Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Is Java Dying on the Oracle Vine ?

Greetings, Programs:

All of this started quite some time agon with an InfoWorld article by Pau Krill that asked if Oracle had lost interest in Java.  This would be understandable considering Oracle's past history with being exclusive and their predatory practices in the software industry. Some, Mark Proctor [MP] for example, feel that Java is the most used programming language available for new companies today.  A brief history of Java can be found on Wikipedia.  BTW, for those who ask if Java means, "Just Another Vague Acronym" - well, you are partially right. 

Anyway, I had a chance to chat (on-line, of course) with some of the leading Gurus (Gurim?) in the BRMS industry about Java:  Its past, present and future.  These are the guys who design the tools that we (the AI Geeks) use every day.  [see list at the end of the article]  This started with a group email that asked the question, "Is Oracle being a good steward for Java?"  Some [DB] tried to go over to Swift from Apple but had some questions about its future as well.  Supposedly the code is bullet-proof - which is important after Apple's recent debacle with XCodeGhost that has infected 400 or 1,000 or 4,000 (depending on which report you happen to believe.)  There is a long discussion on SlashDot where some tried to "justify" downloading XCode from servers in China rather than the official Apple site.  But, that is another story for another time.

Mark Proctor [MP] weighted in with a lot of upbeat chat.  He and Dr. Forgy [CLF] seemed to feel that Sun had let Java 7 ride for way too long.  Personally, I think that this was during the period when Oracle was in the "process" of buying out Sun and the Sun bosses just did not want to invest a lot of money into Java.  If the bottom line looks better then they get a bit more dollars per share.

However, most of those in the group agreed that Oracle had, since 2010, done some good things with Java.  Java 8, for example  came out quickly and included Lambdas to the product line.  Also, Java 9 is scheduled to be out in 2016.  One of the nice things about java 9 will be modularity that will help alleviate the "jar path hell" that is so prevalent in multin-vendor applications.

The proposed future of Java is all outlined here.  One that I really like is the Shenandoah project for garbage collection in extremely large applications.  [MP] Another good reason for staying with Java is Git, the most prolific SCC system on the internet right now.  [DB] Also of note is that Java Script is really easy to use and is probably the fastest growing language right now.  If we stop and consider just for a moment all of the companies that are totally focused on Java:  IBM, Oracle, Google, Amazon - just to name a few.

Some [MP][CLF] mentioned a desire/need for the C/C++/C# structs.  But there are some workarounds to structs by using byte buffers [MP].  Personally, I prefer a Java Class without any methods to having to come up with a whole new thing - but that's me.


Decision Camp 2016


The location for DC-2016 is now at Stony Brook University in New York and the link is https://sites.google.com/site/ruleml2016/home - meaning that we are co-located with RuleML this year.  Dr. Jacob Feldman is heading up this year's DC.  It should prove interesting and, good news, it is one day only.  OK, maybe two...  Decision Camp ONLY is $75.  You have a choice of rooms that range from about $60 on campus up to $150 in the local Holiday Inn.

I am planning (subject to approval by the board) to present a talk on Rule Optimization, Performance and Efficiency.  With a 45 minute limit, not much can be done but I will have a white paper available for those who want to dig deeper.  Decision camp itself is at https://sites.google.com/site/ruleml2016/decisioncamp and you can submit your abstract up until 4 April 2016.

See you there?