OT: Php or perl? JAVA BASHING!

Ross Werner ross at indessed.com
Sat Mar 18 14:39:30 MST 2006

On Sat, 18 Mar 2006 12:23:32 -0800, Stuart Jansen <sjansen at buscaluz.org>  

> Finally, I'm glad you brought up Python. Certain things about Python rub
> me the wrong way, but at least it's an example of what Java should have
> been. Python code is just as easy (easier!) to maintain than Java. The
> Python community cares about good design, just like the Java community.

In my opinion, there are two major facets of any programming language:
1) The syntax and features of the language itself, e.g. procedural vs.  
functional, typing strategies, etc.
2) The libraries and third-party features that surround the language

I place "community" in with #2, because really, the only reason you should  
care about what other people are doing with a language (whether they "care  
about good design" and so forth) is how it reflects on #2.

> Python is a language that mediocre programmers can use without doing too
> much damage. But Python manages to do it without strapping developers
> into a straight jacket or brainwashing them into think XML is a hammer
> and everything is a nail. The Python community understand the value of
> simple solutions.

These seem to be arguments that fall squarely into the #2 facet. I mean,  
there's nothing inherent about the Java language that makes XML a  
highly-desirable tool. Python has XML parsers too.

Anyway, where I'm going with this is:
a) I see #1 as being a matter of taste. Some people like the taste of  
certain types and certain syntax more than others.
b) If the #1 features of the language match your personal tastes, but #2  
is full of idiots (PHP) or over-used XML (Java), it seems to me that there  
may be some good opportunities for change. I think PHP is changing in the  
right direction, although there's so much baggage there that it may not be  
worth it. Java, on the other hand, I think has some great potential for  
change, and I think Java 5 is a great example of some of that change. For  
example, annotations are getting rid of a lot of the XML baggage that has  
been around for a long time.

Here's a great example of how Java is being pushed by languages such as  
Python and Ruby into a more flexible world, keeping both the emphasis on  
design and the basic Java syntax and features (#1), while changing a lot  
of the negative parts of #2.


	~ Ross

More information about the PLUG mailing list