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Roundup: Java news from JavaOne

Elliot Bentley
javaone-news1

A whole host of Java news has come out of Oracle’s official Java conference, including juicy details of future projects Nashorn, Sumatra and Avatar.

Being
Oracle’s own conference, JavaOne – taking place in San Francisco
this week, in case you weren’t already aware – is of course a
popular forum for official news and announcements. While few
mind-blowing revelations have come out thus far, we’ve learnt quite
a bit more about several exciting future projects such as Nashorn,
Sumatra and Avatar.

The best surprise of the conference – albeit one
announced last week
as a teaser – was Java ME Embedded 3.2,
which will be optimised for lightweight machine-to-machine devices,
and Java Embedded Suite, for heavier devices. With the hype
surrounding Raspberry Pi, it’s exciting to see Java making inroads
into new areas. We’re looking forward to finding out more at Java
Embedded @ JavaOne later today.

Much of the keynote was spent convincing attendees that Java EE 7
and SE 8 will be worth the wait, despite the delay of modularity
(aka Project Jigsaw) and cloud features to subsequent
versions.

One interesting bit of SE 8 news was further insight into Nashorn,
a new JavaScript engine for the JVM, replacing the
Mozilla-developed Rhino. While its inclusion into SE 8 has been
known for a while, Oracle announced that the engine will be
contributed to the OpenJDK with support from IBM, Red Hat and
OpenJDK.

A particularly hyped aspect of Nashorn is the ability to run
node.js, the trendy framework for developing server-side
applications using JavaScript. Using Node.jar on Nashorn,
unmodified node.js scripts can apparently be run on the
JVM
– though solid info is still thin on
the ground
. Hopefully the video of
yesterday’s session
will be online soon to shed some more
light.

Looking further ahead into the future, recently-approved GPU
optimisation project
‘Sumatra’
will be aided by processor manufacturer AMD, it was
announced on Sunday. Sumatra, which will allow Java to utilise the
power of GPUs for processing of general data (not just graphics),
is likely to arrive with SE 9.

Project Avatar, also announced last year (albeit with very few
specifics), appears to have  developed into an end-to-end
framework for producing HTML5 apps, particularly aimed at mobile
platforms lacking embedded Java support. However, it will be
competing against Oracle’s own JSF, as well as countless other
third-party front-end tools and frameworks, many of which are open
source and have large established communities.

As we
reported on Monday
, JavaFX is to become fully open source by
the end of the year, and will soon support both Linux and ARM
devices. Reaction has been cautiously optimistic that, for the
first time, JavaFX may actually be showing some promise.

With two more days left, there’s still time for a ‘megaton’ to
drop. In the meantime, you might want to catch the hour-and-a-half-long
video of the technical keynote
.

Photo by Tristan
Ferne
.

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