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What Size Development PC Do Your Programmers Have?

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  • What Size Development PC Do Your Programmers Have?

    ** This thread discusses the article: What Size Development PC Do Your Programmers Have? **
    ** This thread discusses the Content article: What Size Development PC Do Your Programmers Have? **
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  • #2
    What Size Development PC Do Your Programmers Have?

    ** This thread discusses the article: What Size Development PC Do Your Programmers Have? **
    This article is full of unquantified, unqualified assertions. Let's examine three examples: "But even with a 1.8 Ghz CPU and 512 MB of RAM, the WDSc development environment still took "centuries" to load." Excuse me??? How long is a "century"? 1 second? 5 seconds? 10 seconds? 30 seconds? One minute? Five minutes? All of which begs the question of how often Mr. Cozzi thinks we will be restarting WDSc. If, as Mr. Cozzi indicates, WDSc really replaces "PDM, SEU, CODE/400, and the rest of the developer tool package that ran on the client", one would most likely start it once and leave it running all day, if not for days on end. This is actually exactly what I do. I use WDSc and like it. I start it once on Monday and since it almost never crashes I don't usually shut it down until Friday. Since it is nearly always up, there is zero startup time most of the time I use it. I rarely have to see the "centuries-long" startup time, which is really only 19 seconds for me (I just timed it). Even if one started WDSc each morning and exited it in the evening and thus had to endure a whopping 19 second startup time *each day*, one has to wonder if there isn't some other reason Mr. Cozzi *really* doesn't want us using WDSc, since complaining about waiting approximately 19 seconds--even if it has to be as often as once a day--seems hardly worth the ink the complaint is written on. (My times were recorded on a Windows 2000 box with 512 megs of RAM and a 2Ghz CPU--exactly the same amount of RAM that Mr. Cozzi says is woefully inadaquate and with only a marginally faster CPU. Launching a *second* instance of WDSc only brought the time up to 35 seconds--certainly not an indication of excessive page swapping behavior or a justification for getting more memory!) Mr. Cozzi goes on to write: "I think Java is a fantastic language, but the runtime environment just isn't there." Again, we are left with a vague, unsubstantiated statement. Just how is the runtime environment "not there"? If Mr. Cozzi is blaming the WDSc/Eclipse startup time on the startup time of the Java Runtime Environment, he simply has his facts wrong. If Mr. Cozzie had been watching either the Eclipse newsgroups or the done a little searching in Bugzilla, the publically accessible Eclipse bug-tracking database, he would have discovered that the performance hit when starting Eclipse 1.0-based IDEs (of which WDSc is one of the first) was with reading and parsing the multitude of XML configuration files that Eclipse 1.0 kept around. Equally to the point, he would have discovered that the problem has already been solved in the Eclipse 2.x code base, and is therefore not any indication whatsoever of the Java Runtime Environment being "not there." (IBM is currently working on an update to WDSc based on the Eclipse 2.0 codebase.) Even more to the point, while learning to write WDSc plugins, I created a number of small GUI applications using the WDSc GUI toolset. These applications launch nearly instantaneously, a sure indication that the Java Runtime Evironment is plenty fast in starting up. So I have to ask Mr. Cozzi exactly what he means when he says that the Java Runtime Environment is "not there". The last unsubstatiated claim I would like to examine is this: "It'll take some time before Java hits critical mass." Let's look at the numbers of jobs listed (as I write this) on the popular job search web site "dice.com" listed by programming language:
    C/C++5050
    Java3477
    Perl1224
    Visual Basic1194
    COBOL867
    RPG275
    It seems incredible to claim that a language that is nearly three times more in demand (by one reasonable measure) than Visual Basic and Perl has not hit critical mass. On what basis is Mr. Cozzi making his claims? In what way are these claims connected with reality? Since Mr. Cozzi has not substantiated any of his claims about WDSc or Java woes, I am left wondering just what he dislikes about all of it? If it is that he simply dislikes Java, and is throwing around vague unsubstantiated (possibly unsubstantiatable) arguments about why he thinks some product written using Java is bad, then I would recommend that readers approach this entire article with a healthy dose of skepticism.

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    • #3
      What Size Development PC Do Your Programmers Have?

      ** This thread discusses the article: What Size Development PC Do Your Programmers Have? **
      I think you did substantiate my claims. You said that there is an issue posted on the Eclipse news group that states that there is a performance/start up issue. While is may be fixed in a future version that is currently not shipping with WDSc, how is that supposed to help WDSc customers with their version? Sure I blamed that start up issue on the JVM, but that's because that is what the IBMers from Toronto told me the issue was. They may have folded comments like "Java VM Start up time" and "Start up routines" into on sentence when they stated it, but the focus to me, is that if SEU take 2 tenths of a second to load, and this new tool takes a minute or two or more to load, then it's going to be a problem. And while a few experienced developers will keep the application loaded in memory, the vast majority of developers start and end their editor because that's what they're used to doing. And if you're lucky enough to get your copy to stay up for days on end, well then you've got a magic version of Windows that doesn't crash and can keep an application running for long periods. I haven't been able to locate that version of Windows on store shelves yet. But my friends tell me it called "Linux". Hey, I wanted and still want WDSc to be "it". I really dislike using SEU. So much so, I wrote and sold my own GUI editor for years. IBM even suggested that I should integrate it with Eclipse. And I will if and when lots of iSeries developers start using it. As to the Jobs issue with regards to Java. Who cares? Next week something else will be the technology of the week. And as I said, I don't dislike the Java language, I dislike the runtime environment. Not on the Palm Pilot, not on small devices, but on machines where native-written applications can and will perform better. And performance to me includes the start up time. In my view, Java, more than anything else, may do to the midrange platform what 15 years of PC competition couldn't do... destroy the market. If people have a language and hence applications that can run anywhere on any platform, then they will buy the least expensive hardware platform on which to run that application. Which means they will NEVER buy iSeries hardware. In a world where every other product on Earth is seemingly trying to distinguish itself from the competition by creating proprietary features or innovations, it seems that IBM and Sun are hell-bent on creating a one-size-fits-all world. And if I was interested in that kind of market, I would have gone into the sock business. Fortunately Sun’s stock price is so low that something good may happen to them, and IBM is going to change leaders very soon. So I expect this Java thing to go by the way-side (within IBM anyway). So what do socks have to do with WDSc? From where I sit, Java will be the tool that reduces the need for programmers in this market space. Businesses will hire the cheapest Java labor than can find, and that means applications will get more and more boring and more and more buggy as time goes by. Just look at the questions on the list servers. You have people who were obviously hired simply because they requested the lowest salary; they’re asking questions like “I have to create an AS/400 application how do I get started?”

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      • #4
        What Size Development PC Do Your Programmers Have?

        ** This thread discusses the article: What Size Development PC Do Your Programmers Have? **
        Is this response from Bob Cozzi an April Fool's joke? rd

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