With the greatest of respect to Jean Ichbiah I really don't agree with
his points. There is some substance in what he says but he is far too
absolutist in my view. Neither he nor anyone else can predict what the
effect of Java, GNU/Linux, Network Computers, Windows market
federal and state prosecution of Microsoft, PC hardware market
saturation etc will have. His point of view is that espoused by the
Windows only magazines that are effectively Wintel house publications,
such is the power of the advertising budget. Those people prodicting
100% Windows dominance probably think the bull market will go on for
ever on Wall Street. Doesn't anyone remember how IBM was "unstoppable"
in the early 80s? Or how about the "open systems will kill proprietary
mainframe servers" concept? Microsoft may be peaking right now rather
than on the verge of world dominance.
The performance thing is not necessarily decisive either. If Java
development proceeds more rapidly and with less bugs (quite plausible
once it stabilises), the resultant savings can either lead to better
design or perhaps faster hardware either of which might allow you to
come out ahead in the end. A lot of performance critical routines will
end up implemented in native code leaving the application developer
concerned more with business logic than bare metal performance (I am
thinking how the performance of our applications is dominated by
database, network and GUI performance which is governed more by the
choices you make than the efficiency of the invoking code).
A colleague of mine knew Jean a while back and described him as
"impetuous" which certainly seems to fit with the picture I have of
him storming out of the Ada9X design meeetings because he couldn't get
his way, thus effectively giving up on Ada. I can easily imagine he
has thrown in his lot with Windows and doesn't want to hear anything
to confuse the picture. Sorry if this comes across as a personal
"I'm considering throwing myself out of the window. It wouldn't do
me much damage because we're on the ground floor, but it might
make for a bit of variety."
- Lizzy Bryant