App Engine's language bonanza

App Engine's language bonanza

Summary: By choosing Java for its App Engine, Google got a plethora of other languages for free.

TOPICS: Google, Open Source

It's been a week since Google announced Java support for App Engine and the early results are very promising.

The first example is from Google, who has created an interactive shell (REPL — Read-eval-print loop) for many languages capable of running on top of the Java Virtual Machine. Current supported languages are Java (via beenshell), Lisp (via Clojure and Scheme), Groovy, JavaScript, Python, Ruby and Scala.

Multiple languages in the same session is cool, but is it useful?
(Credit: Chris Duckett/

In a similar vein, another party has decided to get PHP working on top of App Engine. Instructions on how to get this working with Quercus, a Java implementation of PHP, are available here.

This is the power of Google selecting Java for implementation on App Engine, as there are many languages that already run on the Java Virtual Machine. By choosing Java, Google just got all those other languages for free.

Topics: Google, Open Source


Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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  • What ones come next?

    What languages can we have on this next?
  • What ones come next?

    I'm waiting for PL1 to come back...
  • Hmmm! Interesting

    Pointless remarks both of you. Of course they were almost funny though. Nearly!
  • a bit of RPG & APL too?

    surely we can find a java emulator for them
  • What ones come next?

    Wonder whether IBM has PL1 running on their JVM for the mainframes? Same for COBOL. IBM has always been brilliant at language-level interoperability, so so just wondered if they have done this too...