Ben’s 2014 in Review
In this post, I’m going to look back at some of my highlights of 2014. Perhaps the biggest was, of course, the release of Java 8. This was a particular feelgood moment for me, as it represented the delivery of a lot of work that jClarity staff had started or contributed to – from the Adopt a JSR and Adopt OpenJDK projects, to my first patches into OpenJDK itself (including dealing with the webrev process).
The path after release wasn’t always as smooth as it might have been, but on the whole it has been probably the most successful Java release ever!
Java 9 and Beyond!
Even though Java 8 was released, the pace throughout the rest of 2014 didn’t let up, with Oracle announcing the formation of projects to look at the future of the VM and language, before starting to announce potential Java 9 features, including a developing story about Java modularity. Towards the end of the year, more long-range ideas began to emerge, including a discussion of the long-awaited attempts to bring primitive (aka enhanced) generics to Java.
The Community in 2014
A major theme for the year was Java security, both in the general ecosystem and from Oracle. It was also the year that Java and IoT went mainstream, with major announcements from Eclipse and Oracle, who heralded the “the beginning of the IoT story for Java“. Security is an old favourite in the Java community, but the IoT space is one that I’m personally very excited about for the coming year.
In the standards space, the Java Community Process (JCP) kicked off the final phase of transparency work and getting a new developer agreement for contributing to Java. There was considerable movement with new Java EE 8 standards starting as well as in-flight standards (such as the currency standard, JSR 354) making good progress.
As JavaOne approached, Cloudbees exited the general cloud business and resigned from the JCP Executive Committee, citing a desire to focus on their core business of enterprise Jenkins. The subsequent JCP election led to some new members and some returning ones, including Greg Luck for Hazelcast and Geir Magnusson as an independent member.
On a personal level, I spent a lot of time in 2014 thinking about performance (of course). I began working with the JITWatch tool for understanding JIT compilation and how it affects your application (perhaps even negatively). After all, it’s always fun to spend a little time on the dark side. I also spent time thinking about the interaction of performance, people and our thought processes.
jClarity continued to go from strength to strength, and I was hugely impressed by the strength of the talent we have both as jClarity staff, and in our wider community. We shipped some awesome products and did some great work for our customers.
With Java 9 modularity on my mind, I wrote about what we can do today in Java 8 with with existing tools to reduce footprint. I also spent some time about what Java developers might like to know about some of the upcoming APIs in Java 9.
I also mused about:
- Technical architecture
- Styles of programming
- The impact of Java 8 on non-Java languages
- Teaching programming to beginners.
Oh, and I wrote a book – releasing the new edition of “Java in a Nutshell” was a huge honour for me – I never could have guessed that one day I’d be stewarding a book which I remember reading and loving when I was a brand new Java developer.
So, all in all, 2014 was quite a year for Java and for me personally – and I can’t wait to see where we get to in 2015!
Ben (Co-Founder and Tech Fellow)