The clear focus of this year’s JavaOne, going on this week in San Francisco, is the community around Java and the state of the platform. To this end, Patrick Curran, chair of the Java Community Process, described a number of initiatives ongoing within the JCP, which he hopes will open the group to more participation from the community at large.
Specifically, JSR 358 has been split in two in order to speed up the work being done to allow developers to participate in the JCP without having to sign a 12-page contract. JSR 364 is an effort Curran hoped will be completed in a few months, and it is designed to create a new class of members (known as Affiliate Members) who will not be as legally restricted and bound as regular JCP members and contributors.
JSR 358, meanwhile, is now only about unencumbering the JCP from its legal burdens. Previously, the JCP experienced controversy in use restrictions around the Java Test Compatibility Kits. These restrictions limited the use of tested Java implementations to desktops and servers only, worrying developers that they would be open to legal damages if they used their tested Java implementations in an appliance or device.
Curran said that many of these fears have been assuaged with the OpenJDK because of the Open TCK License, which was designed so that open-source developers could test their OpenJDK work. The core of Java SE, however, may remain under the yoke of the restrictive TCK licenses for some time, he said.
(Related: Java EE 8 components approved by the JCP)
Overall, Curran stated that he and the JCP are attempting to bring in new organizations to participate in Java. “We’ve already started, and I think we have 10 new corporate members joining us in the last few months, and at a party last night I think we recruited two more.”
For Java as a language, much of this year’s JavaOne was focused on orienting developers with Java SE 8, which was released earlier this year. Java EE 7 was released at last year’s JavaOne as well, and was thus the focus of enterprise talks.
One area where there has been considerable change since last year’s JavaOne is Java ME. With the release of OpenJDK 8 and Java SE 8, Java ME made the switch from being a separate Java to being simply a subset of Java SE 8.
Java ME 8 was already updated once earlier this year, but on Sunday, Oracle released an early access version of Java ME 8.1. Robert Clark, senior director of software development at Oracle, said that this release is “focused on the Freescale K64 chip, which runs on top of the mbed open-source platform. We really feel that the support for mbed—although it’s early—we feel that by having that support on top of mbed, we can provide a truly mobile platform for microcontrollers.”
The collection of updates for the Java EE 8 platform were finalized earlier in September, but the work on these projects has only just begun. Java EE 8 should be available sometime in 2016, and Cameron Purdy, vice president of cloud application foundation at Oracle, said that the focus of Java EE 8 will remain on providing new, useful tools and APIs that can be used without having to use the entire Java EE stack.
Elsewhere at the show, Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd discussed and unveiled new Big Data products, and demonstrated speedy new benchmarks for the Oracle platform. Also, newly minted Oracle CTO and founder, Larry Ellison, took to the keynote stage on Sunday to challenge Salesforce’s domination in CRM and customer data handling.