Several years back, Jack Herrington worked at a Web 1.0 company. Of course, no one called it "Web 1.0" back then; it was simply the "Dot-com Era" or the "Internet Age." Personally, I think the version numbers are okay, but I'd prefer if we all used nonsensical acronyms: "Web QM3200" or "Web ZXT." Come on, you know you want to surf the Web ZXT.

In any case, Jack's company had been around a few years prior to Web 1.0 and was doing fairly well for themselves. And that was the problem: they were only doing "fairly well." They wanted to be doing "IPO-well." And what better way to do this than embrace one of the new technologies offered by Web 1.0: Java. All they'd have to do is turn their Perl operation into a Java one.

Everyone -- management included -- knew that it wouldn't be easy to become a Java shop: the existing web application and support utilities were written exclusively in Perl; the development staff only knew how to program in Perl; and most knew Java only as that bitter beverage they add sugar, cream, and (occasional) whiskey to, and drink every morning. But they had just the person to get them through it: the Java Guru they sniped from deep within another Web 1.0 company.

The Java Guru instantly became one of the company's most valued assets. And for good reason: he was an absolute expert on and staunch evangelist for Java-based three tier architecture, and had personally developed seventy applications with such technology. He would personally turn the company's inferior "Web: Beta Edition" development into Web 1.0.

Jack welcomed the Java Guru at first: Java did seem to be the Web 1.0 thing and there was lots of money to be made by those who knew it. But Jack's enthusiasm quickly ended after his first "sit down" with the Java Guru, where the Java Guru explained the utmost basics of the "World Wide Web," from the concept of HTML to how the Internet functions as a series of tubes -- well I'm sure he used a different analogy than that, but you get the idea.

The condescending presentation wasn't what killed Jack's enthusiasm. It died the moment the Java Guru explained what an "application" was: a single, JSP page. Jack double checked and confirmed that this is what the Java Guru meant when he referred to his "seventy application" portfolio.

It didn't help when the Java Guru showed off his code, either: a single Servlet where the code for a single method ran over thirty pages (he liked to print stuff out a lot), used string concatenation to build the HTML, interspersed direct call to JDBC, and didn't contain a single comment. It was a work of art, in a Jackson Pollock sort of way.

In the end, the Java Guru was able to bring the company into the world of Web 1.0. Granted, their new Java web application never actually worked and they lost most of their customers as a result, but the important part was that they were a Web 1.0 company. Sadly, like so many other Web 1.0 companies, they never made it past the bubble burst, went completely belly-up, and never had the chance to embrace the new Web 2.0 technologies.

Oh and I almost forgot to mention what the Java Guru meant by "three-tier" architecture: Java in between the "Apache" and "Oracle" tiers.

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