Couple of days ago an interesting thread was started on TheServerSide.com. The thread is titled "Java Succumbing to .NET in my Organization". The author of the original post discovered that not only his management, who are non-techies, decided to move to .NET, but many of the programmers were quite happy to do it. The author offered some explanations of why developers might want to discard Java in favor of .NET, and all those explanations boiled down to one complain: Java offers too many choices in frameworks, servers, components and architectures.
The thread, quite predictable, became extremely popular, and soon the discussion turned into a small-scale religious war (Java vs. .NET). The whole thread is quite interesting to read, the most interesting and informative post, in my opinion, being "can Java do a lot of things that .NET cannot?".
However, it seems that the discussion had entirely missed the point. After all, it makes little sense to discuss which technology is better in case of two almost equally powerful technologies. Much more interesting is the question of perception: why do the developers perceive Java as being inferior to .NET?
And here I totally agree with the answer suggested in the original post. Too many choices, without any clear way to chose. The number of J2EE frameworks, technologies, components and ideologies is overwhelming and intimidating, and it seems like new items are being added to this mile-long list almost daily. Not that I am saying that it's bad to have a choice; but if the problem of choice starts to divert developers from Java, it's definitely an unhealthy sign.
Unfortunately, I don't have any solution to this problem, or even a slightest idea of where this solution might be. But it at least anyone will read my post and will recognize this situation as a problem, I will be happy. And if no solution will be found, Java soon can be pushed out of market by .NET - and that would be a very sad thing.
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