Review of the Year: Application development tools

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News: Review of the Year: Application development tools

  1. Review of the Year: Application development tools (28 messages)

    vnunet and InternetWeek both review the turmoil and consolidation in the application development tools market. The reviews go through the changes over the last year, and vibes for 2003.

    They discusses the large players (Borland, IBM, Microsoft) and their moves for the smaller companies, and also the talk on MDA.

    Read the vnunet Review of the Year

    Read the InternetWeek Briefing Book: Development Tools

    Threaded Messages (28)

  2. [quote url="<a href="http://www.vnunet.com/Features/1137184" ]"="" rel="nofollow">http://www.vnunet.com/Features/1137184"
    C# or Visual Basic will do nicely for .Net, and it has been estimated that the combined programming army in those two languages outnumber Java programmers by five to one
    [/quote}

    Do you guys think this is a good or a bad thing for the success of J2EE?
  3. I watch the job market pretty closely in my area. There are still too few .Net jobs and a lot of J2EE jobs. J2EE and Java are still hot hot hot. .Net is not not not. Fine by me, Java developers still make more $ too :)
  4. hi,I come from China,there are many C++ ,delphi's jobs here and java and .net's job is lack. I think it will be good in two or three years.
  5. I think the number of VB programmers are rather
    irrelevant.

    There may be 10 million VB "programmers" writing
    VB stuff for Word, Excel and Access. But what so.

    Not particular relevant for Java and J2EE.
  6. I think those numbers are based on the assumption that VB (ie VB6) is supported by the CLR - its not. VB.Net is quite a step from VB6 - and for many VB programmers, moving to VB.Net (and the .net api's) wont be a small step.

    Also, another thing that caught my attention from the same article:
    "The choice is simple enough: in choosing a corporate development platform you can have language independence or you can have platform independence..."

    I think this was quite a popular synopsis... 1 year ago. However, there is emerging experience that suggests the CLR is not all that "common" a runtime - and that the language independance is somewhat limited to languages that look like C#.
    In addition, legacy integration is shaping up to be stickier than JNI.
    .net unsuitable for interpretive languages?
    How "Common" is the CLS?
    Is COM interop Fundamentally Flawed?

    Another factor to consider (re future of Java/J2EE) is the penetration of Java in the secondary and university education systems.

    -Nick
  7. The "Language independence" label might be applied to Java based on all the languages for the JVM.

    [quote]
    Also, another thing that caught my attention from the same article:
    "The choice is simple enough: in choosing a corporate development platform you can have language independence or you can have platform independence..."

    I think this was quite a popular synopsis... 1 year ago. However, there is emerging experience that suggests the CLR is not all that "common" a runtime - and that the language independance is somewhat limited to languages that look like C#.
    [/quote]
  8. The article implies that there is a lesser degree of complexity to write the same application in a .NET language than in Java, which is false. There may be 5 times as many VB programmers as Java programmers, but .NET uses object orientation, a paradigm that many fewer than 1 in 5 of those VB programmers will ever be able to grasp.
  9. Be nice: they CAN learn it. (How quickly/cheaply, who can say?)

    Then, be realistic: Microsoft will figure out some way to keep them from having to learn it.
  10. Exactly.
  11. Anyone here ever worked to teach a VB programmer OO?

    Anyone ever worked on a project where those programmers were forced by their companies to use Java with no training in OO fundamentals and design? Anyone seen the code?

    Anyone watched those projects end up in the toilet?
  12. Tjere's nothing special in OO. It's not quantum physics. I did fortran before C++. I learnt programming on computers with less than 1k RAM. So what?

    Oh, yes, I've done a lot of VB before switching to Java. I was a team lead in our first Java project. The team was SQL Server/VB/Access folks + one Java consultant. The project was a perfect showcase of success of Java and OOP.
  13. I'm sure you had no problem, Argyn. I started programming in COBOL, then VB, then I switched to Java. That's not what I asked.

    In your experience, how well do most average VB developers convert to coding in Java or other object-oriented languages, .Net included?
  14. In your experience, how well do most average VB developers convert to coding in Java or other object-oriented languages, .Net included?


    Elaine,

    One of the first and most pure OO languages Smalltalk was designed with children in mind. Alan Kay taught children to program in Smalltalk very successfully. Check this out http://www.ieee.org/organizations/history_center/cht_papers/Barnes.pdf

    Actually, OO has roots in AI studies, people were learning how human brain works. Some researches were based on studies of children. So, in its deep roots, OOP should be easy to understand and use. If children can learn Smalltalk, why would VB programmers struggle with Java/C#?

    And finally, VB folks don't need C# at all. They'll do VB.NET. It's a significant upgrade, but it won't be the end of the world. They'll do it fine, believe me.
  15. "One of the first and most pure OO languages Smalltalk was designed with children in mind. Alan Kay taught children to program in Smalltalk very successfully. Check this out http://www.ieee.org/organizations/history_center/cht_papers/Barnes.pdf

    Actually, OO has roots in AI studies, people were learning how human brain works. Some researches were based on studies of children. So, in its deep roots, OOP should be easy to understand and use. If children can learn Smalltalk, why would VB programmers struggle with Java/C#?"

    I know, Argyn! My MS is in cognitive studies. I have Squeak on my desktop for when I get bored. I agree completely.

    My point is, in my real-world experience, they DO struggle. They're not doing fine. I am not a wide-eyed object cultist, covinced the entire world is OO. But this is the reality of what I have seen, across 7 large companies.

    Is it OO principles they struggle with? Or is it Java? I don't know, I'd love some enlightenment on this. Yes, it *should* be easy, but I'm finding that it isn't. Why is that?
  16. Is it OO principles they struggle with? Or is it Java? I don't know, I'd love some enlightenment on this. Yes, it *should* be easy, but I'm finding that it isn't. Why is that?


    It's not OO, it's not Java. It's tools.

    Look at Delphi. It's OO. Its language is not more difficult than Java. Oh, yes, it has POINTERS! What a horrible mistake! Do people struggle with Delphi? No. It's easier than VB, it's more powerful either.

    The problem is that there are many "VB programmers", who are not programmers at all. They are accountants, engineers, office clerks etc. They use VB to build their nice little tools to help themselves and few colleagues. These people need simple tools for simple small apps. Also, it's nice to have the same tool to automate MS Office apps, here it is - VBA! Here comes the true portability for the user! Does he care about Unix? NO. He works in MS Office, all his life is in MS Office, forget Unix/Linux and other crap, but take care of his beloved Excel/Access/Word/PPT document.

    There's no Java tools for that. That's THEIR problem.
  17. From my experience, the VB developers that have the most problems converting over to an OO type of development are those whose only programming experience is in VB.

    I don't know why that is though. It could have something to do with how little emphasis there is on it being a strongly typed language or that in reality most people seem to use it as a front end only language and so there is no emphasis on any real design.

    People I've known that had prior experience in other language seem to have less trouble making the move, also. Maybe it's because they've had to learn other languages before and so making the move to a different type of language is less frightening to them?

    VB in the past was pretty simple as well. You had forms and modules. Now you've got to worry about assemblies, namespaces, and all these other things that make up .NET that you didn't have to think about in the past. .NET is a much more complex framework than what they're used to working in and I can see how it might cause problems for them.

    I think this difficulty has a lot less to do with OO than a lot of people think it does.

    This is just a guess on my part but I think that long term C# will probably end up with more developers than VB.Net does. I don't see much advantage in VB anymore. It's just as easy to prototype UI in C# in the VS.Net 2003 beta that I've been using. Like I said, though, that is just a guess.

    -Mike
  18. Thank you, Mike and Argyn. That's helpful.
  19. Just to follow up on this point, the "classical" explanation has always been the conversion from a procedural to an object-oriented language, which applies to VB programmers as well as programmers using other procedural languages (COBOL, Pascal, C, etc). Even though VB has gained some object-ish features over time, such as the more component focused model with classes introduced in V4 (mainly introducing data abstraction, no inheritance, no polymorphism), it never really has had OO features until now.

    OO is a big change from procedural languages, and I've often heard it's easier for many people to learn an OO language first than to learn one second, after they've already picked up the "bad habits" (from an OO perspective) from a non-OO language. That would back up your point about the main people that have problems being the people that only know VB. If they knew C++, Java, or some other OO language, and did some VB as well, moving to an OO version of VB wouldn't be a big deal -- at that point, it's just learning some new syntax, versus a bunch of new concepts.

    Mark
  20. Do you guys think this is a good or a bad thing for the success of J2EE?


    If I were asking "IS C++'s success good for FORTRAN?" ten years ago, I don't know where I'd be now. I said to myself "C++? Huh, let's take a look!" :)
  21. What a review....gee, my 2 years old nephew would say more interesting things about development tools.
  22. How many of those people are counted more than once? I am willing to be that they have probably included me under VB even though it accounts for less than 10% of what I have done over the last year.
  23. Top 10 technology searches of 2002 using Google worldwide:

    1. mp3
    2. sms
    3. winzip
    4. linux
    5. ftp
    6. dell
    7. xbox
    8. realplayer
    9. microsoft
    10. java <----------------------- ***


    The question has been asked, where is dotnet?

    "The JDJ Industry News Desk is now trying to find out whether anybody is searching "C#" or ".NET" at all, and if so how far down the list below #10 it comes."
  24. I'm a java programmer and my girlfried is a vb programmer. Her company is moving to .net and she hates it because she does not know object-oriented programming. She has been programming for quite a while without inheritance and polymorphism and is having a hard time making that paradigm shift. I imagine there is a lot of this going on in the vb world.
  25. Also, I think vb.net and c# are easier for java programmers to learn than for vb hacks to learn, but I don't think java programmers are going to make the switch. Java programmmers have many reasons why they like to program in java: platform independence, abundance of good api's, nonmicrosoft, etc.

    thanks

    Matt
  26. Ahemm, are we forgetting J# here?
  27. I'm trying to and it seems everyone else is too. So should you.
  28. It's not the language that is going to make the difference but the services supplied by the platform. The ease of use and/or robustness and/or quirks of the platform are a lot harder to deal with than languages. It is *much* easier to learn a new language (even transitioning from a procedural to OO langauge) than it is to learn how to properly write a robust, reliable, secure, and performent applicaiton for either J2EE or .Net. I could teach most VB programmers hwo to write in VB.Bet (or C# or Java) long berfore the could understand the issues of proepr transactions, etc.
  29. I could teach most VB programmers hwo to write in VB.Bet (or C# or Java) long berfore the could understand the issues of proepr transactions, etc.


    Why do people think that VB programmers don't deal with transactions?