The Java Dogma and Downfall

Written on 9:40:00 AM by S. Potter

Despite applying his talents towards a despicable cause, Joseph Goebbels (Hitler's propaganda minister from 1933) had amazing insights into public behavior and described his most famous observations:

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
Using Goebbels' wisdom Java™ successfully launched their propaganda campaign initially against C/C++ with the rhetoric that Java guards against programming errors unlike its predecessor. Yes, Java does lean very heavily toward a dictatorship style of governing. This is without doubt. But does this translate to guarding against developers' own stupidity? When moving from C++ and Perl to Java back in 1997 I appreciated this dictatorship-style of governing very much. It removed *many* cycles of thought from development and I became lazy. Earlier in this new millennium I moved to a more democratic language called Python, where I enjoyed this new found freedom. Soon after the Python doctrine embedded deep-rooted values in me, I discovered the [almost] Libertarian utopia that is Ruby (though not perfect, thus the [almost]). Where am I going with this? Excellent question. Where was I? Ah yes, Java™, propaganda, Goebbels, etc.... Now that Java™ has new mortal enemies - Ruby, Python and other non-static languages that provide significant productivity gains as compared with large bloated development in Java - the Java™ machine is using the same rhetoric. Is it working? In short, for the software Lemmings that don't think, it is working well. Due in large part to the Java Dogma. In truth I find the liberty offered by these non-static languages (yes, Python that still includes you, weird *strongly*-typed cousin) provide a much greater guard against programmer stupidity than the forced dictatorship style of Java™. This is because the developer and development team must take full ownership of the responsibility for their work and thus disciplined, smart and agile developers tend to flock to these languages, leaving the lazy developers only looking for a nice pay check for using the right buzzwords at the right time in the Java world. Java now faces a big problem: how to not let this lazy and uninspiring critical mass not weigh it's reputation down too much? This is an excellent question and one I fear Ruby will need to find an answer to soon, if PHP hackers with no real software development understanding keep flocking to Ruby through Ruby on Rails. The growing popularity of Ruby due to Rails will bring the current community (you and I) problems that we will need to start thinking about now if we are to survive the consequences. Or we will suffer a very similar fate to Java, which would be very sad indeed.

If you enjoyed this post Subscribe to our feed

No Comment

Post a Comment