The Emperor’s New Clothes is a popular fable. The story has its appeal not just because it’s funny but because it is believable. The concept is relevant especially in case of technology. It’s so difficult to stay abreast of what’s new and real in the tech world, that we often have to believe swindlers who claim to make cloth that’s invisible to a fool.
So there are dozens of technologies, frameworks, programming paradigms and what not that go about claiming that they are the next big thing. As few have the time, energy or knowledge to contest these claims, the claims stick. The press keeps these ideas afloat as they do not check if the idea or technology really does have any substance underneath. We saw of a lot of this happen during the dotcom boom.
At times it even becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, where many end up adopting a technology just because they keep hearing that it’s so cool and successful. The Java community is an especially easy target and the Java world is full of jargon behind which there’s no great idea.
I faced this problem in one of my projects many years back. Web Services were still very new, and the team had no idea “how” to use it. More importantly, none of us knew “when” to use it. We had made no web services usage commitment to the client and yet the system architects went ahead and forced web services into the project as it was the coolest tech back then. By the time we realized that web services had got us into big trouble, it was too late. There were hardly any specialized tools, the IDEs offered no WS integration and the errors we got were often beyond our comprehension. Web Services were supposed to change the world of software development. I doubt if they actually have. My usage of web services is still fairly low.
So while discussing this matter with others at Rightrix, we decided that as a joint project of Rightrix Research and IndicThreads.com, we will be publishing research articles on Java jargon. Terms and technologies that most of us have heard are cool but very few really know what they mean and what they have to offer. Any suggestions?
One solution is to get more children into Java. Children who would have the courage to say “The Emperor is naked” Â