Great expectations

Majority of devs poised to adopt Java 8, survey reveals

Lucy Carey

65% of Java users questioned by Typesafe are planning to upgrade to new release in next two years, and 73% are excited to get on board with Project Lambda.

With Java 8 loaded
in the barrel for release, expect the hype to reach fever pitch
levels in the next two weeks. But what do the folks on the ground
actually think? If a study
published by Scala proponents Typesafe yesterday is anything
to by, the majority of Java devs are certainly ready to get stuck
in, with 65% of respondents stating that they had plans to migrate
to update to the new release within the next 24 months. A further
30% of these are intending to put it into use within the next six

The bulk of people (73%) who responded to the
survey are currently working with Java 7. However, reflecting the
continued legacy system penetration of Java 6, 22% still do work
with this version of the platform – even without Oracle’s

active support
. Of these ‘retro’ users, 44%
are planning to “leapfrog” over to Java 8 in due course.

Lambdas were always the all-singing, all-dancing
feature of Java 8, and it’s this feature, along with virtual
extension methods, that a huge 83% of users are most excited about.
Concurrency updates and the new Date and Time API were also
popular, garnering 16% and 15% votes respectively.

It’s worth bearing in mind that this
is a Typesafe survey – so the chances are that
many of the developers questioned have at least a passing
familiarity with Scala. As the report points out, “Lambdas are a
key enabler of Reactive applications and will bring a new
collections library that will look very familiar
to Scala developers.”

Results may thus be a little biased on the
feature front, though are nonetheless an indicator of how a sizable
slice of the community feels about the upcoming lambda injection.
Interestingly, 48% of people believe that the new Scala-flavoured
addition to Java 8 “validates Scala’s language design on the JVM
and will positively reinforce the adoption of Scala,” rather than
stealing away potential users.

Although there was some consternation when
Oracle revealed that it was only focusing on
major bugs
in Java 8 a few months ago, it
seems that overall the community is happy with how things are
ticking along with the efforts to secure the platform – cited as
one of the main reasons for delaying delivery of the big eight last
year. Out of the 2,800 developers from around the world who
participated in the survey, 59% believe that Larry Ellison and his
merry band have done “a good job of getting Java security on the
right path.”

Oracle also continues to rule hearts and minds
on the JVM front, topping the charts with a colossal 98% of users
employing it. Android’s Dalvic is continuing to gain traction, with
20% of devs citing usage – something Typesafe suggests could have
implications for how Google chooses to support Java 8. Regardless
of how this plays out, this buoyant attitude to adoption means that
there will be plenty of feedback for Oracle to be going on with
over the next few months.



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