(Trevor Blackwell had another take on
Java's Cover. He raises an
interesting question: are dumbed-down languages actually better for
some subset of programmers?)
I think it isn't as clear-cut as Java
and its ilk being good or bad. I would make the following argument:
There are two kinds of programmers: brilliant hackers, and corporate
drones. It's natural that they should want different kinds of tools.
As a hacker, you can only shine if you use the right tools. Don't let
yourself be saddled with inappropriate tools by your management, and
don't be led by the media into using the tools meant for drones.
Because there are 100x more drones than hackers, most new commercial
technologies are aimed at them. You have to learn to quickly identify
which tools are and aren't meant for you.
Any technology that has the outward features of Java (hype,
accessibility, committee design, ulterior commercial motives, ...) is
probably designed for drones, so avoid it for the
same reason you would avoid a novel with Fabio on the cover, or an inn
that advertises parking for trucks. They may be right
for their target audience. They may be created by smart
people. They're just not meant for you.