Danny Coward was probably one of the smartest people I worked with back at Sun, however I am concerned as to his latest posting on a new .NET to Java Project. I have come across numerous postings on Java.NET, but very little chatter on MSDN as to merits of this project. It seems the Java community is raving about this, while the audience this project would really make a difference to is well, either ignoring it or unaware of it.
Danny's call to action ...
"Together we can translate every .NET application into Java !" - Danny Coward
...while noble, I think does not have tremendous relevance to the vast majority of .NET developers. Unless I can be persuaded otherwise, I am of the opinion that most .NET developers are very happy with Visual Studio 2005, not to mention the renewed set of productivity and energy around the .NET Framework 2.0 and in particular ADO.NET 2.0.
I think other efforts such as Grooy and indeed growing other languages around the Java VM will ultimately be a more productive path. In truth, the Java community is moving towards the kind of flexibility of languages that the .NET Framework currently enjoys. This to some degree answers the both the WORA and Write-In-Any-Language-Run-Anywhere paradigms. Taking the .NET perspective, the likes of the Mono project are beginning to mature nicely to give .NET the opportunity to finally realize the WORA paradigm.
So to my opening comments above - why the .NET to Java project? I think its usefulness is limited, but I would far rather see real innovation at the language level. One only has to look at LINQ, or perhaps redoubling to make XML a first class citizen of the C#/Java programming language might be a useful course of action. The .NET to Java effort will unlikely have any large scale effect, but disruptive innovations such as LINQ have the potential to dramatically shift developer mind-share.
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