State Of The Java Nation

At a Guruteam sponsored meetup at the Clayton Hotel in central Belfast this week – we were treated to the inimitable Ben Evans – author , speaker and all round interesting guy with a talk on the state of Java 9. Ben serves on Java Community Process Executive Committee and for that reason is ideally placed to talk on the current state of Java 9. Ben was in Belfast delivering the recently developed  Optimising Java 2 day course (Guruteam code GTJ47 repeated in Belfast 14-15 Dec 2017) and in his relaxed style treated us to a  stroll through the path of Java 9 to approval. The main focus was on the issues between real world tooling, modules and dependencies / management including Maven. Covering the main players  or JBoss and OSGI – Ben explained the pain points and practical implications of changes inherent in moving to version 9 in its current proposed form. Advising that source code compilers must be able to generate the same level of code as the Javac compiler and that modules lack version was an important part of Ben’s presentation. Changes in type inference which evolved in Java 8 and changes in garbage collection (parallel->G1) were highlighted.

The “elephant in the room” section covered the sun.misc.unsafe api and the concerns and implications in the removal of this often used code with the potential for a safer internals approach in Java 10.

A few of the other positive changes in Java 9 were outlined

Process Api

Stack Walk Api

Reactive Streams and Collections update

Compact string treatment

Microservices architecture and Dynamic Language Interoperability – jruby,javascript and java as examples


A demof the Jshell repl finished of the presentation which was followed by open questions from the audience. Ben mentioned that V9 forbids Underscore as an identifier and changes that would ultimate improve other elements of J9/10. He also touched on Machine Learning in response to a query and the range of libraries for all aspects currently available for Java

Ben talked about the AdoptAJSR community where real world developers can contribute to the improvement of various JSR through feedback and  submissions. He also mentioned that the lightning talks at meetups were an ideal means of getting a speaking “career” started for those aspiring presenters in the audience.

Guruteam have been great hosts at all of the events I have attended and hats off to Catherine Ascough and her team for organising them. Looking forward already to Ben’s next talk