A Tidbit on Sun and Java

By Michael Flanakin @ 3:59 PM :: 1207 Views :: .NET, Java, Development, Technology, Predictions :: Digg it!

For the past month or so, I've been watching quarterly stock percentage changes for a few top tech companies and I've noticed that Sun went down a good bit, but then jumped up pretty quickly, too. Sun made the largest jump by far in the past month. Interesting...

On a side and perhaps related note, Java is moving towards supporting more languages. Java 6 is currently in beta 2 and has added some support for JavaScript, but plans for Java 7 include adding support for even more languages, one of those being Visual Basic. Now, this isn't all that surprising. A few years back, Sun started a program to try and get VB developers over to their side and this seems like more of the same. Don't get me wrong, I think the move is probably a good one, but I don't know how much it'll help. It all depends on the strategy they'll put behind the move. This is where they've failed in the past. From what I understand, they won't plan on supporting a specific Microsoft-released version of VB, but instead support some "popular" features of VB.NET. What that means is really up in the air, but it'll be interesting to see how things play out. The best move Sun could make with respect to VB would probably be to support VB6 to try to bring some of those "estranged" developers to the Java world. Then again, I can't imagine that this would be an easy task.

There are a lot of mixed emotions about the changes in the next two versions. Those looking for multi-language support are excited about the changes; however, the traditional Java developers who have been supporting Java-only systems for a while aren't very interested in the upcoming versions. I believe everyone sees some good in the move, but the question seems to be: How much will this actually affect the Java ecosystem? I can see the potential of the ideas, but I seriously don't think it'll change the Java market enough to effect .NET. Sun is simply attempting to capitalize on the big shift back to dynamic languages. We'll see...

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