After frequently falling into the trap of thinking (and saying) nothing neat comes out of Java, I decided to dig around looking for Java projects that were cool. Most of the stuff I see coming from Java has very boring implications, some are wonderfully powerful, certainly, yet I have not seen anything that makes me say, “ooo.”
Java seems to have a lot of frameworks, I constantly feel that I am stuck jumping through hoops every time I have to use it. Rather than being able to code something fun, 90% of the code is boilerplating, making sure to implement the interfaces, making sure Struts is playing nice with Tomcat, Xalan, Log4J, and the list goes on. Everything I’ve touched in Java has been business, not innovation. I’m tired of frameworks, I want a hack. Ant is useful, but BuildBot is cool.
Some of things I’ve been finding have been on the verge of neatness, close to being something that inspires you to think of new ways to use things, but they haven’t quite made it.
Take Groovy, for example, an interesting idea apart form being yet another mixed language. Yes, it is cool to write Java like Ruby, or Perl like Python, but you aren’t actually going to do it. If you want to write in Ruby, you’ll do it in Ruby without dealing with the hassle of idiomatic inconsistencies brought on by a mixed language; you write Python because of what Python offers, you don’t want to write Perl code in Python. Who even trusts these sort of mixes anyway? Yeah, you get the simple syntax benefits, but as soon as you try to do the cool deep-into-the-language stuff you’re going to hit a wall anyway. Groovy is not cool, but if somebody wrote something to run Python bytecode in Java that would be cool.
The only things in Java I ever see which make me say “ooo” have been scientific visualizations. And yeah, that counts as cool, but in a highly academic sense. Where are the Universal Feed Parsers, the Instikis, or Klingon Source Filters?
Tags: [tag:java], [tag:coding], [tag:programming]