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articles » Why Java belongs in Toaster Ovens, Not On the Web

Why Java belongs in Toaster Ovens, Not On the Web

By Don Demrow, 2007-12-11

Java is outdated, bad technology. It was developed to run simple operations in devices such as ovens, toasters, non-critical automotive electronics, and so on - devices that do not need fraction-of-a-millisecond speed, and where reliability isn't absolutely crucial.

If you oversee hundreds of thousands, or hundreds of millions worth of annual business transactions, why would you want to trust your operations to slow, faulty technology?

What is the biggest fault of Java? There's a lot of them. Here are just a few:
  • First: Difficulty in maintaining code. Everything in Java has to be compiled, and that means your webmaster can't maintain it. That's the number one reason why java programmers like it. You'll HAVE to hire them to maintain it, unless you know how to decompile compiled java code.
  • Second: It is SLOW compared to languages that are made for the web, such as classic ASP (Active Server Pages), or even PHP.
    Even .NET is faster than Java!
  • Third: It takes 10 times as many Java developers as real web developers, and costs 100 times as much as real web-appropriate languages. That's because it takes SO much longer to develop, compile, revise, etc., etc., etc.
There's a reason classic ASP is still around. Classic ASP, or (simply ASP) is the best language for the web, and it is 100% maintainable by web developers with even a few days of training.

More than once, I have developed online applications that works perfectly, are secure, maintainable, and LIGHTENING FAST - in classic ASP. In two instances, two separate clients payed over $100,000 to convert each application to Java.

Think they run as well, or as fast as the ASP version? Guess again. There is no comparison - think tricycle vs. Ferrari.

Not only did both of these applications take a serious performance hit, but they will also be very difficult to maintain (requires a java compiler, they cannot be modified until the next "build," they will need more Java developers, more money for the projects, and the list goes on.

Why does ANYONE use Java?
Java is fine for toaster ovens, and alarm clocks. That's what it is intended for.

The reasons people use java for the internet are legion:
  • Ignorance. (The number one reason.) Many, MANY C-level managers believe the hype. Not that executive-level managers are stupid, they just believe what the java consultants tell them. Once java has it's foot in the door, you're trapped. Locked in. It's hard to change, so the practice of using toaster oven technology perpetuates itself.
  • Legacy. Someone, 20 years ago, thought java was pretty cool, so the company can't let go. Unfortunately, YOU have probably inherited this bad, outdated technology.
  • Narrow mindedness. Many of these guys just simply hate Microsoft, or other software providers, so they will recommend ANYTHING that isn't supported by one of the companies that define, or even follow, web best practices and industry standards. Theses are the same guys that will probably try to sell you on UNIX, databases that are archaic, (to say the least). They'll also tell you that mainframe technology is still current. Good grief. Take a look at their "green-screen" terminals, and tell me that's true.
  • Greed. Someone, usually at a fairly high level, got a kickback. A BIG one.
Let's get real, folks, and quit being ignorant, old-fashioned, and crooked. Get rid of java - at least as a web programming language.

By the way, I would like to point out that, despite the similarity in names, JavaScript has nothing whatsoever to do with Java, and JavaScript is VERY good for client-side web programming. The "J" in JavaScript is also the "J" in AJAX. (Think web 2.0...)

I hope that clarifies things for some of you decision-makers out there.

Remember, at least for internet use:

Java = BAD.
JavaScript = GOOD.

About the Author:
Don Demrow specializes in UI and web design, usability, development of websites, corporate intranet portals, database driven applications, content management systems (and other online applications), search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for corporate entities, small business, church, synagogue, and other non-profit /501c3 organizations.


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