Shouldn’t we just say no to java already?

Oracle is now going after Java centric products, specifically starting with Google. Java itself has largely failed as a write once run anywhere platform … it has always been a (not terribly good) solution in search of a (narrow) problem niche, trying to pretend to be a wide scale solution to all problems everywhere.

And in that, it fails, miserably.

There are two very painful aspects of web based applications I deal with on a daily basis. The first are flash apps … Adobe really … REALLY needs to either fish or cut bait on flash, step up with real 64 bit flash for Linux and windows as being fully supported, or just admit it was wrong and kill flash, and let HTML5 win (which it will likely do anyway).

The second are Java bits. Java web start under a variety of browsers is anything but intuitive. Java apps often don’t work with java JREs. Icedtea does an ok job with applets in browsers. Just try to launch a console from an IPMI card. Or one of the other many bits.

I could criticize the language, I could go after the syntax, I could talk about the (lack of) performance. But all of this pales in comparison to its attempt to be everything to everyone, and in the process, failing miserably at pretty much everything. There may be one or two, very narrow application areas where it makes sense. But not many.

Yeah, it has all the features of a dot-bomb era fad that is long past its shelf life. CS departments dropped real languages to focus upon this, among other things.

Now folks using it have to worry about Oracle going after them for patent issues.

So at the end of the day, isn’t it time to look hard at the alternatives, which aren’t owned/controlled/under patent protection, and drop the encumbered hot potato? The risk reward equation just got badly biased in favor of risk, with no corresponding increase in reward. And thats before you consider the technical issues.

These days, if the answer is java, you haven’t thought through the question hard enough. Its time to “just say no.”

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