back to article The Java release train is moving faster, but will developers be derailed?

"How you deploy Java, how you get access to updates and patches is all changing. Although Oracle has told people about this, they haven't been shouting about it," Azul Systems deputy CTO Simon Ritter told attendees at QCon, a developer conference under way in London. Java used to evolve with comfortable though frustrating …

  1. HmmmYes Silver badge

    Good old Java.

    Making an already difficult and complex task and making it more complex and difficult.

    Despite the rainforests of blurb and BS written about Java, the statement that closest to the truth was from Joe Armstrong - 'Java was designed for settop boxes. If you are making a settop box you should be OK'

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Trollface

      This is the Internet. What it was made for is irrelevant.

      WE SHALL MAKE IT WORK AS WE SEE FIT !

  2. Stephen 1
    Thumb Down

    What's the point

    With C/C++ doing the heavy lifting, combined with lightweight scripting, be it Python, JavaScript, QML etc on the front and JSON to lash the two together, there really isn't any point in Java, it should be left to die.

    1. Richard 81

      Re: What's the point

      Not interested in multi-OS support then?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's the point

        Not aware that C/C++ runs on way more platforms than Java then? All of them in fact.

        1. Richard 81

          Re: What's the point

          Well sure, but I was really referring to the build-once-run-anywhere benefit of Java, rather than the download-source-from-GitHub-and-spend-the-next-week-struggling-to-get-it-to-build model of C/C++.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's the point

      If you don't want Java, then take the SIM card out of your cellphone and toss it in the bin.

    3. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      Windows

      Re: What's the point? Java is a dynasty of programming languages!

      "Java used to evolve with comfortable though frustrating slowness"

      The reverse is actually true. Look at how the major programming languages C, Pascal, Fortran, Ada, COBOL and PL/I are evolving: slowly and in backwards compatble manner.

      On the other hand the Javas are a dynasty like the North-Korean presidents or Algol, where Algol 60 and Algol 68 are completely different languages. Microsoft made the same mistake by not providing a compatible successor to Visual Basic 6, which means it is still in production.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ugh, another Java bashing thread

    Look, lots of engineers find JVM technology helps them get their job done.

    If it doesn't help you with yours, don't use it.

    It's not the 1990s, we have an embarrassment of choices now, that's great.

    1. Solarflare

      Re: Ugh, another Java bashing thread

      That's great, the problem is with keeping the thing up to date. I buy an app from a company that needs 1.8.0 u45. 6 months later we are out of date, there are security updates for java but we can't just update it on that server as the manufacturer doesn't support it for anything other than that specific version. That's a really common occurance and it is all because java is renowed for being a massive PITA for compatability between updates and versions. Security nightmare.

      1. Pinjata
        Mushroom

        Re: Ugh, another Java bashing thread

        Different experiences I suppose, I've been developing Java past 20 years and had zero problems with compatibility between updates and versions. Only when Java 1.5 was introduced "enum" became a keyword and required changes on my part, no effect on users.

        A Java program written with u45 is 100% compatible with u162. Not sure what you refer to, care to explain?

        1. Caspian Prince

          Re: Ugh, another Java bashing thread

          Don't bother waiting for a coherent reply, it's obviously someone who doesn't use or understand Java. Same experience as you here: used it day in day out for 20 years, getting real work done, never had a single problem, ever. And I mean that.

          1. Caff

            Re: Ugh, another Java bashing thread

            There is a difference of experience between someone who uses JAVA to write and maintain programs and someone who uses JAVA in the sense that their business purchased a third party JAVA application.

            There is a definite trend of application vendors providing very poor support in keeping their applications up to date with JAVA updates.

            1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: Ugh, another Java bashing thread

              I'm no fan of Java, but you seem to have too many words in your post...

              "There is a definite trend of application vendors providing very poor support in keeping their applications up to date with JAVA updates."

    2. Simon Ward

      Re: Ugh, another Java bashing thread

      The JVM is a fantastic piece of tech - I'm a big fan of it myself, being a heavy user of both Clojure and Jython. The ability to just deploy my stuff on a machine with a JVM with a minimum of faff was a fairly major win. Long may that continue ...

      The Java language itself, though? Millennial COBOL - should have been dragged out behind the bins and shot some time around version 5. Although I'm not a massive user of either, I'd say that C# and Scala do Java better than Java does, although C# does appear to suffer from some fairly serious bloat itself.

  4. casperghst42

    And this new release approach, will make it better and easier for people to use Java ... I guess these people are doing thier best to discourage people from using Java, and by that Oracle has won.

  5. artbristol

    JavaFX

    Shame about JavaFX going - it's quite a nice cross-platform GUI. (Not really comparable to Flash and Silverlight, though I appreciate Oracle said that in their own PR.)

    Swing and AWT - the older Java GUI frameworks - look like they're for the chop too, but not until after Java 11.

    1. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

      Re: JavaFX

      What's slated to replace Swing? Any idea? I've always liked Java, but found Swing/AWT a right royal pain in the ass. The GUI development tools are decades behind Windows/.Net equivalents. Blimey... Even in VB 3 (yes, 3 - I'm that old) you could drop a component on a form anywhere you bloody well wanted, and it would stay there. Can't do that with Swing. Need GridBagLayout and all that other just frankly fucking awful stuff.

      The quicker it dies the better - but to be replaced with what?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Forth

        "I've always liked Java, but found Swing/AWT a right royal pain in the ass. The GUI development tools are decades behind Windows/.Net equivalents."

        You're kidding right? Ever tried NetBeans by any chance? Their Swing GUI setup has provided the same kind of drag and drop features which you'll find in Visual Studio for years now. In fact: it was thanks to the NetBeans project that certain Swing enhancement libraries found their way into the platform in the first place.

        If you use an IDE like NetBeans then making a jform has never been easier, and although I'm a NetBeans die-hard myself I'm decently sure that the same thing applies to other IDE's as well.

        1. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

          Re: @Forth

          Hi,

          Yes, as far as building static forms/windows goes, it's fine. It's when you want to dynamically build content in a pane that it's a pain in the ass. In my case, I'm dis-assembling object code for a virtual CPU, and representing it on screen as ladder logic.

          Frankly, it's a billion times easier using a character style display like in the old days!

      2. Thomas Wolf

        Re: JavaFX

        Ignorant rubbish. Of course you could always drop a component on a form anywhere you bloody well wanted in Swing/Java - see Container.setLayout(null) - It's just a stupid thing to do if you want your GUI to accommodate different resolutions, locales, font sizes, look & feels, etc.

        At the time Swing/AWT came out in the mid-90s (yes, I'm that old), it was way ahead of most GUI development tools with respect to its layout management - most notably VB. While Sun didn't include a GUI builder for "weekend-warrior" GUI developers, a couple good ones appeared soon thereafter (e.g. Symantec Visual Cafe and my favorite, Netbeans "Matisse".)

    2. Thomas Wolf

      Re: JavaFX

      Where did you hear that (Swing/AWT being phased out)? Sure hope not - lots of applications (including mine) are still being actively developed using it. JavaFX was really a flash-in-the-pan: while it had couple components solely lacking in the elder Swing (e.g. WebView), it wasn't nearly enough to convince most Swing developers to move to it. Swing/AWT was way too embedded already (I worked for telecom & financial companies in the late 90s & early 2000s and they were all using Swing.)

      Incidentally, if you're a Swing developer and looking to move your application to a Web based framework with minimum fuss, I recommend Vaadin. While it's still a rewrite, Vaadin is the closest to Swing in "spirit" of any framework I've found. I used it to do just that in the last 2 companies I worked for.

    3. JeffL

      Re: JavaFX

      The statement "JavaFX ... will be gone in JDK 11" is misleading!

      JDL 11 decouples JavaFX so that the two are not constrained to the same release schedule. Oracle encourage continued use of JavaFX and encourage continued JavaFX development through the open source OpenJFX community.

      For more, search Google for "The Future of JavaFX and Other Java Client Roadmap Updates".

  6. james_smith

    This is a seriously misleading article, but then it's based on a talk by someone from Azul Systems rather than Oracle, and if this is an accurate summary he glossed over some significant detail. For a start, JavaFX isn't going away. It will be a separate package, which is still going to be developed and supported. The separation is in line with the Jigsaw related modularisation.

    I can also find nothing official stating that Swing is for the chop either. In fact the only statements I can find on Oracle's site is that it will be supported for the "foreseeable future". And given how much many of Oracle's own tools depend on it this should not be a surprise. In Oracle's client roadmap they state Swing will be supported to at least 2026, with a tentative plan to split it out into separate package in a similar manner to JavaFX.

    The CORBA stuff was always incomplete and essentially unusable, hence the need for a third party implementation like OmniORB or JacORB, so that's a pretty uncontroversial removal.

    1. Tim Anderson

      Swing is not going away!

      Swing is not going anywhere, not sure where that idea came from but it is not in the article.

      Tim

      1. james_smith

        Re: Swing is not going away!

        El Reg has updated the article - I sent them a message through the corrections link so that may be why the bit about Swing being dropped has been edited out.

    2. dellgreen

      Thank you for posting this, as was just about to post the same about JavaFx being modularized in an effort to make it easier to adopt

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Applets are going?

    That's ironic, considering Applets were *the* feature that Java was hyped and sold on when first launched in the mid-90s.

    Of course, applets never really took off due to a combination of being too heavyweight for the computers of the time (took ages to start up IIRC) and Microsoft's deliberate "embrace, extend and extinguish" sabotage of Java's portability.

    Aside from a few pieces of crap proprietary software and services still being to the technology, Java applets have been essentially dead for a long, long time. (#)

    Regardless, it's still strange to see them go.

    (#) The irony is that Macromedia/Adobe Flash ended up filling the "online apps" niche that Java applets were supposed to fill but didn't, because- presumably- it was more lightweight in the early days; AFAICT it grew in power more in line with what average PCs would support. I won't say that Flash killed off Applets though- by the time it started to take off around the turn of the millennium, Applets had *already* all but failed.

  8. Bryan Hall

    No JWS - Oh Joy...

    JWS is/was an awesome way to keep desktop Java apps always up to date. Although we actually started to migrate that GIS app to Silverlight at one point - before aborting thanks to fickle MS, we were pleased that JWS continued to be supported.

    So for a future re-write - now what? What technology exists to keep a desktop app up to date (pull updates) in a cloud-like environment besides JWS? Anyone?

    And no, it cannot be re-written as an HTML app - it needs to access multiple site data sources at the same time (CSS kills that), talk to PS printers to spool out large format maps, support multiple monitors, etc. In other words, it's really a desktop app - launched, installed, and updated from the "cloud".

    1. KitD

      Re: No JWS - Oh Joy...

      Have you looked at GetDown https://github.com/threerings/getdown ?

      Mixed experiences a couple of years back, but I have heard it is greatly improved since.

  9. artbristol

    Future of Swing, AWT from the horse's mouth

    Check the Oracle whitepaper (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/javaclientroadmapupdate2018mar-4414431.pdf)

    > Swing and AWT will continue to be supported on Java SE 8 through at least March 2025, and on Java SE 11 (18.9 LTS) through at least September 2026.

    > Oracle has begun conversations with interested parties in the Java ecosystem on the stewardship of JavaFX, Swing and AWT beyond the above referenced timeframes.

    They're ditching them, just like they've ditched Glassfish, Java EE, Hudson, and others.

  10. rmullen0

    Sounds like a total train wreck

    Oracle is completely incompetent. As far as I know, NetBeans doesn't even support Java 9 yet, and they are already moving to Java 10? And dropping support for SOAP? Oracle is a complete joke. Java deserves to die with a company like Oracle ruining it.

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