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Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time 371

snydeq (1272828) writes Java core has stagnated, Java EE is dead, and Spring is over, but the JVM marches on. C'mon Oracle, where are the big ideas? asks Andrew C. Oliver. 'I don't think Oracle knows how to create markets. It knows how to destroy them and create a product out of them, but it somehow failed to do that with Java. I think Java will have a long, long tail, but the days are numbered for it being anything more than a runtime and a language with a huge install base. I don't see Oracle stepping up to the plate to offer the kind of leadership that is needed. It just isn't who Oracle is. Instead, Oracle will sue some more people, do some more shortsighted and self-defeating things, then quietly fade into runtime maintainer before IBM, Red Hat, et al. pick up the slack independently. That's started to happen anyhow.'
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Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

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  • Oracle Forms (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dynamoo ( 527749 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:30AM (#47630361) Homepage
    Oracle Forms is dependent on Java.. but it seems very version-sensitive. Updating Java can often break forms, despite both being Oracle products.

    Other than that, the only use I can see for Java on the desktop is to enable machines to get infected with malware.

  • by Joe Gillian ( 3683399 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:31AM (#47630367)

    What else does this article's author expect Java to be? A programming language and a runtime are exactly what Java is supposed to be.

    • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:41AM (#47630451)
      Then what have I been drinking every morning?
      • Then what have I been drinking every morning?

        Hot water passed though over cooked ground up Java Beans perhaps?

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:50AM (#47630529) Homepage

      I think that Java started to fail when it went into a split of Standard Edition and Micro Edition instead of relying on the same core for both platforms and then have a good interface between the different libraries. Of course - today the mobile devices are often powerful enough to run Java SE, but it still comes with unnecessary overhead there. The problems with diverting code started when Java 5 was released when you could improve the code considerably when it comes to being type safe through the Generics feature. However Java ME did not follow and that caused problems for developers trying to create a write once, run everywhere app.

      I think that the business model that Oracle has is not working when it comes to projects like Java where there is a large codebase depending on the openness of the platform - and by cutting the strings Oracle will suddenly make Java insignificant even though it has been in decline for some while. Cutting the strings might also alienate many major companies that have a large codebase in Java today and that depends on a long term support of that language. So Oracle may sit with something that they want to turn into a fully commercial unit while at the same time they can't because it will kill the product. And a dead product means that they can't find any software developers on the market for their own software written in Java. A catch 22.

      The other way around would be to make Java fully open source under some useful license, e.g. the Apache License. But I don't think that Oracle understands how to maintain control then.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I think that Java started to fail when it went into a split of Standard Edition and Micro Edition

        Under Java 8 ME

          * Alignment with Java SE 8 language features and APIs, enabling more streamlined creation of embedded software through a unified development model between Java SE 8 and Java ME 8

        Oracle has been trying to fix that...

      • Could be that was the start of the decline, but I think the real killer blow was when all the browsers decided to put it on the equivalent of a 'do not fly' list.

        Everyone and his dog now knows its not to be trusted, its a security nightmare, in addition to being dog slow and having really poor UIs.

        (whether that is true or not, doesn't matter).

        So now.. who wants to be a Java developer? Its akin to admitting to work for Walmart in the personal hygiene section.

    • by Jahta ( 1141213 )

      What else does this article's author expect Java to be? A programming language and a runtime are exactly what Java is supposed to be.

      Exactly. You would think that a self-proclaimed "Strategic Developer" would know that! :-)

      • by suutar ( 1860506 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @02:00PM (#47631769)

        He wants new features, new syntactical elements, gamechangers like generics, enums, and closures. He wants fun things to learn while sticking with the "same" language, things which will hopefully let him use even higher layers of abstraction.

        Which is not in itself a bad thing. If Java doesn't add new useful features it'll get replaced by something that has them. But I'm not sure Java has a lot of room left in its complexity budget to add new stuff without becoming too confusing to stick with (assuming it hasn't already, which is debatable :) It may be best to let Java coast for a bit.

    • by Horshu ( 2754893 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @01:01PM (#47631261)
    • by drolli ( 522659 )

      And it has stagnated because it conquered everything up ato a realistc marke penetration for a single platform.

  • by netsavior ( 627338 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:33AM (#47630375)
    Oracle can't figure out how to screw over java, and we are complaining?
    • Well yeah - if they could figure out how to screw it up I wouldn't have to support it anymore. I work with a bunch of Oracle developers and I think Oracle are trying their hardest to screw up Java, but the problem is - all the universities teach Java and there are so many Java developers out there.

    • Well, screwing stuff over really isn't Oracle's modus operandi. Sitting on cash cows is. They have managed to do that just fine... to the detriment of developers who want the language improved.
    • yes they have, posting minor upgrades that break major API

    • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:50AM (#47630531)

      Oracle can't figure out how to screw over java, and we are complaining?

      No. Oracle *IS* screwing over Java, and we are complaining. That's what OP was all about.

      It's the same crap they did to MySQL, it's just slower. Do you really wonder why most big web hosts have switched to MariaDB? (Hint: they probably won't tell you about it either. They still advertise MySQL, which for practical purposes it still is.)

  • Java EE is dead (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:35AM (#47630395)

    Java EE is dead


    I guess I missed that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      More over... spring dead? =/

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:53AM (#47630563)

        Yep, NodeJS has pretty much taken over as the go-to language in enterprise development now.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2014 @12:30PM (#47630957)

          Hah, no it hasn't. Jesus. I love node, but the ecosystem is still a messy collection of immature libraries. There are some very cool frameworks and experimental bits. The node community reminds me of early-days Rails - lots of true believers reinventing the wheel in their favourite language. Spring is a well-designed and mature framework that has been getting better every year, and it isn't limited to Web applications. Java is verbose and slow to change, and it doesn't attract gee-whiz handwavy types (yay). It's always refreshing to get called into a company that needs help with a Spring application - nice clean well-separated concerns and stable libraries as opposed to the mess that production apps in PHP, Rails, or node seem to become.

  • Oh noes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by qbast ( 1265706 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:37AM (#47630403)
    Some random nobody proclaims death of Java. Thousands of companies that do depend on Java EE just vanished in puff of logic.
    • Re:Oh noes! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:41AM (#47630459) Journal

      Java is becoming the new COBOL. It may not get much respect with the hip young cats, but it's ubiquitous and those that know how to code well in it will always have employment.

      To me, it's just a programming language and library ecosystem. There are aspects I don't like, but, providing I don't get too damned clever, I can run my code on all the major platforms, which makes it better than just about anything else out there. For portability, it remains the king.

      • For portability, it remains the king.

        As long as you don't want to run on iPhone or WindowsPhone, or any number of other CPUs. As long as you stick to Windows/Mac/Linux, Java is good for portability

        Unless you want to write a library that can be used from several different other languages, like Cython bindings to Python, or JNI to Java, then you should use C. But if you don't want to do that, and you only have a few platforms that you care about, then Java is good for portability.

      • You mean script kiddies that write apps for iPhones and don't know how to program....no great loss.
      • Re:Oh noes! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @12:23PM (#47630881) Homepage

        Java is becoming the new COBOL.

        I'd like to be the first to say... huh? I'm sure Java will become a legacy language some day, but hipsters don't really define much of anything. Hipsters are against anything that's popular (because popularity by definition isn't hip), and go for the obscure things. That's why PBR became popular. It's not good, but among the younger set microbrews are very popular, so a hipster has to go for something unpopular to distinguish themselves from what's popular.

        20 years ago people used to say that about C. C is dying, C is going to be replaced, etc, etc. Didn't happen. By popularity C has a lot more competition, but it's alive and well and not going away. People hate COBOL because it was a badly designed language. If anything is the new COBOL, it's PHP. I've known several PHP programmers, and many of them have switched to another language not because of a lack of jobs, but because they hate the language. I'm not old enough to have been around for the COBOL era, but I'd guess it was the same then.

        The death of a language starts when developers leave it in droves for something else. I don't see that happeneing for Java. Do you?

    • Re:Oh noes! (Score:5, Funny)

      by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:59AM (#47630617) Journal

      Some random nobody proclaims death of Java.

      He's not a random nobody. He's a strategic developer. The big ideas are the Cloud, NoSQL, and Big Data. You heard it from him first. Java needs to embrace them.

      • You just listed 3 buzzwords. None of them are "big ideas", they're vague concepts, of which a subset of the vague concepts are good ideas.

        Java is a programming language. Can you expound on what exactly Java is missing to embrace whatever it is you think is good about them?

    • He didn't say it was dead. He just said it's hitting a dead end and he's right. Just like many other runtime have managed to stay alive only because large infrastructures already live off of it but these same runtimes aren't growing.

  • Here's the problem (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:38AM (#47630421) Homepage Journal

    Oracle can't figure out how to charge $5000 per CPU per year for Java, so it's not really interested.

    • Which is why they piggy back that Ask.com pile of crap onto the installer.

      They can't quite get the licensing costs they'd like, so they've gone the cheap douchebag route and added crapware.

  • Troll (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:39AM (#47630427)

    Huge troll. They got Java 7 released after Sun let it stagnate for years, they released Java 8 with major improvements the community has wanted for years, they are currently working on Java 9 and the module system, etc. Java EE and Sprign certainly are not dead. I regularly attend a local JUG and I would say the majority of people are using Java EE features such as Servlets, JPA, JAX-RS, JAX-WS, many are moving into CDI, and yes there are even a bunch of JSF users. There are Spring users too. IMO the Java community is alive and well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:39AM (#47630429)

    Personally, I'd rather not see Oracle get any big ideas. They usually end badly.

  • by jaeztheangel ( 2644535 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:40AM (#47630443)
    With Lambda expressions in the last release, and the renewed focus on mobile - Java is awesome. For a language which forced Microsoft to up it's game with C#, and with Linux has stormed into taking over most of financial services - it's as least as alive as COBOL. Which - like Sarah Palin - cannot be killed and will not go away. Java has the Colbert of Languages. Wildly successful, despite being in a suit.
    • by Jaime2 ( 824950 )

      For a language which forced Microsoft to up it's game with C#

      Java has been playing catch up with C# for almost ten years. Attributes, generics, and lambdas were all added to Java long after they were added to C#. Also, Microsoft made them part of the runtime, while Java only made them part of the compiler (for the most part), so the features work a lot better in C#.

      The point of this article is that Oracle has been slowing down the pace of innovation to an even slower pace than Sun was at, and Sun had already lost a five year head start to Microsoft very quickly.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:42AM (#47630467) Homepage

    Where cool technology goes to die.

    Large corporations often do not have the vision, flexibility, or ability to execute on these things.

    They're not making technology for the sake of making better technology, they're doing it purely to monetize it and make money -- for example, Oracle's insistence on keeping that stupid ask.com toolbar in the Java installer.

    Oracle doesn't need the revenue from putting shitware on computers, but they do it anyway. Something about "One Rich Asshole".

    Instead of writing a good platform which people use, Oracle have just been doing the greedy asshole thing.

    Which, considering how much of their stuff runs on Java, you'd think they'd have an interest in keeping the platform working and widely used.

    Sun could be visionaries, but Oracle not so much apparently.

    I think a lot of people expected Java to begin its decline once it was in the hands of Oracle -- who are completely incapable of being the stewards of an open standard which doesn't generate huge amounts of revenue.

    • Which, considering how much of their stuff runs on Java, you'd think they'd have an interest in keeping the platform working and widely used.

      Why? That's an expense. Oracle bought Sun for two things: to get SPARC's highly threadded architecture to make the existing database product continue to scale, and also to get the Java patents to sue Google into cross-licensing its very large distributed database patents. They still haven't given up on the latter and the former will run out of steam in the not too d

    • Something about "One Rich Asshole".

      One Rich Asshole Can Louse-up Everything?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oracle bought sun to gut the outfit of IP and maybe con some of Sun's userbase in to Oracle products.

    That, and some misplaced idea of becoming a vertically integrated one-stop solution. (Yeah. What kind of fucking moron that suffers Oracle's software pricing wants Oracle's cold clammy hands squeezing their nuts for hardware costs too)

    They don't give a wet fart about Java, Java's users, or any of other's Sun's formerly important initiatives.

    RMS was right about closed software. If you depend on it, you could

  • Shenanigans! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by multimediavt ( 965608 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:48AM (#47630517)
    'snydeq' isn't a member of the community, he's a paid writer. Go look at his submissions v. comments. This whole site is a sham anymore. This will be my last logged in post. Complete troll bait anymore. Have fun being cogs in a money making scheme. Like Facebook they're done making money off me.
  • by presidenteloco ( 659168 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:50AM (#47630533)

    But the JEE framework went against some of the Java founders' quest for simplicity, and byzantine configuration-based frameworks were not brought out at dawn and shot soon enough, so they took over. And the language has some annoying verbosity and stuttering.

    20 years later we need to move on. Less is more.

    • by vsync64 ( 155958 )

      About the time it started getting called "Java EE" instead of "J2EE" they started stripping out most of the requirements for redundant default configurations. Some of the complexity is gratuitous, sure, but a lot is because it attempts to let developers handle more complex situations or scaling requirements (horizontal and/or vertical). I used to scoff years ago at some of the layers and knobs, until I found myself needing to use them, then I thought "these guys were smart to think of this in advance".


  • by JustOK ( 667959 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:51AM (#47630541) Journal
    I've been saying for a couple of decades that Java is just a fad. I'll be right, sooner or later.
  • Java != Spring. Java != J2EE. At some point, when a language has been tweaked for, say, 20 years, do you get to the point where the addition of new language features (as opposed to libraries) should be a fairly rare thing?
    • What gets me about java is that they add fancy new stuff like lambdas while leaving out basics like properties, operator overloading and user defined value types.

  • Just like C then? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by putaro ( 235078 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @11:53AM (#47630559) Journal

    Seriously, how much language "innovation" do we need? The platform is huge and there's more than enough third-party libraries to satisfy any needs.

    • by dwpro ( 520418 )
      personally, I _love_ some of the innovations in the languages and platforms I've seen in my programming career that serve to reduce boilerplate/bloat and insert, standardize, and support useful libraries into the core language. Java will assuredly lose market share if Oracle doesn't provide good stewardship over the language and do all it can to augment the tooling, or competitors that provide a better programming experience will supplant them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

      You need language innovation for the things that can't be expressed in libraries, e.g.

      * async+await from F#/VB/C# (later adapted into C++, JS, Python).
      * non-nullable reference types from Haskell/F# (later adapted into Swift)

      • by ADRA ( 37398 )

        async+await seems a lot like features included in java.lang.Concurrent which has been in Java since 1.5 and as a popular third party add-on before that. Maybe they aren't language sugar in the same way level C# integrates with it, but it also means I can swap in various implementations of the provider if I found a more optimal solution for my specific problem area.

  • by xtal ( 49134 )

    Python has replaced Java for anything I used to do with it.

    Javascript lives on.

    IDEs are better. It's easier to port code. Much has been abstracted. I don't necessarily see where Java fits in the picture long term; it's been abandoned by Apple and Microsoft as a core language.

    The beat goes on.

  • by ISoldat53 ( 977164 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @12:16PM (#47630801)
    I get a popup every other day with an update.
  • by theendlessnow ( 516149 ) * on Friday August 08, 2014 @12:22PM (#47630875)
    Java - Write once. Run everywhere.
    Java - Write once. Test everywhere.
    Java - Write for one version. Run on one version.

    Java - Write once. Run scared!
  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @12:41PM (#47631061)
    With most programming languages there are 3 sorts of programmers: There are those 9-5 programmers who examine their paycheck more closely than their code; there are those programmers who have mastered the language and can do amazing things to make it dance, and there are the hard core insiders who give talks at language specific conferences and are on steering committees.

    With some languages such as assembler the bulk of the programmers are in the middle category, while with a language like PowerBuilder the vast majority were in the first category. But what I have found with almost all languages there are very very few people in the steering committee category and they can be very detached from the first category.

    With Java I would hazard a guess that the absolute majority of programmers are in the 9-5 category and about the only thing they want from the next version of Java is to "Please please please" don't break their code. Beyond that their needs are simple.

    So Oracle can let Java Stagnate and it will probably actually please that first group for the short term. Obviously, this can be unhealthy for the language so even that first group will lose out if the language dies as they will then have to learn a whole new language when they thought they could spend a whole career in Java.

    But one thing that I have also observed in many of the mega Java based projects is that they are often 1 or more versions of Java behind. Thus even newer versions of Java are totally irrelevant unless they solved some critical existing problem in the codebase of these mega projects. The real issue is that as Java moves on it becomes more and more of an effort to upgrade a mega codebase to a newer version making it eventually impossible under that company's coding management.

    So if Oracle ever did want to push forward with new Java ideas then it should also push a huge program where zillions of programmers were taught to manage a version upgrade for a large codebase and given the tools to make it as painless as possible. Remember 9-5 programmers love free trips to sunny places.
  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @12:53PM (#47631171) Homepage Journal

    Jave does what it needs to, and does it well. So does JEE.

    There isn't a lot of "innovation" in the stack because the stack serves it's primary purpose quite well, and is used by tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of websites to deliver business functionality.

    And that is, of course, the crux of the matter: functionality. Business is not interested in jumping on the latest and greatest craze just for the sake of doing so. Business wants stability. It wants predictability. It wants reliability.

    Not "innovation" for the sake of being different.

    • by jd ( 1658 )

      Stability, predictability and reliability could be done with Erlang, Occam, Eiffel, Smalltalk or Ada.

      Business could have build "enterprise" applications with any of these. Most existed before Java or, indeed, the web. Servlets could have churned out WAIS or Gopher data for businesses. Graphics, via SGI's VRML, Apple's Postscript or the ancient GKS standard, could have given you everything that Swing delivered. Not that businesses use Swing, as a rule.

      Portable applications in the form of Tcl/Tk packages coul

  • by musicmaker ( 30469 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @01:42PM (#47631621) Homepage

    The JCP under Sun was completely broken. Java 7 was YEARS late. Under Oracle, we got Java 7 released, OpenJDK sorted out, and Java 8 released with Java 9 on its way. As a Scala developer, I don't feel like the Java world has stagnated, but then the Open Source "Community" has been proclaiming the death of Java since Java 1.5. The Open Source "Community" could learn a hell of a lot from the Java community, like how to actually have and maintain large open source libraries that work for years and years. How to build systems and platforms that mature and age and function for decades without needed to be rewritten. I'd bet there are far far more programmers developing on Java than there are for Linux as a desktop OS, and I shudder to think how a post submitted to Slashdot that declared Linux as a Desktop OS is dead would fare.

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva