The future of Java EE

At this stage the future of Java EE looks brighter than it has for quite a while as Oracle, working with Red Hat, IBM, other vendors and the wider community to move the specifications, TCKs and overall innovation to an open source foundation. I think in general most people in the Java community see this as positive but there are a few naysayers, even more of them in other non-JVM areas. The common thread throughout is along the lines of “who cares these days?” or “it’s far quicker and easier to accomplish the same things with framework X or language Y, anyway.” I’m not going to try to address all of the concerns which have been raised because many of the comments I’ve seen have clearly been subjective and bordering on click bait. However, I’m writing this piece to reiterate some things I’ve said over the years and which remain just as relevant today, in my opinion

I want to start though by saying that in all of this I am trying to remain objective. Of course in my current role I and Red Hat have a vested interest in Java EE but if you’ve known me long enough over the years you’ll know that I’m also a scientist and as such I base my opinions on observations and facts born out by those observations. If a fact or piece of data goes against a theory then I don’t ignore it, I review and likely update or replace the theory to match the facts. I’ve changed my opinion on many things throughout my career and I’m sure I will do so again.

OK so back to Java EE. Does this move to open source help the wider community? Is Java EE still relevant or has it had its day like so many technologies before it? I’m not going to link to other things I’ve written on Java EE and its future over the years as they’re easily searchable through your favourite engine. But in short, many people forget that Java EE represents an evolution of essential middleware capabilities which many mission critical applications require. It’s had a lot of bad press since its inception, some of it accurate and some of it less so. I think one of its big failings is that, like my favourite topic of transactions, it has been used and misused in environments where it wasn’t really appropriate. No stack or framework is going to be applicable to every problem space and of course developers are going to get frustrated if they try it and find it wanting and failing as a result.

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Five Links: All My Friends Are Dead Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

The end of the year is often a season of reflection. This year, that reflection seems to have taken a nihilistic tinge, as a lot of people are declaring things dead. Change can feel like death, I guess, but I think it’s easy to conflate something evolving with that something going away. This week, I want to look at some of the technology deaths which, like Mark Twain’s, are greatly exaggerated.

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Five Links: A Big Cup of Joe Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

This week started off great with a bout on Monday with a lot of people talking about AI and virtual reality (links picked at random). I’m not saying I started a trend, I am simply observing a certain zeitgeist. This is week, I’ve been looking at more familiar worlds: Java, Java EE, and app development. This is the heart of what we do in middleware.

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Image credit: Headline Shirts. Also, the shirt is on sale now.

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A Commenters’ Debate on Java

There is “A Defense of Java” post over on DZone, which is an interesting enough post itself, by a guy from AppDynamics. What verges into very cool reading is the comment section (which made it DZone’s #1 commented article on Monday). There is a strong debate about the future of Java, other languages like Python and Node.js, and how major enterprises are building apps for high-traffic sites.

Java EE: Onward and Upward!

For many observers, I believe the take-away from this year’s JavaOne was: “business as usual.” In some important ways, business as usual here is a good thing.

Is Java (EE) dead?

There have been rumors and pontifications regarding a supposed demise of enterprise Java. There certainly are many areas and drivers of disruptive innovation in enterprise software development: microservices, event-driven programming, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are just a few. And yes, for a new project beginning in isolation with no constraints or requirements of backward compatibility, legacy integration, or management at scale, there are many new platforms and frameworks that may seem at first to be well-suited for any one of these new areas. But how many enterprise projects have that luxury?

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