Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Languages are Less Important

"Languages are Less Important" is one of the simple philosophies in Awesome(tm):

Traditionally, the choice of programming languages in an I.T. department was a near-religous decision. One reason was that the language tended to slither its way from one application to the next. Knowing this, managers would be very careful about allowing a new language into a development shop. In addition, reuse was considered a language specific mining activity (no one tried to pull Java code out of one application and put it in a Perl application). On top of this was the obvious fact that all of the enterprise API's were language specific, including J2EE and .Net.

Enterprises that implement Contract First Design and believe that Platforms are Contract Driven are much less dependent on specific languages or language specific libraries. Now, with this said - languages are still important for some real good reasons including: Developers skilled in one language shouldn't have to learn a new language for every different service they run into. Most I.T. shops already have large investments in platform specific code bases that they will want to leverage.

Although languages are less important in a service oriented world, they are still important. As services become more popular it will be common to find languages which are more friendly towards service development. This may be based on their ability to work with the Web Service standards, to expose themselves as a service or to invoke a service.

Well, it seems as though Peter Yared understood this some time back. Unlike the scores of startups that re-create the same damn product using all the same damn technologies... ActiveGrid made a hard left turn. The company appears to have come to the obvious realizations that no one else seems to have the guts to admit:
1. J2EE is a bloated set of deprecated patches.
2. Static Java objects and dynamic XML collide
3. Contract first programming make "languages less important"
4. If you're in an SO world, you might as well pick an SO friendly language
5. J2EE was designed to scale across a VM that sits on a multi-CPU box
6. Oh, Sun owns Java and J2EE, and what do you know... they sell multi-CPU boxes
7. Rip & replace Intel/AMD/Linux boxes are fast, cheap and reliable
8. LAMP is here to stay.
9. The growth rate of transactions inside an enterprise is significant.
10. The last-gen computing method will hit an 'economic breaking point'.

ActiveGrid is a "market starter"; the door has just been opened to commoditize the OS, the language and the vm while kicking big boxes in the groin and enabling service developers to be more productive while offering a lower cost of computing. Interesting? Uh, yes.

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