On Brand Loyalty

February 26, 2004 10:25 PM

I find attitudes like this to be ridiculously short-sighted.

Instead of a list of Java topics, I was faced instead by huge bold lettering that proclaimed that TSS was opening a new website for .NET developers (which, btw, remains a website wasteland with barely any comments)!

Ok, fine, it's a free world and even the publishers of JavaPro and JDJ crank out competing publications dedicated to our poor competition - but for gosh sakes, I subscribed in order to be kept aware of their JAVA topics, and NOT for any bombastic email heralding competing platforms!

For the last four years, pretty much all my professional programming (bar a few scripts here or there) has been in Java. It's paid my bills well, and continues to be a space in which a lot of nifty and interesting stuff is being done. Especially, building Confluence has been a big eye-opener as far as showing just how you can get things done in Java if you line up the right chain of tools.

But do I owe Java anything? No. I am the programmer who walks by himself, and all languages are alike to me.

I'd love to get the chance to mess around with .NET. Especially, it'd be cool to be able to sit down for a week with a copy of Visual Whatever, and throw together a Windows client for Confluence's remote API. It'd be a useful tool, it'd have the advantages of a native GUI, and thanks to the magic of SOAP it wouldn't care that it was talking to a Java application server, just as the server wouldn't care it was taking instructions from the competition.

Moreso, I'd learn something. If we start unsubscribing from every website that dares mention that there might be a competitor to Java, how are we going to learn from those things they do better than us? We could always sit around with blinkers on denying that such things exist, but that's not going to help anybody.

Given the state of the industry, you'd be mad not to be following the development of the .NET community (conversely, I frequently get links from .NET blogs to my articles). They're attacking the same problem-spaces that we are, with tools that are remarkably similar. Ant and JUnit have been ported to .NET, although the port of Hibernate seems to have stalled. If we shut our eyes, all the good ideas will continue to flow in one direction, and one direction only.

It's one thing when your only tool is a hammer. It's another when you have a full toolbox, but you're so loyal to the hammer that you'll devoutly apply it to every screw that you find.

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