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Oracle's Kurian Offers Java Roadmap

Oracle's EVP of Product Development Thomas Kurian took the stage last night at the JavaOne branch of the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco to talk about his company's plans for Java.

"I've been at JavaOne since 1997," Kurian said, "but this year is very special for us, because it's the first year that Oracle is the steward and responsible for Java. What we want to do today is to make sure every developer is crystal clear on where we see the Java platform evolving."

There was some rah-rah in his presentation, but to his credit, Kurian offered attendees a fairly concrete roadmap. In fact, Kurian seemed to be on a mission to dispel the uncertainty that has fogged the Java landscape since Big O acquired Sun Microsystems earlier this year.

If the JCP approves it, Java SE 7 will be available in the Summer of 2011, and Java SE 8 should be available about a year later. Both will be based on OpenJDK, and they will serve as the basis for the Oracle Java Development Kit (JDK) 7 and JDK 8.

Oracle is proposing several features for these dev kits. In JKD 7, the company wants to see InvokeDynamic byte code and supporting features for dynamic languages; Fork/Join Framework and related concurrency and collections API enhancements; Small Language Enhancements (most of Project Coin); Session Description Protocol (SDP) and Stream Control Transport Protocol (SCTP) support; new I/O APIs, including a flexible filesystem API, and asynchronous I/O; support for updated standards, including Unicode, localization, security, cryptography, XML and JDBC; and JVM performance improvements.

For JDK 8, the company is proposing such features as Lambda expressions ("closures"); Small Language Enhancements (rest of Project Coin); a Java-native module system (Project Jigsaw); and JVM start-up time and ergonomics improvements.

Under Oracle, Java EE "will continue to evolve," with an emphasis on making application servers more modular and programming more efficient with improvements such as dependency injection and reduced configuration requirements.

Oracle is also planning a tight integration of JavaFX and the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) in two stages: the first in summer 2011; the next a year later.

"The programming model is to combine the power of Java with the ease of JavaFX," Kurian said. "Another aim is to eliminate anything that would prevent native interoperability between Java, JavaScript and HTML5."

The next release of JavaFX (Q3 of 2011) will introduce a new set of Java APIs designed to open JavaFX capabilities to all Java developers. The new Java APIs will, Oracle says, allow the use of such Java features as generics, annotations and multi-threading. They will make life easier for Web developers who want to use JavaFX with other dynamic scriptors (JRuby, Groovy and JavaScript).

Sun's Hotspot JVM will be integrated with the BEA JRockit JVM, the company says. The combined JVM will also be based on OpenJDK, and JRockit Mission Control will be available for the Hotspot JVM.

2011 will also see two new releases of the Glassfish open-source application server with several new features from WebLogic.

And to the surprise of many (including me), Oracle is planning for two new NetBeans releases in 2011.

"We are committed to making Java the world’s best programming language, the world’s most popular deployment platform with great graphics and other features embedded in Java," Kurian said.


Posted by John K. Waters on September 21, 2010