· 2 min read

The departure of the Java hyper-enthusiasts

Bruce Eckel, author and Java pundit, writes about the departure of the hyper-enthusiasts. He says, “the Java hyper-enthusiasts have left the building, leaving a significant contingent of Java programmers behind, blinking in the bright lights without the constant drumbeat of boosterism.” He goes on to write:

Where did the hyper-enthusiasts go? To Ruby, apparently. This is chronicled in Bruce Tate’s book “Beyond Java,” which should probably be titled “Why Ruby is Better than Java.” The book is roughly edited; you’ll find yourself thinking “haven’t I read this paragraph before?” in any number of places, but that’s a disappointing experience I’ve had with several O’Reilly books of late.

In many places he plays fast and loose, and almost at the end of the book he declares that he doesn’t have time to learn these other languages in any depth — although he has no trouble condemning the same languages in his rush to Ruby. Such a statement should be in the first paragraph of the book: “I’ve decided that I love Ruby, so I will condemn other languages without fully understanding them” (in one sentence repeated in a number of places in the book, for example, he declares that C# is no more than a clone of Java).

I’ve been on the rollercoaster of language-love myself in the past and have made similar mistakes; one error in particular was dismissing Python’s scoping-by-indentation when I first saw it (months later realizing that we always indicate scoping by indentation anyway, even when we have curly braces available). Now I try to investigate and support my ideas about these things more thoroughly. It takes a lot more time and effort to do so, but it also leaves a more lasting impression.

Well worth reading.

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