As the year winds down, the programming-language news keeps flowing; at this point I wouldn’t be surprised by major New Year’s Eve announcements. Bruce Eckel wrote The departure of the hyper-enthusiasts, a lengthy riff on Beyond Java, giving Bruce Tate a hard time on some issues and ranting away informatively on Ruby & Python & Zope & EJBs & Rails & lots more; he’s a little less enamored of Ruby than others. Speaking of Rails, David Heinemeier Hansson responds at length. If you’re going to read these, do not fail to read the comments, which are even more interesting and informative; Bruce Tate turns up in both conversations. The other item that caught my eye was Cameron Purdy noting that Caucho claims to have a module that compiles PHP to bytecodes and runs it on the JVM four times faster than mod_php (first benchmark, but on a real app not synthetic). It’s GPL’ed. This is more than a little surprising. I’ve been campaigning heavily in the Java community at large and here at Sun specifically to make dynamic languages on the JVM a major priority, but I’d never really focused on PHP, because I didn’t know anyone was even working on the problem. (Well, to be honest, also because PHP has always made me nervous.) This changes the “On Beyond Java” picture. [Late addition: last word to Steve Jenson.]


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December 20, 2005
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