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The Future of Java

DZone 's Guide to

The Future of Java

As long as large enterprises are able to evolve beyond Java 8 and Java becomes more cloud native, it will continue to be a predominant language.

· Java Zone ·
Free Resource

To understand the current and future state of the Java Ecosystem, we reached out to our community for their insights. Unlike other topics like containers and security, there are far fewer people willing to share their thoughts on the current and future state of Java. This appears to be a function of its maturity relative to other technologies.

We are grateful to our three contributors who all have significant experience with Java:

We asked them, "What's the future of Java from your perspective?" Here's what they told us:

  • To be more cloud-native — this is imperative as we see greater cloud adoption. We cannot throw away the investment we made in the industry and the education. There is no need to learn a whole new language and start from scratch. As such, it’s important for Java to run well in new environments.
  • The next couple of years will be pretty critical. If we end up with a number of large enterprises or important products unable to get off of Java 8, it will be a problem. That’s not a situation I want to be in. It almost killed C++ back in the day when people weren’t adopting the template libraries. It causes a lot of confusion. You have to rationalize in an open-source economy. You don’t have leverage over how things are done. If halfway through 2019 we hear people are having trouble moving from 8 to 11 or 12, we will have problems. If alternative builds of OpenJDK sources become problematic, then things will get ugly. The worst case will be people abandoning Java at JDK 8. I don’t think that’s going to happen. There is technical lifting needed to make the transition. We’re looking to make changes for the future that aren’t urgent, but it needs to get done. Urgent versus important rears its ugly head and gets pushed off until it becomes urgent.
  • History is often the best predictor of the future, repeating itself with slight variations. Languages are hard to change, so Java will continue to lead. It will be interesting to see if other languages begin to use the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Not just JVM dialects like Scala and Kotlin but other languages with their own userbase, like Ruby, JavaScript, or Python. There have been niche solutions for this in the JRE already like JRuby (Ruby), Nashorn (JavaScript), and Jython (python). All the NodeJS ports failed. This will be interesting because incorporating an entire language is more than some antics. Maybe Graal will drive the virtual machine beyond the Java language.
Topics:
java ecosystem ,Java ,predictions ,analysis ,cloud ,cloud native ,OpenJDK ,Java 8 ,Java 11 ,Java 12

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