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Was 2010 Java's Biggest Year?

12.29.2010
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With Java moving to Oracle's care, 2010 was always bound to be a defining year for Java. As we got to the end of 2009, there were constant questions about whether JavaOne would be going ahead or not. However, as the time of Oracle's aquisition came closer, a clear roadmap was made available, including news that JavaOne would be going ahead, as part of the Oracle Develop conference in September. 

Oracle pushed ahead with plans for future versions of Java, breaking up the previous plan for Java 7 into two seperate releases, in the interest of getting new features to developers as soon as possible. The details of the releases are available here, with Java 7 expected in mid 2011, followed by Java 8 in late 2012.

The wounds still haven't healed when it comes to the JCP. One of the big Java news stories this year involved the Apache Foundation's frustration with the TCK licencing, resulting in them leaving the JCP Executive Committee.  And Oracle brought in the law against Google Android for patent infringement. These two actions have been the black mark against Oracle for 2010.  

One of the big news stories following the Oracle takeover was James Gosling deciding that it was time to leave. Although it was always on the cards, it's strange to think of Java owned by a company that doesn't have James Gosling there to help guide things. 

Meanwhile, the OpenJDK project started to see some major contributions from both IBM and suprise involvement from Apple, who have previously announced that they were to stop providing support for Java on OSX. While the initial reaction from the community was one of dismay, it all worked out just fine in the end, with Apple providing contributions to the OpenJDK project.

A brave decision was made with the discontinuation of JavaFX Script, in favour of rebooting JavaFX as a full Java API. It might just prove to be a lifeline for JavaFX, which had been declining throughout it's brief history. With beta's available early next year, it will be interesting to see if this change will lead to an increase in JavaFX adoption.

Finally, as a Java developer who uses Eclipse, I welcomed Google's decision to free up all the Instantiations tools after their acquisition. They were even more generous with their latest announcement, to open source WindowBuilder and CodePro Profiler.

That's quite a lot for Java to go through for one year. Would you agree that 2010 was one of the most important years for Java since it's release? What do you think have been the key points thoughout the year?

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Comments

Mats Henricson replied on Wed, 2010/12/29 - 7:26am

I wish I knew what you meant with "big"! Normally it means "best", but according to your text it rather appears to mean "turbulent" or "destructive" (lawsuits, people and companies leaving JCP, etc), and that would probably be my own adjective for 2010 too.

 

So, yes, 2010 was probably the most turbulent and destructive year for Java ever.

 

James Sugrue replied on Wed, 2010/12/29 - 8:02am in response to: Mats Henricson

What I meant by "big" was "defining", rather than best. Sure, it was a turbulent, destructive year. But there is also some good to be taken out of it (Java7 / Java8, Apple & IBM participating in OpenJDK). 

James

Rick Osborn replied on Wed, 2010/12/29 - 9:20am

"Big" or "effective"? I would label "effective" as the year Ron Johnson's book came out, or one of those in the 1999-2001 timeframe. Personally I saw alot of progress then.

Karl Peterbauer replied on Thu, 2010/12/30 - 6:08am

Are you kidding? To jog your memory: 2009 was not exactly Java's Biggest Year, but even at Sundown we saw JPA 2.0, Servlet 3.0, JEE 6, and three (!) serious closure proposals, partially with working prototypes. 2010? Java 7 delayed until 2011/2012, and some ugly politics.

Claude Lalyre replied on Tue, 2011/01/04 - 11:29am

The depature of James Gosling from Oracle, a lot of people predicting the end of Java technology in favor of C#, the doubt on Oracle leadership on Java...

Do they really care about the Java community ?
Do they really care about Java future ?
If contributors and framework builders stop being involved in Java industry and stop their innovations, does Java really have a solid future ?

The good point is the enforcement of JVM as a plaftorm, with the creation of a crowed JVM languages family !

Maybe Java the language is dead, but maybe Groovy can take over as well...

And maybe in our days somewhere in the world a programming language sorcerer is building the "Next big language" of the 22th century, with artificial intelligence concepts, combinatorial concepts or fractals abilities rather than just a coding syntax...

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