Friday, July 25, 2008

Its over the hump Tim .. give it a rest

Sigh. Tim Bray didn't get the memo: REST is now beyond the peak of the hype curve and is sliding down. Waay down.

Just because I can't resist: so Tim, REST does need tools now?? Funny how the world turns, eh? I thought you and the rest of the REST fanatics have argued violently saying how REST doesn't require tools, doesn't require WSDL or equivalent etc. etc.. I guess we will end up with REST-* before its all said and done with.

The other topic Tim touches on is how the world is now not all about Java. On that we agree .. except:
"Up until two years ago, if you were a serious programmer you wrote code in either Java or .Net,"
Er, dude, which planet have you been on? Two years?? PHP has been kicking Java's butt for 5+ years!!!

The multi-language boat sailed a LONG time ago and Sun (as usual, I should add) kept sticking its head in the sand waiting for it to blow over. Of course it didn't and it will not. Now that Sun has finally started recognizing that not everyone will love Java, I guess its time for the mouthpieces to speak up and try to spin it positively saying they did it at the right time. Sorry, you guys missed the boat. Badly.

In any case, Sun still doesn't get it. Neither does IBM. The JVM will not be the only runtime to run languages - while its cool to implement PHP like syntaxes on the JVM etc., you are going to have to learn to live in a world where not everything runs on the JVM and all of those crappy JSRs that have been done in the last 10+ years have absolutely no meaning. (In fact, most of the JSRs only apply to Java the language .. making them even more irrelevant).

Of course there are (and will be) some great languages on the JVM: Groovy, JRuby and more. However, even if JRuby performs better on the JVM than Ruby native (which is of course because the Ruby impl ain't great) that doesn't mean that that strategy will work for all. Seriously, try doing JErlang in that case.

The world is inherently heterogeneous, even in languages and language runtimes. There are 3 core platforms in existence today: C, JVM and .Net CLR. Every language runs on top of one of those. Sticking your head in the sand in only one of those will automatically limit the market you can address.

(Plug for Axis2 & WSO2.) This is exactly why when we started the Axis2 project back in August 2004, we intentionally stayed away from burning Java JSRs into the core of it. That's also why we explicitly made design decisions that could be realized in both Java and C. I actually always wanted to do a .Net version of Axis2 too, but never quite got around to it. The idea was to cover all the bases.

This is also why when we started WSO2 in August 2005 that we decided to invest heavily in building Axis2/C in addition to Axis2/Java. We now have coverage for Java, Javascript, Jython, Groovy, Grails, Spring, C, C++, PHP, Perl, Ruby. Python is coming and Erlang too hopefully soon.

Oh yeah we support both WS-* and RESTful services. However, they won't meet the RESTafarian fanatics like Tim Bray's coolaid drunkenness level of REST .. but if you want to do pragmatic work with services and support either or both of WS-* and REST then take a look at Apache Axis2 (Java & C), WSO2 WSAS, WSO2 Mashup Server, WSO2 WSF/{C,C++,PHP,Perl} etc...

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