Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jython @ JavaOne 2008

I attended a couple days of JavaOne last week and luckily avoided the norovirus outbreak. However I did notice something else spreading through Moscone Center; interest in languages on the JVM. For example:
  • The number of sessions/BoFs covering Dynamic Language topics: around 8 on Groovy, 5 on JRuby, 2 on Jython and also a couple on Scala and Rhino each, with some very good turnouts. That's not even including CommunityOne. Also featured was a Scripting language bowl: a faceoff between JRuby, Groovy, Scala and Jython.
  • The JavaOne book store was stocked with just about every JRuby and Groovy book out there. Of the top 10 selling books at JavaOne, 3 were about languages on top of the JVM (Groovy and JavaFX). Wednesday's top 10 sellers also included JRuby committer Ola Bini's Practical JRuby on Rails as well as another Rails book. I'm hoping to see a whole lot of Python books on the shelf next year.
  • A number of Ruby/JRuby folks (and not just the ones employed by Sun either) told me that they are quite happy with NetBeans' support for Ruby. It has code completion and even some refactoring support. Tor Norbye and the NetBeans crew are now working on JavaScript support (Look Mom, JavaScript type inference) and are slated to add Python support next. Ted Leung has already begun talking to them about the details.
  • Ruby is still on the rise, and JRuby is a big contributing factor. JRuby definitely had the attention of many attendees and definitely has a growing userbase in Java land.
  • Groovy and the Groovy on Grails combo is also on the rise. linkedin.com, Sky TV and SAP's Composition on Grails Product are a few notable users of Grails. IBM's Project Zero (aka the WebSphere sMash product) is also utilizing Groovy, as well as their own PHP on the JVM implementation.
  • Sun's own new scripting lanuguage on top of the JVM, JavaFX, was of course all over the place.
  • John Rose: "I think we are on the right track here, letting the JVM grow independently of the Java language. (The language, if it has room to grow, will catch up.) James Gosling expressed a similar sentiment at his February Java Users Group talk “The Feel of Java, Revisited”, when he said he sometimes felt more interested in the future of the JVM than that of the Java language. “I don’t really care about the Java language. All the magic is in the JVM specification.” (Yes, I think that is hyperbolic. No, he is not abandoning Java.) I love both Java and the JVM, and I am pushing on the JVM this year."
  • The potential Java 7 new features. They're still potential because the Java 7 JSR isn't out yet. While some are nice (like John Rose's JSR 292, which will be a big help for JVM languages like Jython), some are arguably not nice. I hear more disdain than ever over where Java the language is going, which makes other languages on top of the JVM even more desirable.
  • I met many new people (more than I expected) who have used Jython at some point in their career, and some who are using it now (like pushToTest's Frank Cohen). They're all eager about its recent progress and can't wait for the 2.5 release.
  • Reminder: the Java world is large. Over 10,000 attendees, probably 10 times as many as this year's PyCon. All potential Python converts, right?
Ok, I mostly covered what I observed about different JVM languages at JavaOne, not just Jython. What I'm getting at here is that there's a lot of potential for the Jython 2.5 release (and all that code waiting around on Pypi to run on it) in this large Java ecosystem.

1 comment:

dulia said...

good intro.
SUN. VS IBM.VERY intereting