Looking back at a big year for Java

Java retrospective #4 – disappointments of 2019

Chris Stewart
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As 2019 draws to a close, we got in touch with some prominent members of the Java community to gather their thoughts on the events of the last year. In this five part series, we will look at what they had to say. In this fourth part, we asked what their Java disappointments were in 2019.

Did you find anything in the Java world disappointing last year?

javaThe agreements between Oracle and the Eclipse Foundation regarding Java EE. The fact that Jakarta EE is not allowed to use the javax namespace and therefore has to introduce breaking changes in the next version is a big setback. On the other hand it is impressive to see how the community deals with these facts and agrees on a common approach.

Tim Zöller – Team Leader Java, ilum:e informatik AG

javaI can only think of Oracle’s decision to adapt the license for Oracle Java SE.

Thomas Darimont – Founder of Java User Group Saarland and Fellow at codecentric AG

javaVery clearly: Jakarta EE / JPA. I had high hopes for Jakarta EE, especially because the Spring Data team is one of the few who actually use JPA to connect different implementations. Of course, every now and then you can find a bug in an implementation, or just gaps in the specification. I dreamed of a world where I could create an issue with two pull requests. According to the motto: There are following interpretations of the specification, decide for one of the two variants by merging one of the two PRs, which then determines the behaviour and tests it in the TCK. The TCKs are still in a state that the execution is disproportionately complex.

Jens Schauder – Spring Data team, Pivotal

javaI feel there is a bit too much attention for Java(FX) distributions, and not enough for Java(FX) commits. All Java projects ultimately depend on the quality of OpenJDK. All JavaFX projects depend on the quality of OpenJFX. It is extremely important there is enough funding for OpenJDK/OpenJFX.

Johan Vos – Java Champion, co-founder Gluon and LodgON

java I wouldn’t say disappointing, but, in spite of having many Java releases over the past years, I noticed that the majority of projects are still using Java 8. Therefore, I’d love to see more and more projects migrating to, at least, Java 11, so they can take advantage of the new Java API enhancements as well as the new JVM GCs (Garbage Collectors), such as G1 or ZGC.

Vlad Mihalcea – Java Champion and author of High-Performance Java Persistence

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Lukas Eder – Java Champion and Founder and CEO at Data Geekery

javaNot really. There are always the naysayers who say Java is dying or who are ultra critical of languages/organisations/approaches, this doesn’t change, maybe this is the biggest disappointment

Trisha Gee – Java Champion and Developer Advocate, JetBrains

javaActually, I’m happy about how things are going. :)

Oleh Dokuka – Java Champion and Principal Engineer / Dev Rel, Netifi

javaNot really. I suppose if pushed, I would still like to see the annual Oracle developer event branded as JavaOne but I understand that they wanted to change its focus to give it broader appeal.

Simon Ritter – Java Champion and Deputy CTO, Azul Systems

javaThe constant comparisons of frameworks in a vacuum. Technology is there to solve technical problems. Therefore, a comparison of different things only makes sense in the context of a concrete problem. Framework X starts faster than Y, with only one controller with static return value implemented in both, doesn’t help me much. I understand that today every technology has to “advertise” for itself to stand out from the “competition”, but I would like to see comparisons that are more oriented towards really concrete problems.

Michael Vitz – Senior Consultant, innoQ Deutschland GmbH

SEE ALSO: Read more Java retrospectives as they are released

javaHere I really had to think a bit longer, but then I found something: Even though the UI Toolkit is being actively developed further starting with JavaFX 11 and even LTS versions are offered, the situation looks completely different with JavaFX 8. Although some companies offer JavaFX as part of their Java 8 LTS versions, the quality of bug fixes is often not that good. It is also a pity that no one has contributed fixes to the OpenJDK repository. All companies seem to work here on a private fork. So it is not possible for AdoptOpenJDK to offer JavaFX for Java 8, because the open source version is no longer maintained.

Hendrik Ebbers – Java Champion and Java developer, Karakun AG

javaEven though all vendors and the technical committees participated, it took some time before the eclipse Foundation was able to launch Jakarta EE and start working on its further development. But I could not see any hope destroyed in the Java universe. On the contrary, my appreciation goes to those who are involved in the redesign of Jakarta EE.

Wolfgang Weigend – Systems Engineer Java Technology and Architecture, Oracle

javaNo. Not a single thing. Not in technology, at least. The JVM community at large had a few hiccups with the occasional antagonist – the rotten egg who sides not with their fellow engineer but with sexist, racist, divisive, and extremist ideals. Again, this stems not so much from the technology itself, so much as it stems from the undeniable breadth and diversity incumbent in such a vast, useful, industrialized ecosystem. It underscores a much bigger point: the geopolitical world itself seems to many of us to be melting, both metaphorically and literally, and so I have found the relative calm of the mature JVM ecosystem a welcome escape from all that real-world anguish. Put another way: I found being a member of the JVM community more pleasant than ever in 2019.

Josh Long – Java Champion and a Spring Developer Advocate, VMware

Chris Stewart
Chris Stewart is an Online Editor for He studied French at Somerville College, Oxford before moving to Germany in 2011. He speaks too many languages, writes a blog, and dabbles in card tricks.

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