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Keynote: The Future of Java Innovation

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In the opening keynote at SpringOne Europe 2009, Rod Johnson wondered if Java innovation is going to be stifled by latest Oracle acquisition and expressed his belief that Java will continue to evolve outside of Sun as it has done for the last few years. As proof he mentioned: Grails, Roo, a tool for improved developer productivity, a free STS, tc Server and dm Server.

Watch: The Future of Java Innovation (1h. 55 min.)

Rod does not believe Oracle will contribute to Java innovation because:

  • Oracle is not an innovator
  • Oracle acquisition is for Wall Street not developers
  • Oracle is focused on making money not innovating

But Rod does not see that as a problem because the language itself is open source, licensed under GNU GPL, and Oracle won’t shutdown Java because they can’t and because it is not in their advantage.

Lately, the innovation has not come from Sun but from outside, and especially from languages built on the JVM like Groovy and Scala, according to Rod. Platforms and frameworks are what matters these days and that is where innovation must go on.

Rod did not try to convince the attendees that Java innovation is not going to die in the near future, but instead presented the latest SpringSource achievements expressing company’s goal: “Complete infrastructure for building, running and managing Java applications.”

The JVM is an excellent platform for large scalable enterprise applications but it is missing “the joined up experience from developers to production” unlike Ruby on Rails which “is very integrated, it is a one stop shop”. The focus should be on integration and productivity and SpringSource is committed to that with Grails, Roo, STS, tc Server, dm Server.

Grails was touted by Rod as the best web development framework for the JVM. G2One, the company behind Grails, was acquired by SpringSource last year.

Roo is an interactive and lightweight tooling meant to improve Java developer productivity. One can use it to code in Java using the Spring object model. Roo is the proposed name, but developers are invited to vote and choose the best name for this tool, one of: Spring Dart, Spring Spark, Spring Roo, Spring HyperDrive, Spring Boost.

Rod has also announced they are giving SpringSource Tool Suite (STS) for free, and the suite will contain Grails and Groovy tools later in the year.

Another announcement was the release of SpringSource tc Server, basically the Tomcat application server plus enterprise capabilities needed to manage a large installation of such servers.

Roo and tc Server were demoed during the keynote.

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