Java: “The Report of My Death Was an Exaggeration”
Explore the state of Java, from what could replace it to its current health status.
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Over the last few weeks, I’ve been pretty busy with Java events, which has given me plenty of opportunities to talk to people in the wider Java community. Since my last blog post, I’ve been to two Voxxed Days (Bristol and Zurich) as well as the Riga Dev Days, QCon London and JavaLand in Germany. All of these conferences have been very professionally organised with impressive attendance; literally thousands of people wanting to learn and talk about Java.
It’s great to still see developers with so much energy and enthusiasm for Java as it approaches its twenty-first birthday.
What Will Replace Java?
There are plenty of languages that have tried to improve on Java; mostly by avoiding the Java platform’s excellent record of backwards compatibility. However, none of them seem to gain enough traction to really threaten to surpass the currently popular languages in terms of adoption. There was some discussion about Go, but I pointed out that this is a language targeted at replacing C and C++ which are really intended for writing system software, not general purpose applications. It’s certainly true that there are a wide variety of languages in use, but many of those are what you could really describe as domain specific. Swift is a good example of this, as it has become quite popular but is really only applicable to developing iOS applications at this time.
A Healthy Prognosis
In the past many people have prophesied the demise of Java, saying that it will soon to be replaced by things like C#, Ruby, Scala and so on.
I am happy to report that Java is alive and well!
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