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Rethinking software development

When I read that Apple was ejecting Java from it's browsers I believe my heart skipped a beat. On the one hand Java, when it was managed by Sun, was very good to me. And now that Oracle owns it I've been reluctant to use it and that has nothing to do with Apple's decision. It's just the way I see Oracle.

Coincidentally Google announces Dart 1.0, Firefox announces Rust 0.4, Google's GO is making headway ... but most telling is the article, I read today, criticizing FogBugz for implementing their cornerstone application using a proprietary and internal language and toolchain (Wasabi which looks like VB).

So my intuition tells me that if Oracle does not make some serious corrections "we" are about to experience a paradigm shift akin to the magnetic swap that the mad scientists have been talking about for the last 10 years; because:

  • business owners need to reduce their risk - general security and maintain control of the API

  • increase their intellectual property - proprietary toolchains would add some value if they work

  • reduce programmer turnover - in a way proprietary languages will not actually enhance individual marketability (of course you have to get them first)

But if you cannot afford to design and implement a first class programming language... then you're forced to develop a DSL. And if you cannot afford that... then you have to use someone else's or something that is open source and liberal (nothing with the GPL; stick to MIT, BSD, and a few others)

In conclusion, and I hope I have connected the dots, there will be a major fracture. A small portion of the developers and businesses are going to go for the 100% commercial toolchain like Objective-C, iOS, .CLR/.NET and then there is going to be another group that is going to go completely open source as in perl, python, ruby, GCC, GO, Dart, Rust, and internal DSLs.

  • javascript is interesting but will be killed along with the JDK

  • Java might fork with a reasonable replacement but the devs working on the commercial version, who are responsible for the current state of affairs might poison the same tree.

Sadly, Google's current price drop might have something to do with the Java security issues as it was recently reporting that Android had it's own security issues.

It's clearly a sad state of the industry. It feels like a huge grey cloud overhead. I hope it's just a little rain and not a flood.


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