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Java 8 APIs

 
Prab Singh
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Hi Kishori,

I am working as a java developer and always found Java language syntax simple and easy to learn. However, as Java is progressing I am feeling that it is inclining towards functional programming and due to that it is changing its syntax rather than adding new APIs or library. What is your take on this?

Out of 3 books you had, I am mostly looking forward to APIs, Extensions and Libraries as this might change my mind.

Another question I have is - Originally some of features that were part of Java 7 could not make it and then they got put in Java 8. Has something like this happened with Java 8 as well. If yes, in brief what were those features?

Then a very open question - How do you see the future of Java language in general?

I hope to win a copy of APIs book :-)

Thanks,
Prabhjot Singh
 
Kishori Sharan
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Hello Prabhjot,
I agree with you that Java is no longer "simple". Its syntax is getting convoluted - think about the syntax for Generics! One thing that Java designers are facing today is the tradeoff between making Java obsolete or giving the needed features with backward compatibility with a little twisted syntax. They want to keep Java alive and useful, so they choose the latter. Things would have been different if they had thought about these features when they created Java.

Project Jigsaw was delayed in Java 8. it will be part of Java 9. You can find more info on Jigsaw here.

As of now, I see a bright future for Java. Still there is no match for Java on server-side programming. On top of that, availability of many open-source frameworks makes it helpful for companies and developers to develop Java applications almost "free of cost".
 
Junilu Lacar
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Kishori Sharan wrote:Things would have been different if they had thought about these features when they created Java.

When people say things like this at work (mostly manager-type people), my usual comeback is "Well, too bad we're just a bunch of plain old dumbass developers, not psychics." In other words, "coulda, woulda, shoulda." Who coulda/woulda/shoulda thunk to include features that would make it easier to solve problems like big data processing and analytics or that the Java OO paradigm would someday be challenged by FPish languages like Scala, Groovy, Ruby, and even JavaScript? Back in 1995? Last time I checked, time-travelling DeLoreans were still just a Hollywood thing and I don't think even the Republicans taking control of congress can change that.

Ok, I don't really say that to my managers at work. I just tell my manager that I wish that's what I could say to all those pointy-haired managers. She just laughs and agrees; that's why I still have a job and that's why she's the greatest.

Anyway, the evolution of a language can be messy, especially if it has to go through a committee. I don't see Java going away just because some or maybe even a lot of people think it's getting uglier. Sure, maybe some of these new additions can make for Java code that looks like one of those hack-job plastic surgeries gone horribly wrong but hey, Java is still arguably one of if not the most widely-used language for enterprise application development. If anything though, as with those bad "cosmetic enhancements", I would blame any ugliness resulting from the use of these features on unscrupulous and unqualified back-alley wannabe developers. In my experience, that's usually the case anyway, whatever language feature you're talking about. YMMV.

The process of evolution is slow but constant so if this response to competitive pressures makes Java less attractive, maybe the next evolutionary step will fix that. It would have to if Java and the legions of Java programmers are to survive. Heck, a lot of us survived the early days of EJB and Model 1 MVC, right? I'm sure we can survive whatever perceived ugliness these new language features Java 8 brings to the party.

But I'm an optimist. You'd have to be if you've ever spent any time in the netherworld of enterprise software development with COBOL and RPG. That's something you younger whippersnappers don't ever want to go through so thank your stars that you have the Java that you have now, hold out that dish and say "Please, sirs, can we have some more?"
 
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