Monday, January 30, 2006

No justice for Java

I was reading this article on Ajax today and overall I was pretty much agreeing on the topics covered.

It talks about how a lot of vendors are adding "Ajax" capabilities to their development tools/ide, and of course how the 3 major product companies (MS, IBM, Sun) are promoting their own frameworks as the natural winner once the "dust settles". So far all makes sense.

But wait, one more time (and this is the sad part) another Sun exec vp says something interesting:

[...] John Loiacono, Sun's executive vice president of software, said the strategy at Java creator Sun is to embrace AJAX and scripting languages. [...] "A lot of people said this will kill Java, but have you ever tried to build a mission-critical application with AJAX? You can't," Loiacono said.

It's true that the definition of mission-critical is in the eye of the beholder but Ajax needs to talk to a server (hence it needs server technology) to do something interesting. You can't just build apps in Ajax because it doesn't make sense. Maybe somebody should break these news to Mr Loiacono. And while they are at it they should show him gmail, google maps, my yahoo, etc. supporting millions of users, pretty darn fast and not using Java (but this is beyond my point, because Java MAKES sense when used with Ajax).

The interesting thing is that after I shared this article with some colleagues/friends, Leonardo replied with a snippet from the Java Technology License and Distribution Agreement containing the following:

10.2 High Risk Activities.

a. The Technology is not fault-tolerant and is not designed, manufactured or intended for use or resale as on-line control equipment in hazardous environments requiring fail-safe performance, such as in the operation of nuclear facilities, aircraft navigation or communication systems, air traffic control, direct life support machines, or weapons systems, in which the failure of the Technology or Product(s) could lead directly to death, personal injury, or severe physical or environmental damage ("High Risk Activities"). SUN specifically disclaims any express or implied warranty of fitness for High Risk Activities.