If there is one thing that is certain about Java, still, it’s that the platform is rather large. It’s not large in the same way you must download multiple gigabytes to get Apple’s XCode, or in the way that Microsoft’s Visual Studio often used to require a dozen CDs to carry all the goodies. No, Java is large in the same way that a fantasy regent’s family is large.

With cousins connected, marriages of convenience and diplomacy, and even the occasional midnight murder (MIDI support, anyone?), Java’s past has made for a very convoluted present. This has basically doomed Java developers to live in a world where about 80 to 100MB of space must always be dedicated to their Java Runtime Environment and dependent files.

But Java 9 hopes to change all of this. With the long-running effort to slim down Java now finally slated for a release sometime in 2016, Project Jigsaw couldn’t come soon enough. In a world where developers are so incensed with the old ways of doing things that they’ve begun rewriting everything from scratch in JavaScript, it’s really difficult to explain to those young coder kids just why your Java application requires libraries that handle e-mail, JMS or some other heavyweight transport, even when all you’re using is REST and some Web forms.

So we’re here to say it is definitely past time to put Java on a diet. That will no longer help. Instead, it’s time to slice Java up into component parts, spread them out real thin, and pick and choose what you need from what’s left over. Unless something goes terribly wrong, we should finally be able to realize the end goal of a slim Java when this is all over. Let’s also hope this newer, slimmer Java influences Java EE 8 to include more profiles: Java EE’s take on the slimmed-down Java ideal.