11 September 2006
There are many sides to Java. Java EE, SE, ME and the hundreds of JSRs that "fit" somewhere else. Vendor collaboration has seen to that. The good news for Javists is that the powers that be seem primed and ready to open their minds to other languages. Microsoft came out of the gate running with the idea of a single virtual machine (VM) supporting multiple languages with their Common Language Runtime (CLR). At first many in the Java camp balked at this idea. "Java as a language is powerful enough to accomplish requisite tasks," they said. But hardware has since caught up to "other" languages making them highly competitive with features much to be desired. Namely, the syntactically terse, extremely expressive, dynamic ones...Python, Ruby, and Perl. So it seems the JRuby folks, who Sun just hired are determined to move Java more dynamic. IT'S ABOUT TIME!..
"Once we've solved JRuby's issues, why not find a way to raise all ships? Support for invokedynamic, open classes, and closures at the VM level? Hooks for code generation, alternative typing systems, and deeper threading, IO, and memory integration? Seamless cross-app connectivity for dynlangs + Java EE with all the tasty agility we've come to love?"
Source: "Headius: More FAQs about JRuby and Sun" via JVM futures Ted Leung provides a useful list for tracking dynamic language evolution on the JVM [paraphrasing]:
  1. Community
  2. Compatibility
  3. Performance
  4. Velocity
  5. Tooling
Source: "Ted Leung on the air"