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Don't Believe The Hype

Posted by editor on August 28, 2007 at 7:13 AM PDT

What will the Slashdot crowd think of OpenJDK and Java 7?

I wasn't sure what today's blog would be about while pulling together the front page this morning... I can't get the utter delight of Wil Wheaton's PAX 2007 keynote out of my head after listening to the MP3 last night, but it's not really relevant to anything on the page today.

So as I was working, I stopped by Slashdot and noticed the top item, State of the OpenJDK Project and Java 7:

LarsWestergren writes "David Flanagan, the author of Java in a Nutshell, has a nice writeup on the state of the open source development of the next version of Java. The article explains the difference between the JDK7 and the OpenJDK projects and how to join them. Furthermore, it has an overview of the release schedule, proposed language changes and projects of interest. A more technical and in-depth tracking of the language changes and proposed new features can be found at Alex Miller's blog. This is the first in a series, and 'each future installment will provide an update on what's currently happening in the latest builds from the project, along with a deep dive into a new feature or API that's tracking for inclusion in Java 7.'"

Well, cool, that's a link to David's new The Open Road column, and it's nice to see it get a wider notice (thanks also the the Java Posse, who mentioned it in a recent show). Granted, /.'s only noticing it like two or three weeks after it was published, but better late than never.

Now, this being /., we can pretty much sit back and watch all the usual troll comments get posted: "I used a Swing app 10 years ago and it was slow and crappy, so Java sucks." I swear that people are running scripts to post some of these comments. Specifically, I think people have perl scripts to post messages about how great PHP is. Or vice versa.

Or maybe we don't need to worry about what the crowd there thinks. If Java's the right tool for my work, do I care what some random person thinks, someone who may not even be a genuine developer, but just likes to throw out abuse? There's a certain webcomic's theory I might cite about internet behavior when combining normal people, anonymity, and audience, a theory cited in Wheaton's keynote, but it's seriously NSFW. And truthfully, some of the early commentary is quite good, including posts to clear up confusion about just what OpenJDK and the "GPL + Classpath Exception" license is, and a thread on the value/practicality of cleaning up old API's in Java SE.

Actually, the best thing that can happen is that some of the readers there will get an update and a fact-check from reading David's article, and become interested in where things are going for Java 7.

If you're just joining us, do stay a while. There's a lot going on here: 4,300+ projects, active forums and blogs, and good people.

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