Benefit of Dynamic Languages

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-04-14 Print this article Print


What do you think the benefit of dynamic languages is for developers who want to launch new and next-generation applications and make money?

If you look at people who are doing Web 2.0-ish kinds of things like RIAs and social networking mashups, scripting languages dominate and, based on our research, are utilized about two times more than the Microsoft set of products. XML, of course, plays a big part in that. And then following the scripting languages is Java.

So that whole agile programming phenomenon that everybody talks about and using these lightweight languages is indeed being leveraged. And when you think about those dynamic languages or scripting languages, you've got JavaScript, which is the leader, followed by PHP. And we find in our research that one of the highest growth areas is with Ruby. Ruby's growth rate is higher than both JavaScript and PHP.

We hear tales that Java is passe, that particularly for enterprise application development lighter-weight frameworks are taking over. Do you see that in your research?

Clearly, Java's reached a point where the growth rates are hard to get to. Clearly, these lighter-weight implementations are being used where possible. But when people prognosticate about the death of Java, it's not going anywhere.

We see a world that's very heterogeneous. There's a whole set of capabilities that Java does extremely well that these dynamic languages aren't going to replace. And furthermore, if it's working, these enterprises aren't going to go out and rearrange their plumbing for a fad.

So no, Java's here to stay. And Java's done a much better job with the lightweight implementations in the mobility world. So it's pervasive in the mobility world. And now they've come out with JavaFX, which is supposed to play a little bit in the RIA world.

How much traction have you folks seen for agile development?

Our recent research says if you're building applications in the realm of social networking, rich Internet or Web 2.0, four out of 10 developers are using agile programming techniques. And over the next 12 to 18 months, the forecast is another 30 percent will adopt it. So this whole lightweight implementation, combining both public and internal data into very interactive applications with smaller teams, is perfect for agile. So it's going gangbusters, because by our calculations, 30 percent of all developers are doing Web 2.0 stuff.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel