"All the benefits of C++ were not valuable. The strengths of Java are well-suited for this world," Purdy concluded. Though C and C++ are particularly suited for writing to a particular platform, crucial when developing an operating system or browser, such development efforts are not always called for. "How many browsers do we need?" he asked, rhetorically. "There are just not many places I need C++," he said.
The programming needs today promise a similar disruption as when Java supplanted C++, Purdy said. We are moving from a server-side architecture to what Purdy called a "thin server architecture," he said. He attributes this shift to a combination of cloud computing, HTML5 and mobile devices.
"These three things will conspire to be a perfect storm in our industry," Purdy said.
"Applications will shift from a very fat server model, where all the display logic is held on the server, to a much more thin server model where the display logic is in the browser itself," Purdy said. "Its communications with the server is with services and data."
Purdy's claim seems to get some backing from other parties who also see that Web application development is taking hold in the enterprise market. In a survey sponsored by Zend, a company that offers commercial support tools for the PHP Web programming language, 97 percent of 117 business and IT executives who said their organizations currently use PHP will use the Web programming language for additional applications in the future. Many cited the speed and flexibility of Web application development as a factor for choosing this approach over the more traditional approach of developing desktop applications.
The QCon conference runs through Wednesday.