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how widely used is Java, Mac?

jkb at mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk jkb at mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk
Tue Mar 12 08:02:47 EST 2002

In <200203112048.PAA12583 at cricket.bio.indiana.edu> gilbertd at bio.indiana.edu (Don Gilbert) writes:

[Data trimmed for brevity...]

> iubio.bio.indiana.edu (general bioinformatics software & data)
> 222675: 68.58%: Windows
>  49292: 15.18%: Macintosh
>  18526:  5.71%: Unix
> eugenes.org (genome information including human)
> 62876: 68.60%: Windows
> 21082: 23.00%: Macintosh
>  1794:  1.96%: Unix
> flybase.net (drosophila genome information)
> 71003: 47.90%: Windows
> 65937: 44.48%: Macintosh
>  2839:  1.92%: Unix

What these three snippets imply to me is that for scientists doing research
the Mac is still very much alive. However for people working with software
Windows really seems to be king. I _really_ hate to draw that conclusion
though, being a complete "unix-head" myself.

As for the original posting, Re: languages.
There's a lot of code reuse in perl, python and java - see bioperl, biopython
and biojava for examples. Although as Tim pointed out code reuse can be done
in any language if you have the will.

Personally though (and don't take this the wrong way Don) I find Java a pain
in the bum! I can rarely get Java programs working first time without
hassles. I know it's meant to be write-once run-anywhere, but typically I find 
the "getting it running" bit MUCH harder than the ./configure;make recompile
system of most C programs.

A similar thing goes for C++. I know it's a better language than C, but
whenever I download source if I notice it's C++ I have this sinking feeling
brought on my countless years of hacking code to try and get the stuff to

My message? A language is only as good as it's support.

James Bonfield (jkb at mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk)   Fax: (+44) 01223 213556
Medical Research Council - Laboratory of Molecular Biology,
Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2QH, England.
Also see Staden Package WWW site at http://www.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/pubseq/


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