And no I’m not talking about the country – I’ve never been there but I’m sure it’s very nice (it’s the biggest island in Indonesia and the 13th largest in the world by the way). No the Java I’m talking about is the one developed by Sun Microsystems that if I had my way, I’d put in a bus and happily drive off the end of Java into the deep waters of the Indonesian sea.
From as long ago as I can remember, using Java has always been a traumatic experience. I can’t believe that by now, neither Apple nor Microsoft have come up with an alternative to the Java platform. Of course, the one redeeming feature of Apple and Microsoft is that Java works across all platforms but surely Apple and Microsoft could have put their differences aside to work together to create something more usable than the hell that is Java. Here are 5 reasons why I can’t stand it:
1. It’s slow – Whenever you click on a link or enter a page that uses Java, you know it’s time to put the kettle on. If you’re lucky (or unlucky), you’ll also have time to pick up the kids from school, go to the gym and perhaps write that novel that you’ve kept putting off. Using Java Applets can be a particularly painful experience and playing games based on Java is sometimes like playing chess in treacle.
2. No warnings – There’s often no warning that you’re about to click on a link or enter a site which requires Java. I think this should be mandatory in the same way that browser’s often give you security warnings about certain sites. But no, when you click on something that involves Java, there are no warnings other than occasionally that annoying little coffee cup that appears in the corner of your toolbar (in Windows at least).
3. “Cross Platform” Yeah right! – I recently made one of my more smarting computer moves by buying a Mac. However, the Java Applet that I need to upload files to a server didn’t work on it. It barely worked in Windows at times but on the Mac it simply didn’t even respond. If you didn’t know, Macs have different requirements for Java as you’ll find if you look for the scant information that exists about it on the Sun Java website. (The solution incidentally was to use Windows in Parallels and upload the files that way).
4. Sometimes it simply doesn’t work – Even in Windows, the aforementioned applet was very temperamental. If it did finally open, files would require renaming to upload, it would freeze, crash, the browsing interface would kind of make folders and files disappear for a while before deciding to make them reappear again. Using Java is sometimes like a game of Russian roulette…
5. The logo – Erm, yeah while I’m riled let’s go the whole hog and let loose with both barrels. Change the damn logo Sun! That wispy steaming coffee went cold and stale years ago – at least if you can’t provide a decent platform, give us something nice to look at while you put us through hell.
OK, I’ve calmed down a bit now and I realise that sometimes it’s not Java that are a fault – sometimes it’s the programmers and developers that create Java apps that have made the errors and sometimes it’s just a simple Java update that’s needed. But for Pete’s sake Sun, it’s time to smell the Java coffee and improve your platform!