Dynamic Languages on the JVM

Another great presentation from last year’s JavaPolis, Tim Bray, inventor of XML, discusses dynamic languages and their relationship to Java.

One of the earliest discussions on the topic of scripting languages and their potential to make a revolutionary impact on software development was, I believe, first mooted by Johm Oosterhout, the inventor of TCL, in IEEE Computer Magazine back in 1998 [1]. Tim Bray makes an updated case for using scripting (or dynamic) languages on the Java platform for many of the same reasons originally cited by Oosterhout. Back in August last year, Tim invited several luminaries in the scripting world down to a “Dyamic Languages summit” at Sun HQ [report and link to other writings on this subject] and he reported some of the outcomes of the meeting during his talk. I read Tim’s report on the summit at the time, and I’m sure it partly influenced my decision to have another look at Groovy. (Groovy became part of my Software Applications course this year mainly because of its similarity to Java. I have to say though that it proved quite painful to convert my examples from Python/Jython into Groovy and to find good examples of some of the groovier applications of groovy, but this is a documentation issue!)

[1] John K. Oosterhout, Scripting: higher level programming for the 21st Century, Computer, March 1998; 31(3): 23-30. Available on-line at: http://home.pacbell.net/ouster/scripting.html