Can Oracle be trusted to drive (Java) yet?

Java 8 is here, but needs run-in and polish to meet industry standards, says software specialist Adrian Bridgwater

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Can Oracle be trusted to drive (Java) yet? Oracle’s latest version of Java is being touted as the platform of choice for the Internet of Things, but it may have some way to go yet.
By  Adrian Bridgwater Published  March 27, 2014

When Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems back in early 2010, it is fair to say that a few shockwaves went out across the open source community.

Despite Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's pledges to ‘look after' Java and act as a responsible steward for the language and wider platform, Ellison's reputation for ‘positive but aggressive acquisition' throughout the IT industry unsettled devotees who had previously laid down their lives for the Java stack all the way through to the Solaris operating system.

But even big disruptive dusts ultimately settle... and four years later Java 8 has arrived.

Core democratic systems for Java development and augmentation still exist such as the Java Community Process (JCP); and from those sources, key Java leaders have been open and candid about what has been included in Java 8 and what has been omitted where features are not quite ready.

Let's get the dirty work out of the way first. Java 8 is not shipping with features pertaining to Jigsaw, the project devoted to Java security through modularity controls. The message from the Java camp is quite simple i.e. it's not ready yet, so it shouldn't be included.

Jigsaw's omission makes for good fodder if you fall into the naysaying camp looking to knock Oracle; it's late now and has suffered from "significant technical challenges", plus look at all those Java vulnerabilities that make industry news headlines. For balance here, let's remember that Jigsaw isn't fully baked yet, so the team wants to get it right first - plus, many Java vulnerabilities stem from plug-ins at the browser level and are not inherently caused by Java itself.

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