Gosling Didn't Get the Memo

13 Mar 2006

I just read a smart critique of James Gosling's recent interview. It's worth a read.

For those who don't have the time or inclination to read the interview, it's basically the creator of Java trying to explain why PHP, Perl, Python, and Ruby do not pose a serious threat. One of his first statements is, "PHP and Ruby are perfectly fine systems, but they are scripting languages." In the critique I just mentioned, Ryan Tomayko dismantles this argument with a style reminiscent of The Daily Show:

James pulled this directly out of "Effective Java Advocacy Beans," section 6.8.3 "Dealing with questions on dynamic languages."

Ryan provides an excerpt:

First, call anything not statically compiled a "scripting language." Attempt to insinuate that all languages without an explicit compilation step are not to be taken seriously and that they are all equivalently shitty. Best results are achieved when you provide no further explanation of the pros and cons of static and dynamic compilation and/or typing and instead allow the reader to simply assume that there are a wealth of benefits and very few, if any, disadvantages to static compilation.

The entire response is both entertaining and informative.

Note: Jeff Moore also provides some good commentary on the interview.