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Top Story of the Past Half Decade: Java's Revival

Posted by editor on December 25, 2013 at 8:01 AM PST

It's the end of the year, and many are writing blogs and articles highlighting the top news of the year. I thought about that for a while, then decided that in a sense the most important present day news for Java/JVM developers is actually the current state of Java, compared with where we worried we might have been just a few years ago.

It's close to five years now that I've been editor. I vividly remember, when I first started out, wondering how long this position could possibly last, given Sun's fortunes. People wondered about Java's future. I don't think there was any doubt about Java's "survival" -- COBOL "survived" but developers moved on to new languages, and virtually all legacy COBOL code was turned into a black box wrapped by modern code. That was the worst that could have happened to Java.

Instead, today the Java/JVM ecosystem is incredibly vital. Java EE 7 is a major step forward, Java 8's Lambda Expressions facilitate Java's capability as a platform that's well-tuned for modern multi-core computers, Java's potential as the ideal platform for embedded platforms and the Internet of Things is well-recognized...

And the marketplace itself is stating its opinion of Java as well: Twitter and many other companies have migrated their software from other platforms to Java, because of Java's solid, tested capability as a reliable, scalable platform for high volume data processing and servicing of web applications.

Indeed, five years into my editorship, Java and the JVM are in a position I'd never expected to see when I first started out. To me, that's a big story!

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-- Kevin Farnham (@kevin_farnham)