back to article Java evangelist leaves Oracle to save Java

Java evangelist Reza Rahman has left Oracle, to help save Java. Rahman writes, on an Oracle blog, that he is “... certain that this is the way I personally can best help continue to advance the Java and Java EE communities.” On his personal blog he's more candid, saying he joined Oracle in part because he'd have the chance to …

  1. RoboticRabbit
    Devil

    Corporate drones imported from HP no doubt

    I'm sure when Hurd got evicted from HP he brought a swarm of cost-cutting drones with him. He mangled NCR, then slashed HP after the Carly beast finished sucking out its blood, and I doubt he would do less as co-president of Oracle. He makes Attila the Hun look like a lazy layabout.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Mpeler
        Mushroom

        Re: HP school

        Spirit of Bill and Dave? Lost "a bit"?

        Methinks you were never there when Bill and Dave were.

        I was.

        And today's "crew" would never have even been hired back then.

        The "Hurd Mentality" never belonged at HP. Bill and Dave were first and foremost interested in PEOPLE, and inventions (not "invent") to help people, and, of course, to keep the business going to do more of the same.

        Hurd, Carly, yes, even John Young, were only interested in that tinkling part of NCR.

        The cash.

        The only thing left of Java at 'orrible after Larry Contrary gets done with it will be a brown stain. All of the important bits will have left. And rightly so.

  2. Field Commander A9

    Please just let Java die...Please!

    Seems most people don't realize this thing is as messy as Adobe Flash.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Please just let Java die...Please!

      Seems like you have no fucking clue what you are even talking about.

      Please stay in your corner or go back to your MEAN stack, oh Cancer of the Internet.

    2. Richard 81

      Re: Please just let Java die...Please!

      If used through a browser, maybe. That's being killed off anyway.

      As a language it's fine. Where Java really shines is as a platform for easy to deploy cross platform applications.

      1. Someone_Somewhere

        Re: a platform for easy to deploy cross platform applications

        Docker.

        Rkt.

        Lxc.

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: a platform for easy to deploy cross platform applications

          Bless. Docker and LXC are a way of compartmentalising software run on Linux. Java is a programming language. But well done for trying.

          1. Someone_Somewhere

            Re: Java is a programming language.

            Bless. I was being sarcastic. But well done for trying.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Please just let Java die...Please!

        a platform for easy to deploy cross platform applications.

        Unfortunately every such app I've had the misfortune to use is slow, buggy, crap. "easy to deploy cross platform" translates to "anyone can hack some stuff in an IDE without having a clue about how the system works". And they do.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Please just let Java die...Please!

          Sorry if you only had the chance to work with poorly coded and architectured software.

      3. Joefish
        Megaphone

        Re: Please just let Java die...Please!

        Where it shines is in letting the DB and CRM dinosaurs pay junior devs peanuts for writing bodgy scripts then charge their customers millions to sort out all the DB and CRM problems that they themselves introduced.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: easy to deploy cross platform applications.

        I keep hearing this. Yet the most problematic application I support is one that is dependent on Java and it's the Java dependencies that keep f***ing it up. Yes it probably is down to the programmers writing that POS. Yes it is dependent on the web interface which makes it even more problematic.

        But here's the nub of the issue: when you talk about Java to most people, this is EXACTLY the part of the iceberg they see.

        AC because my employer doesn't actually want me posting these opinions.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Please just let Java die...Please!

      You took the words out of my mouth.

      Read on BrainFuck: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainfuck

      Read on Java Generics: https://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/java/generics/

      <<<<Compare>>> <<<<Wheep>>>>

      It is a pity Google put it on eternal life support with Android. If it was not for that rather stupid decision (they could chose anything early on - even python), it would have been a niche language by now.

      1. Richard 81

        Re: Please just let Java die...Please!

        Python? Sure I use it, but always miss Java's strong typing.

        I just can't get used to duck-typing: If it looks like a list and acts like a list... it could be a string.

        Also it can be a right bugger to get some Python libraries working on Windows. Thank God for Christoph Gohlke: http://www.lfd.uci.edu/~gohlke/pythonlibs/

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Please just let Java die...Please!

          Python? Sure I use it, but always miss Java's strong typing.

          Python is strongly typed. It just isn't statically typed. This is by design.

          Static typing's main benefit is improved performance through better memory allocation. This is basically what you get if you run something through PyPy. Type hints in Python 3.5 will further improve things where this is important.

          On very large systems Java still benefits from the work done years ago by Sun, IBM and others to run on lots of processors.

          Compiling anything on Windows is a problem. Python is particularly challenging because each Python version has traditionally been compiled with a different version of Visual Studio.

          1. joeldillon

            Re: Please just let Java die...Please!

            Uhm, no, static typing's main benefit is catching bugs at compile time that you would only otherwise catch at run time. Memory allocation has very little to do with it.

            1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

              Re: Please just let Java die...Please!

              Yrs, Python has many problems, and this is one of them. "Correct" spcaes and no ";" or end of line is another. I miss my curly braces.

          2. DrXym Silver badge

            Re: Please just let Java die...Please!

            "Static typing's main benefit is improved performance through better memory allocation"

            The main purpose is to stop stupid programming errors by requiring programmers to explicitly say what a variable *is*, so the compiler can check and enforce how it's *used*.

            So passing an int into a string param of a function generates a compile error. In Ruby (for example), that bug could have gone all the way into testing or even production before it was noticed because functions and vars don't specify type info.

            Typing makes code more verbose so some statically typed languages are adding type inference (e.g. C++'s auto keyword). On the flip side there is a dawning realisation amongst dynamically typed languages that types are actually a good thing. Typescript is a popular frontend for Javascript, and languages like Python and Ruby are thinking about adding types in some way to their language.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Please just let Java die...Please!

              The main purpose is to stop stupid programming errors by requiring programmers to explicitly say what a variable *is*, so the compiler can check and enforce how it's *used*.

              There are enough examples of where static typing doesn't help here. The compiler can certainly help pick up some errors that would otherwise require specific unit tests, but it's far from infallible.

              Type hints in Python are explicitly flagged as being there for "the tooling", ie. machine processing and optimisation of the code.

              1. DrXym Silver badge

                Re: Please just let Java die...Please!

                "There are enough examples of where static typing doesn't help here."

                There are plenty of ways it doesn't help but its still better than nothing.

                Probably the strictest language around at the moment is Rust which has type inference but also all kinds of static analysis to make it difficult to screw up. So it's terse if you want it to be but also tries to be strict at the same time i.e. you can assign a number to a var without declaring its type but if you call a method with that var then the method's signature has to say exactly what it takes and it will complain if it doesn't.

        2. Mpeler
          Pint

          Re: Please just let Java die...Please! - typing

          @ Richard81, the proposed Babbage language (from 1983) had some thoughts on this:

          "Like Pascal, Ada uses "strong typing" to avoid errors caused by mixing data types. The designers of Babbage advocate "good typing" to avoid errors caused by misspelling the words in your program. Later versions of Babbage will also support "touch typing," which will fill a long-felt need."

    4. Andrew Williams

      Nope

      It would lessen your suffering. Hence it is not an option.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Nope

        This illustrates a big problem for Java - it's too often confused with JavaScript and the client-side Java Plugin.

        From the start, java was just too confusing - EE, Beans, plugin, the horrid jsp script stuff. Would have been much better if that mess had been simplified or the implementation methods given a different name.

        Yes, the plugin deserves to die, but Java is a decent language. Especially server-side.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Angel

    I've never met...

    a java dev who didn't think it is the most important thing in IT;-

    "safeguard ... the well being of global IT itself"

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: I've never met...

      a dev in any language who didnt think their language was the most important thing in IT.

      Apart from those with multiple language experience then any language will do. Its a bit like the iPhone - if you've only ever used one you tend to think its the bees knees and the source of all honey until you look over the garden wall.

      1. Mpeler
        Paris Hilton

        Re: I've never met...

        As said in "Real Programmers Don't Write Pascal", it's possible to write a bad FORTRAN program in any language...

        Paris, because she's still trying to figure out where the computed GOTO went...

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Angel

    Time to move to Haskell yet?

    That beauty has to be moved from its academic doldrums into the mainstream!

    1. Joefish
      Coat

      Re: Time to move to Haskell yet?

      Come on, some of these enterprises have only just made the jump from COBOL.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Corporate drones

    Java is for stuffy corporate shops though. These people probably are corporate drones, and just don't realise it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    Techies vs. corporate drones ;)

    "“Many people seem to have an impression of Oracle as a company full of corporate drones,” he writes. “This is far from the truth. I wasn't, Cameron wasn't and we are very far from being alone."

    --<CUT

    I know I'm playing the devils advocate here, and I'll also admit up front that I am biased because I never really liked Oracle's business model one single bit.

    Having said that: Although Cameron and Rahman may not have been corporate drones, fact of the matter is that they're now both gone. So I still can't help wonder if the impression is really as far from the truth as Rahman says it is. I mean, in all fairness: this isn't the first time when an (obvious devoted) techie left Oracle.

    But even if what he says is true: Oracle still doesn't try in the very least to appeal to technies on the market but only the big cooperations. Heck; that because quite obvious the very moment they took over: I had actually licensed Solaris because I strongly believed in the product and the company. When Oracle came marchin' in my license costs suddenly got 3x more expensive while I got a whole less service back in return (SunSolve for example was already nearly gone by then).

    Do note: I'm actually referring to tech services; such as providing specific (technical) information which would only appeal to a select crowd. Not the support stuff like being able to open tickets and such.

    SO yah.. Although what Rahman says might be true; Oracle sure does its best to keep that fact hidden. And with that my impressions about Oracle really haven't changed much :P

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Techies vs. corporate drones ;)

      Well that happened to the MySql guys too. Perhaps it's more about some organizations getting to big and stiff. "Techies" who are used to work in dedicated groups with some enthusiasm and a goal find they are being watched by "suits" who don't know a thing about what they are working with demanding all sorts of weekly reports and such. I think this happened at Microsoft and Nokia any many similar companies.

    2. Tom 13

      Re: Techies vs. corporate drones ;)

      He may be technically correct about not everyone being a drone. However, I suspect the non-drones are even more problematic than the drones. Way back in the 90s I worked for one of the many outfits that was trying to develop a home automation system. On the tech side we had the usual mix of good people and bad people and were fortunate to have a couple of positively brilliant programmers. The most brilliant programmer in the program was married to one of the other lead techs. As the tech writer I dealt with both of them and I always preferred talking to John. He could actually explain things while his wife tended to go for the "I'm brilliant, top dog, and don't have time to get into this with you so just go follow my orders." Now given she was the system architect and John married her, I'm willing to believe she was technically competent. She certainly wasn't a drone. The company went bankrupt mostly because the marketing department never understood its job and as usual was the tail wagging the dog. Around that time John and his wife were getting divorced. I forget where he went, but she moved to California to take a position with an up and coming company. Yes, it was Oracle. As Oracle has emerged as a leading tech company, I've always gotten the impression she'd found a home with people just like herself.

  7. richard nicholson

    Java will do just fine

    Forget JEE, forget Spring, forget Jigsaw.

    Java 8 has driven increased adoption and the OSGi Alliance enables Java 8 systems to be modular, reactive AND runtime adaptive. With OSGi - Java is fit for purpose for the foreseeable future.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Java will do just fine

      Java 8 has driven increased adoption

      Unless you're on Solaris where Java 8 is 64-bit only, so lots of current stuff breaks when you "upgrade". You'd think that the people who supply Solaris might have talked to those who supply Java.

      Oh, wait. They're both Oracle. 'nuf said.

    2. davemcr

      Re: Java will do just fine

      Yes, allied with the multitude of other mature JVM languages which a developer may wish to use for whatever purpose - Groovy, Scala, Jython etc. - which all integrate seamlessly with Java code. All adds up to an unbeatable platform for server-side development

  8. DrXym Silver badge

    Does Java need saving?

    Java is losing mindshare but there is so much Java code out there in the real world that it's firmly established and not going to disappear. And the JVM plays host to a lot of languages other than Java.

    That said, Oracle have been awful stewards for the platform. Updates have been ponderously slow to arrive and Oracle are attacking the one standout success for the Java language - Android.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Does Java need saving?

      Yes, but it may impossible to do.

      Java for all of the Open Source support which surrounds it and makes it successful, has never actually been Open Source. The key element was kept private by Sun. Their last chance to set it free disappeared when Oracle bought them. I never believed Oracle intended to support Java the way Sun did. To me it has always been obvious that Oracle intends to kill the Open Source Support, so it can take it private and demand exorbitant fees to license and support it. They're all about monetizing the product the only way they know how to.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Does Java need saving?

        The Java JDK has been open source under a modified GPL for 10 years now. It doesn't mean Oracle have relinquished the trademarks or that it's a free-for-all. But the JDK (compiler, libs, runtime, hotspot) is open source and so are a vast array of high quality libraries and runtimes for doing stuff with it.

  9. RegGuy1

    What a pity...

    I won't be able to validate my form data on the browser any more. It is such an easy language to use, and I even understand you can use it on the server too (something called Node.js?).

    I'll be very sorry to see it go. I've used this on and off for donkey's years.

    WAIT...!

    What's that?

    Java and Javascript are NOT the same? You're pulling my leg, taking the piss, having a giraffe. Seriously?

    Bloody marketing.

  10. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    What is this article about?

    I get the idea that the guy is upset but that's about it.

    More importantly, who's going to be paying him to have a conscience?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like every article that mentions Java...

    Cue the bespectacled Shoreditch types expounding forth on how Java is "crap" and that everyone should use Angular.

    Because that's basically Java too, innit?

  12. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Meh

    But But,,,

    These days I get the impression one of the main 'benefits' of Java is the ease with which you can program cross-platform malware.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: But But,,,

      Purely a side effect.

      Like complaining a satellite launcher lets bad guys have an ICBM (it does, but we need to be able to launch satellites!)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conflating Java with GUI

    In over a decade of programming in Java, I have never written a GUI. (Not quite true -- my introductory Java instructor insisted on writing a GUI. First and last time, though.) Server-side and embedded Java does not use GUIs. Do you think your USIM has a GUI?

    1. Mpeler
      Holmes

      Re: Conflating Java with GUI

      Ah, yes, Oracle forms.

      A GUI mess...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A name from the past

    Anyone else remember Cameron 'Peace' Purdy, Mike '2PC' Spille and Marc '$$$' Fleury from the golden age of theserverside.com: in particular the epic, beautifully passive-aggressive, cock waving technical arguments about the pros and cons of EJB and caching they'd have between them for weeks and weeks, each epic and carefully crafted reply packed with more deep and sound technical knowledge and lashings of bile than the preceding one.

    Ah, those were the days when Java mattered. How it's just used by off-shore code shops to churn out shitty HR systems and Oracle product installers. Let it die, Do Not Resuscitate.

    1. oliversalmon
      Thumb Up

      Re: A name from the past

      "Anyone else remember Cameron 'Peace' Purdy, Mike '2PC' Spille and Marc '$$$' Fleury from the golden age of theserverside.com"

      I do! I often wonder what happened to Rolf Tollerud (sic?). His continuous trolling on behalf of .Net was a joy to behold.

      1. davemcr

        Re: A name from the past

        Yes indeed, rude old troll. Java has developed a lot since those days. Its got ever leaner, meaner and faster

  15. channel extended

    The real problem...

    Is that Java is owned. Once a language becomes owned, the lawyers protect it to death. Corporations know only one thing about software - "Mine, Mine, Mine, Mi... ". Having watched languages change for over fourty years I can see how they grow AND die. If Java does die it will be only because we stop using it. So if you are concerned

    "SHUT UP AND KEEP PAYING FOR IT!!!!!".

  16. John Savard Silver badge

    Inclined

    When reading the article, I was moved to feel the sentiment that sometimes apathy and short-sightedness are good things.

    Java seems to be on the way out in browsers, as has been noted here. Whatever its merits as a language with an associated P-code level to give it greater universality, there are a great many cross-platform languages out there. Of course other languages can be compiled to run on the JVM, but specifically because that is owned and controlled by Oracle, in many circumstances people have a motive to avoid it.

    Thus, it's very hard for me to see Java as something to get or remain excited about. So I ended up being rather baffled and unsympathetic from the article; Oracle is unlikely to change its ways, and I fail to see why trying to achieve this is worth the effort. Of course, writing yet another alternative cross-platform language would perhaps be only slightly less unhelpful.

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