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.