also command line and X interfaces to the program.
> You rock. :)

Now and then I manage to get things right.  I had to fight for that one
though... tooth and nail.  It damn near got me fired.

> There need to be more folks that take that approach, rather than
> loading a few gigabytes of middleware on a web server so that they can
> write stateful programs over a stateless interface using an anemic UI

What's funny is that this is not a new idea.  Think about an IBM 3270
terminal with a mainframe application.  Send a form, form gets sent
back with data.  The WWW browser is a fancy and overcomplicated page
oriented terminal.  

Why do we have to learn all those lessons all over again?

shannon "AT" widomaker.com -- ["The strength of the Constitution lies
entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it.  Only if every
single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the
constitutional rights secure." -- Albert Einstein]

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