AJ's blog

February 2, 2007

Will somebody please defend Java EE?

Filed under: Java, SOA, Software Architecture, Software Development — ajdotnet @ 8:50 pm

Some time ago a fellow programmer pointed me to “Analysts see Java EE dying in an SOA world” and asked about my opinion. Since then it always lingered in my mind to shape my thoughts into a blog post… — but that will have to wait!

Since I did not want to do the nth repetition of things already said before, I began with searching the web. Given the nature of the article and the fact that it is 6 months old, it is not surprising that I found more than a few pages. Google lists ~400 hits. What I found to be quite interesting is what the various replies said — and what they didn’t say.

The immediate replies fall in three different categories:

  1. The “me too” replies: They simply link to the article or quote and rephrase in the attempt to explain what was clear in the first place. They don’t offer an own opinion. This is the biggest group in the set of replies.
  2. The “that is not true!” and “how dare you!” replies: They simply state that the article is wrong and that they would have never thought such insolence possible (they tend to be personally offended). What they don’t do is to back up their opinion. Those replies are numerous as well.
  3. The by far smallest group is the group of more or less usefull replies, replies that offer an opinion. The opinions vary in their support and rejection of the article and I certainly don’t agree with all those opinions. But that doesn’t matter, I can live with that. Different opinions are a good thing in itself. One of the better replies is probably “Is JAVA EE Dying with SOA Adoption?“.
    However! All those replies picked just one or other aspect of the article. I could not find one that addressed the article as a whole, none that mentioned the fundamental problems*.
  4. In the interest of fairness I have to admit that there is a fourth group — luckily not all too numerous –, the “I always knew it!” replies from the .NET camp (e.g. this one).  

Far more can be gained by not looking at immediate replies but at the discussions triggered by them. I found particularly those forums and comments to be … well, “interesting”:
http://java.meetup.com/15/boards/view/viewthread?thread=2021011
http://www.infoq.com/news/Java-EE-Demise-Report
And of course the obvious suspects:
http://www.theserverside.com/news/thread.tss?thread_id=41283#213270
http://www.theserverside.net/news/thread.tss?thread_id=41325

This is a very sorry result. A controversial article that is sure to draw attention actually got very little direct response in terms of hard facts. No reply I found was able to dismount the article. To get better arguments I had to look at various discussions. Those discussions however contained all kinds of opinion: wrong and right, objective and religious, informed and misled — and of course the usual share of off-topic and “unpleasant” replies.

Controversial articles are a good thing. They may show new perspectives, revive deadlock situations, or just generally shake up things a bit. If the dust settles down, people should have at least a better understanding of the topic. However (in this particular case) the debate was held in relatively closed communities, not in the open limelight in which the article was placed. People just reading newstickers or otherwise not part of the respective developer communities (usually the ones with the money to spend on projects) won’t even know it took place. That’s a little unsatisfying.

PS: Please note that I checked only a part of the search results. If I missed the one article that really gets to the point, please provide that link. Thank you.

* just stay tuned, I’m not finished yet :P .

That’s all for now folks,
AJ.NET

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1 Comment »

  1. and they also said, that we couldn’t last togethe. Andreina Cecilio.

    Comment by Andreina Cecilio — September 19, 2007 @ 6:04 pm


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