Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I do so love the “experts” that insist on showing their faces on Slashdot. They amuse me at times.

In case you didn’t know, Sun is open sourcing Java. I have mixed feelings about this. I hope it works out well, because I like the language, but I just can’t shake this nagging feeling that people are going to try to do lots of stupid things to the language (add things to the language that don’t belong there, break up the libraries into separate downloads, etc).

Call me paranoid, but Microsoft already tried it once. I don’t put it past other groups to try again.

The greatest suggestion I’ve heard yet? That the deprecated methods should be removed.

Pardon me while I repeat myself – someone suggested that parts of the language that have been deprecated (don’t use these, there’s a better way now) should be removed from the language outright, and people were AGREEING with him!

This is such a bad idea that it’s not even funny.

There’s a lot of old production code out there and a lot of it uses methods that are now deprecated. The same is true of almost any language that has been around long enough to have parts of it deprecated.

The only thing that I can figure is that the people spewing this crap are either just hobbyists or students who have never actually had to maintain anything. It just hurts my head.

Updating production code is NOT cheap. It takes a lot of time, can introduce a whole lot of problems, and it’s not something that you usually want to approach lightly (and some of us hate approaching it at all). You have to know the system really well to even try, or you could cause a lot of unseen problems.

If they want to remove those parts from Java, let’s see them suggest the same thing for their darling C and C++. Watch how fast that blows up in their face.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Smith, but your account shows a balance of $0.”

“Mr. Jones, the insurance company says you do not have an auto insurance policy with them. Yes, I know that you have a piece of paper that says otherwise, but the computer never lies. You are under arrest.”

Etc etc etc. The examples could go on and on.

Deprecated methods are left in there for a reason. They are tagged as Deprecated and generally throw compiler warnings, but they are left in. I don’t care if *you* don’t understand why. Just realize that they are. In time you might learn why they are for yourself. In the meantime, stop biting at our ankles. We’re trying to get things done.

Current mood: my head hurts
Current music: Savage Garden - Violet

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