Java still relevant, Linux desktop, and more industry trends

A weekly look at open source community and industry trends.
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As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.

Is Java still relevant?

Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, which oversees Java Enterprise Edition (now Jakarta EE), also believes Java itself is going to evolve to support these technologies. “I think that’s there’s going to be changes to Java that go from the JVM all the way up,” said Milinkovich. “So any new features in the JVM which will help integrate the JVM with Docker containers and be able to do a better job of instrumenting Docker containers within Kubernetes is definitely going to be a big help. So we are going to be looking for Java SE to evolve in that direction.” 

The impact: A completely open source release of Java Enterprise Edition as Jakarta EE lays the groundwork for years of Java development to come. Some of Java's relevance comes from the mind-boggling sums that have been spent developing in it and the years of experience that software developers have in solving problems with it. Combine that with the innovation in the ecosystem (for example, see Quarkus, or GraalVM), and the answer has to be "yes."

GraalVM: The holy graal of polyglot JVM?

While most of the hype around GraalVM has been around compiling JVM projects to native, we found plenty of value in its Polyglot APIs. GraalVM is a compelling and already fully useable alternative to Nashorn, though the migration path is still a little rocky, mostly due to a lack of documentation. Hopefully this post helps others find their way off of Nashorn and on to the holy graal.

The impact: One of the best things that can happen with an open source project is if users start raving about some novel application of the technology that isn't even the headline use case. "Yeah yeah, sounds great but we don't even turn that thing on... this other piece though!"

Call me crazy, but Windows 11 could run on Linux

Microsoft has already been doing some of the needed work. Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) developers have been working on mapping Linux API calls to Windows, and vice versa. With the first version of WSL, Microsoft connected the dots between Windows-native libraries and programs and Linux. At the time, Carmen Crincoli tweeted: “2017 is finally the year of Linux on the Desktop. It’s just that the Desktop is Windows.” Who is Carmen Crincoli? Microsoft’s manager of partnerships with storage and independent hardware vendors.

The impactProject Hieroglyph builds on the premise that "a good science fiction work posits one vision for the future... that is built on a foundation of realism [that]... invites us to consider the complex ways our choices and interactions contribute to generating the future." Could Microsoft's choices and interactions with the broader open source community lead to a sci-fi future? Stay tuned!

Python is eating the world: How one developer's side project became the hottest programming language on the planet

There are also questions over whether the makeup of bodies overseeing the development of the language — Python core developers and the Python Steering Council — could better reflect the diverse user base of Python users in 2019.

"I would like to see better representation across all the diverse metrics, not just in terms of gender balance, but also race and everything else," says Wijaya.

"At PyCon I spoke to PyLadies members from India and Africa. They commented that, 'When we hear about Python or PyLadies, we think about people in North America or Canada, where in reality there are big user bases in other parts of the world. Why aren't we seeing more of them?' I think it makes so much sense. So I definitely would like to see that happening, and I think we all need to do our part."

The impact: In these troubled times who doesn't want to hear about a benevolent dictator turning the reigns of their project over to the people who are using it the most?

I hope you enjoyed this list of what stood out to me from last week and come back next Monday for more open source community, market, and industry trends.

Tim Hildred stands with arms crossed.
I'm Tim. I like to write about how technology affects people, and vice versa. I’m constantly engaging with the news, tech, and culture with an eye to building the best possible sci-fi future.

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