Grazed from eWeek. Author: Darryl K. Taft.
The advent of HTML5 along with the move to mobile and cloud computing are conspiring to cause a major shift in the application development landscape akin to when Java displaced C++ as the major enterprise programming language 15 years ago, according to a top Oracle development executive.
Indeed, the shift from hard-core object-oriented languages to more Web-oriented development platforms is, in effect, much like the way Java moved in on C++ more than 15 years ago, said Cameron Purdy, vice president of development for Oracle’s application server group...
Speaking at the QCon New York 2012 event here, Purdy said, “Change for our industry is opportunity; I haven’t seen anything like this in 15-plus years.”
“Cloud, HTML5 and mobile—these three things will conspire to be a perfect storm for our industry,” Purdy said. “The combination of HTML 5, mobile devices and the cloud is a rogue wave.”
The app development world is swiftly moving from a Web-server-centric model to a thin server model, he said. Disruptions or discontinuities are driving this move. Disconnected device capability will lead to "disconnectable" applications, Purdy said. Disconnectable applications plus smart clients bring about the Thin Server Architecture. Meanwhile, cloud—with both infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) models—continues to catch on and drive reinvestment as we see elastic scale-out, global data centers and capital-free computing emerge, he said.
Of course, Oracle is not sitting idly by watching this wave. Oracle has recently announced its cloud strategy and has been reworking its products for the mobile world. And although Purdy did not make his talk into an Oracle commercial by any means, he did mention that Oracle has an ongoing effort named Project Avatar that the company announced at JavaOne 2011. Oracle has described Project Avatar as its “hybrid programming model for dynamic rich clients, integrating HTML 5 on the browser as the UI, with Java applications as the controller and the model, and then Java EE 7 in the Cloud at the back end—unifying Java ME, Java SE and Java EE.”
Meanwhile, Purdy discussed the factors at work in the industry that led to Java supplanting C++ and how similar changes are at work today as the development platform shifts anew. When Java emerged ahead of C++, it was a very different era. It was the era of the Internet, the World Wide Web and the HTML browser, which required no client-side software per application, no installation and no configuration. This eliminated the startup time, memory footprint and native integration benefits of C++. Applications required fast, iterative development, better class libraries, modularity, long running capability, no memory leaks, multi-threading support and safety on the server. Java provided all these things above C++.
And where Java left holes, scripting languages such as Ruby, Python, Perl and PHP have been around to fill the void. The scripting languages provided density and startup speed that Java lacked, and possessed other benefits. They include the following:
its design for shared hosting;