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Inprise Developer News: Java, Competitive drama

Nov 30, 1999, 22:47 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Eckel)

"Admittedly, Linux isn't a replacement for Windows yet. Sure, the core OS is great; I've never had it crash on me. But in RedHat v. 6.0, Gnome regularly locked up on me. (I suspect that's most of what was addressed in version 6.1 but I haven't yet gotten it.) Nevertheless, notice how fast Linux is changing -- possibly even an order of magnitude faster than Windows has changed. It doesn't matter that Linux doesn't have better tools than Windows right now, because the speed at which it's getting better is so much faster than the rate at which Windows is evolving that Linux will soon blow by...."

"But I see the greatest potential for Linux desktop application development in two forms: Java and Python. Java because of its libraries and GUI builders and the huge forces behind it -- notably IBM, which reportedly spends 10 times the amount that Sun does on Java development. When you look at some of the Swing components, you can imagine just one programmer using them to create a clone of Microsoft Word or Excel or Corel Draw. For new programmers, Java seems like the systems programming language for Linux."

"Where does Python fit? Everywhere else. It's both a programming language and a scripting language, but it's very nicely object-oriented from the ground up, easy to learn and use. In fact, I think it could be the ideal beginner's language. You can write command-line programs and GUI programs. You can write programs to test your design, then re-code the programs in C++ or Java once you've gotten the kinks out. But to me the key is productivity...."

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