Java or C++

Malay curiouser at
Tue May 2 16:25:58 EST 2000

Dear Herbert:

First of all thanks for your comments. I thought this thread was dead. You
have given it life again! Thank you!

> I do consultancy and contract work for some very large financial companies
> and in these institutions software productivity is very high on their
> priority list, they have set budgets and they cannot afford to use systems
> which are difficult to maintain or have learning curves which are too
> remember someone else will have to maintain the software at a later date
> when the original author will have moved on to other projects.

That's common to any software development work. I agree to you completely.
Bioinformatics is no exception.

>In my
> experience, C++ is one of the last programming languages these companies
> consider, C perhaps, but certainly not C++. The reason is that software
> written in C++ requires very experienced programmers (= higher cost) and
> tends to be difficult to maintain once written, this is nothing to do with
> OOP design in particular because these companies are very keen on OOP but
> rather C++ syntax and semantic itself is a hindrance.

But I thought C++ makes your life easy.

>If developing under
> windows, which tends to be quite common, the MFC libraries are also very
> expensive options to use and in my experience tends to be avoided.
Sure! That's was the point. *Free* that's the buzzword!

> So that do the companies I've worked for use? Well they certainly use Java
> but on the whole only for server side work, GUI applications written in
> tend to be slow and cumbersome, we have some and they are awful compared
> well written windows applications.

I agree. But we are talking of portability issues too.

>Compare any of the Java Ides with a
> modern compiled Windows IDE and you'll soon realise how sluggish and
> primitive Java IDEs really are.

I agree. But a mixed option of native+Java works wonders, Borland Jbuilder
is an example!

>So what else do the companies I've worked
> for use? Well they use Delphi (from Borland), a language not mentioned
> for almost all their gui dev work. There is also a lot of VB work still
> going on, mainly because it is so easy to write applications in.

I am talking for *free* softwares too. If I use a proprietory tool to
develop my software, I can't give it free. I need to get the *cow* free to
give the *milk* free.

>I suppose
> the companies I work for focus development on Windows boxes, but before
> knock windows, the windows environment is now quite mature, it has lots of
> support, has a rapidly evolving hardware base, has super fast graphics, a
> mature GUI, and is very cheap, particularly the hardware.

No plan to knock windows. We want all, MAC, Windows, Linux, Solaris.... as
many as possible. But primarily for Windows, MAC and Linux

> One problem I see with software development in bioinformatics is that is
> seems to use a wide range of tools, now this may be a good thing but it
> mean that most applications will be half-backed simply because it's almost
> impossible to be a master of all these technologies (with the exception of
> limited number of gifted people).

Most of the successful *free* projects are always developed as team efforts
or by the *old-man form the chinese parable* way- I start cutting the
mountain today, my son will finish it, if not my grandson.... :-)

> Now I'm not saying people should go off and use Delphi or what ever, but
> remember there are other things going on in the computing world other than
> Tkl/Tk, Perl,

Yep! PHP, XML, JavaScript, GNU all *free*!

>etc. It always surprises me how narrow we sometimes are in our
> views of the world.
We are most of the times but in this case intentionally! We close our eyes
to *cows* that we need to buy! I guess we have no other option but to wait
till Borland makes Delphi *free* atleast $$ sense or Microsoft gives VB away
before it breaks (See the order)!!!!!!



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