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Six Years and Counting: Developers Weigh in on the State of the Java Market : Page 5

As part of our comprehensive analysis of the past, present, and future of a breakthrough development technology, we asked Java developers where they stand on the tools and technologies that make Java work for them.


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On average, our respondents said that they built 43 percent of their applications in the Java language (see Figure 12). After Java, Visual Basic was the language most often cited for application development in our study. XML (though not a language in itself, we felt it useful for comparison in this context) and C++ each received 22 percent.

Both VB and C++ development will fall off in usage during the next two years, while XML development will increase more than any other language named. After two years, our respondents estimated that their use of Java will increase by 5.7% to 49% and pure XML development will increase by 6.2% to 28%. In Figure 14, we looked at the use of XML specifically in conjunction with Java and saw a far more precipitous increase in usage predictions.

Sun Microsystems Java evangelist Simon Phipps said it rather well at a recent conference: "You can have all the XML you want flying through the air from place to place, and that's fine and good, but there needs to be Java on a machine at both ends to make it actually work." It appears that this message of Java and XML's highly interdependent relationship is well understood by developers.



Wireless application development will increase by about 70 percent over the next two years, an indication that J2ME may be a more sought-after platform in the months to come.

Figure 12. Apps Involving Language/Technology: Percentage of total applications developed in each language, broken out by A) current development and B) expected development in 2 years
 

Which Version of Java Prevails?
It's clear from Figure 13 that most developers don't use any single version of Java exclusively. After J2EE and J2SE, the next-highest number of users, 33 percent, was for the JDK 1.1.1. We presume that many developers in this category are IBM shops that haven't yet upgraded to version 3.5 of WebSphere, the first J2EE-compliant version of IBM's Java environment. But another logical explanation is that there is a prevailing desire to ensure applications work with the largest common denominators, which means paying special attention to Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Eighteen percent of Java developers use Microsoft's Visual J++. Many Windows developers turn to Visual J++ when tight integration with COM objects is needed. This is where Visual J++ excels, and because it is provided free with the Visual Studio suite, we're not surprised to find some people using it where it makes sense.

Figure 13. Versions of Java in Use: Number of developers using each of 6 different Java versions, by percentage (multiple responses allowed)
 



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