Oracle lays out plans for the next Java generation

In celebrating Java's 20 years, former Sun CEO McNealy laments James Gosling's departure from Oracle

Oracle executives, with an assist from former Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, took to the stage Sunday to champion the 20-year-old Java platform's past, present, and future.

Some insiders have suggested Oracle is losing interest in Java. But Oracle used the annual JavaOne conference to detail plans for future Java releases of the enterprise and standard versions, as well promote Java for the cloud and Internet of things. 

The planned Java EE 8 edition, due in 2017, will focus on HTML5, cloud enablement, and ease of use, as well as use of the model-view-controller framework and improved  security. This week Oracle is upgrading its Java application server, WebLogic Server, to version 12.2.1 for better multitenancy support, consolidation of Java workloads, and continuous availability.

Java SE 9, planned for next year, will use modularity to solve issues with the Java classpath and the monolithic Java Development Kit, said Mark Reinhold, chief architect for the Java platform group at Oracle. "It's a large system. It doesn't scale very well," he said of the current JDK. 

Beyond Java 9, Oracle called for development of Project Valhalla, for advanced features such as value types and specialization, and Project Panama, for access to native data and native code as part of Java 10.

In the Java ME realm, Intel Vice President Michael Greene said Intel had added Java support to the Intel IoT Developer Kit. Additionally, Java ME now runs on the Intel architecture, Greene said.

Also at JavaOne, ex-Sun chief McNealy celebrated Java's 20 years. McNealy recalled how James Gosling said he needed a better language to develop consumer technology at Sun, so he came up with Java with the blessings of Sun executives. Marketing Java with the Netscape browser enabled the Java virtual machine to be shipped in volume, McNealy recalled.

But McNealy also lamented that Gosling was no longer working on it. "He's not at Oracle working on Java. That's a nightmare." (Gosling now works at Liquid Robotics.)

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