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It's hard to believe that 2012 is almost over, but what a year it has been. For Java at least, it’s been a year of highs and lows. We saw Java 8’s modularity fall behind schedule (although for the right reasons), but at the same time, Project Lambda showed a lot of promise for the coming years. The JVM really established itself the platform for innovation, as Scala, Groovy, JRuby et al went from strength to strength. Typesafe, the hub of Scala development, made some crucial decisions throughout the year to perhaps put them as one to watch for 2013. The time for cloud talk was over (or rather it wasn’t) as various cloud platforms proclaimed they were the best fit for the enterprise, as nearly everyone put their chips down. CloudStack and OpenStack duked it out in the infrastructure wars, yet Google and Amazon remained kingmakers. But one overriding memory for the past 12 months has been the strength of the Java community, something which was at the heart of JavaOne this year. A special mention must go to the London Java Community for their work on the JCP, attempting to make it far more accessible to the nine million developers globally. They played their part and we continued to see revolutionary projects appear aside from that – vert.x and Atmosphere to name but two. We can’t really ignore the protracted Oracle vs Google An- droid trial, the ramifications of which would affect every developer, in terms of API copyrightability. Fortunately, Judge Alsup came to the right decision for the wider community. We’ve tried to cover as much in our annual review but it was a tricky task. This month, we also chat to Basho about their NoSQL solution Riak. There’s three excellent pieces within this issue too – Jessica Kerr shows us how Scala concepts can be used to understand Java better, Johan Vos introduces DataFX 1.0 and what it problems it solves, while Jonathan Gallimore provides a comprehensive TomEE guide. Plenty to get stuck into whilst your carving the Christmas turkey. It’s been tumultuous, exciting and damn right innovative year – more of the same in 2013 please! Onward to Java 8.