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Old 05-17-2007, 04:35 AM   #1
zapionics<alt>
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Which Language ?

I know some people get all emotional about their choice of language, but we've come a long way since COBOL so I'm wondering if a clear preference is emerging as yet.

My question for the forum membership is "which language is best for business application development?" Now I thought about putting up a poll with options but that seems a little too limited.

I'd rather see posters suggest what they think is the best language for this purpose and their reasons why.

I guess some of the candidates would be:
VB
Delphi
C#
C++
COBOL (omg, still here)
Fortran
Java

and feel free to put forward any other not listed here that you believe is the best for business apps and please forgive the omission!

I guess we're all familiar with the concept of separating the business rules from UI and data persistance handling, so regardless of platform (ie desktop or web) what is the best language for implementing business apps?
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Old 05-17-2007, 05:07 AM   #2
MrSeanKon
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I recommend C# thus forget Java (C# is superior) and Visual Basic.
C++??? Go to Visual C++ if you want.
Fortran LOL old fashion???
COBOL?? I have no idea I have never used it.
Delphi??? I stay away of Borland products.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:50 AM   #3
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C# is very nice, and powerful. It removes a lot of the issues that developers had with C and C++ -- pointer arithmetic being a prime example. The .Net Framework provides a very extensive library that makes development simpler -- although, any of the .Net languages give you the same class and method library.

That being said, C# has not displaced C++. Any development done under anything other than Windows still gets done with C++. And, for speed and small form factor, C++ is still a better choice. For that matter, C is still used for some embedded development. Although I do the majority of my work with C#, some rather significant pieces are still in C++.

I think most serious developers learn, and use, multiple languages. On a regular basis, I use C#, C++ and JavaScript (for client side development on web applications). More rarely, I also use C and VB.Net -- but I definitely need to know these fairly well, even though I use them infrequently.

EDIT: As far as COBOL -- I've actually done COBOL development. Before I'll do it again, you'll have to either give me a LOT of money, or hit me over the head with a sledge hammer. Way, way to verbose.

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Old 05-17-2007, 11:01 AM   #4
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Well since we opened with C# which is a nice new language, let me just play devils advocate for a minute; whats to say M$ doesnt change direction in the next couple of years and then drops C# in favour of some other new fad language they come up with?
How do we trust them not to do this? I mean it used to be that VB was the flagship and then they just completely re-wrote it. And what does C# bring that Java didnt?

And as far as C++ goes, isnt that a little too complex for business applications now? And look at this hello world example:

int main()
{
std::cout << "Hello, world!" << std::endl;
return 0;
}

All that to display "Hello, world!" ! Its not very intuitive either. It seems to me anything that obfuscates meaning is undesirable.

And isnt C++ getting old? Isnt that why Java and C# came about? What about distributed computing and networks. (C++ still even supports GOTO).

Just playing devils advocate you understand...
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Old 05-18-2007, 01:46 AM   #5
pointreyes
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Could you define what type of business applications are needed? The scope of the application need is what really should be the defining force in skill set.

In general, I recommend C/C++ but only because I believe a person should understand garbage clean-up instead of relying on what C#, Java, and many others languages does. Understanding the basics of C/C++ programming I believe can help with advancing into learning any of the other high-level languages.
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pointreyes View Post
Could you define what type of business applications are needed? The scope of the application need is what really should be the defining force in skill set.

In general, I recommend C/C++ but only because I believe a person should understand garbage clean-up instead of relying on what C#, Java, and many others languages does. Understanding the basics of C/C++ programming I believe can help with advancing into learning any of the other high-level languages.
No particular need, this is more of a general question. I'm interested to know what people think is the best language for general purpose business apps now. I chose business apps because that would be where 90% of development around the world is done.

COBOL was originally touted as a business language aimed at users hence the verbosity, but of course the world soon realised that any programming language requires a programmer to make it work properly. So COBOL has this reputation amongst programmers as being too verbose and fell out of favour years ago.

BASIC was used by business quite a lot and still is, although it led to a lot of spaghetti coding due to everyone and his dog trying to code in it.

C, while powerful, turned out to be cryptic and more spaghetti flowed.

C++ brought along the concepts of OO development, which helps in a divide and conquer sense but in the end adds even more complexity to what is basically C.

Java came along to be portable and easy to use but I suspect is creating even more spaghetti than BASIC ever did.

I havent used C# and cant comment much about it.

So I'm curious to know what people think is the best all round language at the moment.

Your point about garbage collection is interesting. In some ways I agree since I think developers should know how their language of choice works, but on the other hand I can see an argument that being concerned with such details is too related to the hardware platform and leads the programmer away from thinking about the business solutions.

Just looking for peoples opinions.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:03 AM   #7
pointreyes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zapionics<alt> View Post
Your point about garbage collection is interesting. In some ways I agree since I think developers should know how their language of choice works, but on the other hand I can see an argument that being concerned with such details is too related to the hardware platform and leads the programmer away from thinking about the business solutions.
The garbage clean-up I'm talkin' about is related to memory management - but not at the hardware layer.

As for business solutions, an all purpose language is probably not likely however a business management solution for handling all the languages being used could be a way to provide a business solution - like IBM's Rational. Sorry, I'm reading a book about Security Engineering so I'm starting to look at things from a position that might be more business than programmer like.

Interesting bug in vBulletin: I said C# but when quoted the 'sharp' was changed to 'not equal'.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pointreyes View Post
...a business management solution for handling all the languages being used could be a way to provide a business solution - like IBM's Rational. ...
definitly, but if you had to choose one, and only one, which language would it be?
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:31 AM   #9
pointreyes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zapionics<alt> View Post
definitly, but if you had to choose one, and only one, which language would it be?
If allowed to used .NET - C#; otherwise, it would probably be Java.

Not allowed to use .NET where I work.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zapionics<alt> View Post
definitly, but if you had to choose one, and only one, which language would it be?
You should never have to pick just one language. The type of development, the platform, developer skill sets -- all of these determine the language being used. For the most part, languages are interchangeable anyway. Organizations that pick a single language by arbitrary management fiat often find themselves stuck with developer's that are incapable of learning anything else -- and, when the languages inevitably change, all their programmers are useful for is maintenance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pointreyes
In general, I recommend C/C++ but only because I believe a person should understand garbage clean-up instead of relying on what C#, Java, and many others languages does. Understanding the basics of C/C++ programming I believe can help with advancing into learning any of the other high-level languages.
Microsoft.Net "garbage collection" can frequently cause more issues than it solves. With .Net, you have to know which classes MUST be properly disposed, rather than just remembering to always delete class instances (C++). Anything that keeps open OS level resources has to be disposed explicitly. Eventually, .Net will get around to freeing up the resources -- in a few days. Also, if you regularly create and destroy large objects, you may be forced to do a manual garbage collection (which Microsoft tells you that you should never do). Even though you aren't out of memory, the .Net memory space is so fragmented that you can't allocate a new object. For simple development, the garbage collector is great... But serious developers still need to understand how the collector works, when it will get called, and when it will fail.

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Old 05-18-2007, 11:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pointreyes View Post
If allowed to used .NET - C#; otherwise, it would probably be Java.

Not allowed to use .NET where I work.
Under Windows, I'd go with C# first, C++ second (only because the Microsoft support for C++ has been steadily getting worse). Under anything else, the reverse order (assuming Mono is available for .Net development). But really just because that is where the majority of my experience lies. I've been doing C++ for a long time. Really, I'll take any language that is available. After a while, new languages get pretty easy to pick up -- they all share similarities.

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Old 05-18-2007, 01:41 PM   #12
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"Best" is the wrong question. Depends on the situation. The language is just a tool to help you perform a task in a good way.

If we overlook that, I'd say, currently: Java.

Fully platform agnostic, garbage collected, has a huge library. Is approaching ubiquity (from enterprise/web down to mobile phones, it's there.) May not be the nicest language in relative terms, but it's very popular for business/enterprise stuff. And pretty fast, these days, thanks to JITting and such (the JIT has hit the fan!).

C# takes a lot of cues from Java, but is currently very Windows-centric.

But, as I wrote initially, the question is a bit flawed.
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:55 PM   #13
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The question is just too broad to answer, IMHO. FWIW, most businesses use multiple languages. Oh, and btw, Java is a language and a platform (VM); C# is a language and .NET is the platform (VM) that it runs on.

SQL, not surpisingly, is a fairly ubiquitous language in many medium to large businesses.

Scary as it sounds, some fairly large apps are built with scripted languages (perl, python, TCL, etc.).
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:19 AM   #14
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Thanks for your insights and comments guys.
Hmm, C# on .Net seems to have gotten some mentions ... maybe because all the C++ developers can relate to the culture more than, for example, VB?

But otherwise C++ or Java seem to be the preferred candidates, (which is rather strange since they are so different to each other).
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:51 AM   #15
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Re: Which Language ?

I like to use JAVA because it is more secure then other languages. It has many application and functions, which make your software or application.. etc more secure then other languages.
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