Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Java 7 SE approved... Meh

Hey Java SE 7 has been approved... now that is spectacularly quickly. You'd almost think that the normal Java Community Process had been ignored and instead the spec lead had taken an externally created spec straight to approval...

What is most depressing in reading the various Oracle (mainly ex-Sun employee) releases on this is that not a single one actually commented on the fact that of the people doing the approvals six of them expressed reservations about the licensing terms and the transparency of the process. All stated that they were approving it to get Java moving again and that there are issues they want to see addressed. I've said before that Java SE 7 is a nothing release for Java but its the approach and process that concerns me most. While I don't think the Java SE 6 approach taken by the Sun leads at the time was at all positive or constructive and the end result was not what was required at least there was a decent representation and debate. 18 companies spent 18 months and while the dumbest decisions remained (JAX-WS in JavaSE 6... how stupid does that look now?) at least there was a measure of debate.

The expert group for Java SE 7 was a sham, Five companies, five months and the first draft published days after the expert group was finally formed. The comments on the 'six companies who approved (+ Google who voted against) clearly indicate that there are significant changes required for Java to regain its position as the go-to platform for developers, enterprises and vendors.

I really hope that Java SE 8 actually does the radical things that the platform needs given the big shifts in the last 5 years since a decent release which didn't just dump cruft into the platform. Unfortunately I'm still concerned that the mentality is more to continue outside with a closed community which pretends to be open while actually pushing an already proven to fail line.

Java SE 7... I give it a 'Meh'.

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