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More Java Futures Speculation

For what it is worth, here are my current postulations and position regarding “Where to now, for Java”…

Consider this: Microsoft’s customers don’t buy into C# (regardless of what most techies will tell you), they buy the Visual Studio packaged, pre-canned development pathway to development nirvana. They take on a particular packaged view of the world. Then they pretty much sit back and go where Microsoft leads them. It’s a well-marketed, appealling, popular, putatively risk-free and well-trodden strategy.

(Dont’ kid yourself that the marketing is actually real, however. Script-kiddies will produce script-kiddy grade coding, regardless of the quality of the marketing, or the prettiness of the tool. Trust me, I’ve seen the code! The only way out of this is training and experience. There’s a cost there, both dollars and time, so the professional managers that now rule our world will do almost anything to avoid that cost.)

The Microsoft market is notoriously not innovation-driven. The customers and practitioners typically don’t care less about better ways of skinning the cat, as long as it gets skinned somehow.

On the surface, this seems fine and dandy but let’s look around our modern world to see if innovation actually is or is not needed…

  • I am pretty happy that I don’t drive a Model-T Ford: love those modern innovations like anti-lock brakes, seatbelts, aircon, airbags pneumatic tyres and suspension systems. I am VERY happy that I don’t have to ride a horse…or a donkey.
  • I’m grateful for penicillin.
  • Being able to step into a Boeing 747 to travel half-way around the planet has certainly changed my life.
  • Love the lidocaine that my dentist pumps into me before digging around inside one of my teeth’s root canals.
  • I often remark at the way modern materials have changed the game of Tennis (sometimes for the worse but the actual rackets are indubitably superior to those of yore).
  • Let’s not forget that ASP.Net is better because of the influence of JSP/JSF technology, and that JSP/JSP (especially JSF) is better because of ASP.Net…that raw competition has been good for all concerned.

Innovation does make a difference, it seems.

Oh well. That was then, this is now.

(It is interesting to note that Microsoft is finding it hard to add new features into C# nowadays: the customers are effectively saying “we dont’ need no stinkin’ innovation”…)

So: I see Java becoming Oracle’s C# analogue.

All Java’s best features…all those features that make it attractive to Oracle the tool vendor (a mature, stable, efficient, cross-platform execution environment with minimum cost of development and support but with maximum market penetration)…will be ‘deprecated’/no longer mentioned. They will still be there and still be relevant but they will be pushed under the covers. You won’t see them and Oracle will educate you to let you know that you don’t even need to see them. What you’ll ‘need’ is to buy their product set. The product set that has been carefully engineered and (especially) advertised to sit right in the sweet-spot of minimum effort to produce and maximum profitability…for Oracle.

You’ll be bombarded with marketing and other influences to ensure that you forget those Java communities and competitors out there (you know, the ones that have benefitted your world over the past 10-15 years); Oracle’s sales team will be happy to explain to you why you don’t need the likes of Apache.org, the JCP, Spring, JBoss, etc. any more.

As long as you cross their palms with copious quantities of gold, Oracle will show you the One True Way.

Hopefully, there will be some sort of convergence between what Oracle will feed you and what you actually need.

Just remember what happens to a drug addict when he/she can’t pay their dealer…

The current Java-based multi-vendor marketplace simply won’t be able to survive under such conditions.

Don’t believe me? Want proof? Answer me this, then: what’s the second-best selling C# IDE in the windows world? There pretty much isn’t one, is there! Or this: what’s the alternative framework to ASP.Net? Again, there ain’t no such animal…

It’s the end of the world, people!

Perhaps one day in 2025, some manager with an atavistic streak of innovation in his/her DNA will suddenly pause the “Oracle Charge-O-Meter” on his/her pay-per-cycle copy of “Oracle Developer Brain Enhancement Interface for the Enterprise 17.7c” and think: “You know, what we need is a way of building Open Systems and not being beholden to a single monopolistic vendor! Wonder why no-one ever thought of that before?” I’m assuming that about 100 cycles after detecting such a wayward and unprofitable thought, the “Oracle License Mangager” will take appropriate remedial action…

Whoops! There I go! Again with the Open Systems thing…

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