Java founder emphasizes Oracle's commitment

James Gosling, formerly of Sun, also touts latest version of Java Enterprise Edition

Oracle's commitment to Java and the ubiquity of the technology were stressed Wednesday by Java founder James Gosling in a presentation that also centered on the recently released Java Enterprise Edition (EE) 6 specification.

Gosling, who is now CTO of Oracle's client software group after many years at Sun Microsystems, also said an updated version of Java Store would arrive "any day now." Offered in a test release last year, Java Store was set up as an online mechanism for discovering and acquiring Java and JavaFX programs.

Oracle recently closed its $US7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems, where Java was invented. In a keynote speech at TheServerSide Java Symposium in Las Vegas, Gosling emphasized Oracle's backing of Java.

"Oracle has certainly been incredibly committed to keeping Java and the whole ecosystem as strong and as healthy as can be," he said.

Java EE 6, also known as Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 6, is "really going to be the foundation of the next generation of enterprise software," Gosling said. The specification was approved November 30 after several years in the making, he said.

Java EE 6 offers capabilities such as modularity and task-based profiles. Currently, Java EE 6 offers a Web-based profile and a full profile.

"The Web profile is really what most people use in building a modern Web app," Gosling said.

The EE 6 specification also features APIs such as JAX-RS 1.1 (Java API for RESTful Web Services), Enterprise JavaBeans 1.1, Managed Beans 1.0, and Java-WS (Java API for XML-based Web Services) 2.2.

"They're all pretty substantial," said Gosling.

Also, dependency injection in EE 6 provides a way to inject dependencies in code, said Gosling.

He hailed the GlassFish application server as providing the first implementation of EE 6, saying the server is used in data centers is downloaded about a million times a month.

"People run lots of large-scale sites on it. Don't think of it as toy. It is definitely not a toy," said Gosling. However, Oracle has positioned GlassFish as a departmental application server. The company also has the former BEA WebLogic Server application server on its product roster.

Commenting on the JCP, Gosling expressed disdain for the politics of the endeavor, with engineers involved in discussion rather than writing code. "You have to talk to people. For lots of folks, that's kind of a difficult thing," he said.

Also, Gosling stressed that although Java is a language, the virtual machine in the Java platform "is where kind of all the magic is."

A relatively new development in the Java realm, the JavaFX multimedia platform, features JavaFX Script, providing a declarative scripting language for graphical user interfaces. "It is not about generating Web pages, it's about building rich graphical user interfaces on the desktop," Gosling said.

Gosling cited a slew of figures pertaining to continued popularity of Java, including an average of 15 million downloads per week of the Java Runtime Environment. Also, there are 10 billion Java-enabled devices worldwide, he said. "There are actually more Java-enabled devices on the planet than there are people," he said.

"It's an incredibly vibrant ecosystem," Gosling said.

"Most of the place where Java happens, people aren't aware of it," said Gosling. He cited Amazon's Kindle as one prominent Java-based device.

He also stressed benefits in developing multicore applications on Java. "One of the nice things about the whole EE framework is that the framework deals with the multicore stuff for you," Gosling said.

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Paul Krill

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