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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Java is celebrating 20 years - was my first love

Oracle, users and the development community worldwide are celebrating 20 years of Java. Today, Java serves as the critical backbone of software that touches both our work and personal lives. From innovations in enterprise big data, cloud, social, mobile and the Internet of Things, to connected cars, smartphones and video games, Java continues to help developers push the boundaries in technology innovation.

Many big boys use Java as core platform for their products, chief amonghts them are Oracle, Fujitsu and IBM.

I still remember those days before Oracle bought Java, when Oracle databases interfaces were built based on Java Swing framework. It was particularly mesmerizing to me because I told myself that - "hey, that looks familiar!" - because I had built applications using Swing framework as well.

From then on, I knew that Java was meant for enterprise.


As the matter of fact, I built my graduate school thesis based on Java platform, where I developed a taxi-hunting system which uses AStar algorithm to locate the nearest taxi within a map location. Yup, I have done that in 2001, way before the era of smartphone, Waze, MyTeksi and etc.

As far as I can remember, Java was built to support the idea of platform independence. During that time, the Microsoft .NET framework wasn't available yet, as a result, Microsoft application was very OS dependent.

Java inventor James Gosling was at that time working for Sun Microsystem who competed with Microsoft for enterprise server market share.

As a result of Java, Sun Microsystem Solaris was popular and Java became the number 1 enterprise application platform, web based in particular.

As years grew, Microsoft launched .NET and eventually managed to wrestled back the enterprise application platform market share from Java.

Until today, some believe that Java is still the number 1 enterprise application platform, whereby Java programmers command a significantly higher salary-base compare to .NET and other platforms such as Ruby on Rails, LAMP and etc.

On my personal note, I found Java to have been slowed down and lacking momentum when comparing with Microsoft .NET, which Microsoft has been aggresively focusing on.

The last time I paid attention to Java was when I attended the Oracle Open World 2012 and Oracle was banking on the idea that Java would blossom in the arena of embedded system.

The idea makes sense because Java is platform-independent and hence its ability to support multi-hardware embedded system industry is more credible than other platforms.

Nonetheless, my interest didn't carry anything further from thereon.

In recent months, Java was pretty much burdened with zero-days security vulnerability.

As of today, under the stewardship of Oracle:
  • Java enterprise developers can choose from an ecosystem of 30 Java EE 6 and Java EE 7 compatible implementations from 12 vendors.
  • Two major platform releases including Java 7 and Java 8 have been delivered, with Java 9 slated for 2016.
  • In March 2014, Oracle announced availability of Java SE 8 after receiving final approval in the Java Community process.
  • To commemorate 20 years of Java, Oracle Certification is offering 20 percent discount on all Java certification exams. The offer available globally is now open through December 31, 2015. Candidates must provide promotional code Java20 at the time of registration. For details, visit here.

One thing to take note is that even though Java is owned by Oracle, nonetheless, the concept remains open-sourced.

For instance, new updates and releases are moderated by the OpenJDK Community.

Therefore, if you look at the Project Jigsaw, it is primarily an OpenJDK Community's initiative aim at improving the performance of the Java SE platform. In other words, this means that every small bit of revision is motivated by the commonest people in the community.

Java was my first love. Whilst I was in college, while still learning computer programming, I dreamed of becoming a Java Certified Solution Achitect one day.

For a full timeline of key developments and milestone’s in Java’s 20-Year history.

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