The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Only Sensible Choice

As a language, Ruby can be pretty accurately and completely described as a dialect of Smalltalk with Algol-inspired syntax and some scripting-friendly extensions. If this is going to be the new mainstream, I’m sure any Smalltalker would agree, we could do a whole lot worse. But here’s the rub: all those goodies you get with Java would, at least temporarily, disappear. Ruby has no bytecoded VM, no JIT, and no IDE that can hold a candle to Eclipse or, say, VisualWorks. There’s nothing wrong, particularly, with emacs and interpreters, and working in Ruby is still a pleasure, but there are definitely projects for which the immaturity of the implementation and environment get severely in the way.

Also, “Beyond Java” looks like a book worth reading...

Bruce Tate has an intriguing notion about the future of Java, and it's causing some agitation among Java developers. Bruce believes Java is abandoning its base, and conditions are ripe for an alternative to emerge.

In Beyond Java, Bruce chronicles the rise of the most successful language of all time, and then lays out, in painstaking detail, the compromises the founders had to make to establish success. Then, he describes the characteristics of likely successors to Java.


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