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Cocoa for Christmas

Posted 2004 Dec 17

There’s a pretty funny “article” over at It is worth reading, if only for the part about Santa’s elf, “G. Nome”.

All joking aside, I think the article highlights a pretty common thread with Java developers: Use Java for Everything. I think that is mistaken and probably detrimental to the Java cause. Santa uses Cocoa for his current applications, but now he needs something for his PDA (a platform that Cocoa obviously does not support). So, he looks to Java. That’s great! But, why should using Java for one application precipitate a changeover to “a Java only environment”? I don’t think it should (and maybe it won’t), but I have seen it happen too many times… Trying to force a Java solution on a problem that is better suited to something else (e.g. like Perl or PHP). This generally happens after Java has been successfully implemented elsewhere. It’s like some sort of Java buzz that no one wants to wear off…

Sometimes I think there is a fear - that increases going up the IT ladder - of mixed environments. But, there shouldn’t be: many technologies can co-exist (and even interoperate) and talented developers needn’t be pigeonholed. I think Java has great coverage—there’s a Java version of just about everything. So, when there is a new problem, Java developers look for a Java tool, not the right tool. Is this catastrophic? No. Does it harm the Java cause? I think so: because it is dogmatic. I’m going to mix metaphors and explain it thusly: Java developers end up trying to fit a square peg in a round hole and the messenger (Java) gets blamed for the message (failure)!

So, to all Java developers out there: Let go a little, maybe Java isn’t the right solution for everything. Having said all that, I sure hope I don’t end up with a Coal icon next to my name!

Responses to "Cocoa for Christmas"

Craig Castelaz

2004 Dec 17 at 21:11

Thanks for linking to the article. I glad you found the G. Nome stuff funny. My wife and kids looked at me like I was from another planet.

While it wasn’t intentional on my part, I think you’ve spotted an all too common trend among Java developers. Since Java runs everywhere, it belongs everywhere. :)

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