I finally read past the first few paragraphs in David Pogue’s second iPhone FAQ, and I was a little surprised to see this:
Jobs: It’s not worth building in. Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain.
As you can probably tell from my last post, I rather like Java, and I also rather like Apple. If that’s how Steve really feels about Java, it’s no wonder that Apple stopped supporting the Cocoa/Java bridge in OSX. I always assumed it was because of the wonderful open-source Objective-C bridge in Python (my personal favorite language) that Apple just couldn’t keep up with. Regardless of the reasons, it’s probably better that Apple chose to focus on Objective-C because the improvements coming in Leopard are very exciting.
The Cocoa/Java bridge aside, I am disappointed that Steve still harbors the ancient misconception of Java being big and slow. This has not been the case since Java 1.4 was released, and Sun has made great strides in performance in its subsequent releases. From my personal experience working with Java both on the web and on the desktop, the platform is more than capable of performing at a high level.
This reminds me of a product I meant to tout in my previous post: ThinkFree. It’s a Java applet based online office suite. ThinkFree is a great example of how powerful applets and Java are. Sure it takes a minute to download the applet the first time, but then it’s cached for future uses. It really is Word/Excel/PowerPoint in a web browser, and it it beats the pants off of Google’s office suite feature and performance wise.
Well, I haven’t written a lick of Java code in 4 months, and I probably won’t for quite a while (at least until the iPhone comes out ;)). So, this is probably my last post about Java as my knowledge of the language and the platform will become stale pretty quickly. I hope to write more about Python and Django in the coming year, though. My current project makes extensive use of them, and I’m having a blast working with them.