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Posted by editor on February 14, 2008 at 7:40 AM PST


Of language evolution and Java's would-be successors

We've picked up a couple of nice opinion pieces to harangue about for an ordinary winter Thursday (your climate may vary, particularly south of the Equator). Both are motivated by pressures on Java from languages contending for mind-share and attention, notably Ruby.

We'll start with JBoss' Bill Burke:

I recently emailed the mandelbrot benchmark to a dynamic language evangelist colleague. Although benchmark results are usually pure propaganda, poor representations of how a language or framework is used in the real world, or even just plainly out of date with the latest versions of the technology, still, the performance of dynamic languages compared to Java in the example is quite embarrassing. Ruby, for example, is 500 times slower! Yeah, its hard to take seriously a benchmark that outputs to stdout, but still, if you look at the code you’re thinking, WTF is Ruby doing that causes so much overhead?

Now, when I forwarded this benchmark to my evangelist colleague, he immediately accused me of trying to put down or stamp out any challenge to the “One True Language” (Java). Its not about putting down or stamping out. Its about testing whether or not a language is a viable application platform. The thing is, if the dynamic language crowd is going to position itself as a replacement for Java in application development then they are going to have stop giving silly rationalizations for their shortcomings and promoting myths about their language and Java. This, and this alone is what irritates me about this crowd. Let me give you some examples about the rationalizations and myths they try to pull over on us...

From here, his Dynamic Languages: Rationalizations and