I picked up the following article today from C|Net Central.
It was filed under their list of the "top 10" technologies
doomed to failure. Interesting insight from a group like
They are inviting comments and discussion. You can get to this
C|Net Central articles are very timely, so if you want to see
it, get to it soon (this link is likely to go away in a week or
mailto:[log in to unmask] http://www.monmouth.com/~conn/
Opinions expressed are my own and not necessarily those of anyone else.
From C|Net Central:
Imagine a world without computer
incompatibilities. You can write a
program on one platform, then run it
on a Sun workstation, a Mac, and a
PC with any version of Windows.
The cost of developing software plummets, software
becomes cheaper to buy, and a new age of
computing dawns. The lion lies down with the lamb.
The land flows with milk and honey.
Now, wake up and smell the Java. The Sun-spawned
utopian vision of "write once, run anywhere"
programming might have worked. Sun has licensed
the technology to all comers and has powerful allies
in IBM, Oracle, and Netscape. But for the plan to
work, Microsoft must also use Java. So you can
forget about consensus right away. It's been clear for
a long time that this situation had lawsuit
written all over it.
Microsoft loves Java. That is, some
of its bigwigs love to put it down
and scoff at attempts to make Java a
full-scale application platform. But
Microsoft supports it nonetheless
because it provides another
opportunity to promote Windows.
Microsoft loves the idea of luring
people into its own Java world, only
to reveal that the applications won't
work properly (or at all) except
under Windows. Apple has the same
plan for Java with its upcoming
So despite the best efforts of Sun and its supporters,
Java is bound to follow the same course as Unix,
another technologically laudable effort at creating a
single, united software environment. Everyone will
claim to be supporting it under the banner of "open
systems," while adding their own proprietary
technologies that completely undermine the goal of
universal compatibility. Unix has now splintered into
the famous 31 flavors: Solaris, Irix, AIX, DG-UX,
HP-UX, Ultrix, Linux, and more. That's why Unix is
not proving much of a rival for Windows NT. The
same thing will happen with Java, only the Java
flavors will undoubtedly have cuter names. This
splintering is precisely what Sun is suing to stop.But
it's hard to successfully sue someone for not agreeing
with your philosophical ideals.
Recently, even Marimba, Java's most enthusiastic
proselyte, has begun to dilute the Java gospel. The
new addition to the once Java-only Castanet line,
UpdateNow, lets users distribute and manage
non-Java applications coded in C languages and even
Java is a good programming language and it will
probably make it as a successor to a long line of
dominant programming languages: Fortran, Cobol,
Basic, C++, and so on. But what drove the enormous
Java enthusiasm was the promise of platform
transcendence. And it's not living up to that promise.
Whereas Microsoft's promise of "Windows
everywhere" is pretty near to being fulfilled.