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News October 2008

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I'm straying from talking about performance again, this month. But a colleague pointed me to Steve Yegge's Tour de Babel. Okay, it's not exactly a new article. But it was new to me. And I decided I wanted to mention it here because he says so much that I agreed with. Like you can't write a lot of code in C without it becoming unmanageable.

The comment about Smalltalkers waiting for Smalltalk to become the language of choice, as it inevitably had to become, only to see Java steal the ground out from under them, is so, so true! I remember teaching Smalltalk in the 90s, after I had already moved to Java for my own development & consulting work, and the mood amongst Smalltalkers was so mixed: elation at a "proper" VM based OO language becoming mainstream, consternation that it wasn't Smalltalk, confusion about whether or not to jump to Java. Like Steve says, referring to a Jamie Zawinski article, Java is the best language amongst all the other languages - but they all suck. Java is just the least worst. That was true in the 90s, and it is categorically still true now.

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And on the power of emacs. I've long shifted to other IDEs for my development work in Java. But every once in a while I fire up emacs for text editing, and think to myself "why aren't I using this all the time?" It's so much more powerful than any other environment I've used. Then I remember that every place I go to integrates some Java IDE (intellij, eclipse or netbeans) into their environment so comprehensively that you absolutely HAVE to use them, even if there is something else that might be better, and I remember why I seldom use emacs.

Well, that's enough of my rambling this month. Now on with this month's newsletter. We have our usual lists of Java performance tools, news, and articles. At fasterj, I detail Five Lessons That Life Holds For Performance Tuning, Javva tells us all about his first go at troubleshooting a release and, as usual, we have extracted tips from all of this month's referenced articles.

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Articles

Jack Shirazi


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