Cracking the bell curve
Heralded as the biggest change to the platform in over a decade, Java 8 has received voluble praise from across the community. It might be turning twenty next year, but this release has well and truly recharged Java’s batteries. Java continues to hold firm at the top of a series of popularity indices, laughing in the face of whippersnappers like Go, and according to a survey by reactive people Typesafe, Java 8 adoption has leapt ahead of their predictions by six months.
In an earlier survey conducted in Q1 this year, Typesafe revealed that 65% of developers questions planned to update to the latest version of the platform within the next 24 months. Fast-forward to their latest study, and in total, two-thirds of over 3000 devs polled stated that they are currently running Java 8, or firmly committed to upgrading within the next 12 months. Amongst these adopters, 21% stated that they were using Java 8 in production, 40% are running it in pilot or testing environments, and 36% in staging and imminently planning to run in production.
For those still chewing at the bit when it comes to moving-on-up, 37% said that hurdles with legacy infrastructure were stopping them from throwing the J-8 switch, and a further 31% impeded by scarcity of time, resources, or personnel.
Whilst it’s still early days for Java 8, 28% of those questioned cited that they already have a “strong” interest in relatively minor release Java, and only 8% had absolutely zero interest in the future of the platform. Looking forward, there are two features that have got the community talking: predictably, 43% are looking forward to the long-awaited Project Jigsaw, but an even bigger number (48%) are interested in Value Types.
We’re getting functional
Although Brian Goetz recently stated that the full impact of lambdas won’t be understood for a while yet, it’s safe to say that they have well and truly lived up to their potential as the star feature in Java 8, with 80% of respondents citing “lambda expressions and virtual extension models” as the feature they are most excited about.
Let’s not forget that Typesafe are also the warders of Scala, and have been insistent that the porting of similarly functional features into the Java mothership will not be detrimental to the wider JVM ecosystem (check out these interviews with Jamie Allen and Kevin Webber for more on this).
With 68% percent of Java 8 lambda users agreeing that they are now “more interested” in exploring other functional languages with lambdas features, it seems that they might be right. Within the full slice of Java devs surveyed, a relatively surprising 96% are either using or exploring functional programming (we say relatively – let’s remember, these are people who participated in a survey led by a functional language warder).
Voxxed spoke to an editor at software publishing specialists O’Reilly to see if this spike in all things functional had translated into a dramatic uplift in sales in this area. Surprisingly, given Typesafe’s results, there has yet to be a “major increase” in sales following Java 8’s release, however this could be due to the fact that many organisations and developers are still in the process of making the switch to Java 8. According to O’Reilly’s spokesperson, we can expect that there will be greater movement by March of next year.