Opinion: Managed code technology has become a choice of "which," not "whether."
I see no good reason for continued contention between the Java and .Net platforms. Thats why Im pleased
by the packaging of next weeks OJ.X
in Detroit, a Compuware event that speaks to the entire managed-code
development community -- with Java and .Net tracks to address
platform-specific topics and nuances, but with an overall attitude that
writing managed code is the key decision to make.
As a coder who learned Lisp
I was obviously baby-ducked
on the subject of using managed code technology -- rather than the
cathedrals-from-toothpicks construction of bare-metal development with
syntactically sugared machine-level languages. Neither Lisp
ever seemed to get the timing right and offer a balance of power and
resource requirements that hit the sweet spot for broad deployment.
did hit that target of being
the right amount of capability, in the right package, at the right
time, and Ive liked the Java technology
since its first appearance; Microsofts
took longer than Id have liked to
emerge, but its becoming a place where interesting
things are happening
that no developer should ignore.
The tipping point for managed code can be found in any of several
places, depending on your prejudices. You might find it in the
availability of Eiffel
on .Net -- not the Eiffel# subset, whose early availability made it a
poster child for multilanguage openness of the .Net platform but which
in key areas such as multiple inheritance. Full-strength
Eiffel for .Net
, with all of the high-reliability constructs that
make it so interesting for substantial projects
, enjoys an impressive synergy with the resources of
the .Net platform.
You might also find a tipping point for managed code in the work
thats being done under the code name of "Singularity
a project that I discussed with Microsofts James Larus
of an eWEEK Labs report
from major IT innovation centers across the
country. "This is research," Larus warned: "Were not building the next
Windows, dont read too much into this." Even so, he said, "Weve built
an operating system written entirely in C#, all safe code except the
kernel and a HAL [hardware abstraction layer] on top." The result, he
said, is far greater self-healing capability because of the resulting
software isolation of separate processes. A failure in one process
cant result in broad collateral damage: "Other processes have to
recover," he said, "but they can know their own state at the point of
Whether your time frame is immediate or long-range, and regardless
of which one you choose as your primary base of operations,
youre going to be interoperating between Java and .Net for the rest of
your coding career. Im not saying that this will be easy, because the
bar for what constitutes an interesting and acceptably high-quality
application continues to rise -- but its a whole lot better than
continuing to do things the old hard way.
If you want to find out how we do things, this week marks the public
debut of new online access to our inner workings and discussions at Inside eWEEK Labs
hope youll find it useful, and tell us what more youd like to see
from that Labs portal.
You can also tell me why Im wrong about managed code being ready
for prime time at firstname.lastname@example.org
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