With Java moving to Oracle's care, 2010 was always bound to be a defining year for Java. As we got to the end of 2009, there were constant questions about whether JavaOne would be going ahead or not. However, as the time of Oracle's aquisition came closer, a clear roadmap was made available, including news that JavaOne would be going ahead, as part of the Oracle Develop conference in September.
Oracle pushed ahead with plans for future versions of Java, breaking up the previous plan for Java 7 into two seperate releases, in the interest of getting new features to developers as soon as possible. The details of the releases are available here, with Java 7 expected in mid 2011, followed by Java 8 in late 2012.
The wounds still haven't healed when it comes to the JCP. One of the big Java news stories this year involved the Apache Foundation's frustration with the TCK licencing, resulting in them leaving the JCP Executive Committee. And Oracle brought in the law against Google Android for patent infringement. These two actions have been the black mark against Oracle for 2010.
One of the big news stories following the Oracle takeover was James Gosling deciding that it was time to leave. Although it was always on the cards, it's strange to think of Java owned by a company that doesn't have James Gosling there to help guide things.
Meanwhile, the OpenJDK project started to see some major contributions from both IBM and suprise involvement from Apple, who have previously announced that they were to stop providing support for Java on OSX. While the initial reaction from the community was one of dismay, it all worked out just fine in the end, with Apple providing contributions to the OpenJDK project.
A brave decision was made with the discontinuation of JavaFX Script, in favour of rebooting JavaFX as a full Java API. It might just prove to be a lifeline for JavaFX, which had been declining throughout it's brief history. With beta's available early next year, it will be interesting to see if this change will lead to an increase in JavaFX adoption.
Finally, as a Java developer who uses Eclipse, I welcomed Google's decision to free up all the Instantiations tools after their acquisition. They were even more generous with their latest announcement, to open source WindowBuilder and CodePro Profiler.
That's quite a lot for Java to go through for one year. Would you agree that 2010 was one of the most important years for Java since it's release? What do you think have been the key points thoughout the year?