Skip to main content

Tiger's Out -- Will It Matter?

Posted by bmclaugh on October 1, 2004 at 9:46 PM PDT

Surfing over to the weblogs site, it seems that every weblog I read is about Tiger (Java 5). That's no surprise, by any means, as this release is officially a "big deal" (TM). And I actually think Tiger is pretty cool -- generics have been missing for a while, enums are convenient, and things like for/in (or foreach, or enhanced for, or whatever else you want to call it) are just niceties that make Java feel more mature.

That said, with maturity there is often a longer adoption curve. People have settled into Java -- presumably 1.4.x almost everywhere by now -- and upgrading is no longer the norm. It's a pretty extensive process. So my first bit of wondering is to whether people are just going to jump on Tiger. I mean, there's a part of me that suspects Tiger will just be making a splash on real production systems by next year's JavaOne. Yes, I know that seems a long time away, but when something works, it's hard to chance breaking it.

And as Daniel Brookshier points out, Tiger is at least a few months away from being available on OS X. And yes, you can get (really expensive) access to early copies, but that's just not the same. With more and more Java guys on OS X machines (I'm on my G5 as I type this, with my PowerBook [alas, an old 15"] humming on the side desk), this is a real detriment. In fact, the other day I was writing an article on enumerations for IBM, and had to drag out my very heavy PC to test my code. Uggghhh!

Another particularly troublesome development is all the new error- and warning-checking going on in Tiger. Don't get me wrong; this is "long-term-good". But in the meantime, code that runs fine on both Java 1.4 and 1.5/5/Tiger (got to get that naming right) literally spews warnings under Tiger. Lots of folks aren't going to be too happy about all those new "lint" warnings. And, even more imporantly, lots of peoples' bosses won't be happy with them.

So you tell me -- is Tiger in use at your work? I'm not talking about you at home on some beater box. I'm talking about either being tested for, or put into, production systems. Let me know... I'm completely intrigued!

Related Topics >>