Java 9, Java EE 8 et al.

Oracle will be a busy bee in 2017

Gabriela Motroc

Bees work on honeycomb image via Shutterstock

Java 9 is likely to receive a four-month extension, which means it may be launched in July 2017 and Java EE 8 may see the light of day at the end of next year. Now that Oracle is donating NetBeans to the Apache Foundation, they may have time on their hands but as Oracle spokesman Mike Moeller told The Register a couple of months ago, the plans for Java EE will be unveiled at the JavaOne conference. The countdown has begun.

Quo vadis Java EE?

The JavaOne conference is almost upon us and one of the reasons why everybody is looking forward to it is the promise Oracle made to reveal at least some details about the future of Java EE. Oracle spokesman Mike Moeller told The Register in early July that the tech giant has not given up on Java EE and that plans for the future of Java EE 8 will be unveiled during the JavaOne conference.

One month later,  Anil Gaur, Oracle Group Vice President with responsibility for Java EE and WebLogic Server, said at Java Community Process’ most recent Executive Committee Meeting that more information about Oracle’s plans concerning Java EE will be revealed at JavaOne. He also mentioned that Oracle is planning a new release date for Java EE 8.

However, if you skim through the conference agenda, you will see no sign of Java EE. This does not mean that Java EE will be a no-show; if you go to Tracks, you will see that Java EE is included in the Java, Cloud, and Server-Side Development track. We will have to wait and see if Java EE has its head in the clouds.

Java EE 8 should make an appearance in the first half of 2017, but according to The Register, this might not be the case anymore. The publication saw the email sent by Bill Shannon, architect at Oracle, to Java community members last month in which he revealed that Oracle has committed to deliver Java EE 8 “within a year.” The Register found out from a community source that Shannon’s statement may mean that it will be launched in the second half of 2017. The wait will soon be over.

Java 9 before or after Java EE 8?

Java EE 8 is not the only reason why next year is supposed to be a big year for Oracle; Java 9 should be launched in the summer of 2017. Mark Reinhold, the Chief Architect of the Java Platform Group at Oracle, announced in a message on the OpenJDK mailing list that the schedule for Java 9 may be delayed to July 2017. “If no such objections are raised by 16:00 UTC next Tuesday, 20 September, or if they’re raised and satisfactorily answered, then per the JEP 2.0 process proposal [a] this will be adopted as the new schedule for JDK 9.”

According to Reinhold’s announcement, the team has recently received “critical feedback that motivated a redesign of the module system’s package-export feature.” However, this is not the only reason why he wants to delay the launch of Java 9 — “There are, beyond that, still many open design issues, which will take time to work through,” Reinhold said.

Although the team has made significant progress on Project Jigsaw, the most important feature of the release, it “needs more time.” Plus, he weighed in on the current state of Java 9 and concluded that “the number of open bugs that are new in JDK 9 is quite a bit larger than it was at this point in JDK 8.”

Therefore, a four-month extension is needed to make sure potential problems have been discovered and reported.

Oracle may have time on their hands now that NetBeans is moving to Apache

NetBeans is moving to Apache, but it will continue to focus on the areas it has focused on while sponsored by Sun Microsystems and Oracle. Individual contributors from Oracle are likely to continue contributing to NetBeans, together with individual contributors from other organizations, as well as self-employed individual contributors.

According to the proposal rationale, “moving it to a neutral place like Apache, with its strong governance model, is expected to help get more contributions from various organizations.” Large companies that are currently using NetBeans as an application framework to build internal or commercial applications are more likely to contribute to it once it moves to “neutral Apache ground.”

Even though Oracle will hand over its control over NetBeans, individual contributors from Oracle are expected to continue contributing to NetBeans. David Heffelfinger, an independent consultant focusing on Java, Java EE and J2EE, told JAXenter that “some NetBeans developers inside Oracle have expressed their full support for this decision.”

Every indication is that Oracle plans to continue investing in NetBeans by allowing some of its salaried employees to continue working on NetBeans. Additionally, NetBeans is used as a base for Oracle Developer Studio, therefore Oracle has a vested interest in continuing to improve NetBeans. I don’t think Oracle is planning to stop investing in NetBeans.


The first keynote will take place on Sunday, September 18, 1:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m PDT. In this keynote, George Saab, Vice President of Development at Oracle, Mark Reinhold, Chief Architect of Java Platform Group at Oracle, Anil Gaur, Group Vice President of Cloud Application Foundation at Oracle and Sharat Chander, Director of Java Product Management at Oracle will talk about Java 9 and will demonstrate “how developers can improve and accelerate application innovation spanning a variety of development environments and devices all the way to the cloud.”

Stay tuned for updates from the JavaOne conference.

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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