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Posted by editor on February 21, 2008 at 8:42 AM PST

Prominent developers ponder Java's future

In general, I'm not a big fan of panels at conferences. I think they're frequently self-indulgent and self-congratulatory. In voting for OSCON '08 sessions, I voted against one with the following comment:

Sounds a little bit like a "hold hands, sing kumbaya" type panel. Do participants have more to say than "hi, I'm from <country-name>, and I think open source is good."

Given that, I have to say I'm impressed with the participants and topics that QCon San Francisco pulled together for their panel discussion, What will the Future of Java Development Be? Consider the participants:

  • Joshua Bloch - Google's chief Java architect, Java Puzzlers co-author
  • Chet Haase - Swing team member, Filthy Rich Clients co-author, co-owner of timingframework, animation, and other projects
  • Rod Johnson - Creator of the Spring Framework, member of servlet and JDO expert groups
  • Erik Meijer - Creator of LINQ
  • Charles Nutter - Co-creator of JRuby

OK, with participants like that, you can't help but have a good discussion, especially given some of the topics covered:

  • Can we modify the Java platform to utilize a core library with pluggable modules?
  • Do we ever want to remove code from the Java APIs, or create a new modular platform within Java?
  • Do you think the Java platform is already too complex?
  • Shouldn't programmers be able to understand and utilize new language features? Aren't we supposed to be intelligent?
  • If you have to use a rich IDE or some other tool in order to be able to program in a language, isn't that a bad sign?

Having said all that, I have to admit I haven't taken 50-some minutes to watch this panel before getting the page up this morning. It's too bad this one isn't available in an audio-only form for listening on the go, but for now, the only option is a web-embedded video. Still, these are the questions a lot of us have been kicking around recently, and it should be well worth the time to hear what this particular group has to say on the topics.

Also in Java Today,
the Little Springs Design blog reports that customers still want their mobile apps developer in Java ME, in the blog Java ME is dead. Long live Java ME. Despite the growth of the mobile web, the blog says four the company's six first quarter projects use ME. "Why are they using Java ME? Because they need to store some of their application logic and/or data locally. Because the app or data needs to be available without the network. Because the application would be dreadfully slow as a web app. Because they are creating a push messaging client that needs more rich interaction than simple SMS (and better interoperability than MMS)."

While implicitly conceived for C/C++ developers, the Intel Software College article 8 Simple Rules for Designing Threaded Applications offers a sufficiently high-level view to be of use to many Java developers dealing with concurrency in the multi-core era. Author Clay Breshears writes, "multithreaded programming is still more art than science. This article gives 8 Simple Rules that you can add to your palette of threading design methods. By following these rules you will have more success in writing the best and most efficient threaded implementation of your applications. "

In today's Weblogs, Wolfram