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Re: Java

   Date: Fri, 07 Dec 2001 01:06:32 -0600
   From: Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net>

   Good, we agree that the issue is control. Can you see how this will lead
   to resentment? People do not like to be controlled. 

Oh, so you resent Java because you feel that you don't have control of
the standard.  Well, if you want to get involved in the Java standard,
you can join the Java Community Process.  I haven't noticed that you
have participated in defining Perl or Python or Smalltalk or Common
Lisp, but somehow you don't seem to radiate resentment of those
languages.  No, I don't buy this as the justification of the
resentment (see below).

	 It doesn't make the excuse that it will only take a few minutes to
   work around its flaws. According to my defintion of lightweight, a LL
   designer would say: "if it is common to want to do this, then let's make
   it quick and easy."

Common for whom?  My friend Joe could say that Scheme is a totally
deficient language because it doesn't have any built-in facility to do
Fast Fourier Transforms, which Joe spends *all* his time doing.

Again, your specific objection is that it's not optimized for
"scripting" (in the sense I used this word in earlier mail), which is
a perfectly valid point per se as long as it's made specifically.

	       No language that was as bad at it as early Java (and the
   Java that many programmers use today!) would have become popular without
   Sun's backing.

This, I feel, is the real cause of the resentment and criticism.  It's
just not fair that *my* langauge is languishing, whereas so many
people are using *their* language, *not* because it's better but
because it had Sun's backing.

Now, can we all get that out of our systems, so that when we evaluate
Java we apply the same rules and standards as we do to any other

   If it is partial then it isn't a guarantee! In my experience, Java is no
   more portable than languages that make operating system access easy,
   rather than difficult. 

I agree that more "scripting" facilities could be added to Java
without substantially hurting portability.

   And anyhow, why wouldn't Sun encourage programmers to use their favorite
   language on the JVM? The slogan could be "100% JVM". 

Because the point of the whole "100% Pure Java" business was
specifically to fight against specific practices of Microsoft, which
was basically trying to sucker developers into writing their Java
programs in such a way that they'd only run on the Microsoft
implementation.  This was a marketing and business strategy
issue, having nothing to do with the langauge definition at all.

							It comes back to
   control. Controlling the VM isn't enough. They need to control the
   language, the libraries, the runtime, the web services toolkit, the HTML
   templating framework, ...

Ah, but wasn't it you who insisted that third-party libraries are no
good, that functionality has to be *built into* the language?  Didn't
you say:

   Sure, I can find a glob library on the web, but as soon as I'm searching
   the Web for basic stuff, the language has lost any claim of

So which is it?  Do you want all that stuff to be in the build-in
libraries are not?  It sounds like you feel they're damned if they do
and damned if they don't.