The future of Java

The last months (after Oracle has completed the merger with Sun) were full of insecurity and discussions within the Java developer communities about the future of Java. Many have blogged about their fears. I personally followed the discussions but I felt, the best thing is to wait. People are so fast with their interpretations and guesses how others will behave.

In parallel there were discussions about Apple stopping support for Java on the Mac etc etc.

Even although Oracle already told they are strongly commited to Java, NetBeans and other famous Sun products, discussions were going on.

Finally a few further commitments have come to public:

IBM joins OpenJDK

Oracle and Apple Announce OpenJDK Project for Mac OS X

This means, that big players decided to go the Java and Open Source path. And it is important to unite the forces. Working together is far better than fighting each other.

When I decided to switch away from my Windows-only-development, one major reason was: There are many other operating systems gaining market share, like several flavors of Linux (Ubuntu, Mint, Redhat, Debian etc) and Apple - and I can't say for sure which ones will be there in the long run, but I want to provide security to my customers, that they can benefit from the software for a long time. - Java was a good choice in the past and now we can again be sure that it still is a good choice. The idea of Java - "write once, run everywhere" - has saved me from a lot of work in the past (compiling for different architectures not required, no building of different styled setup procedures etc). There are people mentioning that the write once, run anywhere phrase is not quite true, because not available for really all operating systems and often there have to be exceptions made for dealing with different operating systems. - Well, this is partly true, when it comes particular features, that might be even not available on all operating systems. Fortunately for such cases Java can be coupled with C(++). For availability: Java is available on more operating systems than most other languages (see http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp).

BTW: C(++) is also a language, that is around and will be around for a long time and I hear nobody complaining that it is developing too slow for example. And I really prefer thinking carefully before putting new features into the language. There must be many things considered. It is important to do no harm to the language.

Oh, there is finally also an official podcast from Oracle for Java developers:
Of course this is biased and the Javaposse (http://javaposse.com/) is still the first address when it comes to Java podcasts.

We have exact plans for the next versions of Java:

And we get exactly what we need next for NetBeans (the first-class Java IDE):

Related posts: The dawn after sunset, The programming language, Popular Java myths, Java applications on the desktop, The community.


Self-Healing Linux

Until yesterday I only occassionally read about it, but yesterday I experienced my Ubuntu workstation self-healing from freeze.

I did not take care about how many applications were running and as doing a lot of things in parallel that all take quite a while (downloads in background, file copy operations and installations within virtual machines) I completely forgot about how many virtual machines were started. I was about to start another one when everything started to get really slow. I have 4 GB memory and a small swap partition (because during normal work I hardly get the memory of my Ubuntu full).

The memory at this time really got filled up completely and everything got veeery slow. I wasn't either able to switch windows. I was able to switch to the text console which also was very slow.

I wanted to login and kill a few tasks when I got messages broadcasted to my text console saying that the memory was exhausted. Shortly afterwards I got messages that the system identified Firefox and Thunderbird doing nothing and they were closed (maybe because just consuming memory at this moment). And finally it told that the last VirtualBox machine was consuming a lot of system resources and - was killed.

Flup, flup, everything was fine again. - And hadn't either time to do it manually. And it was doing exactly what I would have done manually - killing the last started virtual machine and closing the applications that were doing nothing (downloads were already finished).

That is simply awesome!