Thursday, February 08, 2007

Why all the fighting about languages?

This keeps popping up. The latest is Java vs Ruby (it seems the last was Java vs Python). Many of the arguments come down to loose typing vs strong typing. My answer is why not both?
Especially, in our brave new world of managed code. I think this is a case where Microsoft got it right with the marketing of the CLR in their .net framework. It really isn't much different than the Java Virtual Machine. Ever since the beginning there have been compilers for languages other than Java that create bytecode for the VM.

Lets take it from another angle, the idea that a developer might have to know one more language isn't really a big deal. On a given day, the average (J2EE) web developer will use Java, JavaScript, SQL, XML, XSL, JSP, Expression Language, and (X)HTML, at a minimum. Most will use a few more. If another language can make life easier, then lets use it.

We have been able to compile Ruby to byte code for a long time. Your Java classes can see the classes and methods generated by the jRuby compiler, the reverse is also true. Our development environments are sophisticated enough to deal with multiple compilers and languages. With eclipse, it's just a matter of a few more plugins and a builder.

So, let's all get along and use the best tool for the job at hand. If Java and C++ can get along with clunky old JNI, then Java and Ruby should be able to work miracles together with the advanced tools of today.

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2 Comments:

At 08 February, 2007 13:45, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about cocoa? That is the future, Java is out! Ask Steve! No really if we did not have a language to talk about. what fun would it be ?

You forgot all the meetings and paper work we have to wade through. Not to mention the six bosses you have to status every hour you have to typically touch in a given day.

 
At 08 February, 2007 19:11, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Ruby lover, but seriously...why fight it anymore? Groovy is almost everything you need to get Ruby with Java performance.

And, for those of you who like Rails there is a Grails (almost a clone using Groovy) or Seam or ...take your pick. Grails is my pick.

Thank you!

 

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