Java gets going with version 8

Breaking Away

For many years, Java has been in the top three of the programming language hit parade along with C-based languages. However, slow progress has unfortunately given it a reputation as the new Cobol. Java 8 finally means long-awaited progress. Many programming tasks are now much more compact, without slipping into illegibility like Perl.

Another positive factor is Java's relationship with the community. Oracle has kept the promises given with Java 7 by designing new developments to be more open and releasing the code under an open source license.

The source code for Java 8 and everything that comes with it are available from Oracle [12], and the same is also true for Java 9. The wish list for Java 9 is already fixed – right at the top is keeping to the 2015 scheduled release date. In terms of modularization of Java (Project Jigsaw), what needs to be clarified from a political and technical point of view is how to handle overlap with the OSGi [13] module system. A less explosive topic is Project Sumatra [14]; this is about the use of GPUs in Java applications.

Beyond Java 9, the call for a cleanup can no longer be ignored. So far, Java has paid attention to strict backward compatibility, but it is becoming time to remove obsolete classes and methods. The Javadoc list has now grown to 14 pages, some items of which have been tagged as invalid since Java 1.1. Maybe Oracle needs to boldly go where no programmer has gone for 17 years and start removing the ballast.

The Author

Carsten Zerbst works as a team lead in the CAD and PDM environment for the automotive, aviation, and aerospace industry. His focus is advising clients and implementing Java-based custom software. He is currently looking for new team members in Hamburg, Germany.

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