16 May 2006

Will Java Ever Explode?

Some fifteen years ago I found myself in a café near the top of Merapi, just outside Yogyakarta in central Java. As now, this was at a time of considerable seismic activity there, with lava flows in some places. It was a very strange experience, because I had the feeling that, at any moment, the whole thing might lift into the air.

You could say the same about Java - not the island, but the language. For years it has seemed on the brink of erupting in spectacular pyrotechnics, but it always falls back, to smoulder some more.

The obvious way of adding some deep, magmatic oomph to the Java market is to release the code as open source. Once again, people are whispering about this, making Java something of a litmus test for Sun's new CEO, Jonathan Schwartz: will he, won't he? Is he, isn't he?

At least, to his credit, Schwartz has kept the blogging faith....

Update: C|Net says "Sun promises to open-source Java": me, I'd like to see the details before I throw my hat in the air....

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