Article:
  Cat Fight in a Pet Store: J2EE vs. .NET
Subject:   Cross platform support has become old baggage
Date:   2001-12-21 17:25:00
From:   mrhinkydink
The problem is that cross platform deployment was much more valuable in the mid 90s, when hardware was more expensive. Hardware investments dictated software purchasing options. Now it's turning the other way around. You buy the hardware you need to run the applications you want. Hardware will become like batteries for software.


Sun made strategic decisions in the design of Java and J2EE based on the business value of cross platform deployment. That value has changed but Java's design hasn't.


:-(

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  • Cross platform support has become old baggage
    2002-01-05 10:04:12  deanwampler [View]

    I think you're right about "platform independence", in the sense of the term as you use it here. I should have probably elaborated on other ways I use the term.

    First, some 3rd-party SW providers do have to support multiple databases, OS'es, etc. I once worked on a product line that supported customers using Oracle, SQLServer, and DB2, running on WinNT, Solaris, and AIX. That isn't an issue for everyone, of course.

    The other, more subjective aspect of portability is the way it contributes to SW quality. Loose coupling and abstraction have been hallmarks of good software for decades. However, while doing this usually yields better, more flexible software, you often pay a price in performance (e.g., going through abstraction layers and not exploiting specific optimizations), as well as the extra effort to write "abstractly". The Architect has to make the appropriate tradeoffs.

    Anyway, I agree with you that it's risky for Sun to over emphasize platform neutrality, especially in server-side SW.
    • Cross platform support has become old baggage
      2002-01-10 12:36:55  mrhinkydink [View]

      Does J2EE provide an advantage over .NET when it comes to database connectivity? I thought both would work with the major players.

      I don't think the connection between portability and SW quality you speak of goes the other way. Loose coupling and abstraction can enable portability, but portability doesn't enable loose coupling or abstraction.

      I'm not convinced yet that .NET will be a less portable environment to develop in. It just won't use bytecodes and VMs to achieve portability, which is where most of the speed benefit comes from.

      I've read that it doesn't support dynamic binding very well. I think if anything in .NET will have a negative impact on sofware quality, that will be it.

      Someday we'll get the combination right. I fear that the Smalltalkers will be waiting for us, laughing.