Re: By The Dawn's Normal Light

From: erk <>
Date: 27 Oct 2004 11:18:29 -0700
Message-ID: <>

> Good answer. But I would also like to see the language of the
> and the language of data that is not-persisted be the same;
> used by the database and those used by the UI be the same; etc.

I agree completely. I think UIs and reports need more than relations; for example, ordering. But I my coding would be drastically shorter and much more expressive if I had relational structures and constraints for my "business logic". And those are useful on all tiers.

> Additionally, if we
> could pick an existing language that is widely used and available,
such as
> Java which is promoted by both IBM and Sun, we could leap that hurdle
> faster.

The trouble is that Java is a very limited language. As evidence, look at the Java community's many frameworks: Struts, Velocity, Hibernate, Spring, etc. All of these layer new languages (unfortunately often XML-based - ugh) atop Java, and use Java reflection to get real work done. That's not uncommon, and is a stark contrast to languages like Lisp and ML and such, which have extensibility built-in.

> I don't see Java as the ultimate computer language, but it is quite

The Java platform is useful, and the language can be supplanted. And it will be... but doubtful in very useful directions. But the metadata annotations look promising...

> with a good start at libraries, and it's portable. If it were at
least one
> of the possible languages for encoding any metadata that is not
> as data and for defining types and constraints, that would make
> development all the easier, I suspect.

I don't think Java is useful for that, mainly because it's procedural. Yes, you put stuff in methods of classes, and break up the procedures, but it's still operational code rather than declarative. Some tools like iContract use Java fragments to encode invariants, but that's a trivial use of Java syntax, and could easily be something else.

> Again, I'm not a
> Java-as-the-best-thing-since-sliced-bread person, but it has a good
> headstart on whatever we might come up with that we think is better.

> And, if we do think of something better, we might just be able to
write java
> libraries that would give similar gains to the java developers.

I think libraries run out of gas, and that's where frameworks pick up. With any framework, you're writing something other than Java; Struts config files, for example, aren't Java. Certainly you can write Java hooks; but what you're doing is expressing your "logic" in something that's not Java at all. And the plethora of frameworks indicates just how useful avoiding the Java language is...

> Again, just typing perhaps without enough thinking, but it feels
right to
> me to have at least a bit more consistency in our languages.


> That said,
> I'll go back to writing apps using java servlets that execute SQL
> commands along with jsp that includes html, not to mention the
> Maybe I'm just looking to return to the easy COBOL environments of
> where we had to know, well, COBOL and maybe CICS plus IMS or
> VSAM to get the job done, plus SPF and JCL -- OK, nevermind.

Things used to be easier... didn't they? Then again, the requester-server stuff I did on Tandem was an awful, awful lot like stupid HTML pages. At least Java is a much more expressive language than COBOL, and HTML generally better than SCOBOL.

  • erk
Received on Wed Oct 27 2004 - 20:18:29 CEST

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