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It's time to move on

Posted by felipeal on October 5, 2003 at 8:16 PM PDT

There's been a lot of talk lately about how Tiger (J2SE 1.5) is going to make Java easier to develop with, bringing it to the masses (or as Sun call it, to the "corporate developers"). I have no doubt that this promise *will* be fullfilled. My question is: *when* will that happen?



I'm not even talking about Tiger's release schedule here - although I'm also afraid it's is a little bit late already. My main concern is how long it will take for this release to be used by commercial products. Take as example J2SE 1.4: it's been available for years, and a lot of products - specially J2EE servers - still uses 1.3. I understand the fear of using a new major release right after it's available, but gee, we are talking about a very stable product, which recently reached it's 3rd version (1.4.2).



This "late adoption" trend is really bad: there is dozens of cool features available on 1.4 (like assert, logging and nio) that can't be used in many projects because they are bound on 1.3. That's not to mention the minor improvements, like new methods on existing classes that causes hard-to-debug NoSuchMethodException when you a deploy a class compiled with 1.4 in a 1.3 JVM. And now with Tiger and its language changes, this situation can be even worse, as the IDEs have to adapt themselves to these changes...



So, in order to reach the 10M developers mark, it's necessary a bigger effort than just providing new tools and APIs: it's necessary to move on!

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