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Java Turns 10: The Developer Retrospective : Page 2

Java passed the 10-year milestone this May. DevX asked developers to reflect on the language's first decade, assess where it stands today, and speculate where it's going. The diversity of responses—including industry notables from within Sun, IBM, BEA, and Borland—indicates that Java is as vital as ever.




Building the Right Environment to Support AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning

3. What percentage of your production code would you say is Java? How do you expect that percentage to change in the future?

Nearly all respondents claimed Java was a majority of their production code, most placing it at more than 70 percent. None projected a decrease going forward.

"Last year we certified more than 800 offerings on Java technology. Nearly all our middleware depends on Java runtimes."—IBM's Rod Smith

"Among our customers, we still see a lot of C and C++ for mission-critical applications with predictable latency requirements. Often they would like to use Java, but Java VM technology is just now getting to the point of being up to running these sorts of systems.

In Web application development, I think we'll see a bit of a backlash against dynamically typed languages when people's applications become larger and more complex; they'll experience run-time type exceptions that they realize could have been prevented if they were using a strongly typed language such as Java."—Ed Cobb of BEA

4. What percentage of your Java applications are desktop apps versus server apps? If you write desktop applications, do you prefer SWT or Swing, and why?

Bruce Tate's response to this question summed up all the others: "Server-side Java is where it's at."

And as for the minimal client-side Java development that does occur...

"Swing is too complex, too unpredictable, and too hard to learn. SWT is a little better, but in general, Java stinks on the user interface." – Tate, who also wrote Better, Faster, Lighter Java and Bitter Java

"I think SWT has a better approach, linking to native libs for speed and consistency, but I don't like the API. It exposes too many of the underlying artifacts. Swing has a nicer API, but it is riddled with bugs, poor performance, and terrible layouts."—Michael Pilone

"I strongly prefer SWT...it's much more native than Swing, which is best described as a rough approximation of native."—Ed Cobb

"I write Swing apps and deploy them using Java Web Start. I am not yet sold on SWT due to its limited cross-platform support and lack of solid MVC design."—Kyle Gabhart

5. What are your platform, framework, and IDE of choice for Java development?

The popularity of the Eclipse framework and IDE was evident in the responses to this question, as was the dominance of the Windows and Linux platforms. Only a few respondents designated alternatives:

"My platform of choice is WinXP Pro. After installing Cygwin and a few other utilities you can get a very usable system with hardware support."—Michael Pilone

"J2SE 5 is my favorite. For IDE, I prefer JBuilder. IDEA is second. IDEA has some smart features, but good old JBuilder has everything I need."—Vlad Patryshev

"I've used emacs for development and println for debugging. Recently I've been using NetBeans, and have been surprised at the help it can give."—Jim Waldo

"No EJB please!!"—Laurent Ploix

Visual Café—Smialek

"In a pinch, I have been known to develop using vi."—Kyle Gabhart

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