The Day Java Died:A real-life allegory of the industry from the fishbowl
by Adrian Scott
There are times for celebration. And there are times for mourning.
Poor little Java, in the morning of a bright new day, there he was -- floating
on the water's surface, his little lifeforce emptied like stuffing
from a Thanksgiving day turkey.
People talk about being a big fish in a little fishbowl or a little fish
in a big fishbowl, but the furthest thing from my mind when I bought
a big 10-gallon fishtank was that Java might be a dead fish in a fishbowl.
I ought to back up for a moment and remind you about Java and VRML, the
two scaly inhabitants of my little fishy ecology. Java and VRML were my
first goldfish, Java distinguishable by his gold appearance and VRML
by his silvery appearance (though he's darkened considerably now).
At first they lived in a tiny fishbowl, then they moved up to a bigger
one with flowing air. When you first get a goldfish, you just get a small
bowl, because you're not sure you can keep the fish alive. At the beginning
the risks are high, so you grow conservatively. But after
a few months you get more confident and increase your infrastructure investments.
And then you get a burn rate. boo hoo hoo. :(
I had gotten so confident that I had quintupled capacity with a 10-gallon
tank. I also had brought aboard two new fish, Lunch and Dinner. I guess
that, though Java and VRML were somewhat accustomed to change, it was all
just too much.
Sometimes you just can't be sure of anything. Not only was Java lying
upside down in some twisted ichtytharian prayer to the gods, but so was Lunch.
Just VRML and Dinner were left in the sea of the living.
I still have to brush away the tears.
The best-laid schemes o' Fish an' Men gang aft a-gley.
Java and Lunch, dear fishies, requiescat in pace.
Sometimes you think it must be unfulfilling for fish to be enclosed in
a small fishbowl. But then again, it's just like humans living on
And flushed they are, into stream meets river meets ocean.