CodeQ brings word that the number of programs written in Java has finally knocked down the reigning champion, C++. Though I am not enough of a simpering twit to say “Well, what a shame, Java sucks,” I find it a little disconcerting, for several reasons.
- The implementation of Java is, in many (most) cases, still non-free. Windows users wanting to use something like Azureus are stuck installing the latest closed-source JRE from Sun.
- The Java runtime, more than similar scripting runtimes, it seems, suffers from poor performance. While part of this may be due to poor coding on the part of the scripters, I’m not convinced that Java itself isn’t simply a poor performer.
- In general, scripting languages require more overhead than native C or C++ code. If the trend is for programmers to write more often with scripting languages than with native code, I fear for the future. Still, with very few exceptions, Java programs for end users are rare. Offhand, I can think of only Azureus, jEdit, and the HSQL component of OOo Base. And yet, all those programs have better C/C++ counterparts.