Here’s to the new year

What will 2013 bring? Developers place their bets

Martijn Verburg, CTO at jClarity and co-leader of London Java Community

What three predictions do you have for the industry in 2013?

2013 will be the year of Java/JVM in the cloud - lots of new PAAS/IAAS providers launched JVM/Java based offerings in 2012, but many of them were of Beta quality and too limited in functionality due to a lack of understanding as to how the JVM works well in virtualised environments. In 2013 many of the kinks will get ironed out and a rich ecosystem will start to form.

JVM languages - Slight resurgence in Groovy thanks to its new static compilation capability and improved tooling, Scala will continue to be hyped but will only be used successfully by small focused teams.  Clojure will continue to be popular for small niche areas. Java will still outgrow them all in terms of real numbers and percentage growth.

Java 8 with Nashorn, Lambdas and the port to the ARM processor will open up loads of new opportunities for developers working on the leading edge of web and mobile tech. I anticipate rapid adoption of 8 (faster than 7). However, lack of JVM presence on iOS and Android will continue to curtail adoption there.

What were your personal highlights of the year?

2012 was a rocking year for Java, the JVM and the community, James Governer (RedMonk analyst) stated that it was the dawning of a 2nd age for Java.  Some highlights:
  • The Java/JVM seriously entered the cloud with a host of new PaaS and IaaS offerings. Cloudbees, JElastic, Heroku, Joyent, Oracle to name just 5.
  • The community continued to grow, more user groups, more conferences, more content online, more people/organisations joining OpenJDK and the Java Community Process (JCP).
  • The LJC won several community awards (Duke's Choice, JCP Member of the Year along with SouJava).
  • The JVM continues to improve rapidly through OpenJDK - the number of Java Enhancement Proposals (JEPs) going into Java 8 is enormous.  Jigsaw dropping out was a disappointing but correct decision.
  • JEE7 is moving along nicely and will bring Java developers a standard way to deal with the modern web (JSON, Web Sockets, etc)
  • Rapid web development frameworks are finally gaining recognition - SEAM, Spring Roo, Grails, Play etc all give Java developers parity with the Rails crowd.
  • A major focus was on Mechanical Sympathy - as the tide turned to having multi-core machines and virtualised O/S's, Java developers have had to start thinking about how Java and the JVM interacts with the underlying platform.
  • Major JCP and OpenJDK reforms happened - net result, more openness, more transparency, massive boost in participation.

Andrey Breslav -  Kotlin Project Lead at JetBrains, Inc.

What predictions do you have for the industry in 2013?

2013 will be even more a year of new static JVM languages than 2012: we are planning to roll out a beta of Kotlin and start using it extensively in production at JetBrains, which will lead to some adoption for production elsewhere (not much at first, but the userbase will grow over time).

As Kotlin is not the only new static language for the JVM out there, we will see some comparison work, as other projects advance in their implementations too. This will give people some idea of what each project is good for.

I would like 2013 be a year of renovated JavaScript, specifically — typed JavaScript. Kotlin compiles to JS, and other new static languages do so, there's also Dart, and TypeScript. Next year we will see noticeable advances in this technology: client web programming will be moving towards type safety and good tooling.

Ted Neward -  Consultant and "The Dude of Software"

2013 Predictions:
  • Confusion abounds as Microsoft struggles to find somebody to fill Sinofsky’s shoes at the company (meaning, who next is essentially defining their future direction as a company), and that individual starts to “reverse” the course set by Sinofsky towards Windows 8 and Surface. Customers will, once again, not be sure what is the “future path” for developing software for the Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Java 8 will ship, and half the Java community will howl in frustration at the “added complexity”, while the other half just buckles down and starts to understand exactly what lambdas and defender methods can do.
  • Typesafe (and their Scala/Akka/Play! stack) will begin to make some serious inroads into the enterprise space, and start to give Groovy/Grails a serious run for their money.
2013 Resolution:
  • Write a Windows Surface app and publish it to the Microsoft App Store. Preferably a game.
Photo by garryknight.
Martijn Verburg, Andrey Breslav and Ted Neward

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