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Java: not all that bad these days

It took Sun a long time to get there, but as of Java 5 I began to quite like Java.

  • Proper collection classes with generics were added, with a non-painful syntax for iterating over collections. No more for (Iterator it = container.iterator (); it.hasNext (); ) { ... }, you can just do (say) for (String x : container) { ... } and get proper type safety into the bargain.
  • The startup time for well-written small to medium size programs is tolerable.
  • Java Web Start actually works, as does double-clicking .jar executables in Windows.
  • JAXP provides a standard API for XML processing, allowing me to remove dependencies on third party libraries.

However, there are still some things I don’t like about the language.

Many of the more annoying aspects of Java are reduced in intensity by using Eclipse. Although I’m now comfortable with that, I can’t help feeling that a programming language shouldn’t need a fancy IDE in order to be painless to write. Am I turning into the old guy waving a stack of punched cards and telling the young programmers to get off his lawn?