Apocalypse Now?

The future for Java in 2012

Chris Mayer

Stephen Colebourne and James Governor offer their predictions for Java and the entire industry as we head into the new year

2012 has long been touted as the year where it all ends cataclysmically. Well it does if you believe that awful disaster blockbuster from a few years back. Next year may well indeed signal the end of the world as we know it, we should be at least be enthusiastic about one thing – Java in 2012

It’s been a banner year for developers, with a variety of new releases and innovations changing the landscape as we know it. So can it be bettered next time round? We asked Java Champion and co-spec lead of JSR-310, Stephen Colebourne and Red Monk’s James Governor for their respective 2012 forecasts, covering the never-ending Google/Oracle trial, Hadoop’s role in the ecosystem and what other big announcements we can expect. No pressure then…

Stephen Colebourne

Risky first one, but I suspect that the Google/Oracle trial will go
to court, rather than be settled. I predict that the verdict will be
be mixed – some wins for both sides.

We’ll hear a lot more about Google’s Dart language if the trial goes
badly for Google, and not much if Google wins. A bad result for Google
could result in most Android development being in Dart as soon as

There will continue to be lots of enthusiasts for Scala in 2012, but
I expect more tales of woe as well. My view is that there was a huge
opportunity for a new language to take off when Sun Microsystems went
down, and opportunities like that don’t happen often. Scala was around
and available, but wasn’t chosen, for good reason in my view.

For Java language development itself, I’m expecting a fairly quiet
year for big news stories. Java 8 is the big one, but not until 2013,
and there will be lots of news about preparations for that.

James Governor

We’ll see a broad-based acceptance that Java is crucial to Big Data, and Big Data is going to be huge; that is, the Java renaissance starts here. Web companies built the technologies, but the enterprise is going to consume them. Hadoop is going to be stack-defining, and utterly pervasive. 

Twitter joining the JCP – exhibit a. 

Microsoft cancelling its Dryad program but aggressively adopting Hadoop.

The flipside? SpringSource building Cloud Foundry in Ruby.

James goes much deeper in his excellent keynote presentation from JAXLondon, the slides of which you can find here on Slideshare.

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