I have to say that I've been following the Java vs Ruby war for quite a while. Initially it started as a passing interest due to Nola Stowe's evangelism and heckling. I had a completely wrong idea of what it was and demonstrated that ignorance in this space but once I went to a presentation by Dave Thomas last year, I was convinced:
Ruby – especially because of Rails – is amazing and here to stay.
Therefore, in the past 10 months or so, I've watched technology with great interest. While the hype has been huge, there's been an even bigger warning sign for me. The sheer number of incredibly smart Java people who are picking up Rails. I don't mean that they've said “Hey, this is nifty”. I mean people who have essentially dropped Java like a bad habit. There are
people like Jason Hunter (author of Java Servlet Programming), James Duncan Davidson (credited with inventing both Ant and Tomcat), Erik Hatcher (creator of Lucene and a coworker of a longtime friend), and probably more than I care to consider or admit. I've lived and breathed most of these projects since 2002 and can't help but notice that these gentlemen have been guiding lights in the community. When they make such an abrupt turn, you *must* take notice.
Therefore, despite the recent holy war between Joel Spolsky and David Heinemeier Hanson (creator of Ruby on Rails), when I saw Bruce Tate's Beyond Java sitting on the shelf this weekend, I flipped through it and saw even more of the above. I bought it and plan to read it, pass it around to some of the sharp Java people I know, gather feedback and report back here the results. With quite a few years in a handful of technologies, I think this will be an interesting exercise.
If you have questions or comments, let's hear them. If you think I'm an idiot for considering that Java is The Language to End All Languages, well, you should probably go back to covering your eyes and ears…