Skip to main content

Poll Result: Java and Other JVM Languages and the Future (15 Years from Now)

Posted by editor on June 8, 2013 at 12:37 PM PDT

In a not entirely surprising result, a considerable majority of voters in the most recently completed poll indicated that they expect Java and other JVM languages to still be widely used in new software development projects 15 years from now. A total of 364 votes were cast in the poll, which ran for two weeks.

The exact question and results were:

Will Java and other JVM languages still be widely used for new software development projects 15 years from now?

  • 85% (308 votes) - Yes
  • 15% (56 votes) - No
  • The key phrase in the poll was "for new software development projects." Clearly, Java's installed software base is so huge that there will be work for developers maintaining and upgrading that code for decades into the future, just as has happened with COBOL and the large base of scientific code written in Fortran. But, how much new code is written in COBOL or Fortran today?

    So, the question was: does the community believe Java and JVM languages are headed toward a COBOL/Fortran-like state 15 years from now? The great majority of those who voted think not (the usual caveat applies: this is not a scientific poll).

    A huge advantage Java has over languages like COBOL and Fortran is, in my opinion, the JVM. This permits the creation of new languages that utilize the very proven infrastructure that's at the basis of Java. So, as the world of hardware and programming needs evolves, JVM-based languages can adapt in ways that COBOL and Fortran could not. So, COBOL and Fortran remained, in a sense, stuck in their era (though, assuredly, we have Fortran 95, with its adaptations for multiprocessor hardware, etc.). The JVM, however, provides a platform that's well-tested and proven, but also flexible enough to permit development of new languages designed to meet specific emerging needs.

    That's a big advantage -- one that I doubt was thought about long ago when the JVM concept was invented. Then, the JVM was conceived as a means to write one set of code that could run on any platform. You might say that it's a fortuitous side-effect of this design that brings us languages like Clojure, Groovy, and Scala today.

    New poll: Java EE 7 usage forecast

    Our current poll asks How long will it be before Java EE 7 is the most widely used Java EE version?. Voting will be open until Friday, June 21.

    Subscriptions and Archives: You can subscribe to this blog using the Editor's Blog Feed. You can also subscribe to the Java Today RSS feed and the blogs feed.

    -- Kevin Farnham (@kevin_farnham)