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Java at middle age: enabling Java for computational science

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1 Author(s)
G. K. Thiruvathukal ; Depf. of Comput. Sci., Loyola Univ., Chicago, IL, USA

Java's early history explains its lure to this day. Java is alive and well, running on just about every computing platform, from handhelds to high-end servers such as multiprocessors. Implementations of Java for Windows, Macintosh (including OS X), and Linux have all reached sufficient maturity and are in widespread use. Performance and resource usage remain a problem in most Java implementations, but the language is improving all the time. In this article, I examine the lure of Java for computational science, discuss the Java Grande effort to work with Sun, and identify areas for improvement. I focus on language and implementation issues that must be solved for Java to be taken seriously for computationally focused codes. As a motivational tool, I include a number of reflections on the C# language from Microsoft, which many claim is nothing more than Java with a new syntax. I excise a number of sections from the specification documentation to demonstrate that specific Java Grande Forum (JGF) recommendations are implemented in the current version of Microsoft's C#. What is particularly interesting (but not necessarily verifiable) is that language appearing in the Microsoft C# specification proper often appears to paraphrase similar points raised in the JGF documents available at

Published in:

Computing in Science & Engineering  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 1 )