Atlanta’s Java User Group is excellent. Tonight Justin Gehtland talked about his new book Better, Faster, Lighter Java. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, even with the numerous (and almost all inaccurate) .Net jibes.
Prior to the main event Burr Sutter (who I already knew) led a great discussion with the audience on a raft of subjects. Our .Net groups are missing someone with his panache to work the crowd; he is at least a DCC level speaker.
A fundamental subject of the book is Why Do Many Java Project Fail? As a former Java developer I agreed with many of the assertions including:
. Complexity – Java people love buzzwords and apply any they know anywhere!
. Taking things too far – e.g. Layering everything
. EJB misuse – Been there personally!
. Peer Pressure to write ‘smart’ code
It was also interesting to see just how fragmented the Java tools/ platform extensions market has become since I booted the JVM out of my career (March 2001). The number of commercial-quality Open Source tools available is amazing. In fact commercial companies are now viewing projects like Hibernate as serious competition. In my view this fragmentation lowers each tool’s user base and hence their quality. Why is the CLR, .Net Framework and VS.Net so stable? Because a massive number of sales means Microsoft can afford serious development and gargantuan testing efforts. Java EJB Servers cost around $100K and are apparently as stable Scott McNealy’s career. Without the effort of a Microsoft style Product Development Lifecycle you just cannot create Microsoft quality products. I would love to yatter on about the evening but no one reads long blog entries, so watch this space for news from future Java meetings.