Java focuses on modularity, real-time apps in 2015

Modular Java, due in Java 9, makes for a sleeker footprint

It's full speed ahead for modular and real-time Java efforts early in the new year.

Interviewed at a Silicon Valley Java User Group meeting late last week, Ben Evans, a member of the Java Community Process Executive Committee, said the committee saw presentations last week on the modularity planned for Java 9 and Safety-Critical Java for use in real-time systems.

Modular Java, which had been planned for last year's Java 8 release but was postponed until Java 9 (expected in 2016), has been redesigned. "The original design was quite complex [as far as modularity]," Evans said. "The current design is much more slimmed down and is much more just about reducing footprint and providing developers with the choice to not to have to ship a monolithic JDK [Java Development Kit]."

Modular Java has been the focus of Project Jigsaw and is being driven by Oracle, IBM, and others. Its benefits include an improved footprint in terms of application startup and in code size on the disk and memory usage. "There are a lot of benefits for developers and of course [in] security," with developers no longer needing to load up the Swing GUI toolkit or desktop components if they do not need them, Evans added.

With Safety-Critical Java, the platform would be better fitted to work in secure real-time systems with stringent requirements, such as in aerospace, military, or automotive applications. Work in this vein shows the new areas where Java is going, as well as the longevity of Java, Evans said. The Safety-Critical Java effort is driven by a consortium led by the Open Group.

In a similar mode, Oracle lately has been pushing Java for use in embedded systems in the Internet of things. A newly launched proposal, the Kona Project, would define APIs for Java in embedded devices.