Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Java SE 6 - How dumb was that JAX WS decision?

When the Java SE 6 JSR was going on I opposed time after time the inclusion of JAX-WS, I covered some of the reasons why JavaSE 6 wasn't enterprise grade and the obsession of the Sun spec lead with "Joe average" developer. This led to a proposal for JavaSE 7 that would basically put the control back in the hands of professionals and out of the hands of the fan-boys.

Well even before we've made it to the first JavaOne since JavaSE 6 was released there are already two cracking examples as to how dumb a decision the inclusion was. Firstly there is the problem with using JAX-WS 2.1 with JavaSE 6 which leads to amazing classloader abuse. This was raised on the group as an issue but dismissed by Mark Reinhold in a blinkered desire to get WS into the SE platform. This really demonstrates how dumb an idea it was, already people are having to work around the crap decision to get what they want done.

Following hot on the heels of that however is the announcement of the "REST" API for Java, which personally I think is quite a good idea if just because it will formalise some of the discussions and see if an "agreed" definition of a REST API and programming model can be created. This could be a good start for formalising other parts of the REST discussion, of course it could also turn into an API for shifting RSS docs about (ROME anyone?) which wouldn't be much use to man nor beast.

The idea that some developers won't want to use WS and would want to use REST was another objection on the group which was brushed over. It was almost "hell if its popular we'll add that one too", brilliant reasoning yet another choice that is only used occasionally. Last year I proposed a talk at JavaOne with the title "Coping with JavaSE 6" which was rejected, it sounds like this year Sun will have to present it during the keynote.

As a member of the group I've apologised before for the mess it has foisted upon IT. I just hope that Sun have learnt their lesson and that next time their "Chief Engineer" will focus more on smart engineering decisions and less on Slashdot marketing ones.

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