Java is the SUV of programming languages

So says Phillip Greenspun.

… But the programmers and managers using Java will feel good about themselves because they are using a tool that, in theory, has a lot of power for handling problems of tremendous complexity. Just like the suburbanite who drives his SUV to the 7-11 on a paved road but feels good because in theory he could climb a 45-degree dirt slope. If a programmer is attacking a truly difficult problem he or she will generally have to use a language with systems programming and dynamic type extension capability, such as Lisp. This corresponds to the situation in which my friend, the proud owner of an original-style Hummer, got stuck in the sand on his first off-road excursion; an SUV can’t handle a true off-road adventure for which a tracked vehicle is required.

Gotta love it when someone can bash SUVs and Java in the same article. ;-) Greenspun mentions Perl and PHP in addition to Lisp as good alternatives to Java. Python also fits, of course.

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