Stefane Fermigier

Java, OSS and innovation

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“Cristiano”, from Faqs.it, has written a comment about our switch from Python to Java in his blog.

Here is my comment about his comment.

Hi Cristiano,

Thanks for your comments about our Java switch. I fully agree with you that a lot of innovations come from the OSS ecosystem, but there are some wrong facts in your remarks that I have to correct, including the following:

  • Python, for instance, did actually copy Java’s syntax (and concept) for annotation (called decorators in Python-speak), not the other way around.

  • Generics are irrelevant in dynamics languages, hence dynamic languages can’t have “out-innovated” Java on that matter.

  • The sentence “Python doesn’t fit in the enterprise-class web apps market” is in part irrelevant for us, because we are not only in the web apps market, but also in the rich client market (with Eclipse RCP).

  • Your opposition (in the last sentence) of “Java vs. OSS” is completely disconnected from the reality: Java is GPL now (or will be RSN), Java OSS communities (JBoss, Spring, Apache, Eclipse, Nuxeo…) are among the most active (if not the most active) OSS communities now. And some of these communities have a lot of money at their disposal, because these are projects for building enterprise-class OSS software (or middleware), backed by serious companies like Sun, IBM, Red Hat, or Nuxeo.

IMHO, OSS is now driving, in many ways, the development of Java, and this means that there is no need to oppose Java if you are (like I am) an OSS believer.

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