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Coming in 2004

  • By Bradley L. Jones
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Over at Sun

Over at Sun, or at least with the Java Community Process, you can look for a new version of Java in 2004. Java 2, Version 1.5, code named "Tiger," is due to be released in 2004. This new version of Java is expected to offer a number of improvements, including changes in the language and syntax as well as to the library APIs. New APIs include a Java Platform Profiling Architecture, an Application Isolation API, monitoring and management APIs for the JVM, and more. You can also expect to see optimizations and fixes in a number of areas. This includes faster garbage collection, reduced startup times for the virtual machine, and better usage of memory.

You also can expect to see much more support for XML and Web Services. This includes an update to the Java API for XML (JAXP), XML digital signature APIs, and XML digital encrypting APIs.

Over at Compuware

In 2004, Compuware's big release will be several enhancements to Compuware OptimalJ. This product generates working applications directly from visual models using the power of patterns and model-driven application design. Compuware plans to introduce features that will extend the benefits of the model-driven (MDPB) development approach to other areas of the product lifecycle, including the testing and maintenance phases. The company also will continue to extend their integration with industry-leading Web application servers and IDEs to enable more developers of all skill levels to build enterprise applications using J2EE.

Continuing the Terminology Confusion

Expect 2004 to continue the issues that arise when multiple companies use the same terminology. A number of terms will continue to evolve and change in meaning. Additionally, a number of terms will be used in different contexts.

2004 will be the year of the "Generic." Expect to see Generics in both C# 2.0 and the new release of Java ("Tiger"). Generics allow you to use a single piece of code with multiple data types. More importantly, the code is used as if it were created for that type. The underlying way in which generics works in C# and Java, however, differ. These differences are just one of the many subtleties that are sure to cause some programmers grief.

In Conclusion...

These are just a few of the companies in the industry, and, as you can see, there is a lot planned for 2004. This ranges from new versions of a number of major products such as PowerBuilder and Microsoft's SQL Server database to more movement into mobile/wireless development to the release of new versions of two key programming languages (C# and Java).

Of course, one thing that is delivered every year from software companies, but never effective planned for, is delays. Right now, there are some exciting technologies planned for 2004. Only time will tell which are doomed to be part of an article on products in 2005.

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This article was originally published on January 31, 2004

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