Hey Marc, BradO here. Comments below:

"Marc Latham" <mlatham23@yahoo.com> wrote:
>As a developer and application designer I avoid writing or specing applications
>that use Java for 2 reasons 1) the applications run in intrepreted mode

>are as slow as molassas

Hmmm...not my experience, but possibly poorly developed.

>2) The base of developers writing in Java is so small
>that it is hard to get good developers at a reasonable cost.

Are you serious? There is a huge base of Java developers out there, and
in fact, a recent survey showed that Java is the #1 requested programming
languages by employers. I can't remember where I saw that survey, but I
recently read it. But in addition, I know of many Java developers who are
looking for work! I think compared to something like VB the cost of a developer
might be different, because the skill level required is greater. There were
many non-programmers that became VB programmers, which sounds great, but
was probably to its detriment in many ways. The cost of a VB programmer
will be less than a Java programmer on average.

>Also as a developer I don't want to ship my source code in an open format,
>I spend 2 years writing something and then have some big corporation steal
>it and use it no thanks. The best way to prevent code theft is not to expose
>the code. Also from a supportability issue if the users can open the code
>and modify it how the heck am I supposed to support them when the code they
>are running may not even match the original distribution.

Well, to someone really determined, there will nearly always be a way to
steal. There are decompilers for many languages on the Net, and Java is
no exception. Obfuscation, as another poster mentioned, is an option, but
that leads to the "security by obscurity" debate, which is a huge tangential
argument that you can engage in in many places on the Web. This is kind
of the Napster/RIAA/digital content/DMCA issue all over again -- how do you
solve the problem of theft when the item in question can ALWAYS be stolen?
Do you sink millions into a technology to protect you partially? Do you
withhold your product from your market entirely? Do you incent people to
not steal? Or do you do nothing and hope for the best? Good questions...if
you solve the problem, let the RIAA know... :-)