After three years, I am able to visit the JavaOne conference again, which is happening right now. A popular saying right now is: “The more changes, the more stays the same”. This is the first JavaOne organized by Oracle, instead of Sun, which was bought by the guy with the big boat. It’s also cohosted with OpenWorld. This means San Francisco is almost completely Oracle red now: next to the incredibly huge Moscone, pretty much every hotel is needed to host the conference, even main roads are closed in order to put up tents for the conference activities. This does mean as a Java developer, it feels a bit less exclusive. There is just so much other stuff going on too. Still, the conference is packed with great Java content, and attracts a lot of the top players (at least if not sued by the host).
People are still getting used to the new steward of Java. Oracle has a different way of doing things. At least the dust has settled now. The past few years, the weakened position of Sun made it hard to get stuff done on the big Java topics. After a few silent month of settling in, Oracle is now already pretty clear about most of the important strategic choices, roadmaps and features.
The first day is already very interesting. Java 7 will come next year, albeit in a reduced form (module support and lambdas are pushed to Java 8). JavaFX gets an overhaul, the JavaFX script language will be scrapped and replaced with plain Java API’s, as well as new hardware acceleration features and some more components. This all looks promising, though it’s still in a very early stage right now, we will have to wait at least into Q1 for the first real previews. Meanwhile, people who are going for JavaFX 1.3 should prepare for a major upgrade effort, as JavaFX 2.0 will be very very different.
Weblogic, Glassfish, JRockit and Hotspot products will continue to exist as separate products for quite a while, but they are integrated in meaningful ways, and the product development teams are either rolled into one, or working together now. Each product now has a story on “when to use”: this will really help to pick the right tool for the job. Also, tools like JRockit Mission Control now work with Hotspot (in tech previews here), while JRockit dumps heap memory information in the Hotspot format, which is more widely accepted by memory analyzer tools. This means as developers, we can use a common toolset for both Weblogic, Glassfish, JRockit and Hotspot, which is great.
Only day one, so hopefully, we get to hear many more new announcements. There are several elephants in the room though, like smartphones, lawsuits or the JCP problems, but at least, there is new movement in Java!