back to article Reality check: Java 8 finally catches a multi-core break

Two years later than planned, Oracle has made Java ready for a multi-core processor world. The database giant has announced general availability of Java 8, calling it a “major new release”. Java 8 is important because it’s the base spec for Java Enterprise Edition, as well as feeding the free and open-source implementation of …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We're writing in Java 6 with a lot of stuff still in Java 5. It's going to be a while before we get to use any of those new features.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Your developers need a bit of training. Stop watching TV in the evening and read a Manning book.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        @Destroy All Monsters: In the real world, Mr Monsters, adoption of a new version of a development platform is constrained by the necessity to regression-test what is often a large body of code, and to maintain compatibility with existing libraries and infrastructure. Developer ignorance is rarely a factor. If it was left to developers, most coding would be done on the bleeding edge.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          I know I know. But how hard can it be to regression test code running on a nominally backward-compatible JVM?

          Unless of course, the test code has been left "for later" (*cough*)

          And the documentation ..ummm... "cannot be found"

          1. 1Rafayal

            Carrying out a regression test like this is fine if your application is fairly small.

            Do this to a massive amount of developers, who could be spread about the globe, then you will need to spend a not insignificant amount of time not only preparing the regression tests but also making changes (if needed) to the unit/FIT test(s) as well.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @1Rafayal

              I don't think anyone would deny that setting up and executing a regression testing system is expensive in time and money. However, it would be hard to think of a better example of Philip Crosby's famous dictum that quality is free - but only to those who invest heavily in it. In other words, quality costs money but saves so much that in the long (or even medium) term you end up better off. Not to mention your customers, and everyone else who benefits from software that works properly and is reliable and secure.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            When even the managers say the department is at 75% strength of what it should be, the XP kill switch is going to be thrown soon and you've got big important projects coming down the line with fixed dealines, you've got ot pick your battles and be realistic about what can wait.

        2. Tom 13

          Re: In the real world

          Let me tell you something about the real world.

          In the real world programmers who can't move to languages versions that are supported by the companies that released them are the single biggest security threat to the network, the integrity of the business, and possibly the future of the company. With 51 versions of Java 7 behind us, you lot are a bigger problem than IE6 and the coming implosion of Windows XP are.

          I work at the user support coal face. Programmers like you who excuse the leads, managers, and CxOs who won't properly support the porting and testing of applications are my single biggest PITA. If I had my druthers, the CIO who hasn't at least moved you off version 5 would be taken to the front of the building and hung until dead while the staff watched. If that didn't motivate people the following month it would be the CEO and whoever reported to the former CIO. And I keep working through the chain until somebody got the message.

      2. Nate Amsden

        seems Oracle's developers need it too..

        Installing Oracle 11.2.0.4 on Linux right now and the installer is using Java 1.5.0_51

        For something as trivial as a software installer I would of think it would be more up to date..but I am not an Oracle expert I'm sure it's par for the course.

        Looks like Java 5 saw it's last public update at least in October 2009.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Oracle's product range has always been a security nightmare. When a product requires a JRE just to install, you know it's a pile of crap underneath....

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            > When a product requires a JRE just to install, you know it's a pile of crap underneath....

            You mean like having to install a .NET framework.

            http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/5a4x27ek(v=vs.110).aspx

        2. Infernoz Bronze badge
          Happy

          Use the less lame repository describe here:

          http://www.webupd8.org/2012/01/install-oracle-java-jdk-7-in-ubuntu-via.html

          Works fine in Mint 16, I already have Java 8 and NetBeans 8 (off netbeans site) installed; the proper ones, not the _very_ dated lame junk one the Mint repositories.

          If that doesn't work, try this:

          http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1372

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Installing Oracle 11.2.0.4 on Linux right now and the installer is using Java 1.5.0_51

          Oracle are pretty awful about updating their own stuff, although if it's only the installer itself using an old version of Java then that's not so bad. If it's *installing* a 1.5 JRE then that's not good - even when Oracle 11 was first released Java 1.6 had been out for ages.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's not our decision what we program in ninety nine times out of a hundred. There's all sorts of policies and guidelines that have to be followed. As much as we'd like to be programming in more recent versions, it takes time to change our development environments. Especially when the managers have to decide do we spend the money on updating our Java 5 programs to Java 6, setting things up for Java 7 or do we focus on getting all our VB apps rewritten in something that will run on Windows 7 before XP is put down.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Thanks a lot, Bill

          "...do we focus on getting all our VB apps rewritten in something that will run on Windows 7 before XP is put down".

          It's been a while since I saw a stronger argument for keeping Microsoft out of enterprise software. What kind of supplier makes huge efforts for many years to get developers hooked on a language like VB, only to stop maintaining it and leave them high and dry? Note that the developers have no option, as Microsoft is forcing them to migrate from Windows XP.

          I think you'll find real enterprise suppliers like IBM never put customers in such a position. Apart from anything else, it's a loud and clear invitation to quit the Windows platform altogether, and move to something that permits smoother change and greater continuity.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We're writing in Java 6 with a lot of stuff still in Java 5.

      Do you mean you're still deploying on Java 5 and 6 runtimes (both of which are no longer supported)? If so, why? Haven't had any issues moving three massive systems to Java 7 - no code changes necessary, and the new features such as "try with resources" are great.

      1. Troy Peterson

        I work for a bank.. We're still using Java 5 and 6 mostly with some brand new bleeding edge code being deployed with Java 7... but that's not standard and not properly approved... Our server builds are all Java 6 by default. But hey, we also still have lots of Windows XP around too. I don't think we'll see any Java 8 until 2020 at least.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          but that's not standard and not properly approved...

          How exactly does you bank approve a new JVM? Do they rub body pieces of the CIO over it?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Troy Peterson

          "I don't think we'll see any Java 8 until 2020 at least".

          By which time it will be obsolescent and, no doubt, insecure. I can well appreciate that it's hard to keep abreast of software versions when you have a huge infrastructure to maintain, but surely a higher priority could be given to keeping up to date? After all, what is the point of software developers working hard to fix problems if their customers aren't going to enjoy the benefits?

          1. Tom 13

            Re: @Troy Peterson

            It wasn't so bad when our networks weren't all connected to the internet. You could have the known insecure software installed as long as you had decent AV scanning your floppies for the bad stuff and still be reasonably secure. That's not true anymore. Java is even worse. Sure it's secure so long as you aren't running it in a browser. But really, when was the last time that cutting edge app wasn't running in a browser? Or even the kludgey old one that takes forever for the CCB to approve and then QA to test after the coders are done with their bit?

            It's tough being in IT at any level without the resources and management backing to do things right. I get that. Problem is, the world has changed around us. We can't get by with slipshod practices anymore. All the best hackers are banging right on the enterprise door and some of them have government sized resources behind them.

  2. Semtex451 Silver badge

    Hurrah!!

    SE8u1 arrives next week?

  3. Tom7

    Wait, what?

    Lambda Expressions are something that enables multi-core programming, eh? I guess they make the syntax of multi-core programming a bit cleaner, but don't they have another one or two uses somewhere down the line?

    1. dogged

      Re: Wait, what?

      Well, yeah. Anonymous delegates.

      Provide Oracle don't allow chaining they could actually be a step up on C# for a change. This comment will be downvoted by everyone who hasn't spent ten minutes with a headache trying to figure out exactly what a 2-line chain of lambdas actually does.

      1. Werner Heisenberg

        Re: Wait, what?

        Lambdas are also damned useful in fluent APIs, where you can't stop to set properties without breaking the chain. Fair enough they are ripe for abuse (what isn't?) but used well they can create beauty too.

        I'm just wondering if they'll be done in as half-arsed a manner as generics were.

        1. Ian Yates

          Re: Wait, what?

          Ugh! Java "generics"! What a waste of time.

          When are they going to reimplement them to be true generics (rather than pre-compiler syntax sugar), with the ability to reflect on the underlying type?

    2. grammarpolice

      Re: Wait, what?

      Multicore programming has been in Java since java.lang.Thread. And if you think that lambda syntax is cleaner and more maintainable than the explicit API of java.util.concurrent, well, all I can say is you're going to be creating jobs for contractors for years to come.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Wait, what?

      It's a Gavin Clarke article. Anything technical can be read as "they wave the magic wand and unicorns appear".

      Yes, lambda expressions have many uses besides parallel code, and indeed have occasionally been used on single-core systems - for example in every nontrivial program written in LISP or any other functional language1 that's run on a single-core platform.

      And Herb Sutter's 2005 piece isn't about "rewriting multi-threaded applications for multicore". It's about rewriting single-threaded applications to be multi-threaded. He talks a bit about explicit parallelization, but it's mostly about threading.

      Oracle seems to be pitching Java 8's lambda expressions as a syntactically-simpler alternative to anonymous inner classes, because they're trying to hop on the C# LINQ bandwagon. They know a lot of developers are afraid of functional programming but OK with result-set filtering and attracted by promises of parallel execution (even when crap algorithms or implementation means overall performance is terrible).

      1Except Unlambda, of course.

      1. dogged

        Re: Wait, what?

        > It's a Gavin Clarke article. Anything technical can be read as "they wave the magic wand and unicorns appear".

        It's not just me who finds it weird that the Reg's software guy - see contacts list - apparently understands less about software than your average government minister, then? That's a relief.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good performance? Scalable?

    In what magical wonderland has Twitter’s vice president of infrastructure operations engineering come to THAT conclusion?!

    Java's performance is abyssmal, as is it's scalability. If performance truly was their goal, C++ or any other fully compiled language would've outperformed Java by miles, while remaining just as, if not more scalable.

    1. JeeBee

      Re: Good performance? Scalable?

      Java performs a lot better than Ruby. And it's not far behind C++.

      And one major attraction of Java is its scalability (or the ease that common Java enterprise frameworks enable scalable application design). That's why it is used extensively in the real world.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Good performance? Scalable?

      So says someone who either hasn't used Java since 2000, or hasn't updated their learning since then. Java's performance is not matter for subjective opinion, it can be measured directly.

      Java is not as fast as C++ for bare algorithm implementation comparison. But it is NOT "miles slower" and the difference in speed between Java and Ruby is far greater than the difference between C++ and Java.

      I speak not just as a programmer, but one with experience in the world of competitive coding contests where you are given a limited time for your code to process input data and return a result, where language performance is a big deal. Rather than quoting middle-management "I read Java was slow because it's interpreted" levels of misinformation.

    3. busycoder99

      Re: Good performance? Scalable?

      Never written a line of Java code, have you?

    4. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Good performance? Scalable?

      You choose a programming language based on multiple criteria, including, performance of resulting code, ease of writing code, IDE support, libraries etc.

      A language being the latest fad is not the reason to choose it.

      You can read a bit more on Twitter's decision to switch to Java at the back end blog.twitter.com/2011/twitter-search-now-3x-faster

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good performance? Scalable?

        I have worked with Java and I have worked with C++/Boost and from my experience Boost simply outperforms Java. Sometimes more, sometimes less. In addition to that, I think that C++ is more intuitive to write and easier to debug.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good performance? Scalable?

          No shit?? Why bother trying to compare the speed of C++ to Java?

          Of course Java is going to be slower, C++ is compiled to machine code for the CPU it's running under.. not byte-code ran in a VM that's different to the host CPU!

          Compare it to other languages of it's class, like C#, if you want to willy wave over speed - not something that has an obvious advantage.

          Whenever there's a mention of some language, there's always those types that whine that whatever language they know is the best.

          A free programming lesson for you: Nearly all languages are different. They all have different trade-offs. Pick the one that meets your criteria. If you only know one, then stop comparing known with unknown.

          PS; I still think Java is crappy :P

          1. Tom Chiverton 1

            Re: Good performance? Scalable?

            "Of course Java is going to be slower, C++ is compiled to machine code for the CPU it's running under.. not byte-code ran in a VM that's different to the host CPU!"

            Come back when you understand how modern JVMs work. Wikipedia hint: JIT

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I think that C++ is more intuitive to write

              because you're a C++ programmer.

              That's not intuitive, that's familiar.

              Intuitive isn't what they were going for with C++. I think they were aiming for "ooh, doesn't it look computery and clever" with a side order of "This'll put off the plebs...."

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Good performance? Scalable?

              Come back when you understand how modern JVMs work. Wikipedia hint: JIT

              ok, I'm back. Did not realise they JITted. I need to get my head out of my fucked-by-Microsoft arse.

              So, Java is compiled on the client machine, able to optimise specifically to the host CPU.. unlike C/C++ that has to work on the lowest common denominator. I take back what I said about it ;)

              But I might give Java another try, now.

              1. gerdesj Silver badge

                Re: Good performance? Scalable?

                > So, Java is compiled on the client machine, able to optimise specifically to the host CPU..

                Near enough but it has to do it quickly and may skip a fair few optimizations that a multipass compiler can do.

                > unlike C/C++ that has to work on the lowest common denominator. I take back what I said about it ;)

                Not on my machines at the very least. You're thinking of closed source things that have to be backward compatible or *nix distros that want to do the same.

                My CFLAGS environment variable on my machines include "-march=native". On the laptop I am typing this means optimize for Haswell G4. I'll bet your system isn't compiled to that degree of ridiculously modern!

                So, it is not a failing of C/C++ but merely how the output is intended to be used. MS could release a version of Windows which will only run on the very latest CPU.

                Now it's also not that simple either.

                You can include multiple code paths that depend on the CPU flags available. Your binary will get commensurately bigger though but it will run on your lowest supported CPU but take advantage of newer stuff.

                Put 50 milllion odd records in an Elastic Search database and then see whether Java is slow 8) Try it - its free. Or try out MongoDB (can't remember if that one is Java - think so). While you are at it run up Log Stash and Graylog2. A mass of Java and bloody fast. I ran that lot on my desktop PC for a demo for a few weeks (quad core old Intel processor, 8GB RAM, one SATA disc (with some SMART failings)) with Postgres, MariaDB, Apache, and a Jasper Reporting set up in the background whilst I crack on with work on KDE in rather nice 3D accelerated desktop across multiple monitors.

                Whoever above mentioned the installer needing an old JVM may like to notice that it can be installed in a CLI from a .tar.gz or .zip or whatever.

                Cheers

                Jon

                1. kovesp

                  Re: Good performance? Scalable?

                  There is more to it than that. Current JVM-s are not just JIT compilers, they are JIT optimizers. They instrument your code at run time to determine what is worth aggressively optimizing, that is what parts of the code are used the most ... this is why it's called "Hotspot". But it goes further than that. A compile time optimizer can only perform a change when it is 100% sure that the semantics are the same in all possible cases. A run time optimizer can make "illegal" changes based on actual usage and undo the change if needed. The most important use of this is with inlining. According to the language semantics (this applies both to Java and C++) a method call cannot normally be inlined, because at run time a class may be loaded which overrides the method (and this should now be called instead of the inlined code). Hotspot happily does the inlining and if the described case arises, it undoes it. In my experience with compilers and optimization, inlining (and for some languages, tail-recursion optimization) are by far the most effective optimizations followed by moving invariants out of loops.

                  Another point is that it is irrelevant that not all of the code is optimized or even compiled. The execution time of the hotspots completely dominates the total execution time. What is compiled/optimized by Hotspot depends on JVM parameters. In fact there is a client version and a server version. They differ mostly in how much time Hotspot spend observing the code before deciding to optimize. Shorter for the client version for fast startup, but a bit less efficient code and longer for the server version with a reversed trade off.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Good performance? Scalable?

                  Near enough but it has to do it quickly and may skip a fair few optimizations that a multipass compiler can do.

                  Yes, fair enough. 5 minutes on a 'release' build is ok, but not at application start-up.

                  You're thinking of closed source things

                  Yes. For now, I'm a Windows developer.

            3. JDX Gold badge

              Re: Good performance? Scalable?

              >>Come back when you understand how modern JVMs work. Wikipedia hint: JIT

              To be fair, it's still not as fast as C++. The JIT evangelists claim JIT should mean Java/C# runs as fast as C++ or even faster (since it can compile for the exact CPU you're using) but I have never seen this in real life. What I have seen is that the difference in speed is not a big deal. Maybe a factor of 2 rather than a factor of 10, for doing heavy computation in a tight loop.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Good performance? Scalable?

                To be fair, it's still not as fast as C++. The JIT evangelists claim JIT should mean Java/C# runs as fast as C++ or even faster

                It doesn't matter if C++ is faster than Java. For what it lacks in speed, it gains in development and maintenance cost, and platform compatibility (post-compile).

                Most of the time, the speed isn't a problem. For few times when it does.. C++ can be used for those specific costly algorithms.

                The very fact that people are now comparing Java to C++ in terms of speed is itself a compliment to Java.

                I think Java has gained a lot of bad press and stigma regarding performance, especially in the early years when compiled languages ruled. Unfortunately, people (like myself) still think today's Java is like 90's Java (and Microsoft's implementation).

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Good performance? Scalable?

                  I think Java has gained a lot of bad press and stigma regarding performance, especially in the early years

                  Some of that stigma was deserved in the early days, since assumptions had been made in the design and implementation of Java that turned out to be incorrect and there wasn't yet the experience to know how to code in Java most effectively. Much of this has been sorted out, a simple example being the revised Collections classes that no longer synchronise every method call in the most commonly used classes. The JVM has also evolved to be a technical wonder, and the garbage collection has been reworked to provide optimal performance in most real world scenarios.

                2. hammarbtyp Silver badge

                  Re: Good performance? Scalable?

                  "It doesn't matter if C++ is faster than Java. For what it lacks in speed, it gains in development and maintenance cost, and platform compatibility (post-compile)."

                  Well it makes a little difference if you are doing things like real-time networks and signal analysis although variability is also a big factor here(a.k.a Garbage collectors)

                  But i generally agree it's horses for courses. Use the different languages where they make sense and join them together. There is the standard maxim in programming -Get it working then get it working faster

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Good performance? Scalable?

                  "I think Java has gained a lot of bad press and stigma regarding performance, especially in the early years when compiled languages ruled".

                  This is extremely ironic to those of us who remember the early days of compiled languages. "They'll never generate code that runs a fraction as fast as my hand-optimized assembler," went up the cry. Within five years, the compilers were leaving even the most lovingly crafted assembler in the dust.

                  Computing: it's what computers are for, you know.

                  1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                    Re: Good performance? Scalable?

                    Computing: it's what computers are for, you know.

                    Indeed.

                    There is no real danger of it ever becoming a drudge, for any processes that are quite mechanical may be turned over to the machine itself. (Alan Turing)

                    I am often reminded of this prescient remark. You'd think it would be obvious to anyone who had ever programmed a computer; but sad experience shows otherwise.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good performance? Scalable?

          I think that C++ is more intuitive to write and easier to debug

          You're either trolling or need some heavy medication. The number of books on the gotchas of C++ (the "Effective ..." and "Exceptional ..." ones for example) are an indicator of how unintuitive C++ is. As for debugging, ever tried to debug C++ template code?

          1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            Re: Good performance? Scalable?

            The experts here who know how slow Java is are missing a huge opportunity. I bet all the financial institutions that run high-frequency trading applications written in Java would love to hear how they can boost performance by rewriting in a faster language.

            And for those arguing about the syntactical merits of this language or another - that's not really the issue. An intelligent developer can get up to speed with any modern language. The great advantage Java has is its massive body of open-source libraries, and the vast ecosystem of Java programming knowledge that is available.

    5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Good performance? Scalable?

      C++ or any other fully compiled language would've outperformed Java by miles

      "Stop me, I'm a moron and I'm gonna use this computer"

    6. Amorous Cowherder
      Facepalm

      Re: Good performance? Scalable?

      Get real!

      Peter Van Der Linden was saying Java's performance was miles better back in 1999! FFS! It fair screams along these days and is easily the match of almost any compiled language. Granted it was shit when we were using for applets ( remember coding those anyone? ) back on basic Pentium boxes around '96.

      Can't see that Google would base their entire mobile O/S on a poorly performing language where there are limited resources and almost every CPU cycle counts!

    7. James Anderson Silver badge

      Re: Good performance? Scalable?

      Any decent (not over engineered!) java program will run at about 1 and a half times the speed of the equivalent C++ program.

      The difference is the Java will be debugged and in production while the C++ programmer is still trying to sort out his memory leak in between arguing with his colleagues over what Soustrup really meant to say in chapter 13.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good performance? Scalable?

      "Java's performance is abyssmal, as is it's scalability".

      You see, that's a drawback of posting as AC. No one has any idea where you come from, or what your motives are. Your statement is factually untrue, yet it is couched in very decided and forceful language. Why are you so keen to talk Java down? Are you an M$ shill, or just someone who tried Java without sufficient study and preparation?

      Without any of that information, we are (alas) likely to draw the worst conclusions.

      By the way, there is only one "s" in "abysmal". And Lynne Truss will be calling on you to explain the proper use of apostrophes. I often wonder about the implications for a person's ability to design and write complex code, when they can't even manage the relatively simple task of writing plain English.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good performance? Scalable? @Tom Welsh

        "Without any of that information, we are (alas) likely to draw the worst conclusions."

        Specious bollocks. You're just guaranteed to use it as an excuse to dismiss anything you don't like.

        "By the way, there is only one "s" in "abysmal". And Lynne Truss will be calling on you to explain the proper use of apostrophes. I often wonder about the implications for a person's ability to design and write complex code, when they can't even manage the relatively simple task of writing plain English."

        I wonder too, but realise using it as an attempt to discredit someone is even more feeble than the AC bullshit you're pulling.

        Different AC, but then you won't want to believe that, will you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good performance? Scalable? @Tom Welsh

          "Different AC, but then you won't want to believe that, will you?"

          The whole point is that it doesn't matter what I believe. I have no way of knowing for sure.

      2. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Good performance? Scalable?

        It's daft to call someone a MS shill for talking down Java, when the exact same ignorant arguments can be levelled at .NET (slow, interpreted, etc).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good performance? Scalable?

          "It's daft to call someone a MS shill for talking down Java, when the exact same ignorant arguments can be levelled at .NET (slow, interpreted, etc)".

          Your remarks are not logical. The AC whom I criticized had attacked Java, not .NET. The fact that .NET is, arguably, open to a similar attack has nothing to with it.

          If I were to criticize you for being illogical, my comments would not be proved invalid if someone were to show that I, too, was sometimes illogical.

          1. JDX Gold badge

            Re: Good performance? Scalable?

            It is illogical to attack a product which competes against your own with arguments which can equally well be levelled at your product by the type of uneducated person who just hears something on the web and parrots it. It increases 'awareness' of criticisms generally. It's not in MS' interest to have people talking about "how interpreted languages are slow".

      3. dogged

        Re: Good performance? Scalable?

        > Are you an M$ shill

        That's against the House Rules, be careful.

        Also logically unlikely. MS have a lot invested in JIT-based technology and don't especially pimp their C++ compiler (except, bizarrely, where it's Managed C++ and therefore using JIT anyway).

        The "lolz me so superior me no use M$" thing may give you an erection but it's not helping your rational thought much.

    9. MadMike

      Re: Good performance? Scalable?

      NASDAQ's largest stock exchange system called INET, and their largest derivative system called Genium INET are both completely or partly written in Java. Now I am talking about the crucial matching engine which handles all incoming orders. The matching engine needs to be extremely fast, as there are lot of High Frequency Traders capitalizing on speed. The worlds fastest and largest stock exchange systems, are written in Java or C++. NASDAQ claim to have the fastest exchange system in the world, and with greatest capacity with latency downwards 100 microseconds or faster, and throughput of millions of orders. As both systems are written in Java, the secret sauce is to avoid trigger the garbage collector. This is done by preallocating all objects and reuse them, so they will never be garbage collected. With garbage collection out of the way, you can reach extreme performance, suitable to the fastest and largest systems in the world, juggling billions of USD every minute.

      So, no, Java is not slow. Exchanges rely on speed, that is how they attract customers. Slow exchanges are not interesting for HFT firms. If the exchanges could rewrite their systems from Java to C++ for faster performance, they would. But they dont. And also, the fastest HFT firms are sometimes using Java in their most critical parts. Others use C++.

  5. JeeBee

    Luckily Java has had multi-threaded development capability since day 1, and this isn't the first time it has been made easier to use - the Java Concurrent frameworks are now very old, for example.

    What the lambda expressions actually do is allow the programmer to express, concisely (a big problem with Java, previously you would have had a bulky inner class implementing a functional interface) a more functional model of programming that so happens to also make it easily multi-threaded.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Are Java lambdas similar to C#/C++ - nameless functions - or something else? How exactly does this allow automatic multi-threading where doing for(Object o : collection) doesn't? And, do C# lambdas also do automatic multithreading?

      1. dogged

        Stop right there.

        C# does have anonymous functions but those are a different beast (although you can invoke them with lamdas). Lamdas provide support for anonymous delegation.

        No, lamdas do not provide automatic multithreading (and I would bet good money that they won't in Java either) but the syntax does make it simple to delegate to another thread.

        1. sabroni Silver badge
          Coat

          Fail!

          Llamas provide wool, silly!

      2. kovesp

        The connection isIndirect. Introducing lambdas (more or less functions as first class objects) allowed the redesign of collections in a stream oriented way. That in turn allows the implementation of the algorithims to be vectorised and be amenable to multi core execution.

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "as you’re packing in less lines of code that’s serving simply as plumbing."

    Fewer!

    And I don't like the look of "that's" either.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: "as you’re packing in less lines of code that’s serving simply as plumbing."

      Fewer!

      Stylistically, that would be my preference as well, albeit only due to familiarity; but insisting on the distinction is suspect pedantry. Even prescriptivists have a hard time justifying this particular shibboleth. "Less" applied to countable objects has a long pedigree, and though there is considerable and apparently growing affection for preferring "fewer" for discrete quantities, the former usage is still well-represented. The AUE FAQ has more.

      In any case, by far the better change would be to eliminate the redundant and awkward phrase "lines of". Better yet, rephrase the entire clause, and quite possibly the entire sentence it comes from.

  7. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Java has always supported multi-cores. Java was designed to support multiple threads (and Unicode) from the off.

    Lambda expressions don't "add" multi-core support. They add functional programming to Java which has up to now been strongly object-oriented.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Nobody said it didn't support threads. But you had to create and run the threads yourself, make sure they don't fight over the same data dangerously, etc... this is the traditional model of multi-threading very similar to using threading in MFC/Win32. More modern approaches mean parallel logic can be automatically split off to threads without you having to do it, in a similar idea to how Java doesn't make you have to manage memory, but does it for you.

    2. Peter Mount

      No lambda expressions don't add the multi-core support but the new stream api (which can use them) does, and a lot more.

      It's been a long time coming but it's finally good to see it's finally out.

  8. Ben Liddicott

    Only 6 years after C#...

    It's not just a better Java.

    It's a much better Java.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Only 6 years after C#...

      "It's not just a better Java.

      It's a much better Java."

      Yeah, but then so was Smalltalk-80

    2. Stephen Channell
      Meh

      Re: Only 6 years after C#... and 3 years after C++

      I respect (but don't like) the way they've implemented lambdas without proper type inference to ensure it is only used for anonymous classes and not functional code like Scala, C# and C++.. it reminded me of the incremental updates to COBOL.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just a question: "utilize"?

    As a non-English speaker I'd welcome it if someone could point me at a plausible differentiator between "use" and "utilize". As far as I'm concerned, it's just used/utilised (I like UK English, hence "s") to make things sound more managerial in places where "use" would do just as well.

    Not a grammar nazi, just genuinely curious. I have as yet not been able to figure this one out..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

      and why "administrate" over "administer" ?

      But yes, that's a rhetorical question.

      No point trying to hold back the tide. Like Canute. Or Canutility.

      1. Trixr Bronze badge

        Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

        Sorry, "administrate" is simply WRONG. Administrators *administer* things, IT system or not.

        Anyone who uses it looks ignorant as hell, frankly.

        As to "utilise", yup, 9 times out of 10, it's just management-wank-speak. I don't actually think I've seen it used accurately in an IT brief.

        "Utilise" can also mean that you use something for a purpose it's not specifically designed for - you can use a screwdriver to turn a screw, or you can utilise a kitchen knife. Same concept as the "making useful" meaning described above.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

        'and why "administrate" over "administer" ?'

        "Administrate" is a verbal outrage, for which there is no excuse. Although some people tend to write and speak badly, we should never accept it passively. Language is everyone's common possession, and when badly used it smothers and hinders everything we do together.

        The mechanism by which such words arise is psychologically simple enough. From "administer" we produce the noun "administration". Then someone ignorant hears that, and produces the back-formation "administrate". Similarly, people have commented on things for centuries. Then a new job appeared: commenting on sports events. Because "commenter" sounds a bit clumsy, these people were called "commentators". And that led to the erroneous back-formation "commentate".

        1. Havin_it
          Mushroom

          Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

          Agreed. There is a special place in Hell for "administrate", and "burglarize" can keep it company!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

            "There is a special place in Hell for "administrate", and "burglarize" can keep it company!"

            Good point - I must add that to my list. There is, of course, a perfectly good verb "to burgle".

    2. FutureShock999

      Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

      I am not a grammar nazi or an English teacher, but have been told I write well. So as a practical matter, I prefer "use" to talk about a transitional relationship - i.e., "I used the shovel for 5 minutes to dig a hole." I would prefer "utilise" to say that something is more permanently incorporated in a function, i.e., "this new car utilises a huge V8 to get 600hp and fantastic acceleration". It is clear that the car is going to have that V8 under the hood for quite some time. Or, you could more topically say that "this class utilises this subclass to provide transparent multi-threading". Unless you re-write the class, it will always have that utilisation.

      Not saying that in practical conversation you can't say "this class uses this subclass". It works, they are synonyms. But I like to differentiate, and I have seen similar uses from other authors.

      Just don't get me started on "utilise versus utilize". Please.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

        > and I have seen similar uses from other authors.

        Given that their writing would be more than transitional, surely that should be:

        "and I have seen similar utilisations from other authors."

        (actually it should be "usages")

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

        Of course, a dictionary is still a useful resource. I like the Oxford English Dictionary, which focuses on British English but usually notes American differences. For "utilize", it says:

        utilize or utilise

        n verb make practical and effective use of: he was determined to utilize the new technology.

        DERIVATIVES

        utilizable adjective

        utilization noun

        utilizer noun

        ORIGIN

        C19: from French utiliser, from Italian utilizzare, from utile (see utile1).

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

      "if someone could point me at a plausible differentiator between "use" and "utilize"."

      There isn't one. However one of the laws of the corporate workplace is the more syllables you use/utilise , the more intelligent you sound to your peers. Ergo (and a bit of latin helps too) , some people love using long words where short ones would work just fine.

    5. Irony Deficient

      Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

      Non-English-speaking Anonymous Coward, yes, it’s common in some areas to use utilize as an overstuffed synonym for use. The proper meaning of utilize is “to make useful”, e.g. “I finally utilized that chocolate teapot — as an afternoon snack for my co-workers.”, as opposed to trying to use it as a teapot.

      1. boltar Silver badge

        Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

        "“I finally utilized that chocolate teapot"

        Thats no different to saying "I finally used that chocolate teapot". You simply put it in the past tense. There's no difference in meaning.

        1. Irony Deficient

          Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

          boltar, saying I finally used that chocolate teapot means that it was used as a teapot. Saying I finally utilized that chocolate teapot means that it was made useful, which excludes use as a teapot.

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

          "“I finally utilized that chocolate teapot"

          Thats no different to saying "I finally used that chocolate teapot". You simply put it in the past tense. There's no difference in meaning.

          You're quite wrong, and missing an apostrophe.

          "utiliize", as Irony Deficient pointed out, denotes "make useful". Literally it means "cause to have utility". That is very different from "use", which denotes consuming the utility of the object.1 If you're unable to perceive the difference, may I suggest a course in critical thinking?

          "Utilize" is often - perhaps most often - used as a bloated synonym for "use", true, but that does not mean there is no denotative distinction between the words.

          1This may be "consume" in the non-diminishing sense, as one consumes the text of a book in reading it.

        3. Philip Hodges

          Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

          how about: "I finally found a utilize for that chocolate teapot".

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

      The canonical Dilbert reference is http://search.dilbert.com/comic/Facilitator (the bottom two strips). Note that the PHB insists on longer, more pompous, rather soggy bureaucratese. "Utilize" instead of "use", "implement" instead of "do", even marginal lengthenings such as "object-orientated" instead of the proper "object-oriented". In most of these cases there is a small difference in meaning, but usually that is not the point. Some people just like to sound more important, and believe that using longer and finer-sounding (to them) words will achieve that.

      Sir Winston Churchill, generally acknowledged to be a good speaker and writer, put it this way:

      "Broadly speaking, short words are best, and the old words, when short, are best of all". (Speech on receiving the London Times Literary Award, November 2, 1949)

      See also George Orwell's brilliant essay "Politics and the English Language", every word of which rings as true today as it did when written 70 years ago.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_and_the_English_Language

  10. Conrad Longmore
    Thumb Down

    Java on the desktop is dead

    Java on the desktop is dead, it's primary use these days seems to be to infect your computer with malware. The best thing to do is deinstall it. I bet about 99% of people will never need it.

    Servers and mobiles seem to be a success area, but really it's depressing to see smartphones running Java apps..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Java on the desktop is dead

      but really it's depressing to see smartphones running Java apps..

      Yes, they should only be using whatever language you know.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Java on the desktop is dead

      Java on the desktop is dead, it's primary use these days seems to be to infect your computer with malware. The best thing to do is deinstall it. I bet about 99% of people will never need it.

      Sounds like random shock talking points from one of the "N arguments to make the heads of [some political opponent you want to antagonize today] explode" posts that one can regularly find on confusenik websites, written by people actually unable to develop a coherent train of thought.

      Servers and mobiles seem to be a success area, but really it's depressing to see smartphones running Java apps

      Which ones run Java?

      1. Orjan

        Re: Java on the desktop is dead

        Which ones run Java?

        The preferred development platform on Android is the Dalvik engine, which is Google's implementation of a Java VM.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Java on the desktop is dead

          the Dalvik engine, which is Google's implementation of a Java VM

          U wot M8?

          It's not even a stack machine.

        2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Java on the desktop is dead

          > the Dalvik engine, which is Google's implementation of a Java VM.

          Yes, except it is not 'Google's'* nor is it a Java VM**.

          ART*** is Google's new Dalvik VM.

          * """It was originally written by Dan Bornstein"""

          ** """Unlike Java VMs, which are stack machines, the Dalvik VM uses a register-based architecture."""

          *** """a replacement, called Android Runtime (ART), that should improve the performance of Android apps by a huge margin."""

    3. Orjan

      Re: Java on the desktop is dead

      Java on the desktop is dead, it's primary use these days seems to be to infect your computer with malware.

      Actually, I suspect its primary use these days is to run the 6th most best selling PC game of all times. Wikipedia says:

      By March 2012, Minecraft had become the 6th best-selling PC game of all time. As of February 3, 2014, the game has sold over 14 million copies on PC and over 35 million copies across all platforms.

    4. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Java on the desktop is dead

      @Conrad Longmore: citation required.

      I'm not aware of much use of Java for locally-hosted desktop applications, but I don't have the advantage of your omniscience.

      I can assure you, however, that it's extensively used via applets and Web Start applications. I used to think that applets were just a way of embedding gadgets in web pages, and that they were obsolete when better HTML and client script came along. Since then I've worked on several market-leading trading platforms that are written in Java and delivered over the Web.

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: Java on the desktop is dead

        Applets? Maybe, but not for much longer. And I say this as someone who develops them - I can not in good conscience recommend them to my clients any more, as we can't guarantee they'll run from one release to the next due to unpredictable changes in the security model. Applets are dead.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Java on the desktop is dead

        Agreed. Anyone claiming that Java is dead on the desktop should visit software houses developing trading platforms for banks.

        I use to work on one of those. There was simply no other choice. General observation is Java is flexible enough to allow work-arounds for all its failings at that time.

        My only problem is the way articles are scripted here with loop holes that gets so easily picked up.

    5. Amorous Cowherder
      Pint

      Re: Java on the desktop is dead

      So you don't have any kids under 16 then? If you did then you'd find that they play Minecraft and sorry to say but that is run on Java. It's something like the 10th best selling game of all time, I believe.

      A quick straw poll shows that at least 10 of my colleagues here in the office and roughly 5 friends kids play Minercraft regularly.

      No Java, no Minecraft!

      In IT we have software we use at my office, UC4 ( Java GUI ) , NetBackup ( Java GUI ) , Oracle SQL Developer ( Java GUI ), Eclipse ( Java GUI ), NetBeans ( Java GUI )...

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Java on the desktop is dead

      You really need to try an IntelliJ IDE. I found it to be the most responsive full featured IDE, even though it's written in Java.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Java on the desktop is dead

      Like other languages and software, Java should be installed only if (1) you need it; (2) you can install and run it with reasonable security.

      FTFY.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Yippee...

    ...now it can eat up my all processing power on all the cores even better now.

  12. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    This stemmed from the fact LinkedIn and Twitter abandoned hipster-choice Ruby for less fashionable Java. As ever, when it comes to Java, the reasons were performance and scale.

    Ah no, Twitter went with Scala, i.e. a language running on the/a JVM. Did they move off it? Scala has its own problems, I hear, including major problems in debugging as coders enthusiastically embrace the newness and the ubiquitously overloaded "surprise" operator.

    As for multicore, there is always Go.

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      As for multicore, there is always Go.

      Upvoted for the terrific Scala/Go site you linked to.

    2. Powerlord

      ...except that A Non e-mouse already linked a Twitter blog entry two years newer than the article you linked to that mentions Twitter wrote a new app server named Blender in Java.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The author of the article clearly knows little about the current state of JavaFX, as it's evolved into a much cleaner alternative to Swing.

  14. elDog Silver badge

    "Closing these hols proved a proved a bridge too far for completion "

    Guess the copy editors fell asleep during the earlier parts of this presentation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Closing these hols proved a proved a bridge too far for completion "

      "Guess the copy editors fell asleep during the earlier parts of this presentation".

      What copy editors? I think you'll find this article is exactly as Gavin wrote it. Although I tend to be a stickler for accuracy, perhaps we can forgive a few typos in view of the stimulating content. 8-)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New features rundown

    For the J-curious, here's a great tutorial on new features that made the rounds on Reddit a few days ago:

    http://winterbe.com/posts/2014/03/16/java-8-tutorial/

    1. Peter Mount

      Re: New features rundown

      I have to agree, that's one of the best tutorials on the new features.

  16. Infernoz Bronze badge
    Boffin

    Lambdas meh, Java has always had Threads and Java 5 has concurrency classes

    The problem with using concurrent Lambdas is lots of people don't know that concurrency has lots of pitfalls if you have any mutable state and don't know how to manage this; so there will be loads more flaky code from concurrency newbies using Lambdas. There can also be Thread pool starvation issues if you don't know how to get the new APIs to use custom Thread pools.

    The cool stuff is not the Lambdas, it is the Stream API, and the other Java language and JVM enhancements; Lambdas just make this easier to use.

    Ruby and all the other hipster languages,like Scala, are wannabe mainstream languages, but have been discovered to not be usable in anger, so people went back to reliable Java.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Lambdas meh, Java has always had Threads and Java 5 has concurrency classes

      Don't meh the Lambdas, or they will lisp you in a curry.

      Ruby and all the other hipster languages,like Scala, are wannabe mainstream languages, but have been discovered to not be usable in anger, so people went back to reliable Java.

      This is politspeak for "I don't understand any of this, leave me alone!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lambdas meh, Java has always had Threads and Java 5 has concurrency classes

        "Don't meh the Lambdas, or they will lisp you in a curry".

        Thanks for that! I may disagree with some of your opinions, but I will defend to the death your right to make me inhale my coffee.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: Lambdas meh, Java has always had Threads and Java 5 has concurrency classes

          Thank you. I hope to be able to be of some service in the future, good sir!

  17. Decade
    Boffin

    And when can you use this in Android?

    It's great to see this in Java, but when will it actually get to Android?

    Java 7 was released in 2011, but Android is stuck on Java 6. Only in late 2013, finally Android could use Java 7 language features, but Android still can't use the Java 7 libraries.

    Basically, I think of Android as a fork of Java 6.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And when can you use this in Android?

      A very good point, methinks.

    2. Matthew 25
      Alert

      Re: And when can you use this in Android?

      "Basically, I think of Android as a fork of Java 6."

      NoNoNo! its a completely new thing... with the same API. See Oracle vs Google

  18. randy.burgess

    Evidently much easier to create memory leaks and even harder to track them down, which C++ is well known for. It's one of the reasons that Java was created in the first place, without pointers.

  19. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    FAIL

    Let Me Know When Internet Java Is Again Securely Sandboxed

    ... Then I'll care.

    Until then: I hate you Oracle.

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