Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Posts on the Rise and Fall of JVM Dynamic Languages

In this post, I briefly reference two interesting posts that fall into the camp of The Rise and Fall of Dynamic Languages. The first referenced post focuses on dynamic languages on the JVM and the second referenced post focuses specifically on one Groovy developer's perception of Groovy's eventual demise.


Dynamic Languages on the JVM ... Growth or Demise

I first saw the post Dynamic Languages on the JVM ... Growth or Demise when it was referenced on Java.net on 6 February 2011 (Java.net editor Kevin Farnham has since posted more personal analysis on the post and provided this week's poll question based on that post). In Dynamic Languages on the JVM ... Growth or Demise, post author John Yeary references the Dr. Dobb's article The Rise And Fall of Languages in 2010, which itself is based on analysis of the Tiobe Programming Community Index statistics for 2010.

Yeary observes that dynamic languages are said to be in a decline and that JVM-based dynamic languages are said to be in the same decline with fellow dynamic languages. Yeary does not agree and asserts (emphasis is his): "I believe that the decline of dynamic languages is real EXCEPT on the JVM." Yeary speaks highly of Jython and has even more praise for JRuby because "it combines the ease of use in Ruby with the power and multitude of frameworks available in Java."


The Rise and Fall of the Groovy Language

Another really interesting post I ran across this week was Gavin Grover's "The Rise and Fall of the Groovy Language" (no direct link to it currently?). It is obvious from Grover's blogs and other postings that he has seriously invested time and energy into learning, using, and trying to improve Groovy. Despite that, there is obvious frustration in the post "The Rise and Fall of the Groovy Language."

Anyone who has read my blog probably knows that I really like Groovy for scripting. Colleagues also know of my interest in Groovy. Although I am growing increasingly comfortable with the language, I did learn several things about the history (he links to many earlier interesting forum threads related to Groovy development) and possible future of Groovy from Grover's post. Among other things Grover points out the early history of Groovy, the falling out with the project founder, and looks at the name change he believes is coming to the Groovy language.

Grover also outlines four major reasons he believes "[the Groovy] language has been failing." He articulates his reasons in much greater detail, but they can be summarized as follows:
  1. Developer focus on profit over capital development
  2. Too closely tied and dependent on Grails
  3. Groovy language community is really not a community at all
  4. Combination of first and third reason: Groovy "community" is not really such

I recommend this post to anyone interested in the future of Groovy. I don't know Gavin "Groovy" Grover or the other principals involved enough to formulate an opinion on the correctness of these observations and following conclusions. However, there is no doubt that I did learn several things about the earlier days of Groovy from this post and the post is a reminder that politics are in everything, even open source software development. It's also a reminder that there is often a tension between the legitimate desire to profit from previous work and the desire of other community members to continue focusing on the improvement of the product.

1 comment:

Dustin said...

Not Dead Yet: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Java is an interesting post on what Redmonk (Stephen O'Grady) believes the state of Java is. This is an interesting post outlining conclusions based on several different types of data. They conclude that "Java is anything but a dead end."