Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Good News on Java's Future

I enjoyed this article at SD Times by Alex Handy titled: 

Top five cool things from Oracle OpenWorld / JavaOne

I thought the two pieces on JavaFX and the future of Java were particular good news:

"The future of Java
But the biggest news of all at the show was by far the well-laid plans for Java SE 8 and beyond. With JavaFX making it into the mix, and dozens of major features already being laid out for the next release, Java is back on track and advancing again, and in a much more open fashion.

Indeed, the JCP is in the midst of reforms that will require all working groups to have open mailing lists and to make their test code available to others interested in the process. Why, the JCP may even be tackling that nasty TCK issue sometime next year, but we'll see if that really happens.

In the meantime, you'd better study up on functional languages, as Java will be moving closer to them thanks to closures in OpenJDK 8. And for those of you in the Java EE world, Java EE 7 is expected to include provisioning features to make automatic scalability even easier.

And finally, for Java ME users, we learned that the future of that platform will be more strongly tied to the mainline Java SE releases. Instead of a separate executive committee and distribution, Java ME will now be a subset of Java SE, and all Java governance decisions at the JCP will flow from a single executive committee. Java ME and SE are, effectively, being merged. "

JavaFX 2.0
Another technology that seemingly got lost in the Oracle/Sun shuffle, JavaFX is the long-awaited UI scripting layer for Java. It's targeted as an RIA development platform and includes many features that are still only dreamed of in standard Java, such as built-in media streaming support and links into graphics accelerators.

But for users, JavaFX is probably the best thing to happen to Java since SWT. It's a flashier, snazzier interface layer for Java applications, which have always lacked a bit of panache when compared to native applications. And for the zealots among you, JavaFX will soon be open-source technology as well when it's pushed into the OpenJDK 8 specification. If all goes well, JavaFX 3.0 will be part of OpenJDK 8 and Java SE 8."

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