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The Well Grounded Java Developer - favorite polyglot language, frameworks, alternatives?

Michael Swierczek
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 07, 2005
Posts: 117
    
    1

I have a couple of opinion questions for the writers of the book, if you two gentlemen don't mind. It would just give me more of a feel for your own experience and preferences when you make your advice and suggestions.

When you speak of polyglot programming, what languages (if any) outside the world of the JVM have you used extensively? Are there any you enjoy as much as Java, Groovy, or Scala?

I see from the table of contents that you discuss Grails and Compojure. Have you used Spring Roo? Google Web Toolkit? Play Framework 1.x, 2.x? Liftweb? What made you pick those two choices?

I also see that you discuss Maven. Have you used SBT? If so, how would you compare that to Maven?

Thanks for your time.
-Mike
Ben Evans
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 17, 2011
Posts: 20
    
    5
Michael Swierczek wrote:I have a couple of opinion questions for the writers of the book, if you two gentlemen don't mind. It would just give me more of a feel for your own experience and preferences when you make your advice and suggestions.

When you speak of polyglot programming, what languages (if any) outside the world of the JVM have you used extensively? Are there any you enjoy as much as Java, Groovy, or Scala?

I see from the table of contents that you discuss Grails and Compojure. Have you used Spring Roo? Google Web Toolkit? Play Framework 1.x, 2.x? Liftweb? What made you pick those two choices?

I also see that you discuss Maven. Have you used SBT? If so, how would you compare that to Maven?

Thanks for your time.
-Mike


Hi Mike,

I'll answer for myself - I'm sure Martijn will have very different answers!

In terms of non-JVM languages I've used BASIC, z80 & x86 Assembler, Pascal, C, Perl and Javascript pretty extensively, and C++, Fortran 77 and Ruby from time to time. My favourite non-Java JVM language is actually Clojure & I find my mind changes about Scala all the time.

I've always enjoyed some of the power that C and Assembler bring, and I find that Perl's reputation is mostly pretty undeserved - it has a huge amount of good stuff in it and can teach the careful student a lot. On the other hand, I think that Ruby is probably the most over-rated language that I've touched, and that Javascript is an abomination that just needs to die

On the web programming front, my interest is largely building small consoles and apps, rather than large-scale, consumer-facing websites. So I like Compojure & Grails because of the ability to whip up something simple quickly - and some of those other tools seem like they'd be pretty big overkill for what I build.

I've used SBT a little bit. I know it's under active development, but I have to say that I find it really very immature compared to Maven. Having said that, I'm not a huge fan of Maven either - in fact I really wish that the Java world had a build tool like Leiningen (from the Clojure world).

Thanks,

Ben
Michael Swierczek
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 07, 2005
Posts: 117
    
    1

Ben Evans,

Thank you for the detailed response! I appreciate it.

I'm interested in Scala and I too have mixed feelings about it. Some of the Scala projects I've downloaded use operator overloading extensively and I often find the resulting code hard to read. I'm also on the Scala mailing list, and just reading some of the more complex type-related questions makes my head hurt. On the other hand, the set of features in the language is positively amazing.

I used Perl a little back in college, but I've forgotten most of it. I'm thinking of getting back into it as a hobby, I find the Perl community hacker mindset refreshing. ( I mean 'hacker' in a good way. )

My own experience comes from maintaining a small to medium size dinosaur Struts 1 web application. I've been researching possible replacements for the Struts 1 front end for years, and I found lots of things that seemed to be much better than Struts. But for years I did not find anything so much better than Struts that the productivity boost after we switched the front end would offset the productivity lost while we switched the front end. Play Framework was the first thing I found that looked like it might do that, so we're moving it in incrementally. It's slower than I hoped, we're learning Play plus Scala (which is used in the Play 2.x presentation layer, even if you use Java for the rest) plus SBT all at the same time. Still, I don't regret the move, it felt like a crime every time we had to teach a junior developer how Struts 1 and Ant worked when it would have been more interesting for him or her, better for their career, and more productive for us if they were working on something newer.
Martijn Verburg
author
Bartender

Joined: Jun 24, 2003
Posts: 3274
    
    5

Michael Swierczek wrote:I have a couple of opinion questions for the writers of the book, if you two gentlemen don't mind. It would just give me more of a feel for your own experience and preferences when you make your advice and suggestions.

When you speak of polyglot programming, what languages (if any) outside the world of the JVM have you used extensively? Are there any you enjoy as much as Java, Groovy, or Scala?

I see from the table of contents that you discuss Grails and Compojure. Have you used Spring Roo? Google Web Toolkit? Play Framework 1.x, 2.x? Liftweb? What made you pick those two choices?

I also see that you discuss Maven. Have you used SBT? If so, how would you compare that to Maven?

Thanks for your time.
-Mike


I still have a nostalgic fondness for lower level languages such as Pascal, C/C++ and even assembler :-). But since university, Java and JVM languages have very much been at the heart of what I've used. In terms of frameworks etc I enjoyed using Spring MVC when it first came out, but have moved away from Spring in recent years.


Cheers, Martijn - Blog,
Twitter, PCGen, Ikasan, My The Well-Grounded Java Developer book!,
My start-up.
Martijn Verburg
author
Bartender

Joined: Jun 24, 2003
Posts: 3274
    
    5

Michael Swierczek wrote:Ben Evans,

Thank you for the detailed response! I appreciate it.

I'm interested in Scala and I too have mixed feelings about it. Some of the Scala projects I've downloaded use operator overloading extensively and I often find the resulting code hard to read. I'm also on the Scala mailing list, and just reading some of the more complex type-related questions makes my head hurt. On the other hand, the set of features in the language is positively amazing.


This is what we feel is Scala's greatest weakness, it does *too* much for it to become a truly mainstream language, but we'll see :-)
 
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