Future of Java at QCon

by Robert Cooper

Obie Fernandez has a great write up on the Future of Java panel at QCon with Chet Haase, Charles Nutter, Rod Johnson, Josh Bloch, and Erik Meijer.

On one point:
An audience member suggests that splitting up the JDK platform by defining core-subsets of functionality would be desirable. Chet disagrees, suggesting that it would break things. Guice Bob says Java Kernel will help, which is a small downloadable bootstrapper that downloads needed JDK components on demand instead of all in the up-front download.

The predominant topic of conversation continues to revolve around adding or removing to the Java platform -- new features, language or otherwise. Rod seems in favor of adding, while Charles hints that he's been tempted to use the Open SDK project to create a stripped-down version of the Java JDK.

Erik states matter-of-factly that it is impossible to take things out of a mature platform. "You can never take anything out!"

Josh speaks about JSR 277 and its infrastructure for addressing versioning issues.

Now Josh Block is saying we should create a new Java platform. Everyone agrees that there are real dangers in choosing that road.


One of the things I hope is that OpenJDK will make possible big changes. Once there is an open source Java 7 that still runs Java 1.0 code, it can be there and be maintained for people who want that forever. Java itself can then move forward, perhaps even to Java 2 (:P) with real generics, adding some bloody keywords (@interface still makes me hate people), and other things that we haven't been able to do because of this legacy requirement.

2 Comments

java? what was that...
2007-11-13 11:46:21
Make the Java API more "humane"
Bob Lee
2007-11-13 14:23:31
One point made in the panel is that we don't want to leave those users behind. We want them to be able to use new features without having to rewrite working code unnecessarily.