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James Gosling: "Java Is Under No Serious Threat From PHP, Ruby or C#"

Father of Java Reminds New York Audience That Java Works With All Languages

(March 9, 2006) - "There have been a number of language coming up lately," noted James Gosling today at Sun's World Wide Education & Research Conference in New York City when asked if Java was in any kind of danger from the newcomers. "PHP and Ruby are perfectly fine systems," he continued, "but they are scripting languages and get their power through specialization: they just generate web pages. But none of them attempt any serious breadth in the application domain and they both have really serious scaling and performance problems."

The Father of Java then dismissed Microsoft's C# as having had potential, but no longer: "We were afraid they were going to do something really creative - but they're hopelessly focused on one platform."

PHP (for example) is able to make things simpler because it's 100% aimed at web pages, Gosling explained. Whereas with Java, he said, "We have a balancing act: we need the simplicity but we also need power."

He called Simplicity and Power "evil twin brothers" - "Building systems that have a lot of power just attracts complexity. Because of the way that the world has become so interconnected it helps to have systems where it carries over from one domain to another. You can do web presentation stuff really well in PHP but you couldn't write a library that does, say, interplanetary navigation."

On the other hand, any discussion about Java "versus" PHP or Ruby or any other language is in many ways moot, Gosling also stressed:

"We also tried to work with all these languages ,so that Java works with PHP and works with Python, so you can do the web presentation layer in PHP and the analytics in Java. Lots of people do that."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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