“But even more important,” he said, “is the way complex systems seem to
strike a balance between the need for order and the imperative to change.
Complex systems tend to locate themselves at a place we call ‘the edge of chaos.'”
Ian Malcolm at the Santa Fe Institute
If you’ve been following the announcements surrounding the Java platform, you may have noticed something peculiar happening with the latest Java SE versions. Hardly has the ink dried on books describing the Java 9 release, and we’re already on Java 10. Even more unusual: if you go to Oracle’s Java downloads, you’ll find sections on Java 10 and Java 8, but 9 is gone already, and that in only half a year! The obvious reason for this is Oracle’s new release cadence, where so-called “Long-Term-Release” versions will still use the 3-year cadence, but between these LTS versions Oracle has moved to a 6-month cadence. The reasoning: “developers prefer rapid innovation”. While on the whole Oracle had been getting a lot of flak for it’s slow pace, the combination of a faster pace with rapid removal of older versions will come as a shock for many.
So is this increased pace really a Good Thing™, simply a natural and inevitable evolution, or is Gartner finally right with its continuing predictions of doom for the Java platform?