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Eric Bruno

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James Gosling - What Does it Mean?

April 13, 2010

With James Gosling's departure from Oracle, what are the consequences to Java and JavaFX? I've read some opinions on the web that with James goes all of the innovation in the Java space. I don't agree with that sentiment, but I am concerned about the future of the Java platform as we know it today.

James wasn't leading Java development at Sun/Oracle, and he certainly wasn't the only person to have innovated there either. (For instance, Chris Oliver was the creator and driving force behind JavaFX.) James' departure doesn't mean Java and JavaFX will no longer grow and mature. However, what I am concerned about are the reasons why he left, of which I have no clue. I suspect it was a culture clash between Sun being a technology-driven company (innovating for innovation's sake) and Oracle being a profit-driven company. Obviously, any modern public corporation has to make money and steadily increase profits, or sooner than later there will be no innovation occurring there. But I'd like to think that a balance between tech innovation and pure profits can be achieved, and lead to great things.

I want to see Java and JavaFX continue to succeed, and grow in its usefulness in the marketplace. In terms of JavaFX, this means growing adoption in the RIA, TV and Mobile space. For Java, this means making it easier to use, faster, and more powerful with every release of the platform. What really drives Java's future is you; developers that use it and demand that it improve as a platform. If you don't like its GC performance? Say something! If you want newer platforms supported? Say something! If you think JavaFX needs some key new feature before you'll choose it over Flash, let Oracle know.

Java's success begins and ends with developers like you and me. Don't let Java's future lie in the hands of one profit-driven corporation; take it back today! Speak up in blogs, forums, email, and conferences. And if over time, none of that works, there's always the OpenJDK :-)

Happy coding! -EJB

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