Interview with Mike Lehmann and Donald Smith

JavaOne 2017: What to expect this week

Gabriela Motroc

© Shutterstock / Pixelbliss

JavaOne began yesterday, October 1. If you’re not there, you’ll probably want to watch the Java keynote today at 2 p.m. PT. We still have some hours left so let’s see what this year’s JavaOne is all about. We talked with Oracle’s Mike Lehmann and Donald Smith about what to expect from the conference and we got a sneak peek into the future of Java. In short, “it’s all about developer empowerment and simplification.”

It’s that time of year again! If you’re not in San Francisco attending JavaOne 2017 right now, you’ll probably want to watch the Java keynote stream live today at 2 p.m. PT. You’ll be able to watch it here but until then, here’s an interview with Oracle’s Mike Lehmann and Donald Smith.

We talked about Oracle’s serverless plans (which will be announced at JavaOne and Oracle OpenWorld), the latest releases of Java SE 9 and Java EE 8, what to expect from Java in the near future and more. 

JavaOne: What to expect

JAXenter: Containers are serverless are two of the biggest buzzwords right now. Should we expect any announcements or focus on any of the two topics?

Mike Lehmann: Yes, there are a large number of sessions at JavaOne about containers and serverless technologies so you will be hearing from the Java community and vendors about their projects, products and experiences using containers and serverless with Java. Oracle will be sharing its product story in this area as well.

JAXenter: What are the plans for this year’s JavaOne? 

Mike Lehmann: Clearly, a big part of JavaOne will be covering the latest releases of Java SE 9 and Java EE 8 with major features in both areas. With Java 9, the big news, of course, is the arrival of the module system with Jigsaw but beyond that, there are over 150 new features ranging from ones like the JShell Read-Eval-Print-Loop tool to Stream API enhancements to performance enhancements to security extensions. In Java EE 8 these include updates to support HTTP 2.0 in Servlet 4.0, new JSON-P bindings, updates to JAX-RS to support reactive clients, new security APIs and more.

SEE ALSO: Java SE 9 and Java EE 8 are here

As part of these releases, Oracle also will be focused on updating the community around the changes in how it plans to build and release Java SE and EE.

1. For Java SE, this includes a proposed much faster release cadence — every 6 months — with GPL binaries regularly produced in that release cycle for OpenJDK. And to align Oracle JDK with OpenJDK, previously proprietary features to Oracle JDK like Java Flight Recorder will be open sourced as part of a plan to make Oracle JDK and OpenJDK reflect the same feature set on a shared code base.

2. For Java EE, this means explaining the plan to move Java EE technologies to the Eclipse Foundation as a way to further open up the process and community around Java EE. This move will include providing the TCKs, reference implementations and supporting infrastructure technologies to Eclipse along with Oracle actively participating in the community going forward.

JAXenter: Is serverless part of Oracle’s plans? How?

Mike Lehmann: Oracle sees serverless as a natural next step from where the industry has gone from app server centric models to containers and microservices and more recently with serverless. Serverless is all about building applications without having to be concerned with the underlying infrastructure of compute, storage and networking — it is focused on the developer simply writing code for their application and the underlying cloud runtime taking care of these external resource concerns.  Oracle will be sharing its serverless plans as part of JavaOne and Oracle OpenWorld.

SEE ALSO: JavaOne 2016: “Java 9 will be coming soon — but not as soon as you’d probably hoped”

JAXenter: Why serverless? How can Oracle benefit from this technology?

Mike Lehmann: As noted above, a big part of serverless is removing the need for developers to care about infrastructure when building applications — they focus on writing code and delivering applications.  We believe that Oracle customers do see value in this natural evolution of application development as it ultimately is focused on making developers lives simpler (smaller surface area of technology to worry about when building applications) and application development faster (fewer things to bring together in order to release an application). As such, Oracle will be sharing our plans in this area at JavaOne and OpenWorld.


Java — The way forward

JAXenter: What should we expect to see at this year’s JavaOne? 

Donald Smith: JavaOne represents the perfect opportunity for the Java Community to engage in discussion of the many proposals and announcements that Oracle has made over the summer. Content will span the breadth of the Java ecosystem and attendees will no doubt notice an increased emphasis on Java in the Cloud, as Java has become the backbone of yet another technological shift.

JAXenter: Does Project Jigsaw play a central role in the future of Java? How?

Donald Smith: Jigsaw makes it easier for developers to construct and maintain libraries and large applications.  As tool chains mature around its availability, we should see these benefit accelerate as developers escape “jar hell”, and be able to adopt and update libraries on a more frequent basis. This should not only make it easier to adopt new features, but also improve stability and security at the same time as people become less resistant to updates.

SEE ALSO: Two Java feature releases per year: Oracle proposes new time-based model

JAXenter: From now on, features won’t be tied to releases in advance. What are the immediate benefits of this decision and what are the possible drawbacks?

Donald Smith: Releases will happen on a six-month cadence and those that aren’t ready will jump onto the next train. The benefit is that new features can be made available more quickly rather than waiting on any particular one.  There are very few drawbacks to this approach from an application developer perspective. The main challenge will be resisting the urge to “back port” features to LTS versions, but this is where Jigsaw comes into play.

JAXenter: Where is Java headed?

Donald Smith: Over the summer, Oracle announced plans to start providing OpenJDK builds and to open source the commercial Oracle JDK features with the goal of making Oracle’s OpenJDK builds and the Oracle JDK interchangeable.  Through JavaOne and into the next year we’ll continue working with the OpenJDK Community and other stakeholders in the Java ecosystem on how we can make Java SE even easier to build and consume.  It’s all about developer empowerment and simplification.

Thank you!

Stay tuned for more JavaOne announcements plus impressions from the conference from speakers and participants. 


Don’t miss Donald Smith’s keynote at JAX London about the current status of Java SE. He will give a quick overview of how OpenJDK plays a key role in the Java SE ecosystem, followed by details of the proposed plan and its current status.The keynote will be followed by a panel whereby the two key proposals – increased cadence and Oracle produced OpenJDK builds – will be discussed for pros and potential gotchas. Panelists include Daniel Bryant, Stephen Colebourne and Peter Lawrey.


Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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