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I'm developing software for about 10 years. I began on QBasic and now I'm developing .NET using C# language. I'm always trying to follow the best design patterns and principals like SOLID. In short I'm very happy with my work while as a tiny ISV I'm free to choose between technologies. Of course we almost develop mid-size web applications for start-ups.

Although I'm moving to MS open stack more and more (Ex. MVC, EF, etc.) and I've also tried Mono, I feel tied to MS. I seriously want to break this vendor lock-in situation.

I want to be able to develop Windows and Web application using a strongly-type open and free (at least more free) language using the best software practices which is more vendor independent. I think I have no choice except Java. Then;

  • What is the best way to start breaking this situation?
  • Should I migrate to the Java platform? (I know it cost me a lot)
  • Then how can I start?
  • C# is an amazing language. Some of its features do not exist in Java (LINQ, real generics, async/await, etc.)! How can I get to that?
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Are you sure? Carefully examine your motivations first, and weight the advantages and disadvantages. If you seriously have some sort of pain point (I can't imagine what... maybe the cost of the tools?) then perhaps such a radical change is justified. If it's just a political statement or your own personal discomfort, eh, not so much. Try Mono; at least you won't have to learn a whole new skill set. –  Robert Harvey Feb 5 '13 at 22:17
@Robert - As I mentioned I've already tried Mono. It's very well implemented but is Mono and .NET open source community comparable to Java? –  A. Karimi Feb 5 '13 at 22:24
MS provides good technology. Java is Oracle property now.. Why leave the the windows zone? And trust me: Web Development with Java is a major pain in the ass. –  Falcon Feb 5 '13 at 22:26
What makes you think you won't have the same lock-in with Java? –  tdammers Feb 5 '13 at 22:27
Regarding the features of C# not available in Java, you might want to consider using Scala, which has a more powerful type system than Java and C#. –  Lee Feb 5 '13 at 22:49

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Ok, this is partly not so serious. Please find the serious part below.

What is the best way to start breaking this situation?

Not breaking it at all because you don't have an obvious reason. You just feel ideologically obliged to do it. Well, that's your thing and I can't stop you from it. Break it by choosing any other platform of choice.

Should I migrate to the Java platform? (I know it cost me a lot)

Ok, I might get a lot of downvotes for that, and it's surely subjective opinion, but: Java Web Development is a major pain in the ass. Even James Gosling (creator of Java) said, and I cite: "JSF sucks". ASP.NET is much friendlier in my opinion. If you absolutely must use Java, don't use the major frameworks. Use Apache Wicket or something. But for you more important is: Java is property of Oracle now. It's as free as the .NET platform. Sure, there's OpenJDK. But for .NET, there's also Mono.

You should rather ask: Should I switch to develop for the JVM because I want to learn new things, in which case I'd say: Sure, because it offers a wider variety of languages that run on it, for example the elegant Scala.

Then how can I start?

Grab platform of choice that is to your liking and just start hacking (some people even use LISP for web development, some even use C, why not take Ruby or Python or PHP?)

C# is an amazing language. Some of its features do not exist in Java (LINQ, real generics, async/await, etc.)! How can I get to that?

Java will get Lambdas and Closures with the next version. However, if you want to write programs for the JVM, I'd advice you to use Scala and skip Java. Scala is an amazing language!

Serious part

If you want to make money with your startup:

Whether you should change platforms or not depends on your customers. Take the platform that you can sell best in your environment. Probably something based on a standard Apache installation or, for corporate environments, something based on Java Application Servers;

If you want to make money by offering your skills in case the startup fails:

Java is never wrong, neither is .NET. Java will be beneficial to know as the Android market grows. Objective C can be sold very well these days, but I think it will decline again (personal opinion).

If you're doing it for because you love technology:

Take something that is closer to the ivory tower, like Scala or Ruby.

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No downvote, but there's GWT if you think that JSF sucks. –  Martin Schröder Feb 6 '13 at 10:54

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