Do I really need to learn Java?

Kemp Randy-W18971 Randy.L.Kemp at
Tue May 15 09:02:10 EDT 2001

Java is used in web applications, anywhere from Applets, to server side (JSP and servlets), to enterprise (EJB).  However, if you want to do simple tasks, such as Unix admin work, then a general purpose language like Perl or Python is better suited.  And Java is not the only model for server side development, as ASP and PHP are out there, and are very popular.  

-----Original Message-----
From: Nathan Gray [mailto:n8gray at]
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2001 11:32 PM
To: python-list at
Subject: Re: Do I really need to learn Java?

>Can somebody explain what the advantages/disadvantages of using Java (or
>C++) compared to python? And whether I will have to use Java in certain

There's one serious flaw in Java that stops me from turning to it for almost
*any* programming project.  Memory usage.  Here's a pretty neat computer
language comparison:

Notice that the Java code consistently takes 5-40 times (!!) more memory
than *any* of the other languages in almost every single test!  If it were
one or two tests, I would chalk it up to a flawed program, but this is a
consistent, serious problem.  My personal experience with writing Java code
supports these benchmarks.  I took a course in Java at work and wrote a lot
of simple programs.  It seemed that no matter how small the program, it
grabbed at least 10 to 20 megs when it ran.

Then there's JEdit, a really nifty text editor written in Java.  I was
looking for a good cross-platform editor and this seemed like the ideal
solution.  It was unusable, though.  Ground my 64 Meg machine to a halt!
While 64 megs isn't much these days, it should certainly be enough for
editing a handful of text files!

Now Python isn't going to win any contests for slimmest runtime, as the
benchmarks show, but at least it's not a flat-out glutton!

Avoid Java unless your job depends on it.


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