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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru Majglow's Avatar
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    "Java facing pressures from dynamic languages"

    I found this article and thought it was an interesting read:

    http://www.computerworld.com/develop...109953,00.html

    I was wondering if anybody could comment on a couple specific parts though:

    "I'm astounded at how popular Ruby has become," said panelist Bruce Snyder, a founding member of the Apache Geronimo project. Ruby is useful for lower-end applications, he said. "There's still a large gap where you're going to need enterprise-level features and that's still missing," he said.
    What enterprise-level features?

    Marinescu said J2EE is too complex for Web development, but that Rails is not the ultimate solution.
    Why not?

    I'm not asking these questions as a "challenge" per say, but more because I'm not sure what they are referring to. I was wondering if anybody could enlighten me.
    Ohai!

  2. #2
    throw me a bone ... now bonefry's Avatar
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    And you seriously expect an unbiased answer ?
    I assure you that this thread will generate many dumb answers, as few people here know sh*t about J2EE ... assuming you aren't looking for a flame.

    J2EE is indeed too complex. I surrely hope that Rails is succesfull (it allready is) as it will influence the design of J2EE (it allready is ... as simplicity is the main objective of J2EE 5).


    Although Ruby is great as a language, it suffers from the lack of a good VM. Ruby Rite is just vaporware at this point, and all development is done in Japan right now ... so few people know its status and few people can contribute. Also, it took 20 years of research to come up with a decent VM for Smaltalk and Java gained the HotSpot JVM when SUN bought a Smaltalk company.

    Ruby doesn't have a big company like SUN to invest in research, and Ruby is not an ANSI standard (neither is Java, but with Java it really doesn't matter) ... if Ruby isn't a standard it means Ruby is dependant on its implementation, and Matz, the benevolent dictator, can wake up one morning and screw up the language ... the language being a moving target ... for that alone Ruby is not ready yet (talking about enterprises ... as smart developers know better).

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast Stevenwulf's Avatar
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    <snip>
    and Matz, the benevolent dictator, can wake up one morning and screw up the language.
    </snip>

    Oh, you mean like how the addition of generics screwed up java 5?

  4. #4
    throw me a bone ... now bonefry's Avatar
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    No, not really. First of all ... what's wrong with generics ?

    I am talking about some weird changes experimented in Ruby 1.9 ... for example.

    Furthermore ... compiling older code with Java 5 still works ... now tell me, can you run Rails on a Ruby VM older than 1.8.2 ?

  5. #5
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    Generics make a static language more dynamic, there's nothing bad about them (nearly nothing).

    Is Rails the ultimate solution? Can't you think of anything that could be done better in Rails? Is Rails the ultimate solution for everyone?

    I'd say NO.

    - Ruby is slow
    - Rails generates ugly inline javascript
    - ...

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast Stevenwulf's Avatar
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    <snip>
    Generics make a static language more dynamic, there's nothing bad about them (nearly nothing).
    </snip>

    Sheesh, I don't see that being the case at all. With Java 1.4 you could plop any object you wanted into an ArrayList--just make sure you use the appropriate cast when you pull it out. Now you have to define the type of objects the ArrayList is going to hold before you use it. To me that is LESS dynamic. Anyway, I'm not say ruby is the best and java sucks. I love java and just wanted to poke a stick at Bonefry

    There are plenty of people out--besides myself--who think adding generics to Java 5 was a mistake:
    http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpo...?thread=117200

  7. #7
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    But still, the difference between casts, and generics is that you give the type to the list class, when you define the list. With casts, you convert the thing that comes out of the list when you need it.

    I don't know much about Java, but I think you'll have a problem if you create a list of ObjectA, and then cast these to ObjectB when you get them out of the list. You don't have this problem with generics, so they're more type safe.

    Or am I missing something?

    But fortunately this is a non-problem in Ruby ;-).

  8. #8
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    Moved to General Dev in hopes it would get non-ruby programmers opinions too.
    Sara

  9. #9
    Put your best practices away. The New Guy's Avatar
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    I thought ruby had scaling issues. As FastCGI is buggy.
    "A nerd who gets contacts
    and a trendy hair cut is still a nerd"

    - Stephen Colbert on Apple Users

  10. #10
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The New Guy
    As FastCGI is buggy.
    I thought it was Apache's mod_fastcgi that was buggy, not FastCGI in general.

    edit: As someone who uses both Java and dynamic languages, I think the article rings true to an extent. Very little will kill Java on the high end where it's entrenched, but on the small/medium end it's facing stiff competition from both .NET and dynamic languages like PHP/Python/Ruby.

  11. #11
    Put your best practices away. The New Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    I thought it was Apache's mod_fastcgi that was buggy, not FastCGI in general.

    edit: As someone who uses both Java and dynamic languages, I think the article rings true to an extent. Very little will kill Java on the high end where it's entrenched, but on the small/medium end it's facing stiff competition from both .NET and dynamic languages like PHP/Python/Ruby.
    Yah. Mabye your right...

    Still I think PHP and .NET are way more "damaging" to Java then ruby.
    "A nerd who gets contacts
    and a trendy hair cut is still a nerd"

    - Stephen Colbert on Apple Users

  12. #12
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    It is really interesting one and to be known to all java developers

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by The New Guy
    Still I think PHP and .NET are way more "damaging" to Java then ruby.
    I think Ruby is more damanging than PHP and .NET because: (a) Ruby / Rails have become a focal point of things that are wrong with Java for web development, (b) Ruby / Rails are inspiring changes in other dynamic languages / frameworks that make them more attractive (even PHP), and (c) as other dynamic languages become more attractive, more projects will choose them over Java. Java is no longer the language to aspire to for web development.

    Basically Ruby / Rails gives the Java community some envy of other platforms and encourages the other dynamic languages to become better. Other dynamic languages are not staying still. While they may emulate some of what Ruby / Rails offer, they also make conscious choices to be different so there is often a lot of advantages from choosing something other than Ruby / Rails (or Java). Ruby / Rails are generating a rising tide that's lifting the dynamic language boats, making them all differing alternatives to Java.
    Last edited by Mazr; Apr 8, 2006 at 09:24.

  14. #14
    Non-Member QiSoftware's Avatar
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    I am a Java enthusiast both for client [applets] and server [servlets/jsp] side applications. I have read some things about Ruby on Rails and thought it was a client side feature -- with limited browser support [to date], which enabled web developers a means to create on-the-fly or dynamic tools on web pages.

    I have also done some work with PHP and iframes to achieve dynamic looks for web page tools -- [see -- GEO Code Retriever].

    I am a little confused as to why you think Java and PHP are going to become obsolete web development tools because of Ruby on Rails. Do you mean in as far as applets versus the inherent features that Ruby can offer within a client's web browser? Or simulation of dynamic features with iframes and PHP?

    Maybe this is my misunderstanding -- Does ruby have a server side implementation? As you can see I have done no work with Ruby -- but I am interested in where others believe web development trends are heading.

    Q...

  15. #15
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    Ehh, Ruby is a serverside language, not client side ;-). So Rails works with every browser. You would use Ajax instead of iframes in Rails.

    People think that Rails is going to make Java/PHP obsolete because you can develop much faster in Rails. PHP lets you hack together webpages fast, and Java makes sure you have a good structurs. Rails tries to have good structure AND fast development. Try to build an application with Rails to feel very skilled and productive .

  16. #16
    Bad Ass Mother F#$%^& Devious's Avatar
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    "Java sukz cause Google won't index my Nav." -Trent Reznor
    Logo Design & Identity Branding Consultant.

  17. #17
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    Sheesh, I don't see that being the case at all. With Java 1.4 you could plop any object you wanted into an ArrayList
    It is almost always bad design to put mixed objects into a collection when using Java...if you find yourself doing this often you don't know how to use Java well. Furthermore nothing at all forces you to use generics.
    People think that Rails is going to make Java/PHP obsolete because you can develop much faster in Rails.
    People say this crap all the time...but where is the evidence? I'm not even sure how you can do a realistic study to support a conclusion like this.

  18. #18
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    As Fenrir2 mentions, Ruby is a server-side language. It's also a dynamic, OO language and is often compared to Python. You can also think of Groovy for the JVM however that project seems to have lost some mindshare. Ruby on Rails is a Ruby-based MVC web application framework used to build websites quickly. For Java, think of the Spring MVC framework for something similar. Ruby on Rails gets kudos for integrated AJAX capabilities via the prototype.js AJAX framework and Script.aculo.us JS effects libraries. Prototype and Script.aculo.us are just Javascript and are integrated with MVC frameworks for other languages as well. There are also alternative AJAX libraries now such as Dojo Toolkit and Mochikit that some prefer.

    Ruby on Rails organizes code using the MVC philosophy which is available in web frameworks for many languages (Spring for Java, CakePHP for PHP, Catalyst for Perl, TurboGears for Python, etc.). Ruby on Rails further makes developing certain types of web applications faster by making some design choices for you, however it gives up some flexibility in doing so. The major complaints I hear about Ruby on Rails is that it's not flexible enough to do certain types of projects but that's by choice.

    A MVC web framework for any language will generally make your web development faster and more maintainable, so you can get a lot of Rails-like benefits without using Ruby or Rails.

  19. #19
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    People say this crap all the time...but where is the evidence?
    How could you prove such a thing? You'll be enlightened if you develop only ONE (pet) application using Rails. I thing you don't need more evidence then. Just try it, and see for yourself. (with an open mind off course)

  20. #20
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    You'll be enlightened if you develop only ONE (pet) application using Rails.
    Ugh..this is the whole point. "Pet applications" aren't realistic...they tell you nothing how RoR fairs to other technologies when writing REAL applications.
    Just try it, and see for yourself. (with an open mind off course)
    I have...and I don't see it being faster in general...maybe for some types of apps but certainly not all (or even the majority). Furthermore, you can't base a general statement like "RoR is faster for development than Java" on only your experience! That is highly irrational. Anyhow....I found that with RoR after you get outside of toy applications..its inflexibility is an utter pain...and how to do a variety of things became unobvious.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snaily
    I found that with RoR after you get outside of toy applications..its inflexibility is an utter pain...and how to do a variety of things became unobvious.
    You hit the nail on the head. RoR is getting a lot of fame for building toy applications. How well it can be used for real apps is where a lot of complaints appear.

  22. #22
    Employed Again Viflux's Avatar
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    Having dabbled in Ruby, I am quite confident in saying that it will become a very popular choice amongst dedicated hobbyists.

    However, it, IMO, is not a threat to Java or .NET on the enterprise scene because of the deep ties those languages provide to legacy systems. Where I currently work, .NET is the only language that we could possibly use. We aren't prepared to lose millions of dollars by doing redevelopment of working, existing, money-making code. By the same token, new development is done in .NET to make use of existing libraries and infrastructure.

    My previous place of employment was strictly Java because it made it easy to interface with legacy mainframe systems. That is, again IMO, the single most significant factor in choosing a language for a real "enterprise" application.

    Ruby, much like Python and Smalltalk before it, is destined to become honored for it's beauty, simplicity, and relative power. If you ask me, it seems like it would be a great teaching language once it has more exposure. At this point it's still confined to dedicated geeks like ourselves.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Guru Majglow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viflux
    However, it, IMO, is not a threat to Java or .NET on the enterprise scene because of the deep ties those languages provide to legacy systems.
    This makes sense, however what about companies starting up? They aren't tied down by legacy systems.

    Also, one of the most "touchy" questions would be, what is enterprise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snaily
    Ugh..this is the whole point. "Pet applications" aren't realistic...they tell you nothing how RoR fairs to other technologies when writing REAL applications.
    [...]
    Anyhow....I found that with RoR after you get outside of toy applications..its inflexibility is an utter pain...and how to do a variety of things became unobvious.
    Could you please elaborate on the difference between a "pet application" and a "real application"? Also, what are some of the inflexibilities that you came across. Are they mostly from legacy systems?

    One more thing, there are a number of profitable companies who wrote their software using ruby & ruby on rails. This goes to show that it can be used successfully.
    Ohai!

  24. #24
    Non-Member QiSoftware's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenrir2
    Ehh, Ruby is a serverside language, not client side ;-). So Rails works with every browser. You would use Ajax instead of iframes in Rails.
    Thanks Fenrir2 --

    I think I confused AJAX and Ruby because of the word dynamic. PHP would be the dynamic server side equivalent? Dynamic in that you can create functionality quickly without the overhead of binaries? Server side JavaScript, hmmm? I am going to have to read more about Ruby on Rails...

    Q...

  25. #25
    SitePoint Guru Majglow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QiSoftware


    Thanks Fenrir2 --

    I think I confused AJAX and Ruby because of the word dynamic. PHP would be the dynamic server side equivalent? Dynamic in that you can create functionality quickly without the overhead of binaries? Server side JavaScript, hmmm? I am going to have to read more about Ruby on Rails...

    Q...
    It's wikipedia, so take it with a grain of salt.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic...mming_language
    Ohai!


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