If the Java language isn't the point, then what is?
As much as we've focused lately about other languages on the JVM -- wasn't it just yesterdaythat we pointed out NetBeans taking the InfoWorld prize for best Ruby on Rails IDE, to say nothing of Groovy, Jython, Scala, and all -- there are signs of a backlash to the seeming deemphasis on the Java language.
Joe Winchester presents this case in an editorial for Java Developer's Journal, What Does the Future Hold for the Java Language. He makes the case that's it's a perfectly viable choice to specialize in one language, certainly a better choice than to be a jack of all trades and master of none, and that Java's a good choice. He also points out that his prior language of choice, Smalltalk, tried to save itself with a "rearguard action" to make Java run on Smalltalk VMs, and that Microsoft has recently taken the approach of pushing nearly all of its various languages onto the Common Language Runtime VM. To Joe, this is an anti-pattern that Java needs to avoid:
What bothers me now is that there seems to be a resurgence of the idea that virtual machines can do anything. Rather than focus on Java and what the language needs to move it forward, there is a lot of hoopla and fanfare about making JVMs to run Ruby, PHP, or other equally trendy languages, as well as technologies like Java FX, which itself abstracts programming to an even higher and utterly non-Java syntax. If this all occurs, what do we have left? We have a virtual machine that can run Java but can run other languages as well; we have languages that compile to Java but aren