I just spent a couple of days talking to Java users and Sun customers about Tiger (JDK 5.0) in Nice and Marseille.
Jean-Christophe (Jessie) Collet (Staff Engineer, Java Security & Networking group, i.e. the java.net package) was nice enough to join me for the journey. We talked to several customers and to the local JUG.
The openness (Sun’s Glasnost as I like to call it) with Java which went even firther with Mustang snapshot releases and the availability of the Tiger source code and new license, is seen as a nice evolution and certainly as a nice “alternative” (maybe more real) to open sourcing Java. There’s more to come on how the engineering team will be able to talk back to the community.
Comments were all very good, and several asked for Tiger language features in previous Java releases which could make sense given most if not all the job is done at the compiler level. But that’s not possible and given Tiger’s top priority being “compatibility”, we certainly hope to have people moving quickly to 1.5.0 JVMs. So lots of interest and it feels very good (I’ve been in tougher situations) to see all this hard engineering work being well appreciated by the community.
Speaking of which… as many other Tiger presentations, the one I used as a canevas to incorporate Jessie’s networking slides was very much centered on the new language features in Tiger. Joshua Bloch and others did a great job, but I though I’d write this blog to say how much you all need to look at the “What’s new” sections in all parts of the JDK.
As an example, in Jessie’s domain of expertise, we now have:
– HTTP timeouts
– Cookies API
– Cache API
– HTTP Streaming Output (aka Chunked Streaming to do everything HTTP was never meant for!)
– Proxy management (no more all-or-nothing proxy settings for the entire VM)
– Reachability API (almost a
false does not always mean you can’t connect to the machine)
– IPv6 enhancements (more OS support) and still transparent for the Java developer (a socket remains a socket).
Now that’s a lot of improvements!
It’s quite challenging and certainly very interesting to do a talk with a member of the engineering team. I mean, he’s been so much more involved and exposed to Tiger than myself. Most of my colleagues call me an expert in front of customers and it always makes me feel strange as Jessie and all the others are obviously the real experts. It’s great to meet all these guys and I like the idea of passing on their knowledge and passion to the customers I meet. So thanks Jessie, Craig, Tom, Scott O., Scott V., Brian, Stanley, Calvin, Amy, Eamonn, Ludo, Tim, and everyone else!