Reports of Java’s death have been greatly exaggerated — said, well, pretty much every Java engineer that there is.
The Java language and platform may have been (in some people’s view) somewhat unceremoniously shunted into a side ally by the self-proclaimed aggressive corporate acquisition strategists (their words, not ours) at Oracle… but Java still enjoys widespread adoption and, in some strains, growing use and development.
So where next for Java?
IBM distinguished engineer and Java grandmaster John Duimovich has been working with Java pretty much since it appeared in 1995. His views on the key growth spaces are (arguably, potentially) worthy of some consideration.
Duimovich insists that 2018 will be actually be the year of Eclipse.
As many readers will know, Eclipse is a free, Java-based development platform known for its plug-ins that allow developers to develop and test code written in other programming languages.
Throughout 2018 we can look to key projects like EE4J (an open source initiative to create standard APIs) and MicroProfile (an open forum to optimise Enterprise Java for a microservices architecture across multiple implementations and collaborating on common areas of interest with a goal of standardisation).
Both of the above projects now come under the stewardship of the Eclipse Foundation.
Convergence with containers
“As part of the broader effort to simplify development and management, containers and runtimes like Java will become more tightly coupled. They’ll be optimised together to enable seamless management and configuration of Java applications. Consistent memory management and easier wiring between Java constructs and containers will take hold so developers can leverage the benefits of containers and Java runtimes, which are essentially they’re another form of containers,” said Duimovich.
Throwing us a perhaps unexpected curveball, Duimovich also says that Kotlin will become the next hot language.
He thinks that Kotlin’s concise coding syntax and interoperability with Java have already made it popular for many developers. But now, it has first-class support on Android, which is bound to boost its use for mobile.
Other positives include the new six-month release interval for Java for more frequent changes and the faster introduction of features.
Serverless reshaping of Java
Finally here, Duimovich points to the demand is growing for serverless platforms.
“Initially driven as a consumption model but now expanding from simple, event programming models to composite flow-based systems. This innovation will continue as cloud developers want to shift their focus on the application and not worry about servers,” said Duimovich
This above factor means Java runtimes will need to be optimised and re-architected for a serverless world where fast start-ups and smaller footprints matter even more.
Java is still hot, go and get a fresh brew.