Business Week have an article on their site claiming that Java ‘is so Nineties’, implying that it’s time has come and gone. I think the author is missing the point somewhat. Java right now is in it’s prime and is well and truely entrenched in mainstream large systems development. It is also a hugely successful diverse development platform enabling system development on mobile devices, phones, settop boxes, PCs, Macs, Linx, other Unixes, and mainframes. No other development platform and language has had this degree of widespread adoption before (well maybe C and C++ for enabling development at a lower level, but no other high level languages), and certainly nothing from the Microsoft side of the fence.
I’ve seen it quoted a couple of times in different places that ‘Java is the new Cobol’ – meaning that Java is currently in it’s maturity as a language and a patform, and is a serious contender as an option for developing a new system. In the early days in the late 90s you were taking a serious risk to choose Java as your development language because it was new, not widely understood and quite honestly at that time no-one could have forseen the widespread success that the language has had.
This does not mean that the rest of the article is incorrect – there are other options out there, like LAMP based solutions as the author mentions, but the article is incorrect in the negative image that it portrays. There has never been a better time to be involved in Java development, this is an exciting time, and the platform continues to evolve and develop at an alarming rate.