Friday, October 16, 2009

A Big Week for the Java Development Community

This past week featured some significant news for the general Java development community. Many of us looked to this week's OpenWorld 2009 as an opportunity to learn more about the potential future of Java and the Java "ecosystem" under Oracle's stewardship. There was also exciting news of the forthcoming Version 9 of IntelliJ IDEA being made available in two editions, including a Community Edition that would be open source and freely available.

Oracle OpenWorld 2009

Although many of us in the Java development community have worked with Oracle products for years, others are just starting to become familiar with Oracle products since the announcement of Oracle's acquisition of Sun. In particular, this past week's Oracle OpenWorld has received more attention from the general Java development community than ever before. In his blog post A Big Fat Thanks/Things I Learned At Oracle OpenWorld (#oow09), Oracle Technology Network Editor-in-Chief/Community Evangelist Justin Kestelyn summarizes where things are at in terms of OpenWorld and the future of JavaOne:

The Java technologist community is very nervous about OpenWorld serving as a substitute for JavaOne; the cultural and content differences are stark. The sooner we can communicate our plans there, the better. (Unfortunately, nothing can be said until deal close. And contrary to some of the rumors out there, no announcements have been made on this subject at all.)

JavaOne's future is not the only future we're thinking about in the Java development community. We still have to wonder about the future of Sun-supported products such as GlassFish, NetBeansm, MySQL, and JavaFX.

For more information on Oracle OpenWorld, see sites such as OpenWorld Wrap-Up: The Best and Worst from San Francisco, Reporter's Notebook: Oracle OpenWorld 2009, The Guide to Oracle OpenWorld 2009, and Blogs about Oracle OpenWorld.

Community Edition of IntelliJ Idea

The announcement this week regarding the release of IntelliJ IDEA Version 9 in two editions (including a freely available open source Community Edition) has caused quite a stir in the Java development community (three of the top four links currently on DZone discuss this announcement [here and here and here]).

The IntelliJ Platform will be completely open sourced while the IDEA IDE will only have certain select portions open sourced. Both the platform and the IDE will be open sourced under the Apache 2 license.

The IntelliJ IDEA 9 Editions Comparison Matrix indicates the differences between the freely available, open source Community Edition and the Ultimate Edition. The Community Edition lacks some nice features of the Ultimate Edition, but the Community Edition still contains many powerful features, especially for those developing applications with Java SE, Groovy, and Scala. For those developing Java EE and web applications, the upgrade to the Ultimate Edition or use of an alternative IDE would probably be a better bet.

The landscape of the Java IDEs is going to get even more interesting in coming months. In Intellij Idea IDE OpenSourced - The current state of the Java IDE's, Anshu Mishra compares and contrasts Eclipse, NetBeans, and IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition. However, another freely available (albeit not open source) Java IDE is not mentioned: JDeveloper. With Oracle obviously behind JDeveloper and likely soon-to-be the primary steward of Java, that IDE cannot be discounted.


It is going to be interesting to watch the progress that occurs within the Java development community over the next several months. Both Oracle's handling of Java and the effect of the release of IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition will likely impact to some degree Java development for many in our community.

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