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Journalism and IT

Here's a quote from an article in the New York Times:

"The .Net platform allows developers to work in any of 20 current programming languages, including APL, Cobol, C++, Perl, Smalltalk and even Java, the Internet programming language from Sun Microsystems...."

I'm a bit shocked by the last part.  Java, *just* an internet programming language???  And this the New York Times-the journal of record-all the news that's fit to print.

<sigh>

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/13/technology/13SOFT.html

razib khan
Friday, February 15, 2002

You need to be a registered member of the NY Times site to see the story.

But mainstream reporting of IT is (as with any other specialist industry), mostly a regurgitating of someone's PR.  To call .NET a platform might amuse someone as its just a new name for mostly stuff that was around already. 

Your average reader of the NY Times isn't likely to understand the word platform in that context anyway.  They might though get the idea that its a bit like saying 'the new interstate highway will support the full range of vehicles now available and is future-proofed in supporting all likely vehicular development in the forseeable future'.


As for Java being the 'internet language' Sun are mostly to blame for that perception anyway.  Sun 'our name is short and friendly, so we must be too, their name is long and unfriendly so they are the bad guys'.

Simon Lucy
Friday, February 15, 2002

"I'm a bit shocked by the last part. Java, *just* an internet programming language??? And this the New York Times-the journal of record-all the news that's fit to print."

Yeah you should have a word with Sun about that. If the people who own the product think that is what it is (and they've certainly given that impression) you can't blame everyone else for assuming they know what they are talking about.

Robert Moir
Friday, February 15, 2002

I don't think anyone should correct that mistake.  That's actually pretty good accuracy for a newspaper, because they make far worse mistakes all the time. 

Instead, it should serve as an object lesson to us that the press is pretty much never accurate, no matter what the domain.

Including politics.

Art Vandelay
Friday, February 15, 2002

Update...just read an ECONOMIST piece this morning (just go to http://economist.com/business/displayStory.cfm?story_id=989243 ).  Again, all about "web services"-but this time, it says Java *isn't* available on .NET....

All these .NET stories are definately information overload.  I kind of think .NET is like the Bible now-anyone can read anything into it.  Though I suppose it's all about branding in the first place, there isn't always and a there, there, so to speak.

Also, about the NY Times, sorry about the registration, but it's free and the "international" section is IMO generally worth a read for their features.

razib khan
Friday, February 15, 2002

oh, and about Java, it sort of is becoming an "internet programming" language, Joel is right when he says Java apps seem weird and non-native on the desktop.  But the NY Times article adds Java almost as an afterthought-only Java is qualified as an internet programming language, as if it wasn't as fleshed out as Perl or COBOL or something.  I just sensed some cutting & pasting by the reporter here.

there's going to be a *big* spike in the Lexis-Nexis database when you type ".NET" between Feb. 14th and March 1st.

razib khan
Friday, February 15, 2002

I think the reason Java is singled out is because its the one everybody has heard of.

I think Sun were wise to sell Java as the Internet Programming Language.  Java entire success was based as much on its reputation as 'The Language of the Web.'

You can't blame New York Times for this inaccuracy, becuase the technical press have done exactly the same.  For example, Bruce Eckel's 'Thinking in Java' sits on my desk.  The cover states '... The Language of the World Wide Web.'

Users only see pixels.  It would seem that readers only see Buzzwords.

Ged Byrne
Friday, February 15, 2002

I've gotta agree with the poster that said that Sun is right to sell Java as a net language (despite it's obovious other uses). It's taken Sun a long time to figure out where Java works well and why it works well in those environments, and what they've come up with is mainly that IT shops of any reasonable size simply _can't_ afford to be locked into one vendors hardware or software. Java helps make a lot of those problems go away.

Because J2EE lets you simply throw more procs at a problem until it goes away, scalability and performance on backend systems using java never really is a problem, whereas there is lots of room for criticism of Java on the client end. That said, the interpreted nature of much of .Net should do good things for acceptance of Java all around. It's hard to loose on a performance basis when the competition is requiring a similar level of resources to perform a similar task.

Now if Sun would only get of their asses and decide to acutally compete, I'd be much happier about the whole thing.

Alex Russell
Saturday, February 16, 2002

If journalists knew technology, theyd become programmers and double their salaries.  DUH....

SSSSS
Tuesday, March 05, 2002

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