Monday, May 16, 2005

Running Scripting Languages On the JVM

Another interesting possibility about the future of scripting languages comes in the form of Java Specification Request (JSR) 223, which describes the goal of allowing better interactivity between Java and scripting languages. Some relevant quotes from the JSR:

"This specification will introduce the basic technical background to bridge the scripting and the Java community. The specification is concerned with how to write and package Java classes that will be accessible from different scripting engines."

"This specification will describe how it is possible to bundle scripting pages into a WAR file, either stand-alone, or as part of an EAR. The specification will describe the different implications for security, resource, and class loader contexts both in the case of stand-alone WARs and as part of an EAR. The EG will also consider whether it is appropriate to deliver scripting and Java code outside of a WAR."

Sound familiar? ColdFusion is ahead of the curve once again, and since Macromedia is an official sponsor of the JSR they'll have a hand in defining how this all plays out.

This is interesting to me for several reasons, not the least of which being that the ColdFusion community, between Macromedia ColdFusion and New Atlanta's BlueDragon, is once again ahead of the curve on things. It's been possible to deploy ColdFusion apps on J2EE servers since the release of CFMX (and this got much better in CFMX 7), and with BlueDragon you can deploy CF apps on J2EE or .NET. Apparently other folks think this is a great idea, and the reference implementation of JSR 223 may include PHP as the example of how this is done.

The other thing I can't help but think is that this is the Java community's response to the .NET CLR's ability to run multiple languages. If Microsoft got anything right with the .NET architecture, this was definitely it. Giving people a choice of languages that all run on the same platform offers fantastic flexibility, and if this becomes the norm in the Java community, CF will have been way ahead of the game. I'm going to keep my eye on this JSR!

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