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Poll Result: Developers Are More Pessimistic about Java's Future

Posted by editor on January 5, 2011 at 12:25 PM PST

If the voting in last week's poll are indicative of what the broader Java developer community is thinking (the poll, of course, is not scientific), then the events of 2010 didn't ally much of the concern developers have regarding Java's future. A total of 339 votes were cast, and 5 comments, expressing a variety of views, were posted. Here's the exact poll question and results:

Are you more optimistic today about Java's future than you were a year ago?

  • 23% (77 votes) - Yes
  • 14% (47 votes) - Somewhat, at least there's less uncertainty now
  • 23% (79 votes) - Not really, I still have concerns
  • 35% (120 votes) - To the contrary, I'm more pessimistic now
  • 4% (14 votes) - I don't know
  • 1% (2 votes) - Other

With more than a third of the voters saying they're more pessimistic than they were a year ago, and almost a quarter saying they still have concerns, a clear majority is expressing dissatisfaction with the events and/or direction they're seeing. We could observe that 37% of the voters stated that they are at least somewhat more optimistic than a year ago, while only 35% are more pessimistic. But that large "Not really, I still have concerns" group looms ominously, in my view.

Consider where we were a year ago: silence about the future was legally imposed on both Sun and Oracle, due to the laws of corporate mergers. Sun had laid off many people, and many more were leaving ahead of the finalization of the acquisition. Rumors abounded regarding what Oracle's approach was going to be -- could Oracle possibly understand the Java community and open source projects?

Today, there is much greater clarity about Java's direction and Oracle's intentions. Normally, clarity brings at least some optimism, or at least grudging acceptance of the new reality. But these poll results don't reflect that today's greater certainty is inspiring optimism about the future. And based on the ongoing public debates, and recent actions of some groups/companies aside from Oracle, it's clear that there is a lot of dissatisfaction out there.

Still, from my point of view, there are also a lot of positives. I ask people to consider some of these in the current poll, which asks "What was the most significant Java-related news in 2010?" That poll will be open until this coming Monday.

What people thought five years ago

While thinking about last week's poll, I searched the poll archives, looking for a poll that captured people's views about Java's future in years past. And I found one. The poll ran in late April and early May of 2005, almost five years ago. Voters responded to the statement Java's "best days" are... 55% of the voters said Java's best days are "Ahead of it"; 29% said Java's best days are "Right now"; and 15% said Java's best days are "Behind it."

I wonder what people would say now. My guess is that the results would be quite different. I think I may re-try this poll (or something similar) next week, to find out.

I also plan to write more about both the poll from 2005 and last week's poll -- analyzing the comments in particular, since both polls produced interesting expressions of people's attitudes toward Java at that specific point in time. I'll probably do that in my next blog, after I reread both sets of comments and give them some more thought.

As always, if you have an idea for a poll, contact me. I'm happy to make the polling facility a tool that's open to the entire Java/JVM community...

Java Today

Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine celebrates the news that JBoss joins the Java EE 6 parade:

Almost two years after shipping their Java EE 5 product and a year after the release of Java EE 6, RedHat has now released JBoss 6.0, a Java EE 6 Web Profile product. Congratulations to the team at JBoss on this community release! ...

Arun Gupta asks Which Java EE 6 App Server ? - JBoss 6.0 or GlassFish 3.x:

It's been over a year that Java EE 6 was released in Dec 2009 along with GlassFish as the Reference Implementation. JBoss contributed two new specifications to the Java EE 6 platform - JSR 299 (Contexts & Dependency Injection) and JSR 303 (Bean Validation) and contributed in multitude of other ways to make the platform successful, many thanks for that. RedHat released JBoss 6.0...

Jean-Francois Arcand talks about Going Asynchronous using AsyncHttpClient: The Complex -

The Async Http Client library purpose is to allow Java applications to easily execute HTTP requests and asynchronously process the HTTP responses. In this second part on the topic, I will describe more complex operations that can be done with the AsyncHttpClient like resumable download, zero in memory bytes copy, oAuth calculation, optimal transfer listener and performance tricks...

Geertjan Wielenga announces that we can now Debug Multiple PDF Documents in iText RUPS for NetBeans IDE:

I updated the iText RUPS plugin for NetBeans IDE considerably. Rather than using Window | Debug PDF, which opens a single window in which one PDF document can be debugged at a time, you now use Window | Favorites and then right-click a PDF document in the Favorites window to open the RUPS window...


Our latest href="">Spotlight is the new Java EE 6 article by Java Champion Adam Bien, Simplicity by Design:

The introduction of Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) 5, in 2006, did a lot to simplify enterprise application development. Java EE 6, released in 2009, simplifies design and architecture tasks even further. Java EE 6 is a good choice for building small situational applications quickly and without any overhead...

We're also featuring Micha Kops' latest article, Enterprise Java Bean / EJB 3.1 Testing using Maven and embedded Glassfish:

Are you playing around with the shiny new 3.1 EJBs? Using Maven for your Java projects? Need an easy way to write and execute tests for your EJBs that depends on an Java Application Server? No problem using Maven Archetypes, the Maven EJB Plugin and the GlassFish embedded Application Container...


Our current poll asks What was the most significant Java-related news in 2010? Voting will be open until Monday.

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-- Kevin Farnham

Twitter: @kevin_farnham