Developers: Expect New Major Language Within Five Years

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 03-26-2007
LAS VEGAS—A group of software gurus gathered at TheServerSide Java Symposium here to discuss the future of programming, saying we should expect to see more dynamic languages and possibly a new major language in the next five years.

During a panel discussion titled "2010: A Developer's Odyssey" at the symposium, Eugene Ciurana, an enterprise architect at Walmart.com, said in the next few years he expects to see "more scripting languages added to the JVM [Java Virtual Machine], especially with Java 6, and to make it easier and make development a lot faster."

Hani Suleiman, chief technology officer at Formicary, said he does not necessarily agree with Ciurana about the scripting languages, "but there will be more componentization in terms of the JVM."

There will be "more in the way of language experimentation going on," according to Ted Neward, founder of Neward & Associates. "We'll see new ways to do things better."

Panelist Gil Tene agreed that there will be new experimentation in languages.

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"I think we're five years from the next big language—to be where Java is today," said Tene, CTO of Azul Systems, which makes a hardware solution for accelerating Java systems.

Suleiman said he thinks domain-specific languages are a great idea, "but in practice, where is it?"

Added Adrian Colyer, CTO at Interface21, "In languages I hope we get to something that has a message-based paradigm."

At that point, Cameron Purdy, president of Tangosol, which has been acquired by Oracle, asked whether XML would be dead in the next 10 years.

"It's underlying so many things at this point, it can't simply go away," Suleiman said.

Meanwhile, Ciurana said he expects to see more convergence of Java with other technologies. "We'll see more cooperation with other environments," he said.

However, "things are going to continue to get more complex," said Colyer. "More APIs, more frameworks, more stuff. And we'll have to figure how to deal with that."

One way to help deal with that would be to bring in a new crop of developers.

Asked what he looks for in developer hires, Ciurana said, "When I hire someone and all they have in their resume is Java, I don't hire that [person]. I think they should have a broader skill set. I look for people who have a broader background and are always trying to learn new things."

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