Javas Still Brewing Briskly

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2001-03-12 Print this article Print

Go to any coders' convocation and the textbooks table is guaranteed to have a crowd

Go to any coders convocation, such as this months International Conference for Java Development in New York, where I gave a keynote address, and the textbooks table is guaranteed to have a crowd. Programmers read.

Search the Amazon. com site for books that relate to Java, and you—ll find 1,398 matches—at least, as of the beginning of this month. That beats out 1,262 matches for C++ and 868 for Visual Basic. Someone out there believes that Java is still driving the largest investments in new software development skills.

What are all those developers going to do with Java? In many cases, theyre going to manipulate data streams punctuated in XML, which is itself a 360-item topic on Amazon. com. At least as long as four years ago, it was being said that "XML gives Java something to do". Palm Computing calls the Java 2 Micro Edition, along with Bluetooth for wireless connections, one of the two key technologies for the future of Palm OS.

When something gets as heavily hyped as Java, it would be easy to think that the bloom must be off the rose by now. Apparently not. Looking past Java in search of "The Next Big Thing" might be giving up a bird in the hand to chase a wild goose.

Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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