Java is dead.
A lot of developers have thought they were too hip for Java, but I still liked it. I implemented SAX in Java first of all, and have developed software in Java and encouraged my enterprise customers to use it for many years, sometimes in 9-figure projects at Fortune-500 companies — it’s a great, mature platform, with a lot of tools for managing large projects and development teams, and it has unit-testing and IDE support that is second to none.
But now, Oracle (which recently bought Sun) has decided to sue Google for using Java in Android, even though (a) Sun long ago open sourced Java, and (b) Google built its own VM anyway. I very much hope that Oracle will suffer the same humiliating, crushing, well-deserved defeat that the SCO group suffered when it went after Linux with its own bogus law suits, but it will take years for that to happen. The Android and Blackberry mobile operating systems will be fine, and Java (of a sort) will live on there (though I still recommend web apps instead of phone apps), but the days of Java and Eclipse in the enterprise are finished.
In the meantime, there are lots of open alternatives to Java, and the litigation risks of using Java have suddenly become far too high. In my consulting work, I’ll reluctantly have to advise customers not to use Java for any new projects, and to consider migrating older projects to a different platform. If you’re a big company or government, you just can’t afford the risk that Oracle will come after you, too.
I’m sorry the end was so sudden and messy, but still, it was a great 15 years. Thanks to James Gosling and all the other people in the Java community for the memories and opportunities.