JavaOne 2014 kicks off to a timid start
In spite of big changes at the helm of Oracle, the highly anticipated JavaOne keynote was an uninspiring start to the annual conference.
The JavaOne opening is typically where the Java community unite to measure their success. It has always been the place for pathos, over-confidence and grand statistics – another million Java developers worldwide, another million Java powered devices, etc. Essentially the talk recalls the rise and success of Java technology since its baptism almost 20 years ago.
The companies that stand behind Java (previously Sun Microsystems, now Oracle) understand that JavaOne is a mixture of community building and self expression. The conference and in particular the opening ceremony has alway been closely observed by the Java world.
However, what we experienced at the opening of JavaOne 2014 was anything but a grand statement. It looks as if Java might have run out of steam. Stories from previous years were simply repeated in different forms.
An uninspired keynote
For example, last year JDK 8 and 9 were praised for high information content, but this year there was an uninspired void in the keynote. A year ago we were given a strong message that the Java platform would be unified and there would be an end to the fragmented editions (Java ME, SE, EE) however, we heard very little about Java in the field of IoT.
“News”, in the classic sense of the word, has not existed in the Java environment for a long time, but that’s a good thing. A transparent development process should be available for all involved – without surprises. However, does this justify a two and a half hour keynote in which almost nothing happened?
Neither the mobilization of the working world, the consistent cloud orientation, nor the move to the highly efficient processes of Agile, Continuous Delivery and DevOps have been reason to break new ground in this flagship keynote. This is rather peculiar as the keynote statements are usually closely monitored around the globe for major updates.
There were all sorts of prominent Java-world personnel on stage such as John Duimofich (Java CTO at IBM), Mark Little (Red Hat JBoss CTO Middlware), George Saab (VP Java Platform Group, Oracle), Peter Utzschneider (Vice President Product Management, Oracle) and Cameron Purdy (Senior Vice President, Oracle) – however, even with their deep insights into the Java practice and its profound technical and strategic knowledge, these men only ever repeated only the same points: Java is evolving, Java is successful, Java is innovative.
Beyond JDK 9?
Finally, Mark Reinhold and Brian Goetz took the stage to talk about some concrete technical details in Lambdas and about Streams in Java 8. They also spoke about the challenges for developers in the multi-core era, the readability of code over good writing, the supremacy of simplicity and the general design principles of Java (some of which were formulated in the 1990s by James Gosling).
Then all of a sudden, something strange happened. Time was already up as Brian Goetz started talking about Java “beyond JDK 9” and presented some new ideas. He didn’t get very far though because suddenly, Reinhold who had retreated backstage, reappeared to remind Brian that the talk had run into overtime. With a short goodbye, the keynote came to an abruptly end and the pair left the stage before Brian could finish his thoughts.
Following this opening keynote, over 60,000 participants will attend 500 sessions over four days. JAXenter will be reporting on the conference over the next few days. Check back to read more about updates from JavaOne.