Saturday, December 10, 2005

How XML Killed Java (A Contrarian Perspective)

Required reading...

How XML Killed Java (A Contrarian Perspective): "In the early 21st century, computer programmers often used statically typed languages, especially Java. While these languages were suitable for small-scale projects, they were not as well suited for enterprise class systems, where flexibility and adaptability were (and are) primary concerns."

The basic premise is that by using XML for integration Java has opened itself up to any other language being able to read that XML. And by using XML for configuration, Java has become dependent on reflection, which removes many of the benefits of statically typed languages.

As someone who has to plead guilty to creating flexible systems by using external configuration files- there is a limit to that approach. I actually prefer to keep the configuration in the database, as opposed to XML, but the net effect is the same. If you are making your system truly configurable, using a dynamically typed language is one of the easiest ways to enable that.