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Tiger's Children

Posted by kgh on June 28, 2004 at 1:41 PM PDT

I'm up at JavaOne today. As usual, it's a blast.

We brought a gorgous baby white tiger on stage to
help us kick-off the "Tiger" section of this
morning's general session. He was great fun and really mellow.
He had got up really early to come to Moscone,
so he was quite sleepy by the time he came on stage. He had
been more active during our prep session when he was
gently play-biting on my ankle through my jeans and trying
to decide if he liked the flavor. (He's young
enough that he's only just starting to figure out the whole
teeth thing and he hasn't yet figured out that engineers
are actually edible.)

Anyway, we've been talking a lot today
about the J2SE Tiger release
(now J2SE 5.0) which will ship this fall.
But we've also been discussing some of our
initial thinking for Mustang (6.0) and Dolphin (7.0).

Right now we're in early planning and we're talking to lots of
Java partners, customers, and individual developers about what
the priorities should be post-Tiger. We'll analyze and
balance all that input and use it to help design our JSR
proposals to the JCP. So right now, all of this is interim
brain storming based on initial conversations and feedback.

Our initial thinking is that we probably want to try to get back
into a slight faster release cadence. Tiger is a great release
and has a lot of big new features, but it will ship about two
and a half years after Merlin (1.4). We'd like to go back to
shipping slightly smaller releases slightly more frequently.
So we want to deliver the same volume of new features over time, but
delivered on an eighteen month cycle rather than a 30 month cycle.
(We have to balance between some people wanting to see features more
quickly and other people not wanting to have to deal with too many
new releases.)

So our current thinking is that the next two feature releases will be:

  • Mustang (6.0) in spring 2006.
  • Dolphin (7.0) in late 2007.

We typically like to define some driving themes for each releases.
Right now the initial candidate themes for Mustang are:

  • Compatibility, Stability, Quality!

    - This is virtually certain to be theme #1.

  • Diagnosability, Monitoring & Management

    - Keep making it easier to identify and resolve application issues.

  • XML & Web Services

    - Bundling SOAP web services support into J2SE.

  • Ease-of-Development

    - Simplifying common tasks, polishing off rough edges.

  • Java on the desktop

    - Including new desktop integration and data access ideas.

  • Becoming more transparent

    - Provide more insight/feedback into JDK engineering.

We have lots of new feature ideas and we're accumulating many
more as we talk with people.

We'd like your input.

If you are attending JavaOne, you can come to the "Tiger's Children"
BOF on Tuesday at 7:30-9:30 pm in Moscone Room 105. This is intended
to be an interactive session where we will mostly be in "listen" mode,
to hear people's requirements.

We'll also be having a Tiger's Children session at the
"Ask-the-Experts" pod in the JavaOne Pavilion on Wednesday 4:30-7:30,
if you want to talk one-on-one.

For people not at JavaOne, we're putting up an online survey at
. The survey results
will be tabulated and analyzed as part of the planning team's work.
This is a great opportunity to provide input on the future of J2SE.

Be pragmatic: tell us both what and why. We often
find it easier to meet a feature request if we understand the
real underlying need!

        - Graham

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