Oracle airs Java ambitions

Oracle intends to improve Java for deployment on a full range of systems including servers, clients, and devices, the company stressed in a keynote presentation Monday evening at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco. This year’s conference marks Oracle’s first as the steward of Java technologies primarily developed by Sun Microsystems, which was acquired by Oracle in January.

Oracle’s Thomas Kurian, executive vice president for product development, cited improvements and plans for the different Java technologies, including the enterprise edition of Java as well as the JavaFX rich Internet platform.

Kurian also stressed a community bent for Java.

“The future of Java is not about Oracle. It’s not about any specific company, it’s about you the developer community and how you make the language great and how you build great applications with it,” Kurian said. Oracle, however, has been pressured recently by former Sun and Oracle official James Gosling, considered the father of Java, to form an independent foundation to oversee Java.

Oracle’s plans for Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) include making application servers more modular and providing capabilities including dependency injection and reduced configuration requirements. The Java EE 6 Web Profile, for example, reduces the size of the Java runtime for lightweight Web applications, thus cutting overhead and improving performance, Oracle said.

Project Coin was cited as an effort to improve Java development capabilities, with functions such as type inferencing. Project Lambda was noted as an effort to bring closures to Java, while Project Jigsaw is about modularity for Java.

For the client side, Oracle plans an enhanced programming model that combines Java and JavaFX to provide for advanced graphics and high-fidelity media as well as HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS Web capabilities. Native Java platform support will be featured as well.

A single programming model based on JavaFX is planned, which can be used for JavaFX across browsers and native applications.

Oracle also stressed its commitment to delivering the best Java Virtual Machine and having the VM be modular, scaling from netbooks to desktops and servers.

On devices, Oracle is modernizing the Java mobile platform by providing Java with Web support to consumer devices, Oracle said. Other enhancements planned include language features, small-footprint CPU-efficient capabilities for cards, phones, and TVs along with tooling and emulation across hardware platforms, Oracle said.

Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE) is being optimized for application models and hardware, including extended support for scripting languages, increased developer productivity, and lower operational costs, according to Oracle. Java Development Kits (JDK) 7 and 8 will be based on OpenJDK, which is the open source implementation of Java.

New JDKs will be offered in 2011 and 2012. Also, two versions of the NetBeans open source tools platform are planned for release in 2011.

While Oracle delineated its Java plans at the show, Gosling’s efforts to have JavaOne attendees wear t-shirts protesting Oracle’s stewardship of Java seems to have been a bust, at least on Monday. Walks through exhibit and conference halls for JavaOne and the concurrent Oracle OpenWorld conference did not turn up anyone wearing the shirts, although it perhaps could be expected that someone who protests Oracle would not attend an official Oracle event.

Oracle, meanwhile, gave out its own t-shirts, which stated, “I Am the Future of Java.”

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