Struggling With Java Webapps

Another technical post. The next few will be about Vancouver and the olympics.

Java is an interesting beast. The language itself it a hold over from C++ but with a ton of extra cruft to know about. You have the benefit of not really having to worry about memory management (most of the time) but there’s a ton of complexity involved in getting anything working. I have been programming Java for 5 years and I still get lost anytime I read through the documentation of anything more advance than basic Java.

Every now and then I try to get a web application server up and running with some demo applications. And every time it is a complete failure. Simply finding an open-source webapplication, importing the project into Eclipse and then deploying to a server never seems to work. Even using something like Maven which should download all the required libraries hasn’t worked for me.

There is an endless – ENDLESS number of acronyms that mean nothing. For example EJB, Enterprise Java Beans, is so general that it means nothing and reading through the documentation is just like reading more of the same. It’s impossible to figure out.

Last night I spent an hour to try out a Python Blog application. Downloading the source code, setting up the environment and running the development server took less than ten lines at the command prompt. It was up and running with sample data, a full backend for admin, support for twitter, proxies, bookmarks, image manipulation, robot files and more.

I can’t tell you how many days of effort I have wasted to figure out deploying to Java web servers.

Java actually pisses me off.