BusinessWeek somewhat confused about Java

BusinessWeek Online has an article today called “Java? It’s So Nineties” which purports to track the fall of Java from enterprise grace.

I’ve posted my own brief notes on that theme and I don’t disagree with the general thrust of the article, but it is distractingly, embarrassingly overflowing with technical bloopers. A sampling:

Java – once the hippest of hip software…

Java certainly had its moments of irrational popularity during the applet mania of the ’90s. But try to imagine somebody saying, “Hey, this Java is really hip!” (I don’t know, though, maybe the Cobol guys did say that.)

The number of Web sites using PHP has risen to 23 million today from zero in 2000, according to surveys by the Internet analysis firm Netcraft.

Netcraft is on crack or the technical reviewer was stoned. There is some evidence to suggest that PHP was in existence a bit earlier than 2000.

Andy Brown, chief technology architect at Merrill Lynch [says] … “When you write code on Linux there are less layers. You don’t need Java for it.”

For the sake of Andy Brown and all Merrill Lynch investors I hope this was a mangled quote. What would this mysterious operating system be, with its exceedingly large number of layers that compel developers to code in Java?

According to O’Reilly … sales of Java-related books are off 4% so far this year, while sales of books related to AJAX … are up 68%

Intriguingly, sales of apples and oranges respectively were reported to follow much the same pattern during this period…

Merrill Lynch & Co. … runs many of its newer math-heavy applications – such as options, futures, and derivatives – using just Linux and the Apache server.

Awesome! I can’t wait to install mod_options_futures_and_derivatives on my server.