By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2006-03-27 Print this article Print

Meanwhile, Rod Johnson said any change in direction for Java would require a change in thinking from Sun. "The emphasis should be on a rich domain model, then move up to the service or application layer, then the Web layer," he said. "Nothing is mature there, but were not going to be writing the Web tier in Java in three years.
Johnson said that "Java will be around for many, many years." He also said he has not seen a lot of uptake for integrating scripting languages with Spring.
As far as scripting languages catching on, "I think were seeing that in AJAX [Asynchronous JavaScript and XML]," Snyder said. "Look at the demand layer, look at the service layer—theyre not broken; but if you look at the Web layer, its broken," Johnson said. "One potentially scary model is the people who will fix this will be Microsoft because they are so well-positioned" to do it, he added. The panel also launched into a discussion on open-source software. But lines seemed to be drawn by those supporting commercial software and those supporting open-source models. "Open source is an expanding ripple; its always going to be an expanding ripple, so what we see with open source is it is an ever-increasing thing," Purdy said. "Anything we take for granted is going to be covered by open source sooner or later. If commercial companies cant innovate fast enough to outrun it, it will cut into the funding for commercial R&D. But if we keep ahead well be able to attract the best engineers and entrepreneurs. If we cant enable people to get rich we wont be able to attract the best and the brightest." Johnson, whose Interface21 business model is based on supporting the open-source Spring framework immediately responded. "There is a fallacy," he said. "Open source is not free; its open, its not necessarily free. There is nothing we do at Interface21 that we dont think is the best thing in its space. We definitely are going to see that open-source software does make people rich," he added, noting that his company had attracted high-quality talent from the likes of IBM. Purdy replied that he was not talking abut attracting people already in the business but from the younger generation who might go into biotech, "or go into something useless like law." But Johnson expanded on his position. "I disagree with people who believe the role of open source is to take the place of commercial software," he said. "Theres no mission to rid the world of commercial software." Marinescu said he believes open-source is "making software cheaper. It lowers the barrier to entry and that means more jobs for developers." Ultimately, Snyder said that although licensed software is not going away, "the idea of software that costs an astronomical amount is being driven out." Meanwhile, Snyder said he sees the world of SOA (service-oriented architecture) and Web 2.0 meeting, and that Java will still be needed "to play a role in that meeting point." However, "we have EJB [Enterprise JavaBeans], JAX-WS [Java API for XML Web Services] and on and on, and we need a metamodel to develop services in a lighter-weight way," he said. "Id like to see us not have to write EJBs." Johnsons Spring framework assumes some of the role that the EJB 3.0 specification has been targeted at but provides a lighter-weight solution. "I think EJB 3 is dead, and Rod killed it," said Tate. However, Johnson credited EJB 3.0 for its persistence model, which won out over competing models. "The persistence model will be used," Johnson said. And "I think its good the official model of enterprise Java embraced POJOs," he said. "Personally I find it pretty hard to be excited about it. Its been around for three years. The injection capabilities are not much. I dont think itll get mainstream pickup." Marinescu added that at TheServerSide conference two years ago the EJB 3 specification was coming out. "In open source I never heard of a couple of groups getting together and agreeing on a standard," he said. "With open source its let the best man win." However, he said, "I think standards will matter in large corporations where stability matters more than innovation." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

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.

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