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how widely used is Java, Mac?

Malay Kumar Basu curiouser at gene.ccmbindia.org
Mon Mar 11 06:14:50 EST 2002

Hi Isaac:

Here is my two pence:

> I'm a software engineer who just shifted into a government lab that
> does sequencing/assembly.  No one here ever uses Java and it really
> shows in the lack of reusable components/infrastructure.  One coworker
> suspected that the main reason Java was so unpopular was that Macs
> were the platform of choice for many biologists ( and one that Java
> supports poorly ).
> What do most people use in the biotech industry for building their
> larger-midrange applications?  Is Mac really that popular?

In production quality sequence assembly, Unices still dominates the world.
And by tradition C/C++ are the primary weapons of the domination. The lack
of Java as high performance computing is because,  you guessed it- the
poor prerformance. The primary issue being the use of cluster computing
and parallel computation where C is the language of choice.

As far as the the lack of software component is concerned there are
popular framework is Java and Perl. Which are adequate for most of small
tinkering of sequence but I guess high performance computing requires to
get a particular job done very efficiently and a software framework might
actually hinder the performance. 

The popularity of Mac among the biologists is I guess slightly overrated.
If you target Linux and Windows, in my opinion you will cover atleast 80%
of the user base. Particularly, after Mac OS X, the difference between
Linux and Mac is getting blurred.



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