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 Sunday, January 1, 2006
2006 Tech Predictions

In keeping with the tradition, I'm suggesting the following will take place for 2006:

  1. The hype surrounding Ajax will slowly fade, as people come to realize that there's really nothing new here, just that DHTML is cool again. As Dion points out, Ajax will become a toolbox that you use in web development without thinking that "I am doing Ajax". Just as we don't think about "doing HTML" vs "doing DOM".
  2. The release of EJB 3 may actually start people thinking about EJB again, but hopefully this time in a more pragmatic and less hype-driven fashion. (Yes, EJB does have its place in the world, folks--it's just a much smaller place than most of the EJB vendors and book authors wanted it to be.)
  3. Vista will be slipped to 2007, despite Microsoft's best efforts. In the meantime, however, WinFX (which is effectively .NET 3.0) will ship, and people will discover that Workflow (WWF) is by far the more interesting of the WPF/WCF/WWF triplet. Notice that I don't say "powerful" or "important", but "interesting".
  4. Scripting languages will hit their peak interest period in 2006; Ruby conversions will be at its apogee, and its likely that somewhere in the latter half of 2006 we'll hear about the first major Ruby project failure, most likely from a large consulting firm that tries to duplicate the success of Ruby's evangelists (Dave Thomas, David Geary, and the other Rubyists I know of from the NFJS tour) by throwing Ruby at a project without really understanding it. In other words, same story, different technology, same result. By 2007 the Ruby Backlash will have begun.
  5. Interest in building languages that somehow bridge the gap between static and dynamic languages will start to grow, most likely beginning with E4X, the variant of ECMAScript (Javascript to those of you unfamiliar with the standards) that integrates XML into the language.
  6. Java developers will start gaining interest in building rich Java apps again. (Freely admit, this is a long shot, but the work being done by the Swing researchers at Sun, not least of which is Romain Guy, will by the middle of 2006 probably be ready for prime-time consumption, and there's some seriously interesting sh*t in there.)
  7. Somebody at Microsoft starts seriously hammering on the CLR team to support continuations. Talk emerges about supporting it in the 4.0 (post-WinFX) release.
  8. Effective Java (2nd Edition) will ship. (Hardly a difficult prediction to make--Josh said as much in the Javapolis interview I did with him and Neal Gafter.)
  9. Effective .NET will ship.
  10. Pragmatic XML Services will ship.
  11. JDK 6 will ship, and a good chunk of the Java community self-proclaimed experts and cognoscente will claim it sucks.
  12. Java developers will seriously begin to talk about what changes we want/need to Java for JDK 7 ("Dolphin"). Lots of ideas will be put forth. Hopefully most will be shot down. With any luck, Joshua Bloch and Neal Gafter will still be involved in the process, and will keep tight rein on the more... aggressive... ideas and turn them into useful things that won't break the spirit of the platform.
  13. My long-shot hope, rather than prediction, for 2006: Sun comes to realize that the Java platform isn't about the language, but the platform, and begin to give serious credence and hope behind a multi-linguistic JVM ecosystem.
  14. My long-shot dream: JBoss goes out of business, the JBoss source code goes back to being maintained by developers whose principal interest is in maintaining open-source projects rather than making money, and it all gets folded together with what the Geronimo folks are doing. In other words, the open-source community stops the infighting and starts pulling oars in the same direction at the same time. For once.
Flame away....


.NET | C++ | Conferences | Development Processes | Java/J2EE | Reading | Ruby | XML Services

Sunday, January 1, 2006 12:25:56 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Comments [97]  |  Related posts:
Tech Predictions, 2014
On (Free) Speaking
On Endings
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On speakers, expenses, and stipends
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Sunday, January 1, 2006 9:33:29 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
"dynamic languages will start to grow, most likely beginning with E4X, the variant of ECMAScript (Javascript to those of you unfamiliar with the standards) that integrates XML into the language."

and that shipped in Firefox 1.5.

#13 It's about time. Maybe Richard Monson-Haefel will thus be motivated to finish his jvm platform book. It will take another ten years to get the Corp IT folks to realize that it's not about the language. Don't care much for java but love that jvm. jython rox.
Monday, January 2, 2006 12:04:07 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
"My long-shot hope, rather than prediction, for 2006: Sun comes to realize that the Java platform isn't about the language, but the platform, and begin to give serious credence and hope behind a multi-linguistic JVM ecosystem."

Is that the fall of Java and the rise of the JVM ?

No predictions about the next big thing. SOA :-) I just started reading a big book.

Mohan Radhakrishnan
Monday, January 2, 2006 12:10:11 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
So if JDK 6 ships then that would be the first time in Java's history most companies working on client Java projects would be 2 major versions behind. I still don't understand generics fully and I am predicting that many junior developers would ignore the really complex parts of generics totally.
Mohan Radhakrishnan
Monday, January 2, 2006 2:33:25 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I bet a case of beer that Vista will ship in time for the holidays in 2006. And I say that before I become one of them.
Clemens Vasters
Tuesday, January 3, 2006 12:48:39 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
What exactly needs to happen for #13 to come true? Already the JVM has hundreds of languages for it - many more than for .Net.

http://www.robert-tolksdorf.de/vmlanguages.html


There's also a move to add dynamic typed dispatch bytecode operations to the JVM to help the implementors of dynamically typed languages (though its by no means essential)
Tuesday, January 3, 2006 10:39:36 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
> 11. JDK 6 will ship, and a good chunk of the Java community > self-proclaimed experts and cognoscente will claim it sucks.

So far, I LOVE J2SE6, because it has no discernible language changes from J2SE5. J2SE5 has taken me more than 1.5 years to update Thinking in Java, so I'm hoping this trend continues into Dolphin :-)

Ironically, the moment they finally stopped using point-release numbers for big releases, the very next release is something that would qualify as a point release :-)
Bruce Eckel
Tuesday, January 3, 2006 11:16:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
>In other words, the open-source community stops the infighting and
>starts pulling oars in the same direction at the same time. For once.

Is that Supertramp I hear playing in the background?
;)

Thursday, January 5, 2006 3:41:21 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
What about evaluating your predictions from last year to see if they came true or if your views have changed since then ?
Eduard
Thursday, January 5, 2006 6:00:29 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Swing Rich Clients...not a chance
Eclipse is such a better platform than anything Sun has ever developed...2006 will be the year of the Java Eclipse RCP
charles martin
Monday, January 9, 2006 1:12:47 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
well, it will be interesting to see the other languages support happen with Java's VM. You've got a whole slew of em out there. Jython is probably the most viable one of them. JRuby has a ways to go. Last time I looked at it, it took 2 minutes for it to create a Swing widget! I thought the runtime wasn't working or something....

Ive read where Sun has met with various script/language folks and I think there is some kinda plan to add some bytecode that will make it simpler to do scripting in Java. I know there is the javax.script package coming in Java 6, so that should be an indication that Sun is acknowledging the multitude.

Yeah, Swing has some cool stuff coming. The OpenGL/Swing marriage may prove to be a real watershed.

gotta run!
leouser
leouser
Friday, January 13, 2006 2:58:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Point 6: Java on the Client - while it might be only some marketing sugar, changing the name from 'Swing' to something else might help developers forget their previous nightmares associated with the older version of Java GUI technology.

For example: Mustang is Java 6 and not Java 1.6, as the higher version number obviously makes the technology *much* better.
Friday, January 13, 2006 12:19:14 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I predict that many MS products (especially IE) will not allow me to select the exact text I want to copy. It will insist I select either more or less than what I want.

I predict bullets and numbering will still be broken in Word. 10+ years and counting.

"I still don't understand generics fully and I am predicting that many junior developers would ignore the really complex parts of generics totally."

You'd better hope that they ignore them. The complex parts are a blackhole of productivity. Many who have gone in came out severly damaged: unable to write simple and effective code. When a one of these developers spends a day trying to figure out how to get rid of a generic warning in some trivial (and perfectly safe) code that no one would have previously thought twice about, you'll know what I mean.
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Comments are closed.