‘Evolve or get left behind’ is the running theme in today’s world for entrepreneurs, software developers, web designers etc. To survive and prosper amidst cut-throat competition isn’t easy; it is therefore vital for Java developers to stay updated and know the latest changes happening in the Java industry.
Like many other popular languages, there were plenty of things happening in the Java domain in 2014; these, in various ways, changed the way developers use Java.
Here is a list of 10 important Java news stories from 2014:
Back in March 2014, Oracle announced the arrival of Java 8; an update highly anticipated by the Java community. Apart from new features and enhancements, this update included addition of lambda expressions and support for functional programming.
Many features that were envisioned for Java 8 will now be pushed out with Java 9; however this update is packed with some really exciting features at JVM and language level.
Java 8 is a step-up from its previous version as it offers improved collections and annotations, simpler parallel programming models and more efficient use of modern, multi-core processors.
Application servers support the deployment of applications on servers.
Eberhard Wolff, a founding Java champion, last year asserted that Java application servers are dead. His presentations showed some weaknesses of Java Application Servers and alternatives that can be used by developers.
This topic triggered a lot of discussion in the Java community. Many developers agreed with his point saying even the smallest of changes or testing takes forever with Java Application Servers; configuration, deployment, monitoring etc. are also complex tasks on these servers. However, not all developers agreed that app servers are clinically dead.
May 2014, brought some good news for Oracle. It won a legal victory against the giant Internet services firm, Google Inc.
In 2010, Oracle sued Google claiming its Android operating system infringes on patents and copyrights related to Oracle’s Java technology. Two years later, a District Court judge gave the judgment in favor of Google’s right to use the open-source code. After losing in District Court, Oracle appealed the decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals, which ruled the decision in Oracle’s favor in May last year.
The court decided that the Java programming language can be copyrighted. As can be imagined, the developer community is not very happy with the verdict as they claim this move will restrict innovation.
Java conquered the functional programming throne in 2014.
Last year, Java topped the RedMonk list of programming language rankings. RedMonk, is a tech industry analyst firm that issues programming language rankings each year based on the popularity of the language.
This popularity index clearly shows that Java ruled the programming industry in 2014, essentially proving it is imperative for software developers to master this language.
Since not everything about Java 8 was welcomed by the Java community, developers at Oracle immediately started working on the next Java version.
In August last year, Oracle announced the first confirmed features of JDK 9. In November, Oracle updated the list of features and enhancements. Java 9 is projected to release in early 2016. It is expected to include some notable changes like modularity; Oracle is also planning to swap JARs for modules in JDK 9.
Some of the updates Java developers can expect include modular source code, lightweight JSON API, process API updates, segmented code cache, smart Java compilation, cloud-optimized JVM and ahead-of-time compilation.
Project Valhalla is an experimental OpenJDK project from Oracle with intent similar to some existing OpenJDK projects such as Project Lambda and the DaVinci Machine project. This project was declared in July 2014 and is led by engineer Brian Goetz. The main aim of this project is to develop new features for Java.
The two main priorities for this Java incubation project include value types and generic specialization.
Yes, you got that right. Last year, Java made its way into space!
Engineers at NASA are using Java, JavaFX and NetBeans to develop NASA’s mission software.
Four top NASA engineers presented their work to the Java community at the 2014 JavaOne conference to show the role Java, JavaFX and NetBeans are playing in NASA’s space missions.
Larry Ellison co-founded Oracle in 1977 and is the reason why this company has become the most reputed brand in the world. In September last year, Larry Ellison stepped down after heading the company for 35 years as CEO. Ellison remains Oracle’s largest shareholder, holding 1.1bn shares, or 25% of the company.
Mark Hurd and Safra Catz, co-presidents at Oracle ascended the throne. Mark Hurd handles sales, service and vertical global business units of Oracle and Safra Catz manages manufacturing, finance and legal functions of the company.
JavaOne, the world’s largest tech-conference was started by Sun Microsystems in 1996 to showcase new Java technologies to Java developers. This annual conference includes in-depth sessions that cover a wide variety of topics along with Technical Keynotes and Birds of a Feather (BOF) sessions by some noteworthy speakers.
Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud were big topics in last year’s conference with core focus on making Java the platform of choice. A session held by Oracle at the conference ‘Java Speaks the Language of Internet of Things’ clearly depicted how Oracle is interested in pushing Java as the primary language for the Internet of Things.
Apart from IoT and cloud discussion, attendees shared their experiences of programming failure in BOF session of ‘Development Horror Stories’.
The Java Reflection API is used to examine and modify the behavior of applications running in a Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
Oracle issues a quarterly patch release that addresses security issues across its product lines. Oracle’s October patch release crippled some Web apps.
These critical vulnerabilities in Java were published by researchers at Security Explorations, a Poland-based security and vulnerability research company.
If you think that some important Java related news story is missing, or would like to draw our attention to an important story, feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.