From the ‘Life After Sun’ files:
There were alot of people that weren’t sure if this day would ever come. Today Java SE 7 finally hit general availability, marking the first major Java SE release since the release of Java SE 6 back in 2006.
Yes Java had stalled a bit under Sun and when Oracle moved to acquire Sun there was a lot of talk about whether or not Oracle could do better. Java 7 is not a monumental release to be sure but it does have lots of code cleanup items; the invoke dynamic which lets other languages use the JVM is pure gold.
The future of Java isn’t just about Java as a language but Java as a platform for dynamic languages. With the pervasiveness of Java today, expanding the use of the JVM for ‘everything else’ will be the key technology asset that keeps Java relevant for years to come.
Speaking of relevancy, Java apps with SE 7 will now benefit from multi-core better thanks to fork/join. There is also a new filesystem API that will make it easier to access filesystem operations.
Sure, Apache left the process…but IBM joined it more fully.
No Oracle isn’t perfect, but they’ve pushed out a release that Sun could not. Oracle has also done this release with a strong focus on open, via the OpenJDK.
“This is the first release where most of the development was done in the open with OpenJDK,” Mark Reinhold, chief architect of the Java platform group at Oracle said at an event earlier this month.. “It’s true the development process has not been as transparent as we would have liked, but we’re improving that.”
Oracle has delivered.
Yes there is much work to do and sure Java SE 7 is only half what it once was going to be (and Java SE 8 is just around the corner with the other half), but that’s part of this releases success too.
The waterfall approach to software development, having to wait 4 plus years for a major release — is not how to promote innovation. Oracle has taken a pragmatic approach, they’ve shown leadership and an ability to work with many in the community to get things done.
So yes, the Sun still shines on Java, even though Sun is in Oracle’s shadow.