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Ben Evans (@kittylyst) and Martijn Verburg (@karianna) have teamed up to write "The Well-Grounded Java Developer" (Covers Java 7 and Polyglot programming on the JVM). You can find their joint account on twitter (@java7developer). Ben has been a professional developer and Open Source enthusiast since the late 90s. He has delivered world-class projects for banks, media companies and charities in that time, and currently works as an architect, lead developer and in-house Java expert at one of the world’s leading financial institutions. Martijn Verburg is a Java/JEE and open source consultant who is passionate about software craftsmanship and the creative power of technical communities. He currently is the co-leader for the London JUG, runs two open source projects (PCGen and Ikasan EIP) and is a bartender at the Javaranch. Martijn & Ben has posted 6 posts at DZone. View Full User Profile

Some insights from Oracle on the their plans for Java

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Ben Evans and I recently spoke at the Scandinavian Developers Conference on Java 7 and polyglot programming on the JVM. We also had a fun afternoon on a panel discussing “Whether the community or the corporations will control Java in the future”. That discussion probably deserves it own blog post, but more interestingly we spent a long time talking to Henrik Stahl from Oracle.

Henrik is Oracle’s director of Java platform strategy – and an official spokesperson from Oracle, able to pronounce on behalf of Oracle regarding Java. Henrik was able to give us the following insights (some of which you may have heard before):

  • Oracle is very committed to Java and sees it as essential to their future.
  • An open, vibrant community is an essential part of that future, in fact it’s the community that’ll determine what standard technologies and techniques should go into the std platform (SE/EE).
  • The JVM will remain open and free _forever_, and additional technologies will be incorporated and open-sourced as appropriate.
  • Oracle is looking for willing partners in the community to engage and be part of the conversation – and they are listening.

Some other points:

  • Oracle is a much larger company than Sun and will not rush out any communication which is “half-baked”. This leads to *much* longer response times, and so the community should not jump to conclusions just because Oracle hasn’t responded yet. They’re aware of the problem here and are trying to fix it.
  • Oracle are trying to unify the licensing position around all Java products. This is taking time because Oracle do not have as many lawyers per capita as Sun did. Sun used several different licenses and disentangling is hard. Oracle are trying to simplify and be more open. The fun quote here was that “Oracle does not have enough Lawyers.”
  • Oracle want the JCP to be more open than Sun did – the current form is being revised so e.g. all Expert Group discussions (except for the procedural arrangements of who’s free at what time / place for physical meetings) must be conducted in public.
  • A lot of *really* neat JRockit technology is coming to OpenJDK. It’s going to take time, but some of the stuff which is coming is going to make the VM better than ever.
  • Oracle are hiring in a number of areas, including people to work on the core language, VM and overall strategy.

Hopefully that helps you understand some of Oracle’s strategy going forward.

If you’re London based:

We’re hoping to get Patrick Curran (JCP Chair) to come and speak at an LJC event and kick off a practical program where _you_ can get involved in determining the future of Java and its ecosystem and help influence Oracle to make decisions that will benefit all of us in our weorking careers.


Martijn & Ben


From http://www.java7developer.com/blog/?p=307

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Martijn & Ben Verburg & Evans.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)



Christian Schli... replied on Mon, 2011/04/11 - 5:34am

They could easily save some lawyer resources by closing the case against Google. ;-)

Erwin Mueller replied on Mon, 2011/04/11 - 7:08am

The Java VM is open but was never free. It's open source but as you can see with Google and Android you can't just take it for free and build something with it. You need to pay Oracle licensing fees. Really nice that the first thing from an "official spokesperson from Oracle" is a blatant lie.

Tom Wheeler replied on Mon, 2011/04/11 - 8:25am

Did anyone happen to ask about Neil Gafter's comment regarding the lack of openness in the formation of JSR expert groups for JDK 7 and 8?



Martijn Verburg replied on Mon, 2011/04/11 - 9:34am in response to: Erwin Mueller

Hi Erwin, the field of use restriction on being able to call a fork 'Java' is still certainly a bone of contention, especially if your fork is not GPL licensed. I'm hoping Oracle will have a much clearer policy statement on this soon, I suspect something will come out after the lawsuit ends.

Martijn Verburg replied on Mon, 2011/04/11 - 9:37am in response to: Tom Wheeler

Hi Tom, yes this was raised. Patrick Curran is working on the JSR to change this right now. We should see all JCP/JSR discussions out in the open shortly, it's totally the right thing to do.

Erwin Mueller replied on Mon, 2011/04/11 - 11:15am

Even if your work is GPLed and you won't name it "Java" Oracle still holds a lot of patents related to the JVM technology. To call JVM "free" is just untrue and even more so after the lawsuit against Google.

Jan Kotek replied on Tue, 2011/04/12 - 4:41am

>The JVM will remain open and free _forever_ I find it really hard to believe, since Apache was not granted licence for JVM test suite. Anyway, who needs Java 7 when Scala is around.

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