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News November 2005

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What identity crises we like to have in Java! Is it cool or not? Is it the most popular language or not? Is EJB the death of Java or will EJB3 save it? And more and more and more.

We really should put things in perspective. Java is hugely popular, and more popular now than at any time in its explosive past. TIOBE puts Java back at the top of their popularity chart - and if you look at their chart data it arguably looks like only a measuring anomaly ever took it off the top. The number of advertised Java jobs is higher than it has ever been. EJB is only used in about 10% of JEE applications (and that's not even including all you people using JDBC who don't list your app as a JEE app), so it really doesn't have much of an effect on overall Java usage. And the top GUI framework being used independent of the language it is based on? Swing! (According to a recent Evans Data Corporation study which listed Swing usage top in popularity ahead of WinForms.)

So Java looks fantastically healthy. What about alternatives? Scripting languages - or "dynamic" languages as their proponents prefer - are supposedly the next "big" thing. Just like they were in the 1990s - only then their proponents preferred to call them 4GLs. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

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The nearest actual challenger to Java is - wait for it - 'C'. More than 30 years old and still creaking on. But not exactly growing in use: fading slowly is probably the best characterisation I could put for 'C's status. The fastest growing language is not C# - though Microsoft would dearly love it to be - but PHP. A niche scripting language which appears to be stealing the web server-side scripting niche from Perl (and taking over from the remaining C++ cgi-scripts). And the latest studies show that PHP has now peaked, i.e. it has taken its niche but is not expanding to any other areas. It's a nice time to be in Java.

Read on for our usual raft of articles, performance news, items and more. This month we also have a tool report for the NetBeans Profiler (check out our previous tool reports at And, of course, don't miss our many new performance tips extracted in concise form.


Java performance tuning related news.

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Jack Shirazi

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Last Updated: 2023-08-28
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