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Does Joel use Java?

While I'm interested in Joel's comments on software and all the associated topics, it does seem to me that quite a lot of the recent discussions have come about because he's joined Java and C++ in the same attack on exceptions, whereas to me at least (started with C, moved to C++ back round when MS did, then to Java around the time of JDK1.1.6?) in practice, exceptions are treated quite differently in the two lanuages.

  I'm afraid that to me, the piece came across to me as being written by someone either hasn't done any serious development in Java or worse, has brought along a lot of preconceptions along with him...

Gwyn Evans
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Joel seems to be using VB and ASP, with a touch of Visual C++ here and there.

For what he does (desktop and web applications development), these choices are much better than Java - they allow FASTER development.

Development speed is very important in the real world.

Don't forget that developing faster also means spending less money on developing a certain program.

Both things (fast & inexpensive development) are a huge advantage in the real world.

Jed
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Thanks Jed.  Maybe you could answer the question instead of bringing up an entirely different topic?  You did read the question didn't you?  Not just the subject?


Wednesday, October 15, 2003

> these choices are much better than Java - they allow FASTER development.

Not more language FUD, please! This is *nonsense*.

To answer the question: I too get the feeling that Joel does most of his work with a Microsoft toolset, but dabbles with other tehnologies here and there. As his recent comments on PHP show, that can be a dangerous game.

Portabella
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Gaining an advantage in the market is NOT nonsense.

Jed
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

http://groups.google.com/groups?safe=images&ie=ISO-8859-1&as_ugroup=*java*&as_uauthors=joel%20spolsky&lr=lang_en&hl=en

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

> Not more language FUD, please! This is *nonsense*.

Actually it's not nonsense OK?  Let's have a contest then.  You with your environment, me with VB6/ASP/VC++.  Let's see who can build a better Windows program faster.

You think that you can build *Windows* desktop apps faster with Java than a Microsoft toolset???  Not possible.

Wayne
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

--
Actually it's not nonsense OK?  Let's have a contest then.  You with your environment, me with VB6/ASP/VC++.  Let's see who can build a better Windows program faster.
--

Right now I am working on an application. This application
was originally written very quickly in VB6 as a throwaway.

Well, 2 years pass and the VB app just doesn't scale. This app is making millions of dollars a month and could make millions more if it was scalable. Two more years pass - they bring in people like me to rewrite in Java and bring in those millions more.

I'm sure VB/ASP will let you build faster - but I'm not convinced about the better unless you are talking single user or low user count.

NathanJ
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Business software isn't pretty.

The functional prototype is a perfectly reasonable business practice. If you can slap something together pretty quickly and release it to the users, they will be likely to approve continued development.

During that time, you rewrite most of it.

I also doubt that it was the VB nature of the project that made it not scale -- It might be, but bad initial design seems more likely. And with Microsoft changing VB so much for .NET, it could make sense to just drop the language entirely rather than modifying every class.

Gustavo W.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

I've never seen a thread get hijacked so fast.  The OP wasn't proselytizing, he was asking a question of fact!  Nobody is saying Joel *should* use Java.  Please, take your language contests elsewhere.

Brian
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Why has this thread been "hijacked"?

When people change subjects, do you also say that the discussion has been "hijacked"???

The thread has not been hijacked. The people in the thread changed the thread's subject. They are free to do so.

Somebody has accused Joel of not being a good Java programmer, and I said - he does not NEED to be a good Java programmer, in order to do well what his company does.

In what way does this mean that the thread has been hijacked?

The thread is simply a discussion!

Jed
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

> Actually it's not nonsense OK? 

Actually it is -- OK?

1. Most obviously, it has nothing to do with the topic. *Take it to another thread*.

2. Software development has so many variables (eg, skill level) that choice between similar tools is close to the noise level

3. Arguments made purely from speed of development are prone to "tortoise and hare" effects (fast at first, then deadly slow), as several other people have pointed out

The funny part is, I even agree with you that VC++ and VB are better toolkits for building Windows applications. I find Swing really clunky, and obviously if you're *only* interested in Windows, Swing has abstractions that you won't need. I haven't used IBM's Swing alternative (SWT) enough to have an opinion of what it's like. It *seems* like a reasonable choice if you need a cross-platform GUI (eg, Eclipse), but not many people really do need one.

Suggesting that you *cannot* use the toolset intelligently is just FUD and nonsense.

Portabella
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

> Somebody has accused Joel of not being a good Java programmer, and I said - he does not NEED to be a good Java programmer, in order to do well what his company does.

I agree with that.

But I would also say that his comments on tools and platforms that he doesn't use (Linux, Java, etc) should be taken with a lot more skepticism than the ones he is familiar with.

Clarke's First Law says that when a distinguished elderly scientist tells you that something *can* be done, he is almost certainly right, whereas when he tells you that something cannot be done, he is very probably wrong.

Just so with toolsets. Explaining why you *can't* do something is a sucker's game; somebody somewhere will prove you wrong.

Portabella
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

> http://groups.google.com/groups?safe=images&ie=ISO-8859-1&as_ugroup=*java*&as_uauthors=joel%20spolsky&lr=lang_en&hl=en

This shows that Joel used Java in 1996 (about the time I started!), but apparently not afterwards. Or at least, he didn't post to Usenet about it if he did.

I'm not sure what this is trying to prove.

IMO it's very dangerous to try to intelligently comment on fast-moving technologies. Quite often you get, "Yes, that *was* a problem in 1.0.2, but it's been fixed for the last several years".

Don't assume that your competition are fools.

I haven't used VB for several years, so I wouldn't presume to comment on what it can and can't do *now*. And my previous experience with much earlier versions is more likely to be a handicap than an advantage, should I work with it again.

Portabella
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

"When people change subjects, do you also say that the discussion has been "hijacked"???"

Yes, that is the typical definition of hijack, as it relates to internet discussions.

rz
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Jed says: Somebody has accused Joel of not being a good Java programmer...

Unless the post in question has been deleted, that's not the case.  Your post is the first reply to the OP, and it's off topic!  I expected the discussion in this thread to be about Java's Exception handling model and whether Joel's (arguably) simplistic take on it is evidence of a lack of experience with the language.
If I wanted to read religious wars, I'd go to slashdot with my filter all the way down!
Now, I don't mean to single you out or pick on you.  But this forum sometimes sinks under the weight of its own popularity, and the situation is only exacerbated when threads veer off into the usual pissing matches at the very first opportunity.
Ok.  Enough of the meta-discussion.
For the record, I think the whole Exception handling discussion is interesting and worth having.  Anybody who deals with exceptions and doesn't know Herb Sutter needs to go to www.gotw.ca right now.  Seriously.  Buy, read and understand "Exceptional C++".  Even if you program Java, you'll learn more about proper exception handling there than anywhere else.

Brian
Thursday, October 16, 2003

Anti-Java crowd...

Let's write a GUI app for ALL platforms, I'll use Java, and you can use whatever the smeg you want. Then let's see who somes out on top!

(the only app on tucows to get five stars on all platforms is a Java app).

Arron Bates
Sunday, October 19, 2003

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