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Java: Slow, ugly and irrelevant

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Java: Slow, ugly and irrelevant
By Simson Garfinkel


The vast majority of the high-profile attempts to use Java to create major desktop applications have failed. The reasons are straightforward. Java hype is built on the promulgation of two Big Lies. Number one: Java is as fast, or faster, than other programming languages. And Number two: Java is "portable" -- it is "write-once, run-everywhere" -- in other words, a Java program can be written once and then run on any kind of computer or operating system. But five years after Java's introduction, it is still slow and cumbersome, and not only has the "write-once, run-everywhere" promise not been delivered on, it's also turned out to not even be necessary.
<p>Java is far from even being the first attempt at portability. Let's not forget that the original motivation behind the C<a href="/tech/fsp/glossary/index.html#c">*</a> language, way back in the early 1970s, was to create a portable computer language. The theory was that a programmer would be able to take a program written in C and be able to run it on different computers simply by recompiling<a href="/tech/fsp/glossary/index.html#compiler">*</a> the source code. And to this end, C has been tremendously successful. I have many programs that can compile and run on Windows, on Intel-based Unix workstations and even on Sun Ultra-SPARC servers. One of the advantages of Java over C was supposed to be that programs would be able to migrate from computer to computer without having to be recompiled. But while the portability works most of the time, Java is not, and never will be, a replacement for C or its successor C++.

<p>The creators of Java tried to make a better C++. But they ended up with a language that is ugly, hard to read, and which requires an inordinate amount of typing because of a variety of pedagogical restrictions imposed by Java's creators. They ended up with a slow mess.

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Tue Mar  6 01:33:58 2001