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Java still Java?

Gregg Bolinger
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
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    6

At what point will Java become a different language? Maybe Tea? What I mean is, adding to the API is one thing, but when you add grammer and syntax it seems that you are actually changing, albeit improving, the language. But then is it still the same langauge? At what point might Java change so much it ceases to be what we know as the Java language?

Or will Sun just continue to increase the version number?


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Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24183
    
  34

Well, C++ has gone through some pretty incredible changes over the years; from the original "C with Classes" to CFront, C++ was seen as a practical version of extreme O-O languages like Eiffel and Smalltalk. It was all about inheritance then. The language hit a terrible quagmire as people found flaw after flaw in the dark corners of the concept of multiple (especially virtual) inheritance in C++.

Then exceptions were introduced. Scary. Took years for the concept of "exception safety" to be figured out. Utterly changed how people wrote code in C++.

And namespaces. And Koenig lookup. And an utterly new, practically unrecogniable standard library -- along with new names for all the standard header files.

And templates! Now it's barely about inheritance at all anymore; now it's all about generic programming, and, if you're lucky and have a fun job, it's all about metaprogramming -- i.e., to what extent can you make the compiler do all the work so that nothing actually happens at runtime!

But ever since the first public release from AT&T, it's been called "C++".


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Blake Minghelli
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Joined: Sep 13, 2002
Posts: 331
Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
At what point will Java become a different language? Maybe Tea? What I mean is, adding to the API is one thing, but when you add grammer and syntax it seems that you are actually changing, albeit improving, the language. But then is it still the same langauge? At what point might Java change so much it ceases to be what we know as the Java language?

I think the key difference is that they are improving the language by adding new functionality, e.g. generics. I see that like frosting on a cake - it just makes it taste better, but it's still a cake.


Blake Minghelli<br />SCWCD<br /> <br />"I'd put a quote here but I'm a non-conformist"
Tim West
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Joined: Mar 15, 2004
Posts: 539
Fortran has done pretty well too...this poster puts it at 9 revisions.

OK that was just an excuse to link to that poster, which is itself pretty interesting



--Tim

(the poster is a PDF which is available from the link above, I didn't want to go straight to the PDF as it's 700k)
Jim Keogh
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 25, 2004
Posts: 14
Java will probably always be known as Java until the next hot language is widely accepted. The definition of Java is another thing. The language will always expand to handle new technologies and market demands. Without ongoing changes there probably would have been a replacement language already.

Jim Keogh


Jim Keogh
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Tim West:
Fortran has done pretty well too...this poster puts it at 9 revisions.

OK that was just an excuse to link to that poster, which is itself pretty interesting



--Tim

(the poster is a PDF which is available from the link above, I didn't want to go straight to the PDF as it's 700k)


Nice poster despite the pretty glaring errors and omissions.
Now if only they were available generally in Europe and not just to US customers. Sigh, it's always the same...


42
Ko Ko Naing
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Joined: Jun 08, 2002
Posts: 3178
As long as the new version is built on top of the old properties of Java, I think Java will still be called as Java. But who knows? One day there might be a big change as C to C++ like Mr.Ernest mentioned above and Java might be changed to Java** or something. but I do hope that this could be happened only after a new organization tried to invent a new language which is extremely similar to Java...

But for now, Java is still Java. But I think the name "Java 1.5" makes more sense than Java 5.


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SCJP1.2, CCNA, SCWCD1.4, SCBCD1.3, SCMAD1.0, SCJA1.0, SCJP6.0
Igor Ko
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Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 90
or Java++

(really because I begin from PL/1 (=COBOL+ALGOL+FORTRAN)
I don't like complex languages)
[ June 30, 2004: Message edited by: Igor Ko ]
Barry Gaunt
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Joined: Aug 03, 2002
Posts: 7729
Igor, was it not because of PL/1 and Algol68 that the quest for less complex languages like B and C started? Oh I forgot Pascal was a simplification too.
[ June 30, 2004: Message edited by: Barry Gaunt ]

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