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Poll Result: Java 8 Was the Most Important News from JavaOne 2011, Followed by JavaFX

Posted by editor on October 16, 2011 at 7:30 PM PDT

The results of our recent poll that overlapped JavaOne 2011 indicate that news from JavaOne 2011 related to Java 8, JavaFX, and Java EE was considered most significant by the developers who chose to vote in the poll. A total of 50 votes were cast, with the following results:

The most important news from JavaOne 2011 will be / was related to:

  • 34% (17 votes) - Java 8
  • 4% (2 votes) - Non-Java JVM languages
  • 24% (12 votes) - JavaFX
  • 18% (9 votes) - Java EE
  • 2% (1 vote) - Embedded Java
  • 6% (3 votes) - Java ME
  • 2% (1 vote) - Other
  • 10% (5 votes) - I don't know

Overall, these results don't surprise me all that much. To me, the thrust of JavaOne 2011 was captured in the essence of the conference slogan "Moving Java Forward." Now, you'd typically take it for granted that a software platform moves forward, right? But most of us (I think) would agree that forward motion for Java had almost ceased to exist as Sun teetered toward the abyss. And the doubts weren't allayed when the Oracle acquisition of Sun took nine very long months to complete. And the doubts weren't allayed as Oracle made some mistakes during the first months of its tenure as chief Java ecosystem steward.

With JavaOne 2011, the uncertainty certainly seems to have been largely sent away. A vision for the future of Java is clear. The focus of that vision, I think, is pretty well expressed in the results of this poll. Java 8 is going to solve Java's multicore problem. Running Java apps on a single processor when most people have 16-core/processor machines a few years from now would relegate Java to being... fairly useless as a desktop programming platform? Is it fair to characterize it that way? I think so. And the "desktop" of the future clearly includes tablets, phones... So, this is a problem that must be solved. Between Java 7's Fork/Join and Java 8's Lambda expressions (facilitating closures), the problem is solved.

Continuing to talk about the desktop: JavaOne 2011 revealed JavaFX to be the Java desktop platform of the future. This is Oracle's vision. JavaFX is being open sourced; it's now pure Java; it's going to be ported to all mainstream Java platforms. It's intended to be what you use by default if you're a Java developer and you're writing clients. That's big news, given where JavaFX stood not long ago.

Java EE received the third most votes. The "cloud" was certainly prominent at JavaOne 2011. However, the agreement that the cloud is as yet not sufficiently defined, not sufficiently standardized, to permit specific actions within the realm of Java EE, was also prominent. Yes, multitenancy is going to be important. Yes, streamlining start-up and providing for alternative configuration formats is going to be important. But, Java EE has to move ahead in these areas in a manner that will make it ready for the future cloud regardless of what structure the cloud "condenses" into a few years from now. The cloud isn't really leading Java EE now, because it's too nebulous; on the other hand, there are known areas in Java EE that can be improved; and making these improvements will enhance Java EE's ability to meet the needs of the future cloud, regardless of what structure becomes the cloud's norm.

I was a bit surprised that "Non-Java JVM languages" received so few votes. But, maybe the Java 8 category usurped some votes that might have gone to the non-Java JVM languages, since many Java 8 enhancements will provide benefits to non-Java JVM languages as well as to Java itself.

JavaOne 2011 presented a coherent vision for Java ME and embedded Java as well. But, few voters considered these news items to be the most important news of the conference.

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Our new java.net poll asks What interests you about JavaFX 2.0 and its future?. Voting will be open until Friday, October 28.


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