James Gosling talks of how Java the language isn’t that important but the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is what matters. He also takes an open approach to dynamic languages but thinks they are at times too slow for use.
Below are the relevant excerpts. You can read the full interview at eweek
Q: Where are we with the issue of what language comes next? People say the JVM [Java Virtual Machine] supports all of these languages and one of them is going to supersede Java at some point.
A: Maybe. I actually would like to think so. It would be weird that, for what life span human civilization has, Java stays in place and nobody comes up with something that takes over. That would be just wrong. But the important thing isn’t really Java the language, it’s the JVM-the integration hub. And the fact that we can have all kinds of languages that get along together. You can be writing JRuby code interacting with Scala code with great performance, and it works really, really smoothly. The JVM is the piece that actually matters.
Q: So are you more accepting of dynamic languages these days?
A: Well, I don’t know whether “accepting” is the right word. At the right times and in the right places, I think they’re great. If it’s not too much of a performance penalty. Because most of them have made design decisions that cause them to be way too slow for the things that I normally do.