The Java Drivel

"... and for this I will use a factory generator factory which gives me references to a repository manager."

I gave the Java engineer a blank stare.

  • "What?"

He leaned back in his chair and crossed his hands behind his head apparently relaxing.

"That's the way to do it in Java."

I already could see another 200 MB main memory going down the drain and into the bowel of some Java application. And the start-up time would reach lunch-break dimensions.

My whole IT life was passing before my inner eye. I remembered the Z80 with the whopping 1MHz clock rate and the turbo fast Turbo Pascal which I used to write interrupt handlers. I remembered the VAX cluster in 1986 where we ran huge scientific apps. They would fly.

Now, many many Moore cycles later the quad core machine with the 4GB would crawl under the load of one single, bloody Java app server.

"And as long as every application is implementing the FactoryGeneratorInstancePropertyManagerRepositoryInterface everything should work."

What should I think of a language which needs so many patterns? Maybe that something is seriously wrong with the object model? I closed my eyes, dreaming of a better world.

"It is really easy."

he tried to push his point.

In vain, because I definitely knew that in Perl I would just write this single line tie-ing a hash to a YAML file.

But then I realized something: The corporate world had pushed this language to make itself independent from the programmers. To make them exchangeable, outsourceable.

And as punishment they got ridiculously complex, ill-adjusted technology, long development cycles and the whole rat-tail of additional tool-chains.

I wicked smile crept onto my face:

  • "Sounds great. Let's do it that way."

I just kept a Java developer busy for a year.

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Hmm, maybe thats ok for you

Hmm, maybe thats ok for you or me or other computer nerds that learned programming in the 1980ties

but image a young boy today, he will never go so deep into the machine as we did with assembler and understanding the processor to implement some freaky stuff....

they learn some (for us) abstract stuff as basic and will outperform us in the next decades...

i think abstraction even in programming languages are the right way to advance

schtieF (not verified) | Wed, 05/14/2008 - 12:30

Re: Hmm, maybe thats ok for you

they learn some (for us) abstract stuff as basic and will outperform us in the next decades...

In hundred years perhaps, yes.

i think abstraction even in programming languages are the right way to advance

What has Java to do with abstraction? Haskell, yes. Higher order Perl, yes. Dynamic classes in Ruby, yes. Iterators through for loops in Java. No.

rho | Wed, 05/14/2008 - 12:46

What has Java to do with

What has Java to do with abstraction? Haskell, yes.
Higher order Perl, yes. Dynamic classes in Ruby, yes.
Iterators through for loops in Java. No.

Iterators? never saw them since java 1.5.

beside all the nice features in 1.5, i don#t think you will find any programming-language where you can find so many existing code and libraries.

Beside a lot of java programming i also do C++ stuff and half the time i need to reinvent the wheel to get some functionality i can find an open source java library in seconds.

:-)

schtieF (not verified) | Wed, 05/14/2008 - 15:36

Re: What has Java to do with

beside all the nice features in 1.5, i don't think you will find any programming-language where you can find so many existing code and libraries.

No, sure, it's great to have a consolidated software repository with 15000+ distros, all together with hundreds of mirrors for world-wide distribution. And most code which works even with an interpreter/compiler version ala 1995.

And a versioned package system with all dependencies, and an automated installation suite. And automatic repackaging for various Linux distros. And an automated smoke testing of all packages to be installed and tested on several platforms. And all that since 10 years.

It's great. Really. :-) And good to see that Java will have it too.

rho | Wed, 05/14/2008 - 17:27

I can empathise

I've worked in a major corp. and this is all too familiar. I've seen my share of truly enormous and horrendously buggy JAVA apps, developed by teams of JAVA drones and requiring extraordinary hardware resources to even run acceptably.

Here's an anecdote: on one of these in-house empire-building mega-projects consisting of hordes of local and offshore (India) developers and QA staff, one very competent guy came along and, unknown to the programme coordinator and project managers (yes, there were more than one) spent a couple of months in-between regular debugging and wrote a little C++ app that implemented a DSL and some functionality to interface with the 3rd party product APIs being being used (you can slip in lots of little side projects into these huge projects since no one really knows what's going on, but most people just browse the web). He then wrote a few thousand lines of code in the DSL along with some automated functional tests and thereby replicated the entire system resulting in an app that was far less buggy, had minimal hardware requirements, was signficantly faster, and was incredibly flexible and amenible to change.

He was "encouraged" to leave the company soon after.

Michael (not verified) | Fri, 08/15/2008 - 13:35

Re: I can empathise

I've worked in a major corp. and this is all too familiar.

And I do not think that this is bad, overall. I think all this is quite natural in the commoditizing of IT services.

Having worked at a university (Bond University), I have seen how students are prepared (they call it groomed, I call it brain-wrecked) for careers in large corps.

These people have normally zero understanding of what is going on technically (modulo the few very good students). They just went through the motions of Visual Studio. And these are the people who read a 10 MB XML file. Yes, at every incoming HTTP request.

Companies get these drones and they are punished for forcing gullable universities to walk down this path.

All good and well in the end.

rho | Fri, 08/15/2008 - 13:52