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Is Java Dead? What Is the Best Alternative?

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Java was developed by Sun Microsystems and was later acquired by Oracle in 1995. According to its Wikipedia page, “Java is a high-level, class-based, object-oriented programming language, designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible.” Although it has been one of the most widely used programming languages over the years, there have been many questions and discussions surrounding java’s viability to date, not just for development on windows but in a more general sense too. There are countless discussions such as; Is Java dead? Is it now a language of the past? Should we now look elsewhere for development tools and if we do, what are the best alternatives to Java?

Is Java Really Dead?

When Java was first introduced in 1995, it was the ‘real deal’. Java songs were sung all across the programming world. Sun Microsystems was giving off Microsoft vibes, and James Gossling (original java developer at Suns) was the kingpin of Silicon Valley. So, what has changed?

Java is an established programming language with many use cases. However, while there’s much debate around whether it is declining or not, it is certainly not growing at any real pace. When you consider that this is a constantly evolving industry, you begin to notice that java is living in the past. 

If you take a look at the TIOBE index, you’ll discover that Java has been on a steady decline glide slope since 2016. In fact, between May 2016 to May 2017, the Java programming language declined by 6% in ratings. Moreover, in the latest index rating, java has dropped from the number one spot to number three in the last five years; Considering its very large community, that says a lot. 

Did Google really kill Java?

What’s more, when Google dropped support for NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface) from its 2015 Chrome browser releases this put a serious downward pressure on Java’s adoption and started a negative inflection point. NPAPI is an API which the Java plugin for web browsers relies on. In September 2013, Google announced that it would be phasing out support for the NPAPI for many reasons, some of which were security and browser speed-related. At this point, the developer community was anxious about how Oracle would respond. Instead of providing a more secure Java experience Oracle recommended that users looking to access Java applications via browsers should drop Chrome for Internet Explorer or Safari. Objectively, this was not a reassuring experience for Java programmers especially since the choice of Java was often influenced by the much-touted concept of Java being able to run ‘anywhere’ and now the official guidance seemed to be saying “runs anywhere, as long as it’s not the most popular web browser in the World“.

Is Java the COBOL of the online programming world?

A few years ago, it was common to see Java referred to as “the new COBOL,” a language whose relevance lies in maintaining clunky legacy corporate in-house systems. Like COBOL, Java is a good language for its time; however, there are better ones. Some of which have emerged over the years to become very relevant and keep pace with the changes and modernization of hardware and operating system advances.

Although there’ve been numerous Java updates – and a quite confusing array of Java variants to target niche or specific markets adoption of these newer ideas has not reached the heights of the original flush of the original Java. Java 8 was arguably the last great hurrah which captured the imagination of Java developers and, more importantly, the organizations they served. 

One Y Combinator user, known as @pabl0rg, speaks to the issue:

Yes. But in the move to Java 9, they broke Java’s customary backward compatibility and left behind a lot of users.

It doesn’t help that there is no good, clear, and complete guide on how to upgrade SOAP clients.

I went through this recently and learned that because Jakarta uses multi-release jars, we have to do the regular dependency changes and also change our fat-jar based build/release to Docker images. In other words, they decided to throw out decades of users’ investment in learning the ecosystem.

I’m not surprised that people seem to be leaving the ecosystem.

What Is the best alternative to Java?

There are many different alternatives to Java. However, the best one is Delphi (whitepaper). It has continuously provided new releases and support for more than 26 years and has embraced all new emerging technologies and language innovations over that period in order to stay relevant, powerful, agile and, perhaps most importantly of all – adept at creating hugely reliable in the shortest possible time to market of almost any other currently available system for software development.

It doesn’t matter if your programs are aimed at the ubiquitous Microsoft Windows, Apple’s macOS, Linux, Android tablets and phone, an iPhone running iOS or an all singing and dancing fully-loaded iPad, Delphi can do it. Delphi does this with incredibly stability and in eye-wateringly rapid application development times. There is a free community edition for those who are learning or at the hobby level of coding right up to a fully-blown commercial offering which can talk to almost any database available on the market today and with a low-code wizard which means you can churn out mobile apps in a matter of minutes – certainly in a few hours.

Why is Delphi the best alternative to Java?

  • Safe Future: Delphi has been evolving since 1995. It is being updated constantly. There is no possibility of seeing it abandoned anytime soon.
  • .NET Compatibility: Delphi supports a number of third party solutions that integrate Delphi with .NET framework. So, you can integrate with native .NET code.
  • High Performance: Delphi is super-fast and well suited for graphics and math-intensive application development.
  • GUI Designing Made Easy:  Delphi supports a powerful GUI designer, which makes the process of creating amazing interfaces pretty straightforward
  • Well Documented: Delphi supports comprehensive documentation. So, you can understand different aspects easily.

Should I use Delphi in 2022?

Recently there has been a flurry of activity within the Delphi world with innovations in technologies, a focus on improving quality, a push to add in the most-requested functionality and features, and a ramping up of educational and tuition resources. There’s an overwhelming sense of making sure Delphi not only brings along any legacy code into the modern Windows 11 world but also that new hardware such as Apple’s M1 silicon and slightly more esoteric targets such as ‘internet of things’ devices not only work, but work really well,.

Delphi boasts powerful modern programming language features including generics, inline variables – a departure from the original Object Pascal but one which makes it more compatible with modern coding paradigms – and delivers a superb optimal CPU performance, tiny memory usage and yet can do anything you ask of it almost anywhere you could want it to. More importantly, with backing of a stable, well financed parent company, it will continue to receive support in the coming years. Don’t just take my word for it, why not try Delphi for free today and see what it can do for you?

Ready to take a deep dive into the development and performance advantages of Delphi? Download the whitepaper!

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