[linux-elitists] Nobody's favorite language? C++ and free software

Alan DuBoff aland@SoftOrchestra.com
Wed Mar 26 02:35:36 PST 2003

On Wednesday 26 March 2003 02:07, Rick Moen wrote:
> Yes, if you're talking about .jsp pages, sure!  *shudder*  I somehow
> thought you were talking about a more-substantive use of Java.  Weren't
> we talking about programming languages?

We are talking about a programming language, and this is exactly how app 
servers work. I'm not sure how you define "more-substantive", but I consider 
Java a programming language, period.

I was browsing through Debian stable, and there are more Java tools available 
than there has ever been on Linux. I would say it's growing, despite how some 
people like to shun it's use due to Sun and/or their dislike for them.

> I'm a little unclear on how servlet engines for .jsp processing works:
> Do things like Tomcat crunch the Java down to bytecode (i.e., did they
> implement their own JRE), or is it just a fancy macro processor that
> spits out HTML?

An app server works as a fancy macro processor. This is after all the same 
thing that PHP does. Do you not consider PHP a programming language in the 
same regard? This all went off on a tangent about Xerces, which was created 
as an open source project from IBM, and a good friend of mine was responsible 
for much of the Java implementation. IBM paid him a salary while he worked on 
it for more than a year. It's also used widely to parse XML code and ships 
with Tomcat by default. I'm not sure what JBOSS uses, I have not set it up.

The servlets are actual bytecode already, but they work the same as JSP in 
the sense that HTML is spit back to the client in most cases. There's several 
free solutions for this available, and my guess is that more will come to 
surface as time moves forward. kissme wraps the gcc java libraries and is 
100% free AFAIK. libservlet is also not in the non-free category.

> I seriously doubt that they created an open-source JRE

My understanding is that kissme does exactly that.

> since someone would have separated it out and released it as an
> alternative to Kaffe and Japhar w/classlibs.

$ apt-cache search kissme
$ apt-cache search libservlet

> If you're talking about just a fancy macro preprocessor for HTML, that
> would seem to be cheating, in the context of a discussion about C++ and
> similar things.

How so? Web data is non-platform specific and why many companies have gone to 
implementing it. I don't see this as cheating, unless supporting multiple 
clients is considered cheating in that sense. This is no different than using 
Perl, Python, or PHP on a web server, as long as it processes data and 
returns HTML, all the better IMO.

Aside from running this on the server, kissme will run on the client as well. 
I'm not sure of the limitations of the gcc JVM in regards to complete Java 
support, but I think it's pretty complete thanks to Sun.(that outta *sparc* 
some sarcasm!;-)

I have a meeting tomorrow morning, gotta run...


Alan DuBoff
Software Orchestration, Inc.
GPG: 1024D/B7A9EBEE 5E00 57CD 5336 5E0B 288B 4126 0D49 0D99 B7A9 EBEE

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